Don’t Wake Me Up

May 3, 2017

I wasn’t supposed to do music. The metrics of my situation pointed to inevitable failure. I was staring directly at three giant roadblocks — my parents didn’t want me to pursue it, I didn’t possess the kind of raw musical talent that you’d find in a university practice room and the industry at the time was falling apart (mid 2000s, post Napster/pre streaming). This translated directly into (1) no money (2) no music (3) no business infrastructure, or better put, “go get a real job buddy”.

Early on there were periods that got really dark, and I’d be lying if I told you it still doesn’t get dark on a continual basis in this game regardless of one’s place on the time/success X/Y graph. I guess you just get better equipped at handling yourself through the bottoms of the sine wave.

My friend John West wrote and recorded an incredible song called “Don’t wake me up” that perfectly depicts the struggle of every musician. A song that could have only been written by someone who has experienced every high and low that music has to offer, from lucrative record deal to street performing. The lyrics lay out the darker factual side of the story, but the melody sits on top with a hopeful shine that only becomes stronger as the chorus peaks. That’s the mental space we live in as musicians. The facts, odds, metrics, numbers, stats, percentages are against you, but you remain subtly hopeful and actively steadfast, knowing that the world views it as a blind allegiance but to you it’s simply your fate.