I understand this year was very dark for some, because of celebrity deaths, the election of Trump, or maybe it was the loss of family members. I can't really say the same was true for me, because 2015 was a significantly worst year for me than 2016. I lost my grandfather, was unemployed for almost a year, got in debt from 2015 to 2016 and had some other things happen to me that I don't even know if I could share publicly ( just yet). 2016 was the year for new beginnings and the year I learned how to find confidence in myself. I don't want to discredit the mishaps of 2016, or the setbacks but I want to reflect on the positivity of 2016.
2016 was very transformational, a lot of good things happened, yet I am still struggling with a lot. My social media presence nearly tripled in so many ways ranging from going from 900 to 1700+ likes, having almost 50k website views on this site, selling out all of my back catalogue before going to release my full length record, and playing up to 52 shows. But what does it all mean to me? It means I am telling the story I want to tell and I am just getting started. I still don't have enough money to own a car, or have my own apartment and I think those things are fundamentally necessary to enhance my tour life and my personal life. I want to do better and for the following year I already have a second B side record planned as well as the beginning of a mixtape and I will be traveling and playing more shows. I may also be finishing the editing process of my book I wrote in 2015 and an upcoming collaboration with a DJ.
I don't want the tone of this article to be about bragging, but more about reflecting, I am thankful for people I have met this year and people I have reunited with. I am thankful for finally having a dating life after not dating for almost six years and avoiding women on an intimate level other than casual sex, I am thankful for changing the way I live my life and branching out of the DIY scene. I am thankful about opening my mind to realize that music might not be something I can do on a full time forever basis, but it is something I can do and still maintain a sustainable means to travel from place to place. For the first time I started to feel like I am living again and I am letting myself bleed out the pain musically and learning how to breathe in positivity. After writing my article about being Black in the DIY Scene, I recognized that I was keeping myself blocked by the toxic communities that the DIY scene has and I started to branch out. So in some ways I am thankful even for the bridges and ties I broke this year, because who needs toxic people anyways?
I met people such as prolific film maker Bob Sweeney who has helped bring Solace to life with music video and I will be working with him more. I made friends with activist/poet Amanda Silberling who has helped me with my public image, branching out and I get the privilege of having her take cool photos of me. I have interviewed on more podcasts and publications in my entire life, my favorite podcast of all has to be a tie between Dan Drago and Kevin Straiker. I was able to play music full band with some of my close friends including Jake Detwiler who I havent played with in 3 years. I officially have been written about in newspapers every city in Pennsylvania (except Allentown) and in other states too. I was on radio internationally and nationally. I got to travel new and old regions of the US again and I will be getting to do that again. I lost over 40 lbs this year and I want to lose more so I can start writing my 2nd studio LP which will be focused on the male ego and body positivity. I personally think that is something that is not really talked about alot. There are so many cool things that happened and I am thankful.
If you have gotten this far, you are probably asking yourself, what is next? I plan on touring for the first half of this year, I want to expand my mailing list ( subscribe to it if you have not already sign up sheet is on the front page). I want to sell out all of my albums and enhance my presence across the internet and the music world. I want to reach my weight loss goal. I want to move out of my apt, I want to get a car, I want to find higher income and I want to blog more. I want to be more honest than I have this year and share my insights about music and life. So you will find me more active on my platform and you will find me being a more productive person as before. I know it seems ambitious , but I am not doing this in vain, I am doing this to tell a story. I wanna beat everything against me from the lack of financial support that I have to breaking the trends in a white dominated music world. I am not like other musicians, I am a person who doesn't have privilege, I don't relate to suburban diaries of having fun times at the beach or have songs about my signficant other. Because quite honestly my past doesnt tell a story about requited love it speaks of rejection, racism, mistold stories and broken communication. I come from a world where I have been misjudged and told that I couldnt do anything or amount to anything. It's time for me to be positive and it's time for me to tell the brutual truth. I am a person who has been through a lot and I am trying to use music and my story to relate and connect in as many ways possible. I traveled in 2016 to find my place and I want to travel more to find a home, to find love, and to attain peace with myself and this earth. Whether I end up having an ongoing touring band , keep collaborating with friends, or maybe I will find a partner who will find me worthy of love or enhance my dating life. I want to live the rest of my life with more sustainability, more fiscal strength, and the ability to give and help others, I want to fight and make a difference instead of becoming a Pitchfork trendy artist only known by tastemakers but never felt by the people. In the end of the day I have only just begun.
Thank you for listening to me and please support in anyway you possibly can whether it be a listen, a paid download, buying merch, or just telling me that I have helped you in some way.
Played 2016 XPN Session
- Toured as North as Boston as South as Virginia and as West as Chicago
- Featured in over 20 blogs for Solace
- Featured in Jump Philly, Philly Weekly
- Did video sessions in Pittsburgh and Boston
- Continued Relationship with Sounds and Tones Records
Happy New Year.