Well, I did it!
It’s been a few weeks now since I released “Six,” the first single on my upcoming album.
It feels pretty weird typing that. I started working on the song in January, even before I fleshed out the album’s concept. I’ve probably heard it several hundred times over the past few months. But I still haven’t gotten sick of it, so that’s a good sign.
As I sat in my room late that Wednesday night, my cursor hovered over the “Publish” button, I had no idea what to expect. Would people like it? Would I get any negative comments? Would anyone even listen to it?
As you can predict from my Facebook stats, I was blown away. Notifications piled up for days. Several people messaged me telling me how much they loved it, and a couple people I know who’ve dealt with mental illness reached out as well. People I’ve barely spoken to have talked to me about it. It also surprised some family members, incidentally. Whoops.
It’s been crazy (pun not intended). I’m so happy to share something I’m so passionate about, and to get a lot of attention with it.
But to be honest, it was pretty difficult to adapt to that much attention.
I’ve always felt awkward receiving compliments on my music. For example, when I auditioned with a friend for a high school talent show, it was the first time I sung in public, and it went really well.
But I was nervous for the rest of the day, cringing every time someone brought up my performance. I didn’t want people to acknowledge that I even did anything. I wanted to get off the stage and blend in with everyone, to pretend that I was an audience member and not a performer. After the eventual talent show, I actually interrupted someone who was complimenting me afterward and changed the subject.
I’m not sure why I’ve had trouble with compliments, but it might be because I have trouble being the centre of attention. When you feel like you’re being watched all the time, realizing that people are actually looking at you can be unpleasant.
Taking a line from the Sufjan Stevens song I posted at the top, there was almost “Too much, too much, too much love.” But at the same time, putting myself out there can be a really rewarding experience, so I’m trying to get better with it.
Did I just quote that so I had an excuse to share the song? Yeah, maybe. Sue me. But it’s relevant. Age of Adz, the album that track’s from, is one of my all-time favourites. It’s also the most anxious album I’ve ever heard, featuring such lines as, “Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn/Illness is watching, waiting its turn.” I highly suggest you give it a listen.
I’m pretty anxious (hah) about how this project will progress, but I’m just as excited. Expect more from me soon.