I thought I would talk about something that bothers me daily. Hopefully, my venting will be useful to someone. I have always been a little bit insecure that what I am doing or how I present myself to the world isn’t really me. Especially when it comes to my music. I love so many things and wish I could do everything sometimes. This can be a little bit crippling in the sense that you can spend so long trying to mold yourself to be certain things that you don’t end up doing what really speaks to you. This has definitely been true of me and my musical journey so far. This need to be something else has spurred on some beautiful things for me as a person but has also been the reason why I have been trying to find my “sound” for so long and haven’t sat comfortably in my own musical skin, so to speak.
People tend to judge music a lot (including myself) based on what is “cool” to them at any given time. Others listen to it purely for the enjoyment, and other people just don’t listen at all. The bottom line for the people trying to make the music is that it’s so confusing. You start thinking, “how will I ever be fit to float in this vast ocean of artists?”
For me, I started making music because I loved it and wanted to see what would happen if I made it and put it out there. I did that and released a song that put me slightly on the map for the demographic of people listening to all these independent YouTube lo-fi musicians. So many artists are being given labels that it almost restricts new musicians to just be whatever it is they want to be. I released my first EP, “Parkview Demos”, and the moment I did, I instantly wished it was different. The response was good but that didn’t seem to matter as much as the fact that I wished it could be something else. I didn’t think it felt cool or quality enough to be proud of it. That’s why I called them demos.
Afterwards, I started to think about what I listen to, songs and records I love or whatever. As soon as I did that I was obviously going to have to be a jazz musician, but someone “cool” or relatable to a wider audience. Realizing pretty quickly that I was in no way a jazz musician, I started to write whatever it is that this next EP coming out is gonna be; a journal of my brain basically freaking out and not knowing what chord to hit or what to write about, because who the hell was I and what was I wanting to say, if anything? Feeling a bit numb to the process of ‘putting myself out there’ and showcasing myself as well, I extracted the songs out of myself over a 1 year period. It was painful.
I think if everyone could just sit down and try to write a song for fun or for the hell of it, more often than not, something pretty cool could happen. It’s so much easier said than done. We all need some encouragement sometimes, that part is true, but the way the whole thing works now, you become dependant on it in order to move forward. So you change your presentation according to what is happening out there so your work has a better chance of being validated by the public. I’m calling this EP “COLD” because of the numbness I felt when I was writing it for however long. I didn’t feel like I had anything genuine to say and the lyrics came last, something that has never been the case for me. I went with it regardless and now strangely, I have something I can say I am pretty proud of. Still, I feel like it won’t fit anywhere and might struggle a little, but that’s beside the point now.
Music will always be changing and will constantly be recycled by musicians. That is its nature. Like the weather. Embracing the journey of what you like at certain times in your life and what makes you feel good or bad is the only thing you should worry about showing off. That is the best part of yours or anyone else’s music. Cool music is cool just because it is, not because it’s trying to be. The same way you’re only who you are once you stop trying to be something else. Music is cool because you can show that part of you off. The part that no one gets or fully understands because they aren’t you.
Listen to Sebastian Roca’s EP “Cold”: