It was now January 2009 and I was in college in Houston, TX. I was still writing and had recently got some recording equipment. I told myself that I was going to do a Mixpaper. A Mixpaper was a mixtape for a songwriter. I started downloading all these instrumentals and writing to all these songs. I was still with my boyfriend so some of the songs would be about us. I grew to love him (not “in love” though) because we had a perfect relationship in the sense of: there were no arguments, we respected each other and us, the right amount of physical with the right amount of distance. I was taking 18 hours but since I didn’t work, I had spare time. My study group actually became my spare time. A couple of the guys actually were in a rap group and they would come to my place to record. But I knew they weren’t serious, because once you started talking actually building them as a business and drawing up contracts…they looked at me like I was crazy. I learned that I can always cut the fakers from the real ones out…just hand them one of my contracts. To this day that saves me a lot of wasted time. But I came to the realization that recording music is another job in itself. My choir techniques weren’t enough…I needed to know recording techniques. Besides the fact that my voice changed again in the Fall of 2008. The first few songs I recorded…horrible! And one song would take all day! I still put everything up on YouTube, music sites and whatnot. I had the mindset of, “It took me forever to record this shit so I’m going to post it anyway. I can’t get this time back. I don’t care if they don’t like the vocals anyway, just focus on the lyrics.” It wasn’t until Fall 2012 that I could truly say that I got the recording process done efficiently. I can record a whole demo in 30 minutes to an hour now. Anyway, on my 18th birthday I started my own company and became my own music publisher. This lady on LinkedIn had told me how simple it was to become your own publisher and why you should be under a publishing company. I definitely thanked her and took her advice obviously. Summer 2009 had come. I had finished my first semester of college. I broke up with my dude because I had just simply outgrown him. So I spent summer in Dallas doing online classes during the day, recording random stuff in the afternoon, and partying with my older sister at night. I began meeting a lot more people in the industry in Dallas and a few out-of-towners. I was in talks with two producers that I had received instrumentals from, but it lead to nowhere. I begin to realize that most people in Dallas were nothing but all talk.
I decided to do a Behind The Scenes video for the video shoot that I had for “Everything Is Not Meant” by Apollo’s Interlude. Crown Jones was a mess lol! He’s going to have to get some dance lessons to loosen himself up, and that face. You would think he had gotten Botox or something lol. But overall we had a great time and can’t wait for the edit. I’m already ready to shoot the next video for the next single “Everything That I Do”; but in due time young lad, in due time. Anywho, here’s the video. Also, you can stream “Everything Is Not Meant” at http://mtv.com/artists/apollos-interlude/.
By now my dad knew Songwriting was my plan A. Of course I had to go to college, so I told my dad I would major in Marketing with the hopes of marketing for a record label because so many good albums go unnoticed because of horrible marketing. In 2009, I did end up going to school for marketing and in 2011 I ended up interning as a music marketer for the Greater Houston Area for RED Distribution/’Stache Media (a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment). Anyway, it’s still the summer of 2007 and I’m still kind of in love with that guy. It was fading fast though because of his actions. He came to visit me in Cali that summer and when I saw him I immediately acted like every wrong that he had every done didn’t exist. Of course my time with him for those days transpired loads of songs. The day he got back home, he went right back to f-in up. And not too long after that I found out I was moving. I figured I was moving to Arizona because we had been visiting Phoenix a lot and some of my friends were there and my dad had talked about me possibly going to school with them. It wasn’t too far from L.A. so I didn’t mind at all. But what through me from a loop is when my dad drove straight through Phoenix. He finally said we were going to move back to Dallas. My face read “WTF”. I can’t lie though; I did miss my Dallas friends like crazy. But I was like, did I just leave one of the music capitals for this crap. I was so ready to get into songwriting scene in L.A. now. But when I got back to Dallas and went to my old school’s football game and saw all my old friends and some guys I used to like back in the day, it was so easy for me to finally let go of dude. I had talked to him earlier that day before the game and he was just unbelievable. I had took back the last piece of my heart from him and all I heard was ♪Tears Dry On Their Own♪ by Amy Winehouse and ♪If You’ll Stay In My Past♪ Parts 1-3 by Maria Mena. The only thing on my mind now was making my 16th year living a productive year. My new school wasn’t bad, I found a job, moved with my mom, and decided that I would copyright all of my songs. This is where I spend a month and countless cartridges of ink and reams of paper. I had to copy 1,100 songs because I was not giving the copyright office the originals. When I mailed them off, I felt so good about myself. I started posting some of my song lyrics on my MySpace. The next step was to get affiliated. After doing some research, I took a liking to BMI. It was easy for me to sign up at 16 because I had already had a trust account with SAG-AFTRA from doing movie work back in California. I was super stoked when BMI accepted everything. Now I just started writing about other people’s experiences. By the end of 2007 I was just living life stress free. If I wasn’t at school, I was at work, if I wasn’t at work, I was on the phone with this guy (who I eventually made my boyfriend in 2008) or my two best friends in Cali, if it wasn’t that then I was playing with my nephew, if I wasn’t playing with my nephew…then I was songwriting. That was my life and I enjoyed the routine. The guy who I had once fallen in love with contacted me every now and then, but I can say that I could tell he was having rough and unstable life at that time but it was not my concern and none of my business. This period had me writing a bunch of hopeful, inspirational songs…weird. 2008 had rolled around and I only was really concerned with nailing down a college because I was on the track to graduating a semester early, which meant that SAT scores, resume and essays had to be on point for me to go straight into college Spring 2009. I went to Prom with the guy who I had been talking to for the longest, and we finally decided to become a couple. I can say that he is the only guy that I would openly write about and then let him read it afterwards. Summer 2008 rolled around and I started preparing for the Texas Summer Music Conference with my older sister because we were modeling in the show. I can say that that conference was the beginning of what is called “Networking”. I met so many people in and behind the music industry. I also learned how many people were trying to break in and how fast someone jobs changes within the industry; everyday someone is hired and fired. I realized that groupies are real and some of them were my associates, which had me at a crossroads. I also realized that I’m smarter than some of those people that were there but since I was 17, they looked at me as a foolish child. It was okay because I proved a few of them wrong with events that took place. Audio Push and I was the only people under 18 there. I took a liking to being one of the youngest around. The conference started the Friday before Labor Day, all the way until Labor Day. I partied, I networked, I modeled, I ate, I laughed, I learned. But that conference was all I needed. The following day that I returned to school, I knew what I had to do. High school was never for me and would never be for me. I needed to hurry up and get to college to get it over with. I had got a taste of “the life”. I knew what I wanted to do and that was it.
Hey! So I’ve low-key been making an album with Crown Jones under the pseudonym, Apollo’s Interlude. Well guess what? The album is out today on iTunes, Amazon, etc. I decided to go ahead and put the time and money into making an album with my producer. Crown Jones is a rapper/producer and of course I’m a singer/songwriter. I hope you check it out and see what we’re about.
This is something I actually wrote and recorded in December of 2012. Just had to put that out there before some people think that it’s about them, when it has nothing to do with them. I’ve shared some similar situations with guys, but I know who this story is for lol. Don’t flatter yourself . Enjoy!
Let me start off by saying that each generation gets worse and worse for many different reasons. My generation was/is bad, but this next generation is fucking ridiculous! Twerking is nothing new at all! We just called it booty shaking; but it wasn’t the phenomenon that it is now. Now, these heffas are out here practicing their stripping techniques. There is nothing wrong with having these techniques, to save for your man, who would ideally be your husband. I do crew work for television and film, and we had to film at a teen club. Yes, as a teenager I went to parties and danced and got all dressed up…but most of these little girls now are just hoes, and most of these little boys now are confused about their gender. These girls’ parents actually let them walk out the house with literally, nothing on. Some people will try to take up for them and say that they changed in the car because they rode with a friend. Ummm no! I actually had to talk to these parents as they were dropping their children off in order to make sure that it would be okay to show them on TV. Some parents were even like, “Girl you better go in there and get seen,” in a weird stripperish way. These girls HAVE to spend all day booty shaking in the mirror in order to be doing it how they are doing it. These hoes in here dropping it to splits and shit like they got a cheerleading scholarship somewhere. I don’t even feel sorry for these girls, because you try to talk some sense into them, and all they care about is getting seen and getting these boys attention. Some of these girls need to realize there is more to life about that, and always will be. Now these guys…I honestly think need more help than these girls. What kills me is how these boys are so confused! These dudes run around here making fun of gay dudes, calling them “faggots”, but they run around acting like a gay boy…it’s like they admire the people they make fun of. So many “straight guys”, dress gay. Yes, dressing gay and just having style as a straight male are two totally different things. I don’t know what these celebrities and media is saying that is making people feel like the lines are blurred…uh no…the shit is in straight black and white. Then, these young guys are booty shaking it too! The fact that there was a Twerk Contest for the guys, and there were actually as many guys in the contest as were girls for their contest, was straight up and down, left to right, fucking ridiculous! Any male that “twerks” is feminine and needs to have their penis swapped with a vagina. I hate males that do female things anyway, unless they are gay. You’re walking around here saying you’re straight, but you’re popping it on a handstand, making your ass cheeks clap…you don’t learn that shit overnight. Ding, dong!…It was practiced. The vision of a straight guy actually practicing how to booty shake is just fucking disgusting. But the saddest part ever, is knowing that these kids are going to have kids…fucking doomed yo! Lol…Laughing at the situation because of the ridiculousness of it all…it’s freaking hopeless. And for those that try to tell/preach to people that it only takes one person to change it, are full of hope and need to get their balloon popped; because in actuality, it’s up to the child’s parents. The funny part is that it usually is the adults with no kids that think they’re going to change someone else’s child. Lmao! Now that right there…makes me laugh AT them…not WITH them! It’s all fucking ridiculous.
P.S. These kids’ parents where probably hoes and confused too…Eh.
My mom had this ugly apron type looking dress thing that someone gave her. I won’t mention any names, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t like it and wanted to get rid of it lol. I told my mom that she doesn’t need it so I’ll change it into something else. I randomly wrapped one side around my waist and said, “Eh, maybe I can do something with this.” I cut one whole side of the dress off at the shoulder blades, and was left with the back side of the dress. The easiest thing to do is to make something fit your shape, because after all, you’re the one sewing it and you are also the mannequin. Most mannequins are just standard size, unless you get a mold of the person’s body, like how Shania Twain did for her Super Bowl half-time performance outfit. But since the material was already sewn before, it was easier since most of the hem lines were already attached. I made a few cuts and new hem lines to match the shape of the skirt that I wanted and tada! The only thing I needed was to fasten it with something. I love zippers but they didn’t look right with this type of skirt, so I ended up unwillingly buying buttons. I never wanted to use buttons because those things look impossible. I had my mom give me a button tutorial because I usually let her sew all of my buttons. After getting the tutorial, I just let her do all the button sewing and buttonhole sewing for this skirt. It was just too much and I figured I’ll take the chance on the next project. There are 3 buttons on this skirt. The big button is shown, and I made sure I got a special decorative button for that. Two smaller 2-hole buttons are hidden within the skirt. One button is parallel to the big button, but just inside as another fastener. The other button is inside as well towards where the two sides meet by the thigh, so the skirt doesn’t fly up, since it’s already showing enough thigh as is it. It will probably be worn at a summer Hawaiian festive event with a bandeau top and heels, since I have yellow heels (the same color as the yellow in the skirt) to complete the outfit.
I had the book “The Big Payback” on my wish-list on Amazon for about 2 years. I would always look past it and just buy things I quickly saw, liked and purchased…or I just always bought the other things that were on my wish-list. I finally decided to stop being so cheap, and purchase “The Big Payback”. It was well worth the money. I had no idea that Hip-Hop could take up a 645 page book, even with author Dan Charnas, leaving stories out. When I closed the final page of the book, I thought to myself, “I finally see why my dad DJ-ed in his teenage years and had tons of Coca-Cola crates full of records and briefcases full of cassettes.” My dad used to play his records/cassettes through his stereo system while we cleaned up the house on Saturday morning, so all of these Hip-Hop acts that were talked about in the book…I already had knowledge of. I didn’t really get into Hip-Hop until I was 15 (2006). The thing that lured me into Hip-Hop was LimeWire. I don’t know how I found the artist by the name of Lupe Fiasco, but once I did, I made sure I downloaded every mixtape/underground song he had. From that moment on, I listened to FNF radio with Lupe and Bishop G every Monday night. I had already had a few Hip-Hop singles on my iPod, thanks to LimeWire, but I never thought to venture into getting Hip-Hop artists full albums’, because the only rapper I liked, Lupe, wasn’t signed, so there was no album. My dad wouldn’t let me by parental advisory albums, so I devised a plan. My dad always let my siblings and I stay late after school, because it gave him extra time to work, since he was self-employed Real Estate loan officer. I took that to my advantage. Every Tuesday, I decided to start taking my siblings to the good eateries we’ve never been to around Pasadena, CA. My younger siblings’ school was only a block away from a Tower records, and about three blocks away from a Target. Target always had better release day sales, so I would just go get all my Hip-Hop albums from there, hide the purchase in my school bag, rip the CD to my iPod, and store the album in a small album case that no one even knew I had, compared to the huge one that I let everyone in the house pick through. Eventually music started to die down, and I became a fan of the unsigned Hip-Hop artists versus the signed crap Hip-Hop artists. Funny how everyone made Mixtapes on cassettes, and here Mixtapes were, and still are at an all-time high for signed and especially unsigned artists. Everyone wanted to be a DJ back then, and now that has transferred over to Hip-Hop producers with their personas and power. Dan Charnas book did confirm one thing for me, a hypothesis I had way before I even got into Hip-Hop, “The more money the Hip-Hop industry makes, the bigger in becomes globally, the more watered down the music is, and the less it makes sense and holds its value.” When no one had money and was just trying to get a Hip-Hop record out there in the 1980’s just because they loved the art, the music made sense, the music stood for something, even some people in the industry thought morally about certain singles that were going to be released to the public, because they knew that kids were listening. Now that Hip-Hop has the whole world at its ear, the less it makes sense and stands for nothing. Wouldn’t you want to capitalize on the power in a positive way? No, I guess most Hip-Hop artist just want to be coons, jigga-boos and put on a minstrel show. I laugh at the people that say, “Well, the whites are controlling the industry, so they get to choose what gets played.” I used to believe that, but then at the same time I kind of didn’t. “The Big Payback” helped me make up my mind and my conclusion about the whole situation. Yes, a lot of “white” people invested in the artist in the early times, but the radio in the 1990’s didn’t sound like it does now. So automatically, let’s rule that out. Not saying that the radio, especially when it comes to Hip-Hop, has ever been pure (i.e. Ice T, NWA, B.I.G., etc.), but turn on the radio now, and it’s completely different; so different to the point that I don’t even care to name some of those certain artists and their buffoonery. Also, to my understanding, and this is parallel to a lot of industries these days, whites don’t own as much as people think they do. Yes, whites are the faces of certain companies, but they aren’t own by them. So many investors and entrepreneurs with money come from regions like Asia, the Middle East and a group of people called Jews. I feel indifferent about the word “Jews” seeing that it leaves me in utter confusion; is a Jew just someone who believes in Judaism, or is it a race of people who are descendants of the Hebrews? I don’t see how the dictionary can say it’s a race and also a religion. I basically feel that it should only be one definition, but hey, whatever. But I digress, at the same time, is someone from the “inner-city” so desperate to the point that they will “sell their soul” to get a six-figure paycheck (because at the end of the day, most Hip-Hoppers make their money in other industries that include film, endorsements, etc…not exactly from the label itself). But it even kills me when the “suburban” or “middle-class” kids go off to become puppets in an industry that transitioned itself to cater to building the soundtracks for strip clubs. So, all-in-all, some of the fault is to blame the artist itself, for the foolery that has become of Hip-Hop. I haven’t heard a track like ♫Summertime♫ by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince in ages, which was a feel good, non-foolery track that actually made sense. Throughout Charnas book, you get tidbits of how certain artist’s images came into play, thanks to the record label’s creative department. Image is everything, which is something a Marketing degree holder like I would definitely know about. My problem with image…is when image becomes a Hollywood movie/script. I could understand yesterday’s artists’ image. They wanted to be smooth, just clean, be fly, etc. Today’s artists were once cops and college kids who now rap and talk like thugs and drug lords, were once innocent girls who jumped-rope and hop-scotched who turned singing into soft rap and now dress and talk like strippers. Not saying that you didn’t have your share of yesterday’s artists that did that, but now…75% of Hip-Hop artists do that. As an artist reaches higher peaks, and gains more “money”, shouldn’t their thought process change, wouldn’t they want to be entitled to more power and be taken seriously? That led me to the misconception about labels not being owned by “black” people. I’ve observed a lot of black people throughout my years and it has come down to a few things when it comes to business and them being an entrepreneur: 1) they don’t know how to run a business, 2) they’re too lazy to run a business, 3) they are doing too many other things to run a steady business, 4) they get involved with the wrong people, usually involving some illegal activity, 5) they don’t have the money, so they just decide be an employee under the company that sprung off of their idea, 6) they start a business, make it successful, then sell it, 7) or like Charnas brought to my attention in his book, they just form joint ventures. I promise you, for the longest I thought Puffy owned Bad Boy and Dame and Jay-Z owned Roc-A-Fella to its entirety…Sike! In this day and age where indie labels are springing up out of nowhere and everywhere and distribution can easily be done on the web via iTunes, Amazon, etc., there is no excuse why artists can’t sign themselves to their own deal. If you’re a drug dealer already making money with dreams of being a rapper, why don’t you just not by those rims you want, and fund your studio time and engineer for the mix and mastering of your product, or better yet…make a home studio since equipment is sold to the masses for a reasonable price. If you work a nine to five and you want to be a rapper, why don’t you just save a little to the side from each check and make an album. Social media is so prevalent now-a-days, you can network with anyone who can make your project come to life and either pay a flat fee, or cut them some royalties once you sale the album, unless you’re just going to sit there and make Mixtapes all your life hoping to become a slave to one of the “Big Three”. I’ve seen some of those contracts (some of the contracts mentioned in Charnas book were straight thievery and anyone with common sense and dignity would have known so), I’ve interned with a label to see how they waste money of these old school promotions/marketing of artists to the point where once the label recoups their advance, they hardly get a dime. I’ve seen the labels drop, pick-up and drop again, the same artist. Or how quickly an artist’s project can get pushed to the back burner because they star of the label is now ready to drop an album. These things that I’ve just mentioned aren’t anything new, even Charnas tells of these stories within the book. The saddest part is when a Hip-Hop artist does get the power to control his/her destiny, and he/she still chooses to release coon music. Yes, Hip-Hop has integrated the world filled with youth of all nationalities and races, but also damaged the new generation in negative ways. When Hip-Hop influenced movies, at first it was funny, a joke, now it’s horrible, to the point that BET doesn’t even get a second to be seen on my TV, or VH1 where I used to go to listen to music that didn’t hurt my ears now have Hip-Hop influenced reality shows that make the cast look like animals. Hip-Hop used to have to fight to get a show on the air (MTV), to having good shows almost everywhere (MTV2, BET, etc.), to having nothing but unknowns trying to break-in/make a buck fighting every time you turn on the TV. It’s funny how radio and music videos were so important to Hip-Hop, now most of the Hip-Hop songs on the radio and music videos on the TV suck because they were just thrown together. And if there is a horrible Hip-Hop artist who says that they, along with their staff did put their time, thought, and energy into a single/video, you my friend need to get your money back and definitely need to rethink your life plan. But all-in-all, “The Big Payback” broadened my knowledge on an industry that I didn’t get interested in until the mid-2000’s, and I see why I still don’t care for it that much now. Sometimes, the old days are better and will outweigh the new days.
What is big hair and who gets to classify what big hair is? Is big hair out of style or is it not looked at as a trend? Is big hair not professional, or does it depend upon the demographic one resides in? I tend to switch between flat ironing my hair to make it straight, flat and eventually becoming boring versus my big curly hair. The best thing about straight hair is that it slims my face tremendously. I don’t like when people say that I wear my hair “natural”. No, when my hair is curly, I’m just wearing my hair the way it is after water has hit it, the way it comes out of my scalp. I was born with my hair so therefore, there is nothing natural about it…it’s just my hair. When people say “natural” hair, I think kinky, Afrocentric, etc. I’m far from Afrocentric and my hair isn’t kinky. I’ve ran into multicultural young ladies who think my hair is “cool” or that I’m a “brave soul” to wear my hair the way I do. There is nothing brave about my hair. My hair is my hair and I like that curly hair has volume. The only time I really have problems with it, is when the wind wants to be an ass and try to fight me, because he usually wins. Other than that, I do what people with hair do, I guess. I wash my hair every day, regardless of people thoughts stating that that damages your hair. My shampoo doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate because I want as few chemicals in my hair as possible, but I don’t know if that’s even possible with the way everything is made nowadays. I condition my hair at least once every two weeks. My conditioner contains natural/earthly oils and is specifically made for curly hair. I’m not a fan of brushes; I’m more of a comb person, unless I’m trying to slick some hair back. I dry my hair with a Microfiber towel instead of a regular cotton bath towel because that brings unwanted frizz. If I want my hair to dry extremely fast, then I use a Soft Bonnet hair dryer because those give me the flexibility of not having to have a stiff neck; stiff necks sucks, extremely uncomfortable. I straighten my hair to cut my split ends at least twice a year. And when I say cut my split ends…I cut my split ends no matter how short it may make my hair. Hair can never grow back healthy if you only cut some of your split ends because you’re afraid of not having the length of hair that you want. But everyone has different hair and has to find the right products and regimen that best fits them. No one should ever be afraid of their own hair and do some much to try to change it because they’re just lazy beings. But I love my big hair. Sometimes I even comb through my curls to make them bigger and I just skip around on a sunny day like a wild child, letting my even bigger hair flow in the wind. The point of this post is that you should be comfortable with everything within/outside of you, and about you…hair isn’t excluded.
It’s still the 2006-2007 school year and I’m still in California. I changed high schools though. Started back going to school in Pasadena, CA; decided to take up choir for the last time. Mr. Douglas was my choir teacher, and boy was he amazing! I ended up not only being in choir, but I was selected as an alto for B.I.B.S. which consisted of about 15 of us. I also got to perform at the Pasadena Playhouse with Up with People, and had some solos in our yearly “Ovations” Broadway-styled musical. We went on so many musical outings and random performances as well. I joined so much stuff at that school. I remember telling my dad I didn’t want to be on movie sets all day like my younger brother, I wanted to be at school…so that’s what I did. I promised it felt like a singer’s boot camp. I learned so many vocal techniques. I learned to accept my tone, how to pronounce vows differently that better suited my voice, listen to myself better and pronounce better. I think my favorite thing was vibrato. I have to say that because of this, I became more interested in background vocals and ad-libs vs. the main vocal. I started hearing melodies more clearly. At this time I also started recognizing different songwriter’s styles. I was head over heels for any The Dream or Rock City (Planet VI) written song. I also took a liking to Ne-Yo, Dre & Vidal, Adonis Shropshire and Sean Garrett’s writing style. All of these songwriters had melodies that caught my attention; it wasn’t even about the lyrics with these guys for me. So I had the females (Amy & Maria) for the lyrics, and the guys for the melodies. I started to despise singing a little bit. It was starting to become a chore. Singing in the shower and karaoking is extremely different than having to sing for an audience. With all the techniques that I learned, singing became more of a thinking process than something you would just do. I tried to keep that stuff pushed far in the back of my mind. Pasadena was calling all the high school students in the district to try out for a talent show, so I did. I performed ♪Like A Boy♪ by Ciara. I had added my on outro at the end that I wrote, I even had it choreographed a little, had a chair for my prop. I still knew I was no Mariah Carey…I accepted Rihanna lol! I was pretty and I could perform, so who cared if I could “sang” as long as I could sing/long talk. I ended up finding out that I got a spot on the show from a friend of mines on the day of the show. My dad had took my cell phone away because of some court stuff he was going through with my mom, had to be the only reason, so he had put his number down for the contact information. My dad never checked his voicemail then so I knew it had been sitting in his voicemail. My best friend tried to offer me an outfit of hers to wear but I turned it down. It was just too last minute. When it comes to performing, I don’t feel comfortable unless everything is right…and outfit looks are a major part for me. But I got a chance to perform later on that year at something held for my school. I can’t remember what it was for but I remember performing ♪Umbrella♪ by Rihanna. Of course I had an umbrella that matched my outfit, opened it up and everything on stage lol. I love the stage; it would be a lie to say I didn’t. Summer of 2007 I came to the conclusion though that maybe I could just sing background vocals somewhere or on some album. I would just demo my own songs that I write instead of looking for the perfect singer…Diane Warren does it and she’s not even a singer, but she is a songwriting legend! I had had enough of technical singing, I missed shower singing. I turned my attention to songwriting only.
I really did move back to Texas at the drop of the dime. A couple of days before I moved I ended up vowing that I was done with my “puppy love”. He called me as soon as I got on the road and I didn’t tell him that I was leaving Cali at all. I felt that he took me for granted, so who cared. He called me again the day after I arrived in back in Dallas, and then I finally told him. I hung up with no remorse and I never looked back. What someone should of told me was that something was coming that would change my life for years to come, and shape a lot of things. I had gone up to my new school to get the new student packet and I remember this guy poked his head in the office and in my head I said, “Well I may like this school. He’s cute, and besides my best friend is here anyways. This can’t be so bad.” I hit it off with the guys instantly. School was about over for the 8th grade year anyway but there were some cuties. The first two guys I went with provided some hilarious songwriting material. Everything about that place provided some good songs for me. I finally lived in a neighborhood that I actually went outside in so it was some good inspiration to write about different topics. I ended up going with the guy that poked his head in the office. I ended up producing about 500 songs inspired by him over the course of the next 7 years (2005-2011). He ended moving away but we kept in touch as you see. August of 2005 I started high school. A lot of dating and having fun, I joined Drill Team so I was always at the games or at some type of function. A lot of fun songs and just overall a lot of random songs were written then. I became a huge fan of music videos, my CD collection was just ridiculous, and I wasn’t listening to the radio as much as I used to. Winter of 2006 I ended up moving back to Palmdale, CA to live with my dad. It was weird, all of a sudden my dad got super strict when I got to high school. I was literally going crazy because I couldn’t talk to that guy that had poked his head in the office that day. My dad wouldn’t let me talk on the phone or use the internet for a month because I was on punishment. That month seemed like years when I was in love. I know that if we didn’t live on different coasts I probably would of ran away and told him let’s get married and have a family so I’ll have to never go back to that forsaken place lol! I was truly in love. Even though I was only 14, I knew it and to this day, I haven’t experienced anything like that again. Since I couldn’t talk to him, I stayed locked up in my room with the lights out, turning a lamp on every now and then. I would only come downstairs to eat, and I wouldn’t stay long because I didn’t really want to eat. I started a journal to help my take my mind off of him. That helped a little but I knew I would just have to confront the problem head on. So I wrote, I wrote, I wrote and I wrote. It was days where I would write 3 songs and be done. Some days I couldn’t handle it as much as others so I would write 20 songs that day. The middle of February came around and I could easily write a song for you in 15 minutes: Verse 1, Verse 2, Chorus, B-Section (Pre-Hook), Bridge and occasionally Intros and Outros. I finally got to talk to him and I don’t know if that helped on hindered me. I fell in love with him even more, but I could tell that yeah he loved me, but he wasn’t in love with me, which lead to even more songs. My songs and my journals were filled with him. I couldn’t escape it even if I wanted to. I need another outlet. Every Monday night I would listen to FNF Radio which consisted of Lupe Fiasco and Bishop G. This was before Lupe even dropped his first album. I spent hours updating and organizing my iPod. I MySpaced my life away, but he was there too. I would talk on the phone with friends but even when I hated him, I still wanted to talk to him, but then I didn’t. I started finding reasons to stay after school, I started watching the channel, The N, heavy; but Degrassi reminded me of youth “love” problems. Some days I actually got tired of writing and just wanted to do something else. I can’t remember how it happened, but I found an artist by the name of Maria Mena randomly on Limewire. Yes I was a huge fan of Limewire. I still went to the store to by albums, but Limewire gave me access to Mixtapes, Unreleased tracks, Demos and artists that I didn’t have access to because they didn’t release their music in the United States. Maria Mena happened to be one of those people who didn’t release her music in the United States, she is Norwegian. Her album ♫Apparently Unaffected♫ mirrored how I felt for the guy that I was in love with, and it was scary! She wrote what I wanted to write but in a more lyrical way. To this day she is my favorite songwriter. She tells her stories unlike no other and you really have to listen closely sometimes in order to get what she is saying. She wrote from her soul. When I wrote about him, that’s where I wrote from as well, but I had never heard an artist write from their soul and it actually come across in their music. Her music was sad, pure, true…life changing. I began to lock myself in my room listening to this album over and over. Before Maria Mena came about, the end of 2005 and beginning of 2006 consisted of me listening to nothing Alternative Rock and Atlanta-based music. The summer of 2006 consisted of me having this ridiculous fantasy that I could become a part of the writing groups “The Clutch”, “The Underdogs” or “The Write House”. I started taking a liking to how blunt Lily Allen was, because it reminded me of how blunt I had become over the past year. I liked James Blunt, Corinne Baily Rae, Aaradhna, Fund*mental ’03 (FDM). Overseas music began to slowly creep in, but not as much as it did when 2007 rolled around. When I first saw the ♪You Know I’m No Good♪ video on VH1 Soul. Amy Winehouse instantly became my favorite singer. I had pushed poor Amerie, Mya and Teedra Moses to the side. If it wasn’t about Maria Mena, then it was about Amy Winehouse. I was now 15 and so different than how I was when I was 14. 15 solidified the person that I created of myself, and I am still her. I had become extremely blunt; I didn’t care about what people thought at all anymore, I became extremely open as a person. I knew my dad didn’t like it. Sometimes I would re-write my songs if they were written too sloppy. I would throw away the old copy. My dad would sometimes read them and he told me he didn’t like how I wrote. He didn’t like what I wrote about and he didn’t like my language. In my head I said, “Fuck it. Eh”. I looked at love differently at 15. I came to the realization that the guy that I was in love with would not love me the way I loved it. I accepted it, sucked it up and said that I will only let myself fall out of love with him if his actions allowed it. Every time he did something that would hurt or angered me, I shrugged it off and figuratively would take back a piece of my heart from him. Amy Winehouse’s ♫Back To Back♫ CD chronicled us then, without me being a drug addict of course. So I wrote, I wrote, I wrote and I wrote. And he kept showing me that this would be over soon, but while he was around I still loved him and so I kept writing. Amy showed me that lyrics could get to the point. Lyrics could be simple and in your face and still come from the soul. Amy Winehouse (UK) and Maria Mena (Norway) helped me realize so much about songwriting.