Earlier this year, on a very sunny day in May, I met up with Nick Jongejan for a co-write. This was the first co-write for me since the Nashville retreat in November 2017, and this time there was no writing assignment by Judy Stakee. To be honest, at the beginning of 2018 I wasn’t feeling the whole musician thing anymore
We worked hard the previous year(s) on the ‘Star-crossed Lovers’ EP we self-produced, all trial and error. And when time came to release it in March 2017 – a day or two after returning from my first Nashville trip and the first day of my real job – I had done my best to make sure we were gonna be able to play a lot throughout 2017, because my band loves to play live. And I think I succeeded at that, we played some really awesome venues and I dare call it the ‘Star-crossed Lovers’ tour ;-)
But for me, performing most of the time feels like a ‘must’, and so doing it next to a full time job, it is exhausting and stressful – and rarely ever good enough. So for this year I decided to take a ‘break’, at least from performing (because it’s not like I can turn off writing, I need that). At first I felt a little awkward to tell the truth about not playing, but throughout 2018 I’ve answered ‘How is music? Are you still playing? When can I come and see?’ so many times that I finally own the story: we had a really good time last year, but I began to feel I was performing just to keep up appearances, because it sounds cool, not because I was enjoying it, so I’m not performing for now.
And now it’s October, I’ve played a total of 5 gigs throughout the year, and it feels good. But during that one sunny co-write I mentioned in the beginning, I found my love for being a musician again. I played Nick my voicememos of half-finished song ideas, one stood out to him. We wrote the song in a split second, made a one-take recording to remember, and on the train home he had already but a beat under it – and I was hooked.
This very song has been recorded last two Sundays, and it’s been my best studio experience so far. It’s the first time I am not at all shy about what I’ve recorded, even though it’s definitely stepping away from what I have done before. Can’t wait to share it next year!