I often write on digital/business strategy (hopefully giving you a lot to think about!), but on this rainy Thursday I wanted to compose something more personal. As my friends and family know, as a child I dreamed of being a pop star. I used to spend hours in my room, microphone in hand, belting hit songs into a karaoke machine for family to watch. I tried studying music throughout my teenage years, and studying music full-time in college when I was eighteen, but both academic demands and most of all my severe anxiety posed as formidable obstacles to dedicating myself to practice.
The mental barrier was hardest of all. Anxious spells would make it impossible to concentrate as I was lost in spirals of worry and distressing thoughts. Almost as bad, I felt like a failure. I couldn’t sight-sing very well. I didn’t have perfect pitch. I wasn’t a Mozart or Beethoven— learning to compose at the age of three and writing full symphonies. Few are, but these were the traits I attributed to someone who was gifted musically. And I wasn’t one of them.
So after much self-criticism and despair, when I left my first semester of college at age eighteen, I left my dream of making music behind as well. My musical instruments and microphones were thrown in the back closet along with my never-to-be-used-again dorm room linens.
My musical instruments and microphones were thrown in the back closet along with my never-to-be-used-again dorm room linens.
I found other interests to fill my time. I studied foreign languages. I built WordPress sites. I worked on presidential campaigns, and earned a Master’s degree in International Relations (at least that’s what it was classified as :). It was seemingly all good.
Then I met someone I love, my partner Phillip— a very talented musician and developer who sat two rows behind me at a tech agency. He frequently played songs he had written for me on his guitar as I was making us dinner or doing the laundry. I shared with him my broken-hearted story with music, which he coaxed and soothed.
Then one night we were watching an award show on TV, and he said: “Purcella, you should make a hip hop album.
“Purcella, you should make a hip hop album.”
I chuckled in response: “Didn’t you hear the story I told you? Even if I went back to music, I don’t have the chops to create something remotely good enough for me to put into the world.”
“But I do. And I could help you.”
I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep without giving it much more thought. The next day, however, it started set in. This was something I really wanted to do. But I didn’t really throw myself at the challenge until I went through the last year.
In January of 2015, I got sick. Like super scary sick. I had dozens of medical tests. Hundreds of dreary days pulling myself out of the bed to barely function. Hours of excruciating chronic pain. Months of physical therapy to try to correct lifelong issues with my body’s structure and pain response.
It felt like a curse. But with every downturn of life comes a gift. I realized I had nothing to lose. Well, nothing to lose but time— which was accurately portrayed as precious as I realized my health— and thus my life— were not guaranteed. I had faced so much that nothing I could face in music— the critics, internet trolls, the voice coaches who used to put me down— could defeat me.
So I’m publicly committing to releasing and promoting an EP Q2 and Q3 of this year (2016). Here’s what I’m going to do:
1.) Release at least three tracks on iTunes, Spotify, and as many other outlets as will have me (hopefully Tidal!).
2.) Promote my work on Instagram, Facebook, Tunecore.com, ReverbNation, and more.
3.) Update you, my sweet followers on my progress each week.
Phil is acting as my super-awesome producer, and we’d love your support!