On Tuesday this week I realised just how much shit I’m in. I haven’t done anything wrong in terms of law, but I really got some perspective on the mountain I’m trying to climb.
It all started when I decided to head to a free APRA night in the valley where some guest speakers talked about accounting and tax for musicians/bands. I was fine, managing to get my head around the tax wasn’t too tricky, but as soon as @deenamusic started her presentation on budgets I could feel the intensity rise in my stomach. She was so REAL! I loved it, not sugar coating a dollar. Her experience working with @thejunglegiants was used as an example and the numbers were crazy. It really opened my eyes. It really made me realise where I am right now. Grassroots. I’m talking, it costs $20+ thousand to tour kinda numbers, where you break even or lose money. That’s what I made last year working 2 to 3 jobs. I have a big climb ahead.
The hunger inside of me begun to grow. My bike ride home consisted of ‘I can do this’ chanting in the cold wind. There’s nothing I want to do more than make rap music that I can tour and share with others, which made me realise all of the challenges ahead have to be faced and have to be climbed. I don’t have another option. So I tell myself I can do it. Because I know that I can and I want to.
This morning has been tricky. I am making a commitment to posting daily on social media, something I’ve never done before, and it’s cool but on the inside I’m totally freaking. I can feel the growing pains from so many directions right now. Rap, Blog, Vlog, Social Media. It’s crazy. I find that all I can do is grit my teeth and keep going. It’s definitely fun, and I enjoy making stuff but it’s also extremely hard. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m literally just trying to better myself in every area I can.
I am smiling at the same time though, knowing that this is forcing me to grow is amazing. Because I’m out of my comfort zone, and that purely means I’m going to grow and I’m getting closer to that tour. I’m getting closer to that hit song. I’m getting tested. If I can push through this and the million other moments like it I can do anything. I already know that I can do anything.
If you see me looking all stressed out, I’m feeling intense but I am loving it. I couldn’t be more grateful for these challenges ahead of me. I am totally on the verge of crippling myself in copious amounts of escapism and binge eating, but I won’t. I will tough this out because that’s how my mum raised me, and what I’m fighting for is bigger than myself.
I’d like to acknowledge that today is in fact May the 4th and I can’t continue without preaching that @StarWars is my favourite movie franchise and has inspired me since the tender age of 5. My favourite movie when I was younger was Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, but over the years I really have attached myself to loving them all. As a kid I used to run around the back yard with my neighbours playing @StarWars most afternoons. My imagination was filled with owning a pod racer, wielding a lightsaber and bringing peace to the galaxy by melting the necks of any separatist droid in my way, (or hacking at some innocent tree with a stick that always broke, sorry Bobby I swear I won’t treat you like that).
I love the wisdom of Yoda and the flashy camera work by @Georgelucas too, it’s a series that adds value to my life even today. If you’re no @StarWars fan that’s cool I’m gonna move on, but I couldn’t keep going without confessing how much of a nerd I am about it.
In the last week I’ve come around in a good way. @Garyvee has inspired me and I’ve started tackling all the tasks in front of me with an incredible amount of discipline. It felt like I was finally being myself again, after spending some time with anxiety. Because if I’m honest, I love to hustle. I know that I love to hustle because it brings so much value to my life by doing it. Hustling has only made me better. Even though it can be hard, tiring and take all your energy at times, what is achieved can really take your breath away. I may not seem like I’ve achieved much on the outside right now. But on the inside I believe that I have. In my room there are goals on a whiteboard that I stare at every single day, and what’s more is that they slowly get replaced with new goals because I’m ticking them off. The funny thing about that is that they only seem to get ticked off as a result of my hustle, and to some degree how hard I’m hustling. I relate a lot to @Garyvee because I see myself at his age doing what he’s doing, in fact I see myself right now wanting to be doing what he’s doing. Which is being disciplined to work my butt off.
In light of this change in pace I have decided to start a new series of blogs titled “My Creative Hustle”. I have the same intention as my last series, (share my life, talk about ups and downs and encourage others to tell their stories) the only change is that “Hustle” best captures what I’m about in this moment. I am not struggling anymore, I am hustling. Sure there are still things going on in my head that really make me question myself, anxieties niggling at me, voices in my head at times but the nature of who I am is switching up a gear. So I am very proud to announce this.
In light of my change, I had some cool experiences in seeing @SaharaBeck and @ regurgitators thanks to the FREE @Stonescornerfestival. Admittedly, I had worked a full day on the coffee machine, went out for a drink with homies from @belaromacoffeecentre then linked up with @silknoak and @Karriehaywardmusic for another boogie and a very messy run/boisterous walk to McDonalds. I only had 2 beers but I was definitely a clown on the town. @SaharaBeck absolutely nailed her set. It was impossible to not want to cheer and when she ripped one of her power ballads, I had shivers down to my shins… I actually stood with my mouth open most of that song, jumping up and down like a little girl who gets ice-cream on a weeknight, it was THAT powerful. A wonderful experience.
The next day was even crazier! My ex-bass player Luke Martin (doesn’t have insta…) and I headed to the @Wombatsofficial concert. This was hella-vicious. I mean @thejunglegiants started the night and played classics like ‘She’s a Riot’ and ‘You’ve got something’ which meant I fully blew the boogie metre! So bad that the girl dancing to the side of us asked what I was on, to which Luke naturally replied ‘Meth’ without hesitation. He said to me later “I wanted to tell her after that this is you sober, but I think it’s funnier left unsaid”. I had to let it go, that girl thought I was on Meth, I wasn’t, but the music was too good to really care. @Milkychance jumped up next and we kept going in the mosh with some new found friends, who were eagerly anticipating the infamous @Wombatsofficial. I went to the concert with a limited knowledge of them, however I was transfixed during their set even though it’s not the music I’m making right now. I couldn’t help but feel even more focused on hustling. Hustling because I want to get that tight someday, tight enough that I can play to an audience of 5000+ at Riverstage as a headliner. Definitely, you might look at me right now and think, this guy is dreaming, and I’d say, you’re right. I’d also say, sit back and watch me tick these goals, it won’t happen tomorrow however that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop hustling for it. I really do want to climb the mountain that is in front of me, and the mountain after that. I have so much to learn. Especially in Hip-Hop. My brother @seanbarness made me realise this when we hung out yesterday. I know so little, and the more I learn the more I still won’t know. I feel humbled in his presence and by his abilities, it’s the reality check I need often. I believe that’s the sign of a valuable friend.
I wanna wrap up the summary of my week by saying thank you to the people who have shared their stories since starting this blog, I respect your openness towards me. Please continue sharing via a comment/Facebook/Snapchat (Tooooomato 5o’s) it’s so dope hearing your response.
As for my direction here, I intend this new series to be honest and truthful to where I am right now, in hopes that my accounts tell the story of how I became the next @KendrickLamar in years to come.
Be bold and may the force be with you my homie,