Is it weird being insecure about this? When my mother noticed I was teaching myself piano at the age of 4 or 5, I started taking lessons early and I was on the classical track with this teacher. Then my passion for marital arts led to my mother saying she could only pay for one. I chose martial arts, but the piano didn’t stop. I continued to teach myself and started writing songs at 12. Now at 28, I have over 50 songs written. I’m proud of that accomplishment and I’ll be showing off some new songs this year.
Wait, why am I insecure again? Because my work isn’t purely classical?
I’ve been taking time to observe my own work and lifestyle habits to improve productivity as an artist and entrepreneur, which led me to notice the pros and cons of my greatest blessing and curse: overthinking. Overanalyzing past events is my comfort zone to an obsessive point. I review my behavior and the behaviors of others in social settings, I’ll reevaluate my work schedule repeatedly (especially when random changes occur), and I can become far too immersed in hypothetical “what if’s” regarding past events believing that even though what I suspect could hypothetically happen didn’t happen at all, I should prepare for the likelihood that it does happen anyway. It’s strange that as a artist, my inspiration and work appear as bursts of energy which is a present consumption, but with almost everything else, I always need a plan and lacking a plan in anyway makes me feel incredibly lost.
The greatest pro of thinking like this is building resilience and maturity. I really value being introspective because it provides many opportunities to learn. However, the greatest con is rarely being in the present moment. This habit combined with intrusive thoughts and dissociation really isn’t fun; it’s time consuming self-torture on bad days. So, this week I practiced mindfulness techniques more frequently as an attempt to rewire my brain in a way. I get hit with intrusive thoughts on a daily basis, so addressing the truthfulness of those thoughts, as in understanding why the thought came up, how it makes me feel, and how practical it is to stew over the thought, is a struggle and conscious effort every damn time.
Redirecting my overthinking for more productive means is also a conscious effort and doing so keeps me in a present state of mind, which is a great pro. In the past, my overthinking would simply lead to spiraling and catastrophizing. Now my critical nature works more in my favor when self-care and dignity are kept in mind.
Just wanted to share this because I know I’m not alone in this. My fellow artists, autodidacts, nerds, and the like will perceive their analytical nature as a burden all too often and to be honest it really can become this powerful and reckless force disguised as meticulousness. Acknowledging how overanalyzing is a comfort zone we need to step out of helps change our self-perception into something more fulfilling without any radical change. If we naturally are critical and creative thinkers, then we can’t help that, but the least we can do is apply our great minds to tasks that help us embrace our potential. I’m just so tired of falling victim to the coulds/shoulds I’ve internalized. Let’s just be.
“I’d rather write one good book than ten mediocre ones.” – Donna Tartt
I’m finding that deadlines are bittersweet. They’re motivating, but I strongly feel that anything I create must be made to the best of my ability and I trust in my ability to make high quality work. I’m not striving for perfection as an artist; I’m striving for excellence. I want nothing more than progression and every publication to be a milestone in that progress.
With that being said, I’m eager for the near completion of my short story and the projects to follow. I’m also grateful for the time I’ve had to take care of myself and a very productive week. I hope anyone reading this is staying safe and trusting themselves to strive for excellence too with the time and power they have. Be patient with yourself.
So, for over a week now, I’ve been having issues signing into Vocal.Media and accessing my account so I can write more articles. This is due to an update to the website. Since this isn’t really within my control, I am still writing the article on the first Hermetic principle, but if it takes too long for Vocal.Media to fix the issues, I’ll probably post it on the website.
Additionally, finally made a TikTok account (as I was freaking out before in my previous post, heheh) and the purpose of that isn’t really to just goof around. I want to be more transparent with my music making process and with just how I create in general. For those of you interested, my account name is authentikei. Because of the writing issues, I’ll probably focus on music a bit more, but I wish to stay connected with you all, so I hope you do follow. I like sharing my artistry with you.
I promised myself I’d work on music this weekend and actually share what I’m working on. I made a TikTok as a way of sort of “vlogging” about it. I have done some singing and piano playing on there if you’re interested in following. My username is authentikei.
But guys…holy shit, I forgot how terrifying it was to record myself while I sing and play. My hands started shaking as I shared the video. My singing lost its confidence with each passing moment. I had to take a break. I forgot how much I wanted to be a musician. I mean, I already am one, but to share my art…holy shit. It was so terrifying. The videos aren’t even that spectacular. I wanted to keep it simple just to figure out the app, how well the audio works, etc…
Holy shit. What a beautiful terror. It’s a blessing to have so many ways to express myself, but music has always been my primary. Doing this almost led to a panic attack. It’s so strange and familiar. I’m going to keep going, even while trembling.
I’ve been messing with this program since 2013 and I’m still so grateful for it. Like I’ve said before, I do want to graduate to Logic Pro X, but man you can really make some amazing beats with Garageband. Don’t knock it so quickly. I think Windows users probably hate on it the most, but maybe that’s my Mac bias speaking? I don’t know.
“Love’s a Burden” is still a process, but I’m nearly done with the instrumental itself. I really wanted to define the music style I’m aspiring for to achieve. I love electronic and classical (I love heavy metal too, but my guitar skills are garbage for now). Those two genres can wonderfully meld, but I want a darker tone to my music, but not so dark that it’s not catchy. What do you call that? I know there’s darkwave, synthwave, witchhouse and the like, but I’m really not brave enough to say my genre fits in those categories. Perhaps categorizing it isn’t that necessary at the moment.
Aside from my cat jumping on my piano keyboard one time, I think my cover song of “Love’s a Burden” by Beyond the Black is coming along. Today I kept some things in mind that really helped me stay grounded and stable while recording.
My Music Recording Weaknesses
I record for too long without breaks. I don’t really know how long professionals record, but I used to do 5+ hours and it totally stress me out. I’ve cut it down to 2-3 for my own sanity.
The fatigue made me too critical of myself. I would be tired and grumpy and that would skew my perception of all the progress I made in several hours.
Forgetting that it’s a learning process. So, even though I’ve been using GarageBand since 2013 (and I hope to graduate to LogicPro X soon if it’s necessary), the program has changed a lot and there’s still a lot about music engineering I need to learn. There’s no need to be frustrated when this is a skill that just needs sharpening. I can’t be mad at myself for learning at my own pace.
Forgetting to pat myself on the back. This goes with being too critical. Progress is progress. It’s better than nothing at all.
Keeping all that in mind, I was able to enhance my strengths as well.
My Music Recording Strengths
I have a good ear. Because of this, I’m able to catch my mistakes and learn more about editing and engineering along the way.
I am obsessive, but empathic. Music is more about feeling than it is having perfect technique, perfect rhythm, perfect pitch, etc. All those things help and I strive to meet them, but the feeling of the song isn’t in its perfection.
I am developing confidence in my creative process. I have to amend the way I approach a song all the time. Change is the only constant. It’s quite fun to have new ideas pop up and experiment with them. I’m trusting my imagination every time I give it a try.
I realize my resourcefulness. There are so many awesome tutorials, plug-ins, and more sources of information that will help me understand GarageBand more and more. I’m not crawling in the dark here and I shouldn’t force myself to do that. The information I need will come to me in time. Remaining open to whatever comes my way gives me hope.
I truly hope any fellow musicians reading this relate and treat themselves with more compassion, give themselves more pats on the back, and take breaks when they need it. Working ourselves to oblivion will actually obliterate the enjoyment that comes with creating music. So love the journey and stop obsessing about the destination.
Beyond The Black is a german symphonic metal band that I really like. I don’t have a badass metal band at the moment, so I’m going to do my own take on “Love’s A Burden” with sort of a gothic electronica twist, since it is one of the few songs that isn’t heavy and I don’t have to feel too pressured.
Follow me on Instagram for more updates on my progress.
How I Did Cover Songs In The Past
So, in 2014, I actually had a channel called “Keiko Artz” where I would do cover songs (mostly anime intros, songs from movies, or songs from video games lol). When I nearly lost my battle with clinical depression in 2016, I deleted the channel and all my old songs off of YouTube and removed it from stores (well some songs might be up somewhere lol). The songs are still saved on my computer and there are some I would like to share again, but I’ll need to record them over. But when I had them up, I had them accompanied with (very amateur-ish) digital art. I was still learning how to draw then and it was incredibly difficult to have enough confidence in myself to complete a work and keep it up there. Well, three years later, I’m back into drawing again and I’m determined to keep creating. So, if you stay in touch, I hope you’ll support me. Like I said before, on Instagram I show my progress. The final result will be on my YouTube Channel and on my blog of course :).
Happy to announce the release of my single Storm Magick, the start of my dream to create a soundtrack or score for my upcoming novel. If you’re musically inclined or just like checking out new melodies, I’d appreciate your feedback. If you’d like to know the novel synopsis, go to my Home Page, especially if you’re into dark fantasy/scifi. I will announce when the track will continue to share other outlets where people can listen to my music, such as Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and more.
Also, if there are any fellow musicians out there on WordPress, I’d be thrilled to give a follow back and support you if you took the time to listen to my single. Happy listening.
I’ve had an eventful day of circumstances that demanded responsibility and calm today (I want to blame Mercury retrograde, but I can’t). I contemplate the concepts of gain and loss when days like these happen. They’re both elements of change that can summon uncertainty, thrill, maybe anxiety. I think overall they’re just a given in life and many of us take an ample amount of effort towards fearing it. I know. I’m one of them.
My last post was about hiding and choosing not to hide anymore. This means I will inevitably gain and lose more. Every choice causes this strange ripple effect echoing throughout everything. We overthink that a lot, but as I’ve made some new decisions that are out of my comfort zone, I’m trying to step up to those universal echoes by addressing my strengths and weaknesses in each wave of change. How often are we encouraged to have a negative reaction about something that we actually have the power to handle? How often are we encouraged to complain or stress unnecessarily? I still want to be human and show fear, panic, joy, excitement, happiness, anger, and the like when it arises in me and I don’t want to be ashamed of my personality when those emotions pop up either; but, I do want to remember my dignity and strength in the storm of my feelings. I want to focus on remembering that that is my power. It’s why I write. It’s why I paint. It’s why I create music. It’s why I’m an artist. Who I am is enough to handle the circumstances of life. With that in mind, I must remember that as I go after what I love, I will have the strength to handle the loss and hopefully develop the humility to welcome and learn from what is gained.
Believe it or not, this was inspired by watching How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World lol! It was a great movie; a great series, ultimately.