I was recently asked about what success means to me as a songwriter and musician. Explaining what this broad term means took me good thought. But recently, something that happened made things much easier for me to answer this question.
Every individual is on the journey of finding some purpose in life. There are good times and bad that each of us wade through. Though we cannot possibly quantify all of it in a sentence (or a hundred), there are certain experiences that embrace the essence of it.
I’ve been a singer-songwriter for years now and fortunately, being among the right people and the right situation, I’ve been able to make a living out of this. Not long ago, while unwinding among friends, I was asked to sing a couple of songs of mine that they were familiar with. I was happy to oblige as I‘ve been in the past among the same friends. It was a day with amazing food, new friends & family and the energy, so pure and serene. I savoured every bit of singing my heart out. What happened once I finished is what, I think, reasserted my purpose for making music. There were tears, hugs and kisses that came by me. Then it went among each other, where people expressed love and gratitude with heavy emotions. It was a surreal night.
I did NOT just say that to praise myself and what I will say next should hopefully clear that.
As a musician, a lot of people tell you — “You’ve got to work on your skills to give the listener your best” which is absolutely true. But as the words repeat in your head and outside of it, some tend to lose direction and ego takes over. The pressure to impress rises. But you know, to people with struggles, life goals and the need to find purpose, the only thing that matters is how something makes them feel.
One can look over the mountains and be lost in recording the moment with their phones to show the world of their conquest. Another can be lost in the mountains themselves. The sheer beauty of it. Neither of it is necessarily wrong. Believe me, I’ve done both of ‘em. It doesn’t even have to be a mountain. It can supposedly be the ugliest thing in the world, but many see through it and find beauty and peace, in the darkest of moments.
These mountains aren’t the way they are because they want to impress somebody. They are what they are, and remain to be, allowing for memories to be made, love to be shared and worries to be forgotten.
That evening, I felt like the mountains. Ego had no room because love & gratitude was strong among everyone in the room. Stories and struggles that I don’t know of became the guests that were served; with words and melody. You see, songs don’t have to be good or bad to make people feel that way. They are just catalysts to heal unspoken words and tangled emotions.
Success, to me, was seeing this unravel before my eyes and then staying with it, in silence.