There are two types of intoxication: There’s that dark place, almost drunk-like, when your eyes focus on nothing but that void in between here and oblivion—that nowhere land where drunk minds meet just to be alone. And then there’s the intoxication of Love that makes everything feel connected, and fills a person up to such great extremes, that sometimes you just have to let it out whether by crying, screaming, or singing. My songs come out of the conflict between that lonely intoxication and that ecstatic intoxication. And, no, I don’t mean that I’m drunk all the time.
I was raised in the great smog-city Los Angeles, California and didn’t grow to love it until after I hated it. After a year studying Ethnomusicology and gigging around London Town between 2009-2010, I returned to Los Angeles as a new artist. Formerly a folk-acoustic singer, playing many solo gigs, I’ve now taken on the power of the Electric. I’ve reinvented my sound with the melodic, lo-fi, edginess that was lying dormant inside for too long.
When I sing lines like, “If love’s a gun/you’re my trigger, babe/If love’s a gun, I’m better off dead” in the song “If Love’s a Gun,” I attempt to capture (with tongue carefully placed in cheek) that strange tendency for us to gravitate towards the things that hurt us most. And then I sing, “Honey, If I can’t have you/I’ll drive myself to glory instead” in “Bound For Glory” to show that, NO, I won’t take that bullshit anymore: I will channel negative energy into positive and use it to push myself to greatness. That’s why, despite my darkness, I’d call myself an optimist.
So, listen. I’m not here to tell you I’m the greatest singer on the planet, or that I’m the next Beatles or Bob Dylan or what have you. I’m just here to tell you my story. And no one can tell my story better than me because no one else has lived it– the pain and the joy and the suffering and the Love. Oh, the love!
I once heard the poet Suheir Hammad say, “where do refugee hearts go?” To which I reply:
When the rain has stopped and the bombs no longer explode….the Sun begins to peak out from behind monster clouds—black, dark, death. And all that sounds is a faint cry, some sort of voice far off in the distance, both new and old—whispering and singing, coming forth and then receding…. farther and farther away. Full of joy and sorrow, laughing and learning, lightness and dark, trembling, unclear. That Sound of Darkness. That is my song, and that will remain my song. Forever.
I extend it out to you–let it be your shelter if ever you’re caught in some sweet rain.