I couldn’t escape. I’d been escaping the whole time. I had to finally look. Look at the mess we had made. In all its lacquered glory and tarnished failures, stare at it, and then leave. I was too comfortable. Being comfortable is what kills artists.
There is creativity for validation, and there is creativity for survival. They are very different places. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. Didn’t know how the ink would stick to the page. How to let go of the anxiety and the suffocating fear that latched on to my vocal cords. I had to figure out how to use my voice again. So, we went ghost. The Irish Goodbye, into the woods, in the dead of winter. We bought a 1985 Suburban, loaded up our equipment and just left town.
People make music for all different reasons. It’s the fabric that connects us. We dance together, we cry together. We celebrate our communities, we question our politics, we laugh, we scream, we imagine, we live.
What I couldn’t find in a hotel room, on the road or even in Seattle, I found in the middle of nowhere. No reception. Making music not because we had to, but because we got to. I had forgotten how to do that. Not being afraid of the platform that we were standing on. Not creating from a place of “don’t fuck it up” but creating from a place of “fuck it up”. Look at the mess. Not just the one we created, but the one that is the very fabric of our country. The mess we’re all living in. Stop being silent. Even if it’s not perfect, or politically correct, you have to speak up and you have to listen.
Dance, cry, question everything, laugh, scream, imagine, live. Music was never intended to be programmed, manufactured or made into a commodity. Music was intended to be the one thing we can rely on to disrupt the norm. Start conversations and change the way we think and feel.
If you aren’t scared of what you’ve created, you aren’t done yet.
This is from the announcement video for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ 2016 album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. I just thought it was worth sharing. You can see the video here.