One year ago, I released Sin. [Act I]. If you measure from inspiration + inception to completion + release the process took about two or three years. If you measure from when the thoughts and feelings channeled in this album first took shape, you could say it took most of my life. For that two and half years, I was deeply involved in this album. I was constantly working on it, thinking about it, even dreaming about it. I guess, on some level, I recognized that it meant more to me than just making an album. I was making myself. I was chiseling away at all these internalized things that didn’t feel like me. Not just so I could see what was underneath but so I could embody what was underneath. Looking at myself and my life today I can say with all honesty, that the process transformed me. I’d like to think it’s contributed to other people’s transformation too.
I owe endless gratitude to a whole gang of collaborators + friends + family, not to mention thinkers + artists I’ve never met (some of whom are dead). Thanks for helping me connect the dots. Thanks for leaving an indelible mark on Act 1 and on me. To everyone who contributed directly to this project, THANK YOU. Thank you Joe, Thank you Jaylen, Thank you LaShayla, Thank you Malia, Thank you Anna (Leontyne), Thank you Randy (Leroy), Thank you Emily, Thank you Tania, Thank you Jenee, Thank you Jake, Thank you Aaron, Thank you Jennifer and Thank you Kris. And for the "paradise 1" and "fear" videos, Thank you, Dylan. Thank you, Drummond. Thank you, Jamie. Thank you, Jesse. Thank you, Matt. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Special thanks to Kendall Burks. For a year and half, Fridays were my favorite day of the week. Thanks for telling me that the first version of Teenage Angst was kinda weak and thanks for being right there to work through the next two versions. Thanks for opening your space, mind + heart. Thanks for disagreeing with me sometimes. Thanks for listening to my rants. Thanks for being a living breathing example of artistic excellence. Thanks for sprinkling some of that excellence on this project. Thanks for being a friend.
I learned so much during that time. I don’t care to recount all of those lessons right now.
But I will share one, SURRENDER. You know, at one point I was gonna call the album S.I.N. Act I. At the time I liked the idea of “sin” being an acronym for “surrender is necessary.” But then people kept spelling out the letters “S..I...N…” when they would say it which irritated the hell out of me. Plus, it's kinda corny. But yes, I’ve learned that surrender IS necessary. And not the kind of surrender where you wave a white flag. It’s a surrender to something within you. Something that drives you to grow + evolve. Something that compels you to be fully YOU. Because after all, failing to do that, hindering other people from that, THAT’s the only real sin. Surrender is like a gust of wind that lifts you up and carries you to places you never thought you’d go. Surrender is opening your arms and trusting that the wind won’t drop you. It’s trusting that even if it does, you’ll land on your feet. It’s the difference between falling and flying. It’s the difference between a disaster and a miracle.
If you’re reading this and you’ve never heard this album at all, I just don’t know what to say to you. (exacerbated sigh.) If you’re reading this and you’ve been listening, thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m already in the middle of new processes and new projects. I can only imagine where they will take me. I look forward to sharing those fruits with you. That said, I’m not quite through with Act 1. Stay tuned.