Alot of shit has been going down over the past three months, and it all culminated into one explosive track with Synthwulf. An emotional rollercoaster doesn't even begin to scratch the surface in explaining the process of getting this track together, and the visual explosion of emotion that became the track's Music Video.
Synthwulf flew in a week early for Metrocon, so we can catch up, and work on a bunch of new tracks to debut. two days into this amazing creative week, i get the worst food poisoning of my life. At the same time, we had gotten news that my mother in law had been hospitalized...and me and Fran were VERY close. She was closer to me then my own mother, who no longer recognized me anymore from loosing her battle with advanced stage alzheimer's. Being sick, and in bed....i was lost in my thoughts which bombarded me , trapped there. Anger and confusion over why all my answers about my upbringing were locked in a brain that could no longer communicate or recognize me...and a deep sense of dread as to Fran's declining state. I was on the verge of loosing everyone who could give me a sense of foundation.
I was so sick, that damn bad sushi i ate, I couldn't even open my eyes or breathe heavy my body hurt so bad. I never experienced physical stomach pain like that.
For about 5 days i was completely down for the count. Synthwulf, being the amazing person he is stayed by my side through it all, and continued to compose the track out of the tiny bits and pieces i got done before the horrible sickness hit.
I thought i was fucked for good, here i am DAYS away from the largest concert i do annually, and i can't even walk a few steps without pain making me want to pass out or throw up all over myself. I just had to grit and bear it, and let it run its course. i was on a liquid diet, and i lost a lot of weight. By the tuesday night of Metrocon week ( we load into the arena and hotel by Thursday) i was able to slowly walk around, talk, and stand to be in the light for a few minutes, which meant i was somewhat able to record.
So i poured out the most emotional track i have yet written. And i'm damn proud of it.
THE TURNING POINT
As you get older, you start having this need for parental connection. Maybe because i had recently delved into my adoption history, got a DNA test and found out my ethnicity, or found a stash of old pictures from my childhood i thought were thrown away, maybe these factors led me to start to hurt, truly, for the missed chances i had with my mom. I had never felt anything remotely like this before, i had always been a wall, emotionless and uncaring in the matters of family. so these newfound emotions and sudden need to connect was just plain strange and unsettling to me. So i did the best thing i could to deal, and wrote about it.
Synthwulf being the musical genius that he is, captured it musically. And thats why, it hits people the way it does, a few people who had listened to it very early on said it just made them well up with tears and had no idea why.
now THAT, is a damn good producer.
to fully understand the scope of the song and the video, let me back up a bit;
My mother was starting to lose her battle with depression in my early teens. Growing up i knew something was wrong, but i never asked nor could even begin to vocalize what it was that i saw, the fear and sadness of some unknown thing hurting her. When i would try, i was told i was just being 'silly and telling stories' and that i was a liar. So eventually I stopped asking why she did the things she did to me, i just figured, that deep down it wasn't what she really wanted. Maybe she had a monster inside her i remember thinking. yeah thats it, she does love me, she just cannot fight the monster controlling her. I used to draw this monster when i was little, as dragons. Sometimes i was scared the dragons would come get me, too.
By my mid teens i was starting to not care about getting into trouble, and with teenage angst on top of it, our relationship turned very ugly very fast. I moved away to live with my uncle in California only for her to follow me. Uproot the entire family and follow me. I couldn't get away no matter how far i moved. The blame was put on my head for years as she slipped deeper into sadness, unwilling to reason that the choice to follow me out to the other side of the country completely out of her element was just not a good idea from the start.
Through those years, oh they got bad
you're the only one i really had
took on your pain, never asked what it was
knew there was a reason for it all
The family turned sour towards me, via her increasingly bizarre and inappropriate behavior, and as my home and school life became as it does for many, a blur of stress and horrors i delved into music and dance, the only things i had really keeping me going. Two art forms that actually held to the rules, " what you put in, you get out.' work your ass off, practice…you will see amazing results. Relationships with people never seemed to actually work out like that.
After i graduated, we never talked much after that, i just emotionally slid away farther, and detached from family and attached to opportunities and big goals. It made my current career possible, no doubt about it. you NEED to be able to emotionally detach and be a fucking rock to survive this current entertainment industry ESPECIALLY AS A FEMALE. So it goes to show shit things happen for amazing reasons when you can realize it quick enough to use it as a tool.
I'm fiercely proud of my childhood and the abuse i survived, be it a messed up one with moments of very genuine happy moments that i cherish indeed. I'm also fiercely proud of my drive and career; and how i thrive in a man's industry be it horribly sexist, and utterly hateful and discriminatory at times, it does give me a big sense of 'fuck yeah' when i get respect from the titans i aim to not just impress, but stand beside as a fellow artist.
So here i am, a few years after the family had uprooted itself again and dragged me to the sweltering armpit of the universe known as Florida and i have completely cut myself off from Her. Occasionally i see her when i check in with Dad, and then my music career suddenly explodes again, my world becomes a blur of concerts and residencies and horrific failures and amazing successes, a few more years go by and i'm finally steady enough to really confidently know this is my entire life now, and i'm not questioning my devotion to it nor to the person who stood beside me and made it all possible. I married Rob, and that was really the last time i saw my mom and close family in such a happy state for so long.
Few more years fly by and I got super close with Rob's mom, Fran. She was a crafter, quilter, seamstress, all around amazing and courageous woman. Living with an advanced lung disease and still not giving a fuck, she just kept on and found ways to do things she wanted to do regardless of if she could leave the house or not. She actually told me i needed to start seeing my mom again regularly, and so …i decided yeah, we're older now, i'm grown a bit…i'll give it a shot.
First in little meetups with dad, and then a dinner here and there. I couldn't wait to finally be all " fuck yeah look what I DID WITH MY LIFE! i actually have a career! all those dance lessons and singing lessons and things you threw me into it all paid off look! ' I think in us all, no matter how much we hate to admit it at times, all have a tiny little kid inside of us just begging for parental acceptance. I couldn't wait i came loaded with all the flyers, and albums i was featured on and my ipod LOADED with my music.
My mom, couldn't even recognize me. She was in advanced stage Alzheimer's, along with dementia , and didn't even know where she currently was. She just walked about the living room in circles, listening to an old skipping disco CD stuck in the stereo.
Is it lack of love?
If you saw me now
would you know who i was…
as i look above
if you saw me now
would you know who i was…
It was like, my inner child was sucker punched. the first thing i remember feeling was ANGER. Anger at myself, at the world, at the family not understanding what was going on, at the faith they all clung too which told them there's no real mental illness, just not enough faith in god, the doctors who had her addicted to all those pills. all the ' oh its ok ok, the doctor gave them to me!" arguments, the time i delved into drugs myself to try to get her scared and angry enough to quit but ended up in rehab myself.
I was furious inside. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, i just know i felt really fucking angry. over the months the anger ceased into sadness, and then into just a restful acceptance..but that anger spawned a creative drive and direction in me i don't think my producer buddies saw coming.
except Synthwulf, who doesn't give a shit about Happy Hardcore being Happy and encourages me to go as dark as i can, and often times, need.
so here we are, few days before Metrocon, he's helping me stand upright and get me ready to do the first few run throughs of " this isn't over". i could barely sing at full volume, so i held back, and sang it like i would if mom were still lucid. I let my scared little girl come out, I sang it TO HER. it was a soft tonality i never really explored before. It worked out eerily fantastic.
Without the dark there is no light
tell me through all this i was right
i've come so far to shine this bright
you leave me now and give up the fight
Metrocon was as it always is an incredible experience. This year was filled with horrendous fallouts and drama and those moments you really think to yourself " what in THE FUCK were you thinking getting into this!?". i still had the food poisoning, though at this stage i was able to function thank god. It didn't make it easier to deal with the stress, which i have to bottle up so i can smile for pictures at my booth.
We were debuting "this isn't over" live saturday night. the hype that me and Synthwulf were performing together again was HUUUUGE. And he deserved all the fandom, i love giving good talented people amazing experiences in front of their best crowds. The convention ravers….they are some of the most amazing crowds to perform for. The energy is just unparalelled to big EDM festivals and events…convention ravers are pure love, and you get hit with that in a surreal force indescribable. Nobody really know what song was coming, only that it was new.
backstage, waiting for the cue, my dance team and staff were in the midst of chaos. An ex -dancer had gone to social media and started a hate war that was spreading to the friends and spouses of my staff. They were all distracted keeping their friends and spouses at bay, and in the midst of attempting to keep them focused i kept hearing the horrible things i was being accused up, reaching every page and message board the hate circle had access too. It was plotted out, hurtful, and being i was locked to the stage because i was right about to go on, a horrible feeling of being trapped. My videographer bailed on me, i had nobody to take footage of the concert and i knew i would have very angry labels to answer too later. I had a staff in utter bedlam they didn't deserve, and nobody available to tackle the social media fury because i had fired all my ' assistants ' last year for bailing on me last minute to go party. I was just a step to get a free pass. Free entry, free party…my thoughts swarmed and i felt as if i were trapped in a box that could barley contain me and i couldn't breathe.
I had flashbacks to my mother's current state, to Fran's declining state in the hospital...and then i realized what song i was about to perform. I started shaking, i started panicking, but then i peeked through the curtain and saw the arena loaded with ravers and told my head to STFU and let me do my job. this was just a job. And i did.
it was the most amazing and explosive performance i've done yet. I just used all the emotions and something else took over, and i got through it just fine, and again, i realized the negative painful and terrifying emotions that bottle up inside you really can be used as the most explosive tool for performance ever. so thank you, negative angry people, for teaching me how to truly PERFORM again. It takes emotion, and strength. Overall it takes COURAGE. We forget sometimes in the midst of anxiety just how strong we are.
Behind the scenes shot of the Music Video!