I really don’t know how I feel about bumming on a couch while watching things jump out at me from my television screen… I cried during Captain E.O (3D at Disneyland) and I don’t like IMAX or the Planetarium at the museum… I guess I’m not in their marketing demographic. (Click the title link for the full article)
So I call myself being artsy and doing a beautiful shoot in a field of wildflowers… major personal fail lol. Ok, so I’m sure the photos will be cool BUT I’ve been itching now for 2 DAYS! I mean there were little creatures in the grass hissing, flying and crawling everywhere! It’s like I forgot that nature was there and I totally invaded the inhabitants’ day to day affairs… I know selfish right? That will never happen again. The next time I go up against nature these are the items I will pack…
1. Sun block: Yes, Black people need sunblock too… I hope my hands don’t start peeling, smh.
2. Those cool little Off! fans: I will make my Off! fortress to keep those slick African mosquitos away… and while I’m on the subject NO ONE told me we had mosquitos the size of cockroaches! Ok I’m exaggerating but they were big enough and they swarmed poor little Alexis while she was holding the reflector for the photographer.
3. Cowboy Boots: I WILL NEVER walk in a prairie with freaggin 4in. heels again. Looks cute but what the heck was I thinking?! I now understand why cowboys wear boots and yes… I’m a cowperson now thank you.
4. A cup of Sonic’s ice: It was darn near 90degrees and I’m sitting there with a bottle of Fuji water (I appreciate that though Will) but it didn’t help after it got all luke warm from the sun. I mean c’mon Texas… did you really have to try and give me a heat stroke?
5. A pop up tent: We had nowhere central to place our things or to go back to when we needed to pause the shoot (at least Wes brought the lawn chairs).
Those little things could have made a big difference. Oh yeah, NEVER sit in grass full of critters when you’re wearing low ride jeans… the critters gravitate towards your “plumber” like nobody’s business!
That’s all I got for now :) I really did have fun, I just wish I would have been ready for nature’s arse kicking.
I hope you guys don’t mind but I just want to share a few experiences with ya.
Remembering Aaliyah took me back to a vulnerable place in my life. Everyone has that place and that time that was pivotal in their development. I remember where I was when I found out she passed, my family and I were bouncing around different family members houses because at the time we were kind of homeless… yeah I know right. Well Tropical Storm Allison had basically taken everything from us and destroyed our home. I was 17 years old when Aaliyah died, and I was still grieving the loss of my muse (she passed the year before, but around the time of the storm). Her name was Gail, she was my aunt and she died of breast cancer. She was a well known choir director & musician in Texas and never knew I could sing. No one did. I was conflicted about my emotions. I just found out that my dad was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare cancer a few months before, my grandmother just died of cancer, and I lost my (step) grandfather a few months before my “big mama.” It was a very weird time. I remember being grateful for life but I was very sad. I used to write everyday. I had journals to keep me company and the nights were very tear filled after I would come home from school. No one understood, no one really knew anything.
Three days before Aaliyah died (August 22, 2001) I just turned 17. I was one of the youngest people in my senior class. August 25th came (I was preparing to talk to my big bro, who’s birthday is August 26th) and I was at my Cousin Tanae’s house. We stayed with her and her daughter during weekdays because it was closer to our (my sister, younger brother, and I) schools. It was night time and I was doing home work. I was listening to the radio and they broke the news. I couldn’t believe it, I had an ache in my heart that still lingered from the other deaths I previously faced. I gulped, then I turned on the television… I think it was Fox 26. I saw the news update scrolling across the bottom of the screen in red and I just stared at it…
(the last photo Aaliyah took before boarding the plane)
Everyone knew Aaliyah was my favorite girl. She was just like me… She was quiet, a little slick, tomboyish with style, a little over looked, a little underrated, but still powerful in her own way. I totally related to her, I just bought her album the month before and was so excited to share it with people. They slept on it until August the 25th.
I got a lot of phone calls that night, some of which I didn’t answer, but everyone knew I would be hurt the most. The next day at school, everyone kept saying “your sister died”, “your “twin” died” (I used to dress and do my hair like hers). No one could really tell from my demeanor but I was hurt.
(I’m at the bottom to the right)
Yes, I loved someone that I didn’t personally know, but I was a fan. I was a real supporter.
9-11 happened shortly after that. Emotionally, I was shut off. Teenage agnst doesn’t come close to what I felt. There was such a heaviness then, I can’t explain any way of me overcoming those times in my life without mentioning God. I prayed a lot. I wanted the pain to go away. I wrote a lot. I didn’t want to lose anyone else (though I lost my great-grandmother and grandpa shortly after). Something had to change.
I finally opened myself up and started singing at school. I began to share my writings and who I was. Neither one of my parents (or my family) knew I could sing or write until I turned 17. After so many deaths, I never wanted another day without me sharing my music to pass me by. I wanted people to know my secret.
So today was just not “that day.” I thought I would be feeling better and that just didn’t happen. I’m frustrated, sick, and have a lot on my plate that I’m really passionate about… by the way, this isn’t mentioning personal things that happen on a day to day basis. I’m a typical person with typical problems and I’m an artist. When life happens, I really feel it. I think the interesting thing is that this is only the beginning of my journey. I’m sure there are way more battles to fight and issues to be had- I will deal with them, how I deal with everything else… on my own.
People think I stay to myself already but I feel like I’m at the point where I have to trim more “fat”. Call me crazy but solitude seems to be an artist’s best friend. There is definitely time to smell the roses but I’d prefer that walk solo… Do you remember what it felt like to need to talk to people everyday? Do you remember what it was like to be comforted when you were crying or just down? I don’t and because I don’t I find solace in the pen. Is there anything wrong with that lol? I don’t think so. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to know yourself more than you know others and I wish more people could respect that. These days (and maybe for the past year and a half) I’ve really been learning more about myself. I’ve been learning about who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. The “who I want to be” part is the struggle that I deal with the most now. I, like so many others, am actively seeking that goal of being a success in my own mind. Well what does that mean for DeAndre, some might wonder… a house, a car, a good career, a family… and to tell you the truth, I really don’t know. I know that I want to help people however I can, but other than that I just don’t know.
I do music for selfish and charitable purposes (lol)… Of course I want to give back to the world through a gift that God has given me but the selfish part of me knows that writing music is what I use for myself to feel better. I like to write everything because it is my release mechanism, my personal form of therapy. I’m sure there are a couple of folks I’ve talked to today that had no clue what I was feeling and will read this and be shocked lol… that’s how I operate. There is so much life to be written about and the specific events that inspire my writings is a job in itself so why not get paid of it right lol? If people only knew the half of my story, I don’t think they’d be so quick to judge from a smile and put together look. Anywho, I think I’m done. I just had to put a couple of thoughts out in the universe. You guys stay inspired.
Well guys I had been working diligently towards getting a few projects on my plate wrapped up then BAM… I got sick. For most of you guys that know me, getting sick is pretty normal for me. I’m actually going to the doctor on Monday so I can knock whatever this is out and get moving again. A little sinus infection (or whatever it is) wasn’t gonna stop me though… One notable thing was that I went to a session Saturday with Houston hip-hop artist, Propain (pictured above with me and my new Asian inspired haircut lol), to get started on a collaboration. It’s going to be very interesting because he will actually be the first male hip-hop artist that I get to do some work with… I wonder what it’s gonna turn out like… Well I’m sure it’s gonna be hot- after I listened to a few tracks with Will at his (Propain’s) studio I was pretty much sold lol. Also, I’ve been approached about some more major writing opportunities which is freaggin awesome :) I’m super excited to work towards that but I have to first complete all of the past things I had been working on. I think that’s probably the most difficult thing for me to do. There are a few tracks here and there that I’m WAY behind on, not to mention one super important session got lost last week. Yeah that was a sucky day. If you don’t understand how important a recording artist’s time is, lemme break it down for you… In action films, they say a few minutes of choreographed fighting actually takes hours (daily) to rehearse and that’s kinda the same concept for music. Every one minute of recording can take a few hours of a person actually recording. Solo (writing/arranging) artists, like myself, usually do all of the background vocals so that (in itself) can be a few hours- then you have to add the leads and ad libs… yeah it’s a lot of work. So when I found out my session was lost, I was super frustrated because I polish and perfect as I go which means when a person hears my music, the only thing that might need work is the mixing of the song. Anyway, can’t cry over spilled milk but I have to go back and redo that song then continue finishing up a few more songs and I’ll be well on my way to working on some really big projects :)
Sidenote: Will took the picture above (he begs his photo credits lol) and if you’re wondering why I don’t name projects, it’s mostly because it’s in the works or isn’t supposed to be widely discussed at the moment. Give me a little time and you will find out soon enough dearies!