Friday, June 20, 2014

19 days in this wonderful unknown

"Here we go, dancing on our own
Into this dark and wonderful unknown. 
Let us go, let us go" 

-Ingrid Michaelson, Wonderful Unknown.

Time seems to go by so fast here. The days are longer because the sun sets at 8pm or later and rises so early in the morning. This week, we've been pretty busy at the hostel. I'd fall asleep and I wouldn't even hear the noise coming from next door. It's getting hotter and hotter here; and it probably is in Malaysia too, but I wouldn't normally walk 30 minutes in the hot sun back home. Over here, I've been doing it almost everyday. I counted that takes me 3700 steps to get to the hostel. This week, I did quite a lot of room cleaning. I'm enjoying it as much as I can possibly enjoy cleaning rooms. I don't make my bed everyday back home, so I think this is a lesson because I'm making so many beds and folding so many blankets here that I'm pretty sure it has become automatic.
On Sunday, I played at Debi Champion's songwriter's night again. My mom and I ordered a giant brownie. It tastes so good, but it is gigantic. This time, the writer's rounds weren't as long. It was Father's Day and there were a lot of families out celebrating so the restaurant was pretty full. Then these two guys came up on stage to perform. They seemed to be really good friends, and they played really great songs. They were Guy Gilchrist, the artist for the Nancy comics and Eddie Kilgallon, an amazing songwriter, who wrote songs for George Strait and for many charity organisations. Mum and I went to get their autographs. Guy even drew me a cartoon on my notebook. They are such accomplished artists and they still play songwriter nights and are so humble too. That's so cool.

When it came to my turn to play, it was the last round of the open mic segment. There are scheduled songwriters at the beginning and when everyone scheduled has played, the open mic starts. I sang a song of mine called 'Box Full Of Memories'. I only play that live sometimes because I am very sure that I want that song on my next album (here I go thinking too much again. My first album isn't even done yet). The response from my song was pretty good, and people came up to me said they liked my song. I felt really happy. Debi told me that next time I could get scheduled, and I'm going to be playing as a scheduled performer at the end of this month! I'm so excited.
On monday, after I was done with my shift at the hostel, mum and I went to watch The Song Suffragettes at The Listening Room Cafe. Brittany, whom I met at The Martin Guitar Booth two years ago as well as this year was playing with Maddie Kozak, Kalie Shorr, Lena Stein, Daisy Mallory (!!!) and Brittany Kennel. Song Suffragettes is a songwriter's round just for girls to play. All their voices are so amazing. The whole setting of it reminded me a lot of The Bee back home in Publika.
Tuessday: Cleaned rooms again today. Found a whole bunch of pennies, or one cent coins. I heard that is is good luck if you find one, but I found so many. I was worried that it might have the opposite effect. On my way back, I stopped by the grocery store to buy some fruits and food. If you're going to walk for 30 minutes in the hot sun, don't buy bananas. They weigh a lot. I was really hungry by the time I got back because I didn't eat lunch, so I cooked noodles with salted vegetables. We bought those from an Asian market. After lunch/dinner, we walked to Cafe Coco. They have open mics every tuesdays and thursdays. "You have to go to Cafe Coco" is basically what I've heard from people here. The cafe is a quirky little cafe in a house. They serve cookies the size of your face and cakes the size of bricks. Well, almost the size of a brick. We had a 'fountain drink' (sprite) and a new York Cheesecake. Everything has to be shared with my mom here because of their abnormally large food portions.
The open mic itself is located at the back of the cafe. It was a very artsy kind of vibe, not like the typical Nashville country kind of style. I met a few of the girls who were staying at the hostel and a girl named Jackie and her mom. We were the only two who came with our moms, and turns out we have a lot in common. We both love Ed Sheeran's music. All the open mic-ers sat behind and jammed out before the show started. It was so amazing getting to be a part of that even though I didn't know the songs they were singing, but I just sat and listened. The first open mic, Taylor sang the most amazing song that he wrote. Everyone was so amazing actually. Jackie sang before me, and her voice is just so amazing and unique. I feel like I'm a fan of almost everyone in this town so far. I hardly use my iPod when I'm here because there's so much good music to listen to everywhere.
I got to sing two songs that night, and the response was nothing like I've ever gotten before. It really surprised me. I'm so happy that my songs are being accepted here and people like it enough to ask for my sound cloud links. A lot of hugs were given, which was nice and everyone in this room were in a state of "I can't even" because there was just so much amazing talent in the room including a girl who played the flute and beatboxed at the same time. I mean, how amazing is that? Most of us weren't from Nashville, and we were all so, so, so excited. Walking back was like walking on clouds. Only I have never walked on clouds. It was like what I thought it would be like walking on clouds. I would've skipped all the way home if I wasn't carrying my guitar with me.
On wednesday, It was super hot outside, but freezing inside. I cleaned rooms at the hostel again. It wasn't too busy, so we could relax a little. I traded lists of my favourite music to listen to on Spotify with Tracee. We have similar tastes in music and she introduced me to a lot of artists I didn't know about before.
Thursday (today: I got up really early this morning and took the bus this morning to the Bluebird Cafe to attend a 'Pitch For Publishers' workshop. It is a workshop to teach you about songwriting, commercial country music, and how to pitch songs to publishers. I didn't get selected to pitch to the publishers, so I just went to audit. I saw Jackie, and Rachel there too and it was nice to see some familiar faces.
We went really in-depth of hit songs and analysed their meanings, song structure, and themes. We all got to pick a song to discuss and brainstorm about. I was most afraid of speaking to the group of people about how I felt about the songs. That's why I write songs; to avoid the whole 'speaking your mind' thing because songs will say it for me. I'm glad I had to do it though, because I definitely need to learn how to speak up more.
The workshop ran from 9am to 4pm. After that, we were supposed to head to this place called Ri'chard's Cafe for an open mic. All the participants get to play. I met my mom at Bluebird Cafe and then got a taxi there because it was too far to walk. We shared the taxi with two other people who were heading downtown. To get to Ri'chards, we'd pass downtown so we decided to go together because taxis are really hard to find here. Then the taxi driver forgot about sending the two other people to downtown and we got lost on the way to the cafe. We drove past houses and shops that started to get further and further apart from each other and we were definitely out of the city. We took a really long way there and it costed us a lot. This was when every participant got to play their songs and network. I got to sing two songs. I'll post a video of it up in the next few days. Promise. I had so much fun. There were so many amazing songwriters, it is so inspiring. Everything is changing so quickly in the music industry. Sometimes it can be very scary not knowing what's going to happen next. But if anything changes, I just want to remain optimistic and remain who I was when I started this journey into the wonderful unknown. 

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