I wrote Alive last year in 2017 when I hit a very low point. I felt stuck in a rut musically and wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I felt hopeless, like I would never be able to achieve my dreams and didn’t even know where to begin with setting out to try and make those dreams come true.

I was too focused on the things I didn’t have (and still don’t have) – I didn’t have the funds to record an album, I didn’t have management to help me, I didn’t have a team, I didn’t have many followers on Instagram which seemed to be all anyone cared about and I didn’t have the ability to let my voice and my songs be heard. While I sing at events and in bars several times a week, being background music isn’t the same as doing your own show. I am very grateful to do what I love for a living and I especially enjoying working with planners or clients to curate a show especially for them. But doing shows for other people started to exacerbate the fact that I wasn’t doing shows for myself. Somehow, my gift and my joy had become my failure and frustration.

I woke up one morning and felt like my feet were stuck in the mud. I was going nowhere fast. I had submitted my materials to managers, producers, labels and agents, I tried personal contacts and met with people all of whom didn’t want me, didn’t understand me, or mostly didn’t respond at all. A lot of people think that because I’m the daughter of two jazz musicians that the doors just magically open wide, but often times it’s just the opposite. You’d be surprised by how many doors have been slammed in my face before even hearing a note.

So I let go of trying and handed myself a musical shovel to dig myself out of the hole I was in. And that shovel I called Alive.

Nothing is worse than feeling hopeless
Like power has slipped right from your hands
Days into months the years is over
I’m still here sitting here
In the same spot I was before

But I can’t do this anymore
I need something to live for
Life has lost all it’s allure for me 

I’m alive but barely
I can’t go back to failing
I’m alive but barely keeping alive
Keeping Alive

With nothing to lose the day grows colder
A fire ignites inside my heart
I open my eyes take one step forward
I’m still here standing here
Moving from where I was before

Cuz I can’t do this anymore
I need something to live for
Life has gotta have allure for me

I’m alive but barely
I can’t go back to failing
I’m alive but barely keeping alive
Keeping Alive

Sitting in my basement at the piano, I put down the pen after writing the song and immediately realized all the things I DO have. I didn’t have the funds for a studio recorded album but I did have a piano and space to fit a band around it. I didn’t have management but I did have a loving husband who was supportive, efficient and willing to help me execute whatever he could. I called my brother Orion and played him the song and he put me in touch with a friend, Mike Sumner, who worked for Harman audio and got them to loan me the microphones to record the songs live.  Mike also introduced me to engineer Kevin Read who was able to come record the song at my house at a price I could afford. I reached out to another friend who made videos and was more than willing to help me out for a reasonable fee. And just like that, I had a team.

Always in my life, when I’m on the right track for something, everything falls into place. It’s kismet. This song became the first step in creating my LIVE EP. Sometimes I have a go big or go home attitude – which can be great – but in this instance, this style of thinking is exactly what had me feeling stuck. Because I couldn’t do the album I wanted, I hadn’t been doing anything. Sometimes it’s important to do a reality check and be humble and honest about exactly where you are – and be ok with it. Writing that one song gave me momentum. I wasn’t where I wanted to be but it got me to start cartwheeling towards my goal. I had no idea what I was going to do with the song once I recorded it, but my mother-in-law once told me something along these lines – go as far as you can see; once you get there, you’ll be able to see further.

xo,
Andromeda