In an interview the other day I was asked, “Who do you sing for?”. To which I answered without hesitation, “For myself.” I apologize if that sounds brusque. But even if I had slowly mulled over the question I would have given the same answer: “For myself.”
I get uncomfortable when people pry into my personal life, and I prefer spending time alone to working in a group. Far from being affable, I have a tendency to put up walls between myself and others. Consequently I focus too much on myself, feel terrified of showing weakness or making mistakes in front of others, and drive myself to perfection by holding myself to an excessively high standard. Often when I wish to convey something from my heart, my mouth won’t form the sentences I seek, leaving the true meaning buried under superfluous words. I want to communicate my thoughts, be useful in some way, fulfill my wishes, gain the respect of others, find myself… Such ordinary, universal wishes. Personal feelings. Longings. Desires.
When it comes to actually expressing these desires, I think each has a style to which he is most suited. These styles are the Words given to everyone. In my case, I feel that song and writing are my Words. I really doubt there’s all that much power in the casual remarks I make every day. Forming everything I want to say into perfect speech is not one of my talents, so I’m always stuck with inexpressible embers.
As these embers build up they affect me. I start to think of deep conversation with people as a nuisance. “No one’s going to understand anyway, so why bother?” All the while these surging feelings and unspoken thoughts grow stronger and hotter.
In the midst of this unbalance I have but one blessing: my voice for singing. I’m glad to have found this enjoyable refuge. Had I not discovered it, I would have been overpowered by the embers in my heart.
So you see that my motivation is entirely unsophisticated, and when you follow it to the extent of its simplicity, everything I do is for no one but myself. Have I made things any clearer? I wonder—where do the seeds of my songs sprout? I certainly didn’t write them for anyone. Such an angelic act as singing to save someone else is beyond my abilities.
But there are times when my personal prayers, joy, anger, and love become a power that finds its way unseen into someone’s heart. While that power sometimes strengthens or encourages that person I’ve never met, it may also cause pain. And that’s where you’ll find something we share. Though we’ve never met, that’s where our emotions, arising from different sources, connect and interact through one song. Like a windblown seed taking root in new soil. Surely this is the Power of the Words that all possess in equal measure. Artists express emotion with paint, chefs bring happiness through food, and photographers capture satire through film, and my songs become my Words and my Power.
Waves of emotion that roll forth every moment, rumble, and disappear. Thoughts, memories, words that race through the mind. These elements that make up a human being are tiny sparkles of light. “Lucy” is a crystal formed from my twenty years’ worth of sparkles. Whether you find it translucent or tinted, salty or sweet, please savor it from every angle—with your hands, your eyes, your ears, your nose, and your tongue. And if you find even one song that resonates with a crystal deep in your own body, that means you also have these unremarkably named yet precious Lucy cells.
There’s nothing I want you to listen to now other than my music.
It might just be the music of your own cells.