I know it wasn't polished when I started making music. Trust me, I know. I know that when I released my first song almost seven years ago, it wasn't where it needed to be. Quality, content, skill - I was only beginning on this trip, and if you were one of the 500+ people who downloaded it on a file share site (I forgot which one), you heard how raw it was. Not raw like fresh sushi. Raw like uncooked chicken. It wasn't good enough, I wasn't ready to put anything out, and yet I did it anyways, in the best way I knew how. Over the subsequent months, and for the next few years, the only truly noticeable positive in my music was that I knew how to put words together so that they meant something. My words did speak to people - they told me so, to my face, not because everything was perfect, but because there was a deep meaning in the art I had decided to make. From the start, every verse was filled with promise, and a hunger to get better. Everything after that was another skill I had to sit down and research, study, understand. It was learning to appreciate a culture that I wasn't raised in, taking care to never steal from or disrespect it, but seeing if there was something I could add to it from my own life experiences. It was realizing, slowly and painfully, that moving to this massive city, with all its lights and stages, would never be the dream that so many believe it is. When I started, I wasn't good enough. I'm not afraid to hide that anymore.
But what no person can ever say to me is that I have not worked for what I want in this life. And that work is paying off, and does pay off every single day. My music has travelled so far, literally and figuratively. There are people who were close to me for much of my life, that I saw often and had strong friendships with, who heard my very first songs and laughed in my face and behind my back when I told them what I was doing. People who told me to get serious, to find a real job, to go back to school, to be realistic. Its hard to blame them now - the difference in quality as I release Rain III today and from all the way back in 2012 is apparent, and frankly kind of amazing to me. My point is: I'm so glad I didn't stop to listen to them, because I knew what I felt in my soul then was real. I still feel it now, and with each small success that faith gets stronger. With each failure, my resolve strengthens. To know I now have fans in England, Russia, Chile, Brazil, Germany, and in other countries all over the world will always be a humbling and indescribable feeling that I hope no artist ever takes for granted. We have the power to reach across thousands of miles to people who barely speak our language but respond to the magic in our voices and instruments, and the passion in our music.
For everyone listening to this new EP, of which I am so proud of, please take a moment to recognize where you've come from in the past few years, how much growth you've made happen, how much stronger, smarter and confident you are, and how hard you've worked to find your way through the rain in your life. For anyone from my past who may have stumbled across me or decided to give me one more chance, you will not be disappointed. I am becoming everything I always knew I would be, doing it the right way, and meeting goals all the time. My music and words are the vessels by which I show you this truth, my truth. Know that I'm with you in this, and however I can help you through these songs are the reason I do this - to help, to inspire, to create.
I can't wait for the next 6 years. While I'd like to think I can see that far, I can't imagine where we'll all be. I just pray I get to continue to grow and touch lives in the process. Thank you from the deepest parts of my heart for being with me as we continue to press forward into the unknown. As long as we don't stop, we'll get there, wherever "there" is. To the unpolished music before this, to this EP, and to all of the beautiful music still to be made - this is me. This is Rain III.