Before I begin, let me acknowledge how much I hate when people start by saying, "before I begin." That said, before I begin, I assure you I do not, nor have I ever suffered from a lack of self-esteem. In fact, I can pinpoint several instances along this musical journey, where I've experienced quite the opposite. And while it was no less than beneficial in the moment, hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.
In 2012, I was living back home in Houston when a friend of mine threw one of the most epic house parties ever. He'd just bought a new home in Houston's historic 3rd ward neighborhood. Three stories, dope views, floor to ceiling windows overlooking the downtown skyline. He'd asked a bunch of his musician friends to come through and bring equipment to set up a jam session. I'd just bought a brand new PreSonus 12.0.2 mixer, and was itching to give it a test drive. (That board still holds its own today. S/O to PreSonus for such a reliable product. I'm accepting sponsorships too FYI)
I arrived at what I thought was an early enough time to help with setup and to ensure I could get a solid recording of the music. Party was already lit! LOL. It was that kind of night. And once the music got started, it never stopped. So many emcees, singers (me included), and musicians exchanged energy and ultimately created one of the most significant offerings of my life. That night created bands, businesses, friendships, relationships, and certainly much more.
However, memories are a funny thing. I'm learning that there are so many environmental factors that play into how we perceive the things we remember. And that perception informs our subsequent actions in response. The energy we created in that moment is what my heart holds on to when my mind recalls that night. To date, I've had countless conversations with people who, to a person, regard the music that night as some of the best they've heard. And who am I to say that it isn't some of the best THEY'VE heard?... But I have the recordings! I've listened back many times. And quite honestly, I think the vast majority of it sucks! I mean, the energy is there. The music is alright! The creativity is there! But...Nah!
No one, unless they're a musician, is really listening for note accuracy, or whether the drummer is "in the pocket." I won't discount the impact of those factors, as they can inevitably affect the energy. But mostly, people remember how the music made them feel. And when people feel good, they associate that feeling to everything else about that memory.
So for me, sucking is not only welcomed, but it's necessary. And in hindsight, my feelings about that night and a several others, is indicative of a growth in standards, expectations, and abilities. There are so many things that weren't "killin" about the music that night. But who cares? We created a beautiful moment. I'm thankful that I'm able to both love that night, and also find opportunities for improvement. After all, if you're not getting better, you're getting worse. Unless your goal is to remain stagnant? That said, if you approach me after the show and tell me I sucked, I can't promise that you won't catch an L.