My biggest fear

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I envision all the people I dream of addressing. I think about the masses sometimes. I think about those that hear my music all the time. I wonder what they are thinking – how they are perceiving every lyric on every chord. I think about you often. I think about you everytime I get a chance. In many ways, my music is yours. I don’t own the copyrights. The thing about music and especially being a performer, is that you can’t do it for yourself. I know many artists will disagree with me on this – but it’s exactly how I feel. If you want to do music for yourself, then you shouldn’t let other people hear it. In fact, it shouldn’t be catchy or marketable. It should just be for your own love, and for your own ears.

I will never forget an instance in Spring of 2005 where fear crippled me in music. I rarely fear when it comes to music. Fear and music never went hand-in-hand for me. On this day, it did. UCLA hosts an annual spring sing, where they select bands and performers to perform in front of 5 to 6 thousand screaming friends and family. Babyface happened to be our celebrity guest. That day, myself, a Nigerian girl, and two Koreans attempted a musical mash-up that was quite good. I labeled us by our races because that’s what it was about that night.

We didn’t win – in fact, the sound guy “forgot” 2 cues that we pre-programmed the day before

I remember how depressed I was after our performance. I will never forget how mad I was, and how everyone didn’t understand why I wanted to vomit on the soundboard. That bitter taste has never left me. Of course the rest of UCLA just thought we weren’t as good as the other white bands that nobody knows about now. But I knew we were just as good – they just didn’t like multi-cultural music. They didn’t think the genre mixing was appropriate. It’s not that they were racist, they just didn’t see the genius – which makes them my personal enemies.

I learned a huge lesson that day. When you want to be different, people will never like you. People will resist you. People won’t understand. The reason I got so affected by it all, was because my heart was fearful that night. I remember not sleeping that night, because I thought what I wanted to do in music would never be accepted – that this dream of making ground-breaking music would never come to pass. Five years later, I can laugh the fear off. But as I venture out into this next phase of my musical career, I remember this fear very clearly – and the grip it has on me isn’t quite the same, but too familiar for my own liking.

My biggest fear? That you won’t like it. It’s not in the same realm of fear like most people though – it’s not that I really care what people think. I just want them to get it. I want you to appreciate the genius of it all – then you can decide not to like it. I just want a shot.

Peace, and much love to you – John Baptist!

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