Blog #6: Self-awareness and move forward.

It’s been awhile since I posted, but also it’s because I’ve done quite a few things.

I challenge myself to go through new experiences, to see what happens when I say hello to someone, or challenge myself to see where I’m going in life, and pursue that direction, little by little.

This week, I went to New York City, and I didn’t sightsee too much.  This time, it was more networking and learning. I went to a critique workshop hosted by Women In Music.  I met up with a new friend, finally, in person.  We chatted and we also jammed in a rehearsal studio in Manhattan.  I also finally acquired the ukulele I longed for, since January of this year.  I brought it home safely, and I’m giddy.  It sounds beautiful, and it is a beautiful tenor ukulele.  She is the queen of my ukuleles.

20258255_10155725094520676_6706205127920099715_n

I am thankful for the online musician Facebook groups that I’m part of.  Musician groups and mindset groups.  They help me learn more of the music industry, and also more about myself.  I have made quite a few friends all around the world, forward-thinking friends, and very talented friends.  We are all in this together, this artsy world.  We are also accountable, and positive.  That’s what I always longed for.

Even when a person isn’t around next to me, they are close enough, a call away, a text away, that I feel accounted for, I feel cared by them, that I can safely move forward and do/write my music, no judgements at all, no expectations at all.  We are all human.  We will fail, take a breather, and we will try again.

I don’t have family around me for support.  Many friends in the city are busy taking care of themselves and they are harder to reach, but when they can be reached, then it’s all good.

With all this brought up, one of the biggest things that complement my reflecting of thoughts and experiences in life, is the self-awareness and just being aware of your surroundings, what are actions are like, how we can be perceived.

I’m not saying that we should care about what others think/view of me…in a bad way.  I mean it in a good way.  I want my music to be aligned to, and it is.  I like positive, empowering, more of love songs, but sometimes lack of love ones…I mean…I am human.

I figured out awhile ago of who my audience for my music is, and I tailor to it.  I always pictured what and which artists I would l to meet and jam with.  I realized coming out of that workshop in NYC…..there was a panel of 4 people, and they critiqued every song, for the good, and what needs to be better.

NYC has a diverse group of people and music, which was amazing because I learned a lot from them, and I talked to a couple of artists after.  I sorta became acquaintances with them.

Turns out they haven’t done much research on some things, and they don’t know much of who their audience is.  They just want to write and do their own thing.  I know you can, and nothing should stop an artist, but maybe when we are starting out, we need to be a bit more unified in sound first.  It’s like business.  What product are you coming out with?  Who are the consumers?

Anyway, turned out that because I did a bit more digging, and thinking, and learning how the way of music is like these days, I can answer the panel with detailed if I was to be questioned if I submitted my track to be critiqued.

I also educated another friend about my online shows and she knew nothing of it.  I’m glad I was able to share my ideas with her.  It can help her too.

One last thing, I always wanted to play on the streets with a busker…..but I was always shy and didn’t want to get turned down if they didn’t want me to join in.

I found an opportunity at Central Park….he was performing solo with backing tracks by the fountain.

I kicked myself in the butt and introduced myself and asked if I can jam with him with my ukulele.

He said sure.  and smiled.

I did that for the next 8 minutes with him, and let me tell you…I’m not as skilled on the ukulele as I am on the piano, but I didn’t do too bad. =) His amp drowned me out, and I played less chords, but it was all good. This definitely showed me that I need to learn my scales more.  Chords are hard when I never played the songs before. =) .

File Jul 23, 11 02 55 PM

That’s what I basically wanted to share.  Just think and do it.  Always grow from your experiences.  Challenge yourself.  I also made up a saying in the morning, posted it on my Facebook wall:

“Don’t just live IN the moment,

                           and live THROUGH the moment”.

Take care everyone,

until next time.

Jade

 

“Get The Hang of It”, cuz it’s “Never Too Late”

It’s been awhile, and I finally have some time to write up an entry.

I just came back from doing a show at a pub and grill in Mimico, in Toronto.  First time there. They also streamed my set to a few other platforms, which was great!  Wasn’t used to the fact that it was in a noisy pub.  I didn’t have many expectations, but then again, it is what I expected.  I kept up with the performance, to the best of my ability.  It was still fun, nonetheless, and I made a new connection.

I just finished a whole 6 weeks’ worth of working at two locations, in two suburbs.  I must do what I can do to keep up with my lifestyle.  Now, I’m back with my music, and picking up where I left off from a couple of months ago, and getting my music chops back again.  It felt good tonight.  Thursday, will be my next day of FREE streaming of performances, on LiveStar and Periscope, 530pm EST.  Covers and originals.

Then my next live performance is at C’est What in Toronto, this coming Sunday at 7pm. PWYC, alongside, Darin Meuilleur (Shhh, I hope I spelled his name right. =)  he’s a respected singer/songwriter in my circle).

Did I forget to mention that there’s an exciting gig over in Guelph at the Red Brick on Friday, September 29th, in the evening?  Alongside, two other female/singer-songwriters!

Another reason why I squashed all that info at once, is because that I haven’t been an artist who has done shows like this, multiple in two consecutive months, until now.  I finally achieved that and I’m quite happy with myself.  I’m also thankful for my friends, near and far, supporting me wherever you are. The more I do, the more I learn.  The more falls I experience, the taller I stand.  Once I got the ball rolling, it keeps rolling!  Once I felt comfortable in this flow of things, it continues to feel comfortable.

11 years ago, I said to myself…”I’m always the shy kind of gal….but then again, I’m quite social.  I was named Bubbly and Social Butterfly.  It’s time to bring her back out again and play.  First things first…I must do something drastic out of my comfort zone and break out of this shell….I always wanted to TRY musical theatre…….alright…NO EXCUSES…here goes!”

It forced me to talk to strangers, be in a small group….learn songs and parts and act onstage with other singers….oh boy…was that out of my comfort zone!  I’m glad I did.  That was my initiation to the life I lead now.

In that 11 years’ journey, I stretched my comfort zone, literally everyday.  Tried new things, tried not to be afraid of talking, presenting myself with more self-worth, learning to appreciate my own innate skills I already have, and learn to love my personality.

This year, marks my first-second year (within the past 365 days), fast-tracking everything I said above.  Talked to more people than ever, online and in person, been to many venues, learned many ways about how people are streaming and performing these days, and finding out what my true potential is.

I must say, this year has been very raw.  I don’t know how many times I broke down, because of my stretching of the comfort zone, hitting corners that I haven’t taken any care of for many years, and revisiting all those “what ifs”, and “maybe I can do it, but I must try now” and ” believe and have faith”, something NO ONE has said to me, until this year.  That’s when I started to listen and be aware, and self-chatting with myself.  Things started to happen.

I’m not young, as I mentioned before, so it’s NEVER TOO LATE to make your dreams come true, in a positive, genuine, authentic, inspiring, enthusiastic way.  That’s pretty much my personality shoved into one sentence.

Once you get the hang of it, once you get into the flow of it, once you believe and have faith, and you continue walking in that one direction that you think, that’s not really your path….but that one little voice….yes, that ONE LITTLE VOICE, says otherwise…and counters everything you JUST thought to yourself…..that’s THE voice you should LISTEN to.

TRUST ME.  Listen. Then, go do your thing.

No road is ever easy.  That one road will be rewarding.

Your soul will thank you.

 

Blog #5: Where is my heart? Here. Thanks, soul.

What does your heart desire?

What do you want to achieve in life, to satisfy your heart?

What makes you smile?

What continues to make you smile?

We all have one heart, and a unique one.

My heart wants to play.

My heart wants to grow.

My heart wants to experience.

Being a late bloomer as I am, life is just flashing by faster than it ever has.

It’s already July 14th, 2017…what did I do for the past 7 months.

If you know me, you need about a week to hear all the stories and situations I’ve been in.

Putting that aside…

There’s no one else around beside me.

Thank goodness my soul is here.

There is a catch.  Because I’m blessed with this life (and you too, because you are reading this!), things can’t be THAT easy.  That’s just TOO easy.  There WILL be hardships.  To continue living this life, with the fullest of lifelines we have, we must CONQUER all the hardships we go through.  That’s just life.

Hand in hand, heart and soul, friend to friend, near and far, we will stay a strong force. Can’t just have one operating without the other.  I don’t have anyone to wake up to, or sleep with, except for stuffy, Stitch.  He’s my BFF and silent friend ever.  He replaced my doggie, CJ a long time ago.  I miss him still.  He was my original BFF. Now I’m getting teary-eyed.

All my thoughts, happiness, sadness, silliness, went to him.  This pic was taken awhile ago.  It’s just appropriate to share the pic now. The life I lead is a busy, and I consider it a fun one.  I do have my own downtimes.  Most people can’t keep up with me. I’m no model, I don’t do shows all the time, I don’t just stay in my room/place all the time… If you can keep up with me, kudos to you.  Who knew I’d start my own blog? My heart did.  My soul just kicked it off.

10492511_10202792004300363_8407488916633821074_n

 

Entry #4: If my lifeline is a ribbon…

Imagine a wooden stake, rooting one end of my ribbon, is my foundation, and leaving the rest of my ribbon (my lifeline) flying high in the sky, dancing and twisting in ways with nothing obstructing me, and weaving in ways where I can dodge easily from negativity coming my way. 

Let’s have your wooden stake root one end of your ribbon beside mine, and let’s dance and weave together in whatever way we choose. When negativity comes our way, we will interweave our ribbons together and weather the storm together, making both our lifelines stronger.  Once we dodge it and it passes by us, we will unwind and let our ribbons flow free once again.  Kinda like this:



That’s how I woke up. With this imagery.

Sometimes, in the musician’s world, this is absent. There’s a other story. It’s a toxic one. Their ribbon may be toxic. Once it touches my ribbon, I become toxic and sick.  I drop to the ground and it will take me a long time to clean my ribbon. I’ll feel heavy, stiff, down, can’t move. 

I’m sure many of us have experiences with even just people in general (not just in the musician’s world), that they are emotionally/physically abusive, uses harsh words directed at you, calling you names, making you a scapegoat for everything you didn’t do so that it looks like it’s all your fault, etc. I dislike this last one: they are connected to you because they have ulterior motives. I can be close to her because I can, she has a car. Before I split up with her, I want to see if I can get a few more things from her as gifts, I want to “know” her more so I can get her to come to my shows so it looks like I have a bigger audience. Or this “gonna be friends with them on social media and message them once in awhile because they are photographers and videographers. I want them to come to my show and take pics/videos”. 

What happened to “I like you for who you are”? “I want to be your friend and have a good platonic relationship”? “I value you because I love you?” Not because I can get something out from you… and then from some people, they’ll leave you behind and they go on their way without you. 

I don’t want my ribbon tainted. I don’t think you want to either. So let’s keep our lifelines healthy and steer away from tainted ones.  I live my life where we can live our lives together, for the better, stronger. Have a nice day everyone! Keep your ribbon dancing!

Blog entry #3: I can’t stop writing.  Don’t let your own heart stop you.

Sometimes, inspiration, and thoughts, when my heart is so full, I must share it with the world!  Hence, these entries to you all.

I never thought of myself as a blogger, but as this year progresses..day by day, I realized that I can be one.  I like to make some sort of impact in people’s lives, before we all live our next chapter, with or without each other.

I’m a collaborator and a team-worker, so I can only hope for the “with”.  Sometimes, I have to live with the “without”.  I’ve learned.  That’s fine.  My heart will let you be.  I just keep doing my thing.

My way of things might not be the ‘right’ way, but it is my path.  I can only hope that I connect to the readers who wants to keep up with my entries, and everything else that I do.

Sometimes, it’s the inner self that stops me from doing my thing.  I am aware, and let the rest of me warm up to the part of me that’s insecure, afraid, expecting.  Normally, that just means, “screw that shit.  I’m kicking your butt now….now go do it..NO EXCUSES..NO BUTS.”.  That’s pretty much how I live my life when I dwell in the uncertainty too long. =)

So don’t be your worst enemy.  Learn to be one with your inner self and let the positive you overflow with life.  That’s our fuel.  Melt away the negative.  Live in the positive.

Enjoy your day!

xo,

Jade

Entry #2: Never too late. Go do it.

I’m a late bloomer. Yes. For many things.

I look somewhat younger for my age, but I’m not as young as some of you may think.

I thank my Asian genes for that.

To be more specific:

I’ve only been a singer/songwriter for 3 years.  Believe it or not, 3.5 years in terms of writing.  Nearly the 3 year mark in terms of performing. In this world of music. I came from another world.

I didn’t write songs since I was a young like many musicians, nor did I write lyrics or poetry at a young age.  I had the worst English teacher in my first years of secondary school education.  He said, “I’m not here to teach you”.  That just about sums it up.

I worked a job or two throughout my post-secondary education (always had a job since I was 14 somehow), and did the full-time university studies in music. Music Education.  Piano major.  If you don’t know now, I’m a Classically-trained musician, Bachelors degree material.   If you know what the music program is like, you must PRACTICE LIKE MAD to keep up.  I did the “staying up overnight” to finish my essays and projects….with having minimal sleep.  I even slept at the library.  That was my university life.

I did quite a bit of soul-searching since then until 3 years ago.  I knew I didn’t want to be a concert pianist.  I felt there’s more to life than sitting in a room, practicing like mad, and not be social. I’m a social creature.  I was lost in what I really wanted to do in life.

I wanted to teach in a school system, but not even halfway into my university years, I knew that wasn’t the path I wanted to take anymore.

Still an active piano accompanist in the city, but even that, I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life.  I can’t just do one thing.  I NEED A VARIETY of things to do.

I knew there was some sort of creative streak in me. I never did improv much…for the most part of my life… because I thought that I wasn’t as capable and gifted as other musicians.  I don’t have perfect pitch, so things didn’t come as easily as many others out there. I never had vocal lessons when I was a single digit kiddo.  I never had lessons on other instruments. My family couldn’t afford it.  It’s either I ditched piano, or take karate.  I loved both. I never tried karate.  That was my brother’s world.  I stuck with piano.

I knew that I love many musical instruments.  That’s why at 14, I decided to be a music teacher in some way or form.

I totally forgot that part of me as I went through my university studies.

Approximately 3-4 years ago, I went through a break-up (good thing, I don’t remember when it happened, but it happened) and my heart was badly broken.  Then I did a serious soul-search.  “What will make me happy from here on?”.

Without going into much detail, I realized that if people can listen to my words (not just my breakups, but people in general), for how it is, and not “otherwise”, you will see my hearts and wants.  That’s one thing that makes me happy, understood, content.  What else makes me happy?

TEACHING. I love watching people grow and develop their skills.   But teaching other instruments too if I knew how.  The music education part of me started to kick in.

What if, in addition to teaching the students, I teach myself? (well, that had to be done anyway since I need to know how to perform on them, in order to teach them! I mean, seriously know it competently?)

What if, I make myself be competent in them, so that I can benefit from it?  (right….I forgot I love to play musical instruments competently!)

What if, I play them, and sing with them, in public?  (that was finally the game changer).

I only learned what an “open mic” is……6-7 years ago.  Shows you how much of a late bloomer I am.  I knew nothing of this world!  Then I met artists.  Other musicians.  Different music.  I got a taste of it.  So all those thoughts finally solidified and grew SO LARGE, that I can’t just do NOTHING about them. When I put my mind on things, even I can’t stop myself from doing it all.

I am the teacher to my inner student.  I applied (and still am) the diligence, the dedication, and commitment to better myself in this way.

I started to take lessons here and there, watched how others performed, finally listened to music more creatively, in a more singer/songwriter way, in a more arranger-like of ways.

I finally took off.  Doing many musical things as much as I can since then until now, expanding it to the best of my ability, and building and developing the creative side that was dormant in me.

It’s because no one showed me the way.  I never had the encouragement and the support some other families have for their musical children.  Even my mother admitted to me that she wished she knew how to appreciate music more.  That was 2 months ago. So I sighed, and just accept what she said. My brother supports me. I love them both obviously.

I’m an observer.  I’ll be a trendsetter also, because I don’t always follow the rules, and I create my ways.  I also am adaptable.

That, is my whole journey, all from that one little thought that I had in the first place, “What if?”. But I asked myself that for the positive. Not for the negative. Results are endless. 

I’m not as young as some of you may think.  But it’s certainly not too late to go do my thing.  Your thing. Show it to the world.  Show us.  Show us what you got, because nothing’s going to stop you.

My title track to my first EP that I’m currently in the studio still….”One Step Closer” is just about all this.  Singer/songwriter write songs based on experiences, or possible experiences.  If you know what sort of musician that I am now….you know that I am positive/uplifting/connecting/almost-happy-go-lucky type of one. I also write darker songs too, I need to balance myself of course!

I wrote this song, because I know we are all experiencing it.

So, pick something up that you never done before, pick up that one thing that you left trailing off, pick up that something you’re afraid of following through.

Nothing’s going to stop you from doing it.

NOTHING.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve got! Oh….

and BTW…if you’re interested…I’m putting together a music video!  Funny enough, it’s directly connected to this entry, and I want you to be part of it!  Check out my website, most recent little blog entry there…and you’ll know what I mean!

My official page

 

FIRST BLOG POST: POSITIVITY. APPRECIATION. YOU.

Hello readers from near and far, wherever you are!

Thank you for dropping by!

I have decided to start this blog, so timely too, because I’m at a place in my life right now, that all things can begin, and complete, and grow.  I want to also share my thoughts to you all, because time and time again people have said that I’m inspiring and positive, so here I am unleashing what I have in me, and radiate it to the world.

If you like what I write, and my thoughts, and want to know more of me, go check out my “Who Am I” page. You’ll see it in the header of this page.  I also have Facebook pages and other socials too.  Go ahead, follow me and join in the fun!  I’ll try to do a writeup every two weeks here. =)

I’m a Toronto-based, Canadian musician who performs live shows and online performances.  Currently getting back into finishing my very first EP, and hopefully releasing it to the world at the end of this year.  My title track “One Step Closer” pretty much coincides with what I’m writing.  I hope you’ll check it out later this year, hopefully  I can release it later this year.

Before that, you are here, and so am I. I will share with you my thoughts/feelings/experiences, one blog post at a time, and I might share with you a video of me performing something.  Tonight, because I just figured out how to use this site, I won’t have a performance for you, but next time I will.  You can always check out my socials.  Bunch of stuff there!

My share for today, is exactly what I wrote.

POSITIVITY, APPRECIATION, and most of all, YOU.

POSITIVITY

We all have dreams, and achievements we are pursuing, or want to pursue.  The core of it all is YOU.  It’s cyclical.  I realized recently, that if you can find your own burning blue flame within you, and nurture that, everything follows.  It will fuel your positivity, strength to weather through any storm, no matter how big or small, but you must keep it burning.  Time and time again, at the times when you are tired, drained, lost, bring yourself back to that burning hottest part of the flame.  Bring that back to the forefront, and make that fuel your passion, fuel the strength to battle any life experiences you have that isn’t your passion, and save the rest of it for your passion.  I don’t have my family near me (they are in the West Coast), or a significant other, or even a pet around me.  I know why I’m a bachelorette for a while now.  I have so much energy and love to give, I can’t just give it to one person (and also had bad experiences).  I’m taking every opportunity to spread the LOVE EVERYWHERE to EVERYONE, however I can.

APPRECIATION

not just for others, but for you.  Have you ever thought about what YOU appreciate about YOURSELF?  When I did such that, gave it more thought, listed it out loud, I gave back to myself.  I voiced out to my heart how I loved my soul.  That was soul food.  So I keep that always in mind now.  Also, remembering to KEEP BEING ME.

Not everyone can appreciate who you are, and what you do.  I’ve had those people around, but I left them or they left me (I had people around me blaming me for things I didn’t do..or twisted my actions).  Many did the latter.  It’s ok.  I have learned to not take it personally now.  It’s not always because of me.  I know the love I have for myself and others.  I just selectively give it now to people who appreciate ME.

YOU

are unique. talented. a great listener. full of life. one-of-a-kind. interesting. crazy. funny. witty. open.

We all have strengths and weaknesses.  We are human.  That’s what make you, YOU.

So keep showing the world who you are.  Make people remember you.  Make an impact.  Every little bit counts.  Trust me.  There are people who not only appreciates big things, but small things too.

Don’t forget to smile.  You never know who will smile back at you.  Don’t forget to say hello.