I was somewhat shocked to receive such belittling and insulting comments in my personal Facebook inbox lately, from someone whom I'd previously respected in the sector of local, independent music. After his offering of slander and what I pretty much have taken as "stop making music because you are not good enough," this person has lost all respect and dignity from my end, and I wanted to point out how much some people just do not understand what it means to be creative.
To defend my so called "negative" comment; I merely asked "why?" In response to the news that a friend and fellow songwriter was going to be appearing on a Television talent show, which I thought nothing of; a mere valid question, as I am always interested in knowing what drives somebody to make that jump.
Most people who know me well, will know that I am a staunch supporter of local & original music, and certainly not a supporter of such television talent contests.
The indecency of this person to use this opportunity to talk down my musical ability absolutely astounded me, particularly during a well-documented period of personal crisis (which, if he "ignored" me so much, he probably didn't even contemplate), which completely tipped me over the edge.
Never in my 9 years in the music industry have I been confronted by such hateful and sinister criticism - which is why I love Melbourne and music & artistic communities I find myself in - all they have done over that time is commend my tireless effort, my constant learning, and my vast improvement over time; obviously someone that has ignored me wouldn't have the slightest clue about.
As for my "negtivity," sure; I'm first to admit that my immediate reaction to some things can certainly be negative, and that I don't have the most optimistic outlook on life, partially - but not entirely - due to my ongoing struggle with a mental illness, which again is something that somebody who has ignored me wouldn't know about.
And so, I thought, "fair enough; this guys is mad about me reacting a certain way to one of his friends, I can deal with that," but it went on...
Continuing to deface and insult my status as a performer, referring to a point in time (probably 3+ years ago) where I was upset by a lack of support from the community and my friends, whilst going through a difficult time and using my "ability" as the reasoning that OTHER PEOPLE probably weren't turning up, as if channeling some sort of psychic ability to think that everyone else's subjective opinion on my music would be the same as his.
I am truly sorry that this guy has the expectation that every local performer should instantly sound like some sort of pop superstar, or else they don't deserve the space that they are singing on.
I am also truly sorry that I never got a true an honest response from the artist I initially asked the question to, but instead got a tirade of unwarranted and shameful abuse from a bitter old man who obviously never had the talent or drive to be a creative himself, so has to sit back on his high horse and constantly, day in, day out, comment and judge and nitpick the abilities of others.
Well, bravo, Mr. Arsehole, your abuse worked. I got off the stage. I couldn't even do the show I had booked later in the week that you sent this, because I was so overwhelmed with depression and anxiety over the words you said that I couldn't even bring myself to physically be on stage, in front of people, performing my songs - something that has given me some of the most joy in my life. You have ruined that for me.
I am hugely proud of my achievements over the past 3 years. My ability is continually improving: in performance, in writing, in recording and engineering. I know this because of the praise I get from people like Kevin Murphy, Karl Huttenmeister, Anna Cordell, Jakksen Fish, Georgia Rose, Tracey Hogue, Tim Woods, Al Parkinson, Liam Dixon & Michael Yule - among others. These are all people who know what they're talking about, who are around original music at its grass roots level, day in and day out; who appreciate what amount effort goes into everything that I do - because it's what they do to.
So I choose to listen to these people, not an old fogey who used to be on Community Radio so has some sort of heightened sense of musical royalty, that he can brandish things around, no matter how hurtful, destructive or potentially career-shattering they can be.
I'm standing up to this bully of a man, and I am making a new record, and this new record is going to be so many times better than anything he would have expected me to bring out, because that is how far I have come; whether he chooses to like it, or know it, or not.
My message to you all is, don't let anybody talk down YOUR dreams and YOUR art. YOUR art exists because it came from a place inside of you. YOUR art will connect you with the people that WANT to consume it; who hear the effort in it; who acknowledge what it takes to bring that art to fruition.
People that don't understand it will try to bring you down, but they can't; because it is not THEIR art to bring down. They don't connect with it, they don't understand your process or where any of it came from. So bad luck to them.
And bad luck to this arsehole.