When I began my journey into the maze that is music, much of it was approached with amateur objectivity. I played, just to feel myself playing. I played, because I wanted nothing more than to graze my hands on something asking to be played. I played for the spaces inside me that had no voice. I played for the women inside me, who came before me, who had no choice but to scream through the mouth of a young girl untamed by societal standards. I played to pulp myself of the puppetry, the pain, the people who could never understand. And most of all, I just played.
If you told me then, what I was really doing, I wouldn't have believed you. If you told me then there was method to the madness, a slow reveal, I would have asked you where you placed your medication. If you told me then there was something beyond that 7 ft space piano room I slept in, religiously dedicated to my path of no return, I would have asked that you pass me the digits to your dealer. Unbeknownst to me, a story was unfolding, filled with a richness so true only a lifetime could capture it.
The title for Chrysalis was born through a synergetic conversation with my dear friend and long time collaborator Roy Gnan. It was born from a knowledge well beyond our scope of comprehension, an intuition not yet understood by the masses. Music, the invisible allure, guiding me on the wings of clairvoyance, whispering her sweet nothings into two thirsty ears. Soon, it would become clear, that what I was to embark upon would be nothing short of a life fully lived. A lifetime, of celebrated transformations.
With cocooned wings prevalent in the sonic soundscapes of multiple songs, I too was in a swaddled state. Cloaking myself in white sheer chiffon, drenched in makeup like hell hath fury on my face, I was a girl simply trying to protect herself from the brutalities of this world. For those of you who know the album well, you will recall the song "Stockholm Syndrome," which quite literally is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. A delicate dance of painstaking power. The last -thhhh- of the lyric "Tear those eyes out they'll do no good, shut that red mouth as mother should...Oh Stockholm Syndrome, let's get a room, my sweetest torture, don't die so soon, I lost my fortune, buried my purse, you know you owe me, for what it's worth..." brings you to a soundscape of a moth exiting my mouth, and leads, you as the listener, and me, as the artist, on an existential journey through the moth-like metamorphosis of our lives. A journey I am dedicated to documenting with every grain of my being.
This brings me to the muse message of The Moth.
Moths are nocturnal animals, culturally symbolizing wisdom of the other world, telepathy, and secret knowledge. Because they conduct their life-sustaining activities and practices in complete darkness, they are highly reliant on sensory perception. They navigate the night by using their awareness and inner-knowing. For humans, the moth animal totem is a sign to recognize our own vulnerabilities and utilize our own instincts and intuition, rather than relying solely on the concrete things that we can see in the daylight. Though nocturnal, they are driven towards light, so much so it can end in death. Even when its efforts toward light prove dangerous and futile, the moth continues to drive forward, demonstrating its faith and determination.
As masters of disguise, moths also camouflage as different creatures. The Lunar Hornet Moth has evolved to look just like a hornet, even having similar transparent wings without scales. Knowing hornets sting, predators are likely to avoid it, not realizing it's completely harmless. The Eyed Hawk-moth cleverly combines two tricks. Normally it rests with its camouflaged forewings covering its hind wings and so is difficult to see against bark. But if it is disturbed it suddenly exposes its hind wings to reveal a flash of bright eyes, which are enough to startle a predator and frighten it away.
Rich with symbolism, today, we are nearly finished with our new album IMAGO which quite literally means "the fully developed adult stage of a winged insect." Unveiled now, I embark on womanhood, free from the chains which bound me pre-birth, free from the bullshit that attempted to frighten me back into that precious cocoon. I bring you a woman untethered but still just as impassioned.
It is one of my life paths and greatest joys to bring you on this exploration of the mind, body, and soul. And as long as you tribe with us, I will always give of this gift that was given to me by the ancestors that came before me, and now, come through me.
May we all live with purpose and integrity.
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