Why Do I Do It?

 

Hi. My name is Davidson and I’m a music addict. This is maybe dramatizing things — and I certainly don’t mean to make light of people who are involved in 12 Step programs. Been there.

What I mean is that I make music because I love it so freakin’ much! I love to sing. I love playing guitar. I love creating meaningful lyrics and cool melodies.

Why do I do it? I’m on a mission from my soul.

 

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It’s a part of my DNA.

Due to the nature of the world we live in, it’s not always “practical.” I mean in terms of cash. Yes, there are people who are doing really well in the music biz.

But the fact is, most people in the world are busy — and couldn’t care less about my new song or album.

I’ve spent times in my life where I’ve worked really hard trying to change that. My main incentive was that I wanted to play more music. Might as well try to get the earth to spin the other way. Talk about carrying the weight of the world!

Now, I can’t say I don’t care — but I definitely care much less than I used to. I do it for myself. I want my music to be as honest as possible. Hopefully that will resonate with people and that will be my service to them.

This is not to say that I’m not like anyone else and people’s appreciation of my work is not important. It’s awesome! But I look at it more like “gravy” or “icing.” I do my best not to expect it.

When I was a teenager and I consciously or subconciously decided to be a musician for my career, I didn’t do it to be famous. Even though I suffered from incredibly low self esteem at the time.

We’ve all been branded by some trauma or another during our formative years. Some worse, some less so. Mine was probably leaning toward the “worse” side of the spectrum.

That’s a big part of the reason why I ended up homeless, on the streets and on my own in a new city (Toronto) at the tender age of 17. ‘Nother story, ‘nother time.

That’s probably also what led me to have my mid life crisis in my late twenties. I started asking all the important questions that most avoid. “What am I really doing with my life? What is love? What is happiness? What’s the point of it all? Who/what do I really want to be/do? etc.” I couldn’t avoid them if I wanted to survive.

I really and truly don’t care about being famous or “special.” I just wanna be myself, work hard, and be able to pay the bills with a sense of ease and lightness. Who doesn’t?

Perhaps there are people out there who are motivated by fame and being special more than by the process of creating and playing music. I don’t know.

I only know that for me, I don’t seem to have a choice. I simply love making music. And I love learning about music. I love growing my skills.

 

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Down To The Crossroads

I’ve been down to the crossroads several times in my life thus far. Where I’ve been on my knees or even in fetal position — asking if I’m on the right path. Because it’s so damn hard!

Sometimes I wish I didn’t love making music so much so I could just concern myself with “getting by” and then “getting away” when I’ve had enough of “getting by.”

The grass is always greener.

Whenever I’ve tried walking away from music, something deep inside me knows better. And I know that if I want to respect myself, to be myself, I can’t.

Regardless of whether or not the world ever pays attention to my work. Or on what scale.

I’m mostly at peace within myself now. I now know that come hell or high water, I will do my best to continue to build upon my body of work.

It’s taken me 15 years to get to the point where I could get the financing and resources together in order to record 5 of my songs in a way that I’m very proud of.

I’m not going to stop now. I’ve been writing songs since I was a teenager — and I’m writing new songs now. To me, they’re the best songs I’ve ever written.

And I’m getting better all the time. Better guitar player. Better singer. Better arranger. Better with my lyrics.

 

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In The Past

In the now distant past, I felt very fortunate to have landed a job as the guitar teacher at a few music stores. This led to my “falling into” having my own teaching business with guitar and piano.

I thought “I’ve got the perfect day job!”

However, the reality of trying to live on “poverty wages” in the city of Toronto began to wear me down over the years.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe the world owes me a living.

And even if I have to flip burgers at MacDonald’s (God forbid!) in order to eat and have a roof over my head I will continue to build my body of work.

Before I graduated summa cum laude from Humber College Jazz in Toronto I worked many hours doing hard labour. Digging basements, moving furniture, cleaning crew, prep cook, short order cook.

Whatever. That’s the past.

 

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I Have Good Karma!

Fortunately, I’m still teaching and enjoying interacting and supporting my current students with their musical goals and growth.

I’ve also managed to develop a couple of other side income streams (such as some session work and helping my wife Mary with her businesses).

So for now, I am definitely a lucky person. I’ve been able to significantly close the gap between who the world wants me to be and who I truly am.

I’ve been able to somehow hold onto and nurture my artistic vision through thick and thin. I’m very grateful for that.

Maybe I’m just stubborn and hard headed.

Author Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art says this is a good thing. Alright — I’ll take it! 🙂

In the old days record companies and publishers had Artist Development. I guess I’ve been working my own Artist Development program all along.

Most people aim to take the freeway in order to develop their goals in life. I took to the side roads and stopped at all the villages along the way. No worries. It’s all good — I now know I can take the freeway if I choose.

 

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In A Nutshell

I’m simply going to do my best to continue creating more songs. There are still many obstacles ahead such as financing projects and making the time for them to get off the ground, but my spirit feels good.

A little scared, but good 🙂 I know my true happiness is on the inside independent of circumstances. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to be, do or have things.

Just helps me maintain sanity in an insane world.

I am becoming ever more my true self in a world where we are taught not to be.

If you enjoyed this article or think it would benefit someone, please comment below or share it. Thanks 🙂

2 thoughts on “Why Do I Do It?

  1. Davidson, I really enjoyed reading this “straight from the heart” blog. You say at one point that you are “lucky”. I don’t think it’s luck, I think it’s your positive attitude, your hard work and perseverance. You should be so proud of everything you have done and the person you have become in spite of the obstacles. My favorite part of your blog was this “Most people aim to take the freeway in order to develop their goals in life. I took to the side roads and stopped at all the villages along the way. No worries. It’s all good — I now know I can take the freeway if I choose”. Love it!!! keep on spreading your positive vibes Davidson!!

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