So you want to know more about “Worlds.”
Let’s start here: it was a grind. It was a huge learning experience. If you ask me about it, I’ll immediately start telling you about all the places where it fell short and all of the things I’d change if I did it all over again.
It’s also one of my proudest accomplishments.
“Worlds” is a story about imagination.
I learned to play the piano when I was seven years old. My parents didn’t sign me up for piano lessons. My aunt signed up her daughter for piano lessons. And every day after school, I had to wait until she finished practicing before we could play.
She hated the piano.
But 2nd grade me was slightly intrigued by what she was doing. Her 5-octave Casio with light-up plastic keys looked like an exciting toy. Over time, I started to wait until she finished practicing so I could play with the piano, not her.
That made her hate the piano even more.
Music became everything for me as a teen. I eventually got piano lessons, voice lessons, and guitar lessons. I played in school bands. I wrote songs. I put together a 3-song demo of original music when I was 15. I wanted it so badly.
I was also the kid of an immigrant single mother. And when college application time rolled around, and I started gathering my materials for my audition and letters of recommendation from all of those music teachers, my mother sat me down. I will never forget what she said: “You can study music, but if you fail, there will be nothing there to catch you.”
So I did the plan B thing. And I worked hard and did it well. I’m not telling a story of me secretly hating every day of my success in business and technology and eventually quitting without notice to pursue my true passion. I am working a chill corporate job right now. I really like it.
No, this is a story of me, a single mom’s kid who chose “the safe path,” walking into a music store to kill time while I was getting my oil changed somewhere in Virginia, looking around, and having the thought hit me: “Huh, I could use all that big girl safety net job money to afford anything I want in here.”
Whatever your “Worlds” is, just do it.
In life, people think in terms of one or the other: cats or dogs, city or rural, professional or hobbyist. Everyone says I can use my big girl safety net job money to buy a nice piano and play it. How is it different to use my big girl safety net job money to hire a bunch of musicians to record an album with me and then tour it?
The “Worlds” story is one about getting this: the sheer audacity. Why don’t you think you can have it all? The thoughts are almost immediate: well, you have responsibilities. You have a family. You have to be realistic. You would burn out. You don’t have enough money.
And it may be true for you. I don’t know. But everything I’ve been through has now given me the sheer audacity to think I can be a product manager, songwriter, friend, girlfriend, triathlete, and neighbor and still have a clean house. So I made a record, and then I had the audacity to tell everyone about it.
The songs are about love, abuse, travel, married men, and one-night stands. They are all specific stories that speak to a certain time in a format that lets me be the most hurt, emotional, hopeful, and wild. It was a huge pleasure and a massive learning experience to work on it, and I’m already excited to work on the next one.