Here’s a quick story about the “Worlds” album.
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.”
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?
My 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, professional songwriter and composer, 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.
You can listen to it on Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever other streaming services you like. You can also support me by telling a friend.