the moment

it’s been a long ass time since i been over to a “new friends” house. someone who’s a new friend that i met in my adult life and gone over to their house like i’m still in elementary school. there’s something about going to someone’s house that makes that friend more real or like you know them. denny said if you’re over at my house just chillin in my kitchen and you know you’re way around to find a spoon, then we’re tight.

tal & marky are my new friends from israel. tal invited some friends over for “finger food” before going to the study in hollywood where they have an open mic night. when i walked in, i wasn’t expecting two of my other good friends to be already sitting on the couch, which just made life even better. it dawned on me that i hadn’t been over to someone’s house in a while, it felt foreign to me, like an odd, rare event. it reminded me of how we’re too much in our phones and not actually IN eachothers lives. to be in someone’s house is to know them.

at some point, someone decides it’s time for a sing along...tal jumps on the drum kit that’s just in a corner of his living room. and marky gets on the keys and they just start playing songs. all of a sudden we’re all singing bohemian rhapsody at the top of our lungs, pretty sure we’re gonna get noise complaints. but we don’t care we’re just having that much fun. then we burst out laughing when we realize it’s only monday. my friends are singing in harmony. the sound of their voices blending together honestly makes me want to cry… i sing along and find harmonies too… and realize the sensation of finding my own voice amongst my peers elevates, lifts, raises me…i can’t believe how close i feel to these humans…some i’ve only met months ago.

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it’s time to go to the study for the open mic night. none of us have been there. we walk in, it’s packed and there’s already like twelve musicians up on stage doing an open r&b jam. we just stepped into another world. blunts are burning everywhere in the room. people are vibing out. nothing is planned. it’s completely improvised. people are just getting up there to sing, rap, dance, whatever they feel like… their one rule is ‘no egos’.....everyone’s welcome no matter what level. the band is improvising…it’s a literal sound wave that you just gotta ride.

tal had told me before that he really wanted to get up and rap and asked me if i was gonna get up and sing. i said nah and that i was just gonna “observe” and see. it was packed in there. it was completely intimidating. still he really wanted to get up there, i could see it. his seize the moment attitude. i respect and admire it. something about the israelis makes me feel like i’ve known them since i was eight years old.

tal asked me to go up there with him...said he’d only go up there if i went up there with him... i was so reluctant. and i couldn’t get over my FEAR. i was holding myself back but i could feel the universe pulling me…… saying “go bitch”… take all those walls you got up around you right now and just let them all fall. and just go.

when the featured artist went up at 11pm, i thought it was gonna be a usual set… you know, one with songs, a setlist, a plan, a rehearsed show…nope. that too was all completely improvised. i turned back to my friends and told denny how HORRIFYING i thought the idea was. he agreed that it was terrifying. what we were witnessing was completely made up on the spot…and it was horrifying to think about.


still. i’m drawn in. watching the stage. every. single. moment. was something you’d never ever see again. a once in a lifetime performance. never to be heard again. all the musicians were in tune with each other, listening to each other, the singer was riding her wave, owning every movement. at one point she just starts full out interpretive dancing. seeing art unfold on the fly like that was one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen. my mind was exploding.

at one point, the host on stage says…. “i don’t care where you are right now or what you’re doing…. when i say, i want you to turn to your neighbor and give them a hug”....... she counted down and i turned to my neighbor and gave them a big hug like they were my best friend, and then i turned to another person and gave him a hug. and another person came up to me and just gave me a hug. i hugged THREE strangers. and that shit just made me feel so happy. vulnerable. open. free. like i was made of all love, no walls.

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after the feature act tal says, “if they go back to the jam, we’re gonna go up”.....my usual ass self would say something like “oh maybe next week”..... but tal, (and every single person i know from Israel) lives like there’s no tomorrow. and i fucking love that. that shit inspires me.

the pressure was on and I was thinking to myself that i was ok with letting myself miss the opportunity, but i COULD NOT live with myself if my friend missed the opportunity because of me. i learned a LOT about myself in that moment. i was too scared to support MYSELF. but i was willing to go to war for my friend. an achillies heel i didn’t know was there.

we went back to the bar. got more drinks. somehow he CONVINCES me that we were gonna go up. i cheers his drink, our cups clinked together and i said ‘alright alright...im in”

in that moment i committed and all the walls fell down. like being locked in the rollercoaster. no turning back now. i said yes to the universe. and opened myself up to whatever the fuck i just agreed to…

we pushed through the crowd. waited by the side of the stage. what the fuck were we supposed to do? how do we prepare for it? you don’t. no one is controlling the flow of the night so if you want to get up there you just gotta get up and grab the mic and start fucking singing or rapping or whatever. we waited for a while…so nervous and scared.

then tal claimed his spot, stepped out on stage and i stepped right behind him as support. I had promised i’d sing some type of “chorus” - and he just got UP THERE AND STARTED RAPPING and he sounded AMAZING and I WAS SO HAPPY AND SO PROUD THAT HE DID IT. after his rap, i just started singing. the only words i remember coming out of my mouth were “i appreciate you” because that’s REALLY ALL I FELT IN THAT MOMENT.

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next thing you know we’ve somehow convinced our other friend, denny, to get up there and SING TOO. he told me 20 minutes ago he flat out wasn’t gonna go, it’s not gonna happen, no no no. and NOW he’s up on the stage waiting to go…

now we’re all waiting by the stage AGAIN… the band somehow jamming along to “pass the courvoisier” and the room is getting harcore. dennys waiting his turn. i know he’s nervous. but i also know he’s a boss. and he has the balls to do anything. there’s someone playing horns right beside me. going off. suddenly i’m dancing with him like i don’t give a fuck. just vibing out.

then my boy denny grabs the mic and STARTS SINGING AND SHINING AND DOING HIS THING AND I WANT TO CRY IM SO HAPPY. because we were all just shitting our pants a second ago terrified… and we all somehow just lifted each other, elevated each other, supported each other to get the fuck up there and sing something. and i realized what real friendship is supposed to be. lifting each other.

actual magic happened last night. every second was a new lesson for me. the universe pulled me out of myself. whispered to me. take down those walls. don’t plan shit. get up there and go. and that’s what all of us did. and i never felt so happy and more loved in my life.

sometimes we are so CUT OFF from our own supply of love. then the universe serves you nights like these to remind you how loved and POWERFUL you are. that you can shine with NO plans. NO rehearsals. that you can hug three strangers and it won’t be weird. that if you jump. there’s a net at the bottom for you.

i’m so grateful i can look my friends in the eyeballs and tell them I LOVE THEM and it feels real and right.

the purpose if this post is to tell you what i’m still learning.

more love, less walls. say yes.

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The Difference - Premiere

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“The Difference” is the second song from my 3-song mini series Chapter 1 - The Truth. It’s a hard-hitting, dramatic, pop track with some hip-hop elements in the production.

The song is about conflict, ego, pride, being right, being wrong, non-apologies, the toxicity of hard feelings, and the ultimate decision to cut ties and walk away.

Contrary to the Alex Abert cover, “The Difference” is written by me:) and co-produced by myself and Frequency.

Listen to "The Difference" below.

"The Difference" premieres August 24th

 photo by Shervin Lainez

photo by Shervin Lainez

Next Friday, I'm releasing my second song from Chapter 1 called "The Difference." It was the first song I wrote on piano when I moved to LA. Each song in this chapter reveals some sort of truth about a particular area in my life. "The Difference" reveals the toxicity in hard feelings and results in cutting ties with a relationship that isn't good for you. I learned that it's ok to have different values, to grow apart and to walk away.

LYRIC REVEAL below:

The Difference

 

I’m the type of person of you ever needed something

I would be there, I would be there

Even if my life was in the thick of it I’d take a second

To prove that I cared, prove that I care

 

Now you call me on the phone

Acting like I did you wrong

Wondering exactly where we stand

But you only wanna keep your pride

Never own up or apologize

And that’s all that it took for me to understand

 

The difference between you and i

Is I would never leave you stranded, left behind

So once it all comes down to the wire

I know I aint perfect, I aint always right

But at least I can own it, at least I tried

I guess that’s the difference between you and I

 

If you’d just admit to what you did then I’d be willing

To do the repair, do the repair

But you just play the victim, take my words and then you twist them

And that shit ain’t fair, that shit ain’t fair

 

So now I’m hanging up the phone

Cause everything we had is gone

Now you know exactly where we stand

If you only wanna keep your pride

Never own up or apologize

There’s only one thing that you need to understand

 

The difference between you and i

Is I would never leave you stranded, left behind

So once it all comes down to the wire

I know I aint perfect, I aint always right

But at least I can own it, at least I tried

I guess that’s the difference between you and I

Truth - Premiere

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I'm starting off Chapter 1 - The Truth with a cover of Alex Ebert's song "Truth." Someone showed me this song a really long time ago and I remember thinking the lyrics were so bizarre. So jarring. I wanted to read them over and over again. Although seemingly ambiguous, I understood their meaning. To me the song is a beautiful anthem about embracing your dark side and allowing it to shine through.

"Tilt my chin back, slit my throat, take a bath in my blood, get to know me" is my favorite lyric. The song is so peculiar, so poetic, and it's something that's really inspired me a lot with my own work. When I happened to hear the song again years later on an episode of Breaking Bad, I could hear it as a hip hop song. I knew I had to make my own version because its message is so powerful and it's a message that I proudly wear. Listen to my rendition of Alex Ebert's "Truth"

Alex Ebert's "Truth"

Chapters

 photo by Shervin Lainez

photo by Shervin Lainez

there was a part of me that was missing a body of work. a concept. a group of songs. until now, i had only been putting out single songs. i miss the body. of art.

Chapters is a new body of art. a group of 3 songs, each with a common theme. Chapters is a new form of roll out. each song will be released individually and only a few weeks apart from each other. when the third song goes up, the entire Chapter will be live.

rather than doing a single, or an EP or an Album (for now), i've decided to do this instead. i created this model because i wanted to do something different. i wanted a body. i wanted to say more. and this where my inspiration lead me. 

Chapter 1 is titled "The Truth" and it's first song will be a cover of Alex Ebert's song "Truth" releasing this Friday, July 27th

it's been too long since I updated this blog. i promise that will change. i'm looking forward to writing and expanding here more with all of you

xx.

D

 

 

 

Enough

 Photo by Shervin Lainez   

Photo by Shervin Lainez

 

Most of us are normalized to believing that happiness is found in external milestones. It's easy to pin our level of self-worth to accomplishments or material things. Once you have the money, once you have the house, once you have the job, once you lose the weight, once things line up...then you'll be happy. Leaving contentment up to the rolling dice of our circumstances is a sure way to never be satisfied.

Reaching too far into the future will always make us feel as though we don't have all the puzzle pieces together. All life is, is a series of moments strung together. What if we make the intention to be satisfied right now? 

Rather than getting carried away by the wild horses of our thoughts, reach for satisfaction in each moment. Reach for contentment in each moment as it comes. It's a simpler way of grounding ourselves. Being here and now. Intentionally see through the lens of satisfaction.

When I make this my intention, I start to see my life completely differently. It actually feels easier to be happy when you make it a one step process. When I practice this concept, it changes my energy and makes me feel more grateful for little details in my life that I might not have appreciated before. Relaxing into the feeling of being satisfied, allows me to really see the magic in my life.

I listen to a podcast about the law of attraction called Everyday Attraction. (I love this podcast btw, I've learned a lot here.) They touch more on this subject in the episode "The Formula for Happily Ever After." Near the end of the podcast, host Rae Zander encourages you to let today be enough. This part in particular struck a chord for me and maybe it will for you too.

Let today be enough. Let each moment be enough. Let exactly where you are and what you're doing be enough.

Under Construction: Choosing Good Values

DYLN

Whenever my life is flipped over like a pancake, I do what I do best. I write. It's spring in New York. My house is under construction, it's a total disaster. Everything is everywhere. It's the perfect time to start my blog on my website. 

Sometimes when things get turned upside down, you see what shakes out of them. What's important. What's not. What sticks, what stays and what's worth keeping around. 

It's evident that the life you create on in the inside is not the same as the life that you create on the outside. When your outside surroundings and circumstances crumble, you're forced to examine what's on the inside.  I'm seeing now, that the foundation to the lives we build are based on values.

I've been reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson (which is hilarious by the way, read it) and I've been meditating on this idea of values and how having good values alters your internal world.

Mark says, "Whether we like it or not, we are always taking an active role in what's occurring to and within us. We are always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence. We are always choosing the values by which we live and the metrics by which we measure everything that happens to us."

This golden nugget of wisdom dropped on me in a timely fashion. The workers in my house have been ripping out 20 ft. holes in my ceiling, pulling out the insulation and rebuilding the structure of the walls. Dust is covering every surface and my dog Frankie is an anxiety filled train wreck. For whatever reason, I seem to find meaning in everything... and this disruption is no exception.

While my outside world in under construction, so is my inside world. I've been challenging myself to choose good values to build my house upon. To really question what's important and letting what's not, fall...just like the dust from my ceiling.

What do you value? I value having a genuine love for people, connecting with one another, sharing experiences, and inspiring those who need the inspiration. Today I start the blog to express these values, thanks to the random strangers who are currently ripping apart my house. 

Choose good values. Choose good materials to be made of. That shit don't break.

-D