Wow, I can't believe the time is finally here. I've pondered over how on earth I'd put my own solo show together for years, and I mean years... And, just as I hypothesized it has proven to be the most challenging and gut wrenching thing I've ever had the pleasure to throw myself into. The insanity of merging so many skill sets into one interactive show has been completely and utterly maddening, not to mention emotionally and mentally draining. On a positive note, the shear fact that I see light at the end of this tunnel keeps me going. I'm finally figuring out a way to leverage my DJ career in a way that works for me.. all of those crazy drug addled years being stuck in the DJ booth when I knew I belonged on stage definitely stoked the fire within. And now, rather than being a slave to my DJ career, my DJ career is becoming a slave to me.
I know many people know Amunet Shah, just as the singer/songwriter. Most of these people didn't know me when I was traveling abroad under my former name. They don't know that I toured as a professional DJ before ever even arriving to this burgeoning cancer we call The Big Apple. I do love NYC. But I've been through hell here, beginning with the image crisis that ensued the day I arrived and realized I'd be starting from zero, regardless of signing autographs in a foreign country and headlining the same clubs as Sasha and Digweed. I always wondered why I didn't just hightail it straight to Berlin or Ibiza, that would've been the next logical step for me but I was always hell bent on NYC, and I had two of my closest friends here so I suppose that helped seal the deal.
Anyway, preparing for this show has brought up every emotion I ever had, and tapped into all of the hurt, pain and anger that has accumulated over the years of selling myself short. The biggest challenge has been honing the power of it all so it doesn't completely explode in my hands.
On the technical front, it's literally been one thing after another. My midi controller breaks one week before the show, the sound system my friend lent me wasn't going to cut it, records I want to play have scratches and need to be replaced, my roommate's turntables needed repair so I had to get mine out of storage, then I had to buy brand new needles..etc etc..
But honestly none of this compares to the fact that I wrote 3 new songs in 4 weeks to perform at this event. 8 hours of rehearsal every day for 2 weeks straight and I'm so exhausted... right now I have an unreal headache, I'm 12 hours deep so far today and I still have notes to study - microphone effect settings, how am I getting out of the drum machine and keyboard riff seamlessly into my next track, etc etc.. the list goes on..
All I know is this diamond is being polished.. and soon I plan on blinding anyone who dares to look at it.. Goodnight world. <3
...Our half dead souls commuting to work on the subway every day... Fitting, considering I actually walked right past a dead body in my old neighborhood in Crown Heights one morning on my way to work. A woman had fallen from the overpass to her death. No one had found her there yet.
That was actually the day I decided to leave New York(the first time).
Or the time when the person I was madly in love with, a.k.a my supposed future husband, threatened to slit my throat, wrap me in a blanket and store my body in the ceiling. Hmm.. yep, that was the weekend all the angels in the world came together at once to rescue me. But that's a very long story... We'll save that for another day.
But, what I do know is he's a big part of the reason why I'm where I am today, which is better than yesterday, and I thank him for that...
Or the time I stood up on the seats in the subway and yelled back at the man whose barbaric religious babbling was slowly driving the work-worn subway riders' minds into an angry oblivion. Everybody secretly wanted to say something.. so as usual I had to speak our minds for us. This occurrence led me to flee NYC for the second time....
Of course I quickly ran back here once again once I realized it was far too late to leave. After that second time I knew I'd never try to leave again, even if killed me, just like that woman I found in the road that day...
....And then I had to remember who I was before I became so angry.. before all those wasted years sitting behind some desk pretending to be something other than what I was - the singer, the dancer, the person everyone looked up to. I had to go back deep inside my mind and relive all of the love and happiness I once experienced in the past and tap into that inexplicable tribal force that runs beneath my skin like an electrical current.
....I'm just another speck of dust in the proverbial mountain of dirt, just another starving artist trying to pave their way, just another musician trying to desperately gain the recognition of those who matter, steadily wrapped up in this fuc*** up hopeless oblivion we call the music industry. I'm just like everybody else....
Or am I?