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It is a rare occasion that one can pinpoint a day and event that opened your world to a new perspective. That date was March 6, 2018 and the thing that opened me up to writing an album was an interview with writer Cheryl Strayed on the Outside Podcast: Dispatches, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild Creativity. 

Prior to listening to this podcast it had always been a dream to write my own album but I never knew where to begin. 

I needed to, in her words, “surrender to my own mediocrity and write like a mother f@<%er.”  In doing this I would find humility. 

In Humility is Strength 

I found that the pedestal of greatness was preventing me from doing what I really wanted to do. 

I had never written any original music because I never thought it would be as good as anything produced by my musical idols. The looming cloud of greatness (or failure to achieve greatness) was preventing me from even trying. 

I needed a starting point. 

In the podcast interview Cheryl Strayed suggested a writing prompt that she often uses. 

Write about myself and my experiences via a physical object. 

She said, and I’m paraphrasing... 

“If I made you take out your key chain and then write the story of every key, you will have written something very interesting and something very telling about your life.“ 

I found this concept to be a powerful source of story and emotion. I adapted it to fit a musician’s perspective. I chose four keys on my keychain and decided to write four songs, each about a respective key and what that key represented. 

The four keys I chose were: WORK, MOM AND DAD’S, HOME, and MY BIKE LOCK.  From this launch pad a flow of creativity came pouring out of me like I have never felt before. All the years of studying music, performing, playing, and practicing coalesced into ideas and forms.  Every key represented feelings and emotions that expressed themselves in various musical styles....ranging from a jazz waltz, reggae, funk, bebop and beyond. 

These are...