The Journey of Melody
I work a 9-6 job. My commute is between one-and-a half and two hours daily. When I settle into the barf-orange colored seats of the mercurial R train, my mind wanders. There is nothing to think about besides the slow lurch of the engine forward, or the sharp smell of passengers’ yesterday clothing. I’m in this steady loop at least ten times a week, forty times a month, 480 times per year. This is one of my studios.
Though I am on the R train for at least ten percent of my life, magic happens in places I spend even less time.
My other studio cruises at an altitude of thirty-five thousand feet, flying me through bright sun rays and fluffy clouds— the Boeing 747. In between the thin, dry air and sore knees from cramped quarters, my ideas bloom.
The first song I released ‘Choose to Love,’ I wrote the lyrics and melody for on a plane to Doha, Qatar. The second song I released ‘You’re My Man,’ I wrote the lyrics on the train and the melody in my kitchen whilst preparing dinner. The next songs I will release were written either in my bed, whilst in transit, or in my kitchen.
The practical side of me says I write on planes, in trains and kitchens, because these are places where I am not connected to wifi and cannot mindlessly surf the web. The pragmatic side of me imagines, that in these spaces between mindless swiping, my mind can rest and conjure a melody out of thin air. The la la la’s and the ho hum’s drown out the daily drum of life, between working and looking up crochet braid styles on instagram. The mystical side of me believes otherwise.
I write lyrics and melodies whilst I am in transit— perhaps because I’m trying to go somewhere with my music. No, I’m not talking about the Grammys, the Billboard charts, or the history books; though that would be so cool! With the creation of my music, I’m hoping to venture to otherworldly destinations, to clandestine places. I’m hoping to find a place where I can let myself flow like a river and take rest and refuge in my self and my power. Have you ever imagined a place not adulterated by judgement and fear? A place suspended between your mind’s creation materialized and others’ perception, whether good or bad, of your work?
This is the place I hope to go with my music, a place where I observe and bear witness to the whisperings of my soul. It’s almost comical that the train, a vessel that causes me much exasperation, has the power to transport me further than the original destination I had in mind. While I sit on the train, travelling home from my 9-6, which is wholly unrelated to my musical dreams (besides the pretty penny it offers toward studio time, single cover designs, photo shoots, and mixing and mastering fees), my melodies float me into the future— a time and place where I can be me, wholly Oten Star.