Like most of us, my life didn’t start out as I hoped. I was just going through the motions of what is acceptable in society – school, then university, then a job, then a wife, then kids, then work till you are 65, retire, die. Thinking about the monotony of it all, was overwhelming and yet I went ahead and joined the rat race anyways. I finished school, unsure of what lay ahead. I attended university and graduated with a law degree. I worked hard and long hours for many years and today I am a director in a very successful law firm. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for the opportunities my success as a lawyer has provided and the lessons I have learnt along the way. However, throughout my endeavour to be a successful lawyer, I couldn’t help but wonder what could’ve been, had I pursued music instead. At the same time, there was this distinct little voice that kept telling me that I was not good enough to make it in the music industry. And to some degree, that voice is still there. But it has never been strong enough to drown my dream of being a career performing artist.
Music has been my passion for as long as I can remember. It’s like a soft whisper that gives you goose bumps or a raging river that flows through your eyes as your tears roll down your cheeks. It keeps you company when you are lonely, makes you happy when you are sad and tells your story when you are afraid to speak. It is the sacred expression that resonates from the mysterious depths of the musician’s soul. It can separate or unify. It can scale the unassailable walls of politics and hateful rhetoric. It can scold or heal. It is the voice of the people or the person. The part or the whole. It is his story. Her story. Their story. It transcends time, culture and ethnicity, bringing together those who would be the most unlikely allies. Such is the power of music.
So, what is my story? Is it a sad story? Well, sadder than some, happier than most. I have persevered through pain, rejection and abuse. But that story isn’t unique. Thousands around the world suffer daily, so I will not bore you with the details. Instead, I tell my story through my music to relate to those who have been marred by their past and think there is no way forward. Those with low self-esteem, a fractured identity and tattered dreams. I have been in that hole many times and music has played an invaluable role in healing my heart. I am no more or less special than you. Deep down I am just a kid from Durbanville who had a dream to make music on a bigger stage than campfires, Kumbaya and burnt marshmallows (not that there is anything wrong with that – besides, it’s where it all started for me). So, here I am at the ripe age of 35 with a beautiful family chasing my unicorn. My point is, that you should never give up on your dreams. Never let the fear of failure keep you from trying, because the fear of failure is nowhere near the other painful, unchangeable finality – regret. Regret is that little voice that will sit on your shoulder for the rest of your life saying: “What if?”. And you will be left forever tortured by the idea of not pursuing your dreams. I leave you with this famous poem by William F. O’Brien:
“Some say risk nothing, try only for the sure thing,
Others say nothing gambled nothing gained,
Go all out for your dream.
Life can be lived either way, but for me,
I'd rather try and fail, than never try at all, you see.
Some say "Don't ever fall in love,
Play the game of life wide open,
Burn your candle at both ends."
But I say "No! It's better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all, my friend."
When many moons have gone by,
And you are alone with your dreams of yesteryear,
All your memories will bring you cheer.
You'll be satisfied, succeed or fail, win or lose,
Knowing the right path you did choose.”
Join me, if you dare, and let’s see if we can make our dreams come true.