I’m Focusing……I’m Focusing…….What Am I Focusing On Again??

 

There appears to be no shortage of distraction while pursuing this musical endeavor of mine. But for once it’s a welcome distraction — Greek music♥

My dad got me a Bouzouki (Greek Guitar) about a decade ago. It’s really neat and similar to a twelve string guitar. It’s even got my grandparents’ faces on it! It was a huge moment for my dad to give me it. I’ve always loved it, but to be totally honest I hardly touched it until about two years ago. It was always intimidating. Go on YouTube and search “Bouzouki/Greek Music” and you’ll see dudes with eyebrows just as thick as mine SHREDDING this guitar just like Santana or any other rock god. So when he would ask me “how’s it coming with the bouzouki?”, I said “greeeaat”. But it was not truthful and I always felt horrible about it. I was so wrapped up in rock & pop music, work, and much more during the early years of having it.

Then I got with some local fellas who told me to come do some jamming with them & play at the annual Greek Festival in Charleston. That’s really when I started to try to play. It was/is the hardest thing to do musically, because I was playing rock music all my life. I kept bending strings like BB King and approaching it all wrong. But for the next two years, I practiced maybe once a month. Mind you, as of right now my plan is to release my original music, a greek album, and a Christmas album all in this year. WTF?? It’s a lot.. It can be done, but I have to stay disciplined & that is unbelievably hard with things like Netflix to get distracted with. 🙂

Just before Christmas of 2017, I was overwhelmed. I had the hardest time managing day-to-day. Mixing this album “Bargain For Better”, keeping up with constant new song ideas that were interrupting my workflow (which I’m grateful for), and much more. Among those hurdles, I sank into another depression. It happens to me around the holidays. I have to contend with my brain, which easily slips into negative self-talk & despair. I’m “one of those” who has signs all around to remind me to be grateful for everything, with words like “Let It Go” or “Believe In Yourself” staring me down in the bathroom. There’s no escaping them. All because I have the hardest time seeing myself as others do (as my therapist says). Just like countless others, I look in the mirror and see my shortcomings. On top of that, Facebook and other media sites were filled with unbelievable sadness and turmoil. More friends passed away. Money was tight because of the time I put in the studio. Kids in my hometown were killing themselves at an alarming rate. All of this is hard to comprehend. I started to realize that the saying is true, “tomorrow isn’t guaranteed”

In that way of looking at things, I saw that I STILL have a lot of work to do. Not just for myself, but for my family & friends. That thinking started the idea of making a Greek album as well. I think about my dad and how hard he’s selflessly worked for us for most of his life. Since tomorrow isn’t always a safe bet, I recorded this song “Milise Mou” for he and my mom to hear. It’s a Greek classic. I wanted them to feel proud of me. And I needed it… It’s understandable that music is looked at as a pipe dream, but after they heard it they were 100% on board with my idea of doing music for a living. With american music, it was hard for them to measure my skills on the subject. I’ll admit that when my mom said she was proud of me after hearing it last week, I started bawling.. It’s looked at as borderline conceded to need validation like that, but I did. Until this first album is out, I depend on that validation because I’m practically ALL ALONE-ALL DAY working on this thing. For me it’s too easy to bully myself. Whatever I suffer from is what makes it hard to recognize that I have a lot to be proud of and maintain a healthy confidence. So I really think that the battle will continue until I complete this album. It could flop and not result in anything monetarily, but it wouldn’t matter. It’s that calling that I have to answer to so that I can put an end to a phrase that I’ve been using since I was 15 years old tinkering around my shitty home studio. “Guys, I’ll have my album out in two months“.. I really thought I would when I said it. So that haunting sentence won’t let up until the goal is reached.

We’re all inundated with too much information these days. And it is too complicated to digest that information with all of the sources spilling it out & surrounding us. Love-Hate-Politics-Cute Animals-Disease-and much more. It doesn’t help to get sucked into it all. And it’s too easy to do.. For now, I’ll take the boost of knowing that I got to use my craft to fill my parents with pride. They deserve more than that for the love and support they’ve given me. And if tomorrow doesn’t happen, I have the comfort of knowing that for today, some goal was completed.

 

ZK

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