This is a special year for me. This is a year when I finally mustered the courage to shed the fear I’ve been living with all my life. The fear of not living up to the expectations that society puts upon you. The fear of being rejected. I’ve stopped pursuing the things I didn’t really want and started living my own life. I’ve started making music.
It frustrates me to understand how weak and childish I was, how dishonest I was with myself and my desires and how long it took me to realize this. It kills me to think about all the wasted time and lost opportunities. It gives me shivers to look at the long road ahead which might easily lead to nowhere. But at this point, it doesn’t even matter. I may be terrified, but I know that there’s simply no other way for me. Even if I fail and will be left alone, even if I miss on everything in life, it all pales in comparison with the possibility of going through life oblivious to the only thing that inspires me. I’ve been doing it for far too long and it dropped my self-esteem low enough and caused me enough suffering so that it can’t really get any worse if I do the complete opposite and just go all in. The fear is no longer holding me back. In fact, it fuels me. But this time it’s a different fear which is much stronger: the fear of leaving this world and not achieving my full potential. All my life I was so terrified of being a failure that I would rather be mediocre. But once I realized (and I mean, really realized) that I have only one shot at this life, failing stopped to seem such a scary thing compared to not trying at all. You can’t succeed if you are not able and willing to fail. I am now.
And sure, I have doubts. But like courage is not the lack of fear, but action despite the fear, confidence is not the lack of doubts, but action despite these doubts. It’s funny how much of a fuck-up I’ve started to feel since I decided to pivot my life, but at the same time how much more confident I became. I was so ashamed of myself because I was playing it safe and living someone else’s life, but now I finally know who I am and what I have to do. It’s liberating to understand that you have balls.
So, anyway, this was kind of a long-winded prelude to the actual thing that I’ve been meaning to write about which is the meaning of my first EP. And let’s get it straight first: it’s shit :). I’m not delusional about that. Although I like some of the ideas, generally it’s not coherent, the production is amateurish, the vocal performance is just plain bad and on top of that, the lyrics are sometimes corny. It’s okay, I’ll get better at all of those things eventually. But there is one thing about this EP that I do like: it is real. It has real meaning for me because I was recording it for myself, so I tried to be as honest as possible. Honest about what, you say? Well, let’s get into it!
I’ve painted the cover art using the old photo from my childhood as a reference. It was a photo that I took from the window of my room (well, technically it was a drawing-room, and I was just kind of living there, but I’ll spare you the gory details) when I was living with my parents in my home town. Back then I was constantly staying up late, especially in the summer. More often than not I didn’t go to sleep until I saw the sunrise. Man, I loved sunrises! They filled my head with awe, hopes and dreams and all that shit that I now consider worse than heroin because the comedown can actually kill you (yes, by suicide). The air in the morning filled my lungs with expectations and promised a remarkable future which didn’t happen because it turned out that taking action is more important than dreaming. Who would have thought, huh? It was so much easier to find excuses while waiting for a miracle than to look the truth in the face and accept that you’re weak and afraid. I’ve always consoled myself with the thought that things would get better. They don’t. You will never have enough time, you will never have enough money, you will never have enough motivation. You will never feel ready unless you actually start. So, the edgy-ass title of the EP (i.e. “i’m sorry, but hope is a scam”) is exactly about that and this post pretty much sums it up. This is an EP about me accepting the truth and getting my shit together.
Now, about the artist name (i.e. “/dev/drgs”). Apart from the fact that I just happen to like how it sounds, it has a meaning behind it. See, I’ve always imagined my depression as a black hole that devoured everything, all my efforts and only became bigger every time. No matter how hard I tried — in the end, it didn’t matter, because everything that was left was a supermassive black hole. But I wanted my music to be the opposite of that — a relief. I wanted it to be something that makes everything better instead of spoiling it. I wanted it to be like a drug, a very good one. So, I decided to stick with “/dev/drgs” which is supposed to be like an opposite of “/dev/null” which is a black hole in Unix systems.
That’s all I wanted to say, I guess. I know that it all may sound childish coming from a grown-ass man in his mid-20s. I know that there’s probably not a single soul in the world right now that would believe in me or support me in this pursuit. I know that I’m not yet on the same level as those who I want to collaborate and create music with. It doesn’t matter. It only means that I have to work my ass off. Let’s see what I can achieve when my actions are aligned with my values.
You can’t wait on other people to be what you’ve been called to be. You can’t wait on their affirmation. You can’t wait on their approval. You can’t wait on their support. Sometimes you just got to run and look behind you and say: “everybody who wants to run — run, but I can’t stop running because you’re not running with me”. Listen, listen to me, hear me. You can’t stop chasing your dream just because somebody in your life won’t chase it with you. You can’t stop believing in yourself just because somebody in your life won’t believe in you. You can’t stop chasing the dreams of your life, just because you know when you do it, you’re gonna have to do it all by yourself.