CATALYST22 377 scaled e1687465207692Somewhere in a vault is my music. When I was just beginning to get some traction underneath my music career, I’d signed a record deal and I thought I’d made it. Agents, managers, and record deals are the stuff of an aspiring pro musician’s dreams. I had the agents and manager, the endorsement by Yamaha, and now…I had the deal. There were some red flags in the first release, but I was just happy to see my face on a CD cover, so I went into the second recording session hopeful.

At this point in my career, I’d  just starting getting brave with my own musical experimentation, daring to improvise in public. It was a big deal for me as a classically trained pianist, and now, I was daring to put those improvs down on wax, so to speak. My band mate and I worked hard, came up with some really cool sounds and then…nothing. The label never released the music and for a fledgling artist, buying the recordings back from them wasn’t even something I could think of doing. So the music sat, locked up, never to be heard. All that bravery abandoned on a digital shelf, split into stems never to be edited together.

It was a defining moment for me, realizing how much of a young musician’s career is about waiting on others, getting permission, getting representation, getting approved. Then, I simply decided I was done waiting, and asking, and hoping. Superwoman Records was born of that “done-ness” and Fire EP was born. My band mate and I went back to the woodshed, started from scratch, created a logo on the early iteration of Canva, and released our own music.

Some days, I still pine over that lost music (the music I’m realizing I could afford to buy back now if I wanted ). But, I’m thankful for that painful moment because it spurred something bigger, a whole new era of not ever waiting ever again.

Today, I sit at the piano and more comfortably improvise. Because I never learned jazz (or any other genre outside of classical) in any official capacity, my chords aren’t always the prescribed ones, I break musical rules unknowingly, but my ear likes what it hears. So, I go with that. I trust that the music coming out of me is right, is made for other ears that will find it good, necessary, freeing, motivating. Making music is about trusting that the gaggle of notes fluttering around in your head, the relentless rhythms furiously pounding on your soul are all good, all worthy of coming out, being written down, and performed with love.

I don’t get to luxuriate in practicing as much as I want and need to, but when I do sit down on that black bench, time melts away. That 15-minute snatch and grab session turns into an hour and sometimes…the music that came out was just for me, just for my soul. And, that’s good, too.

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Jade has been addicted to rebel behavior since kindergarten when she refused to take naps and opted to read under her self-made fort instead. She’s wife to her high school sweetheart, Jahrell, and mom to two kiddos (14 and 9) who don’t understand how cool she is. As Founder of JMG, she loves watching unicorns grow wings and soar higher than they knew they could! Lastly, she’s also freakishly good at arm wrestling.