I Wandered Into The Hills
I was at a barbeque yesterday at my manager’s house in the hills, when after a few drinks I decided to grab my friend Max and climb to the roof. After ignoring the unrelenting demands of his father to get down (sorry Byron <3), we successfully made it to the top where he couldn’t see us. The sun had almost fully set, and the magic of the city lights turning on to the east and the red-orange glow to the west put Max and I in a very reflective and thoughtful state of mind. He asked me, “How did we end up here?”
There was a long silence. I felt like it was all a dream. Here I am, twenty-three years old, surrounded by a team of successful and passionate people who not only believe in me but also are willing to dedicate their time to making my vision, my voice and my music heard. I just felt like I was breaking the rules. I always had it in my head that this life and these neighborhoods were reserved for the doctors and lawyers; no one ever told me I could get here doing what I love.
The silence continued and so did my thoughts. Too often I see young people being forced to map out there lives before they have even the slightest idea as to where they want to go. Pressured by our families and teachers, financial stress and social expectations, we neglect our risky passions for an education that yields safe careers we dislike. And once the decision has been made, it’s not easy to take it back. Even at an undergraduate level, college education has become so expensive that we drive guilt into any student who tries to change their minds halfway in. I remember the feeling I felt when I told my dad I wanted to drop out after three years of paying full-tuition at University of Miami.
So how did I end up here? The most rewarding moments in my life are the consequence of taking risks. You don’t have to know where you are going to get on the train. I’ve never had a destination in mind, just a direction. I was crazy enough to take that first step with no idea where it would lead me, guided only by my passions and curiosity. If I sat down and planned it all out, I would have given up before even trying.
I’m here by accident, like a man lost in the desert wandering into an oasis. The only thing I can truly take credit for is that I kept walking; I never gave up.
—November 2, 2015