Sunday, September 10, 2006

An Introspection From The Outside..

Isn't it an interesting thing, that you start to discover certain things about yourself through other people's eyes? You'd find out that there are things that you do that would garner other people's favor, and there are things that would not (usually the latter is more prevalent, isn't it?).

In my six years being in the music business in KL, it hasn't always been a smooth ride. Music, being a very interactive, communal thing, means that I'm ALWAYS working with people (musically or not). By far, I haven't really worked much with people I didn't like, simply because I never really adopted the notion of only working with people I favor, and cutting off people I didn't favor. First things first, the KL music scene is so small, hence a smaller circle of people to work with. Of course, there are always situations that I've worked in I didn't like, but it's not that I didn't like the people I am working with at the time, but it was their method of working which I didn't favor. With heavy politics being involved sometimes, it's even worse (but that's another story).

Anyway, without sounding overbearing, I'll cut to the chase. I know that in my line of work, there will always be people in the industry that will somehow not favor me to work with them. It's a two-way thing as well, sometimes I think there are those who cannot work with my personality, but at the same time, I may have ticked off some of them too. One of the things I have realized as well, through introspection and from what some of my closest colleagues tell me, that I may actually come across as too strong or even a bit standoff-ish... and
proud even, and this is sometimes or even usually brought about by the way I say and do things. One of my fears doing what I do, is that I would let whatever I have worked for get to my head. If anything, it is always this constant bell that I feel, keeps me grounded most of the time... it helps me to not stop learning, and not stop working on what I do, and be complacent. But, I guess it's not enough when it comes to interacting with people. I think I may be a little too direct about saying certain things, or explaining things to people I deal with. So, in effect, what other people read off me might be way off tangent on what I'm really mean, when I say and do certain things.

I'm thinking about it a little bit the last two days. I am trying to think back about the past situations where I may have upset certain people through my actions and my words (that's why I don't get called for certain gigs anymore.. go figure!). Thinking about it made me realize about how I was at the time, and of course, different situations had different factors involved. On a few occasions I definitely had been less respectful to certain people, and just acting quite out of my place than I should. On others, it could've been things I have said and done that may have taken place at a less suitable moment, as well the method of how I delivered it. There are also times where it really can't be helped. Although I'm not in the business of kissing ass, but I'm still open to having to please them. But do I do it at a false pretense by representing yourself in a different light, or should I just be myself, but just be more tactful? When I am being myself, some people might see me in a different light than what's really true. It can't be helped can it?

When I think about it, I realized that one of my personality traits is that I have a strong sense of self... I am confident about how and where I am, musically, at least. I am not certain if it shows when I play on stage with a band, but I know it's there. I have a theory is that some personalities I work with just cannot handle it. Is my sense of security a threat to some of those who are more insecure? Or am I just being proud? For most times, I'm always consciously trying to go past self-gratification when I'm working and interacting with others (you know how easy it is to show how smart you are, when you're not? Ego, babeh..). But maybe I haven't been trained to analyze what I say before saying it.. thinking about the political fallouts of saying them (even if it's just in a casual conversation).

"Honesty is the always best policy". Or is it? Can you ever be honest all the time? I've been thinking about this cliche for a long time now. Is there a condition to being honest? Is there more in the business of being honest?

There's about being honest to others so to try to garner their understanding, and not be disrespectful.. but does it work all the time?

There's about being honest to others, while being torn between being honest to yourself and trying to please others.. how do you deal with that?

There's about being honest, but instead of realizing that we're trying to genuinely help others, it is taken to being sounding proud of one's self?

And there's about just shutting up.


It's a strong word.. and it's hard one to master. God knows, I'm trying.

I am a work-in-progress.. not just in music, but as a person as well. There are things about myself, I desperately need to change. And I think I will probably go through several mistakes to realize them. But I guess that's the beauty of being human, ain't it?

On a less serious note...

I'm out of my two-week break as you know, although it didn't think it was a really work-free break, but nevertheless, it was still a relaxing one. I'm a little more calmer and chilled. My work week began with the Anugerah ERA show that was yesterday. I played with a 8-piece horn section and we were backing Sean Ghazi singing Jeritan Batinku (written by P. Ramlee, arranged by Vivian Chua.. good job Viv!). It was fun.. being on the big stage at Stadium Putra. Only thing was it was quite potong stim, 'cos we were warmed up nice right after we finished the song, and that was it! Ah well...

There are some upcoming gigs these two weeks, so do stay tuned! Hope to catch you at some of our gigs now.. support Malaysian musicians.. support Malaysian-made music (even though it's still a Western derivative.. what music isn't a derivative from other musics?).

Have a good week ahead!

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