I said I Do to Samantha & Ruben.
While writing this, I found myself looking through some of my old collections of work. Fair warning, this post may include a younger me in cringy music videos that I'm proud of.
Several weeks ago I said I do to my very first wedding show.
But to properly reminisce, I’m not too sure when I stopped pursuing my childhood dream to be a singer, but I did. There were no reasons for me to sing because I’d assumed that no one thought I'm not worth listening to.
I foolishly posted materials for an unreciprocated love. For his attention. I thought the only measure of success was the number of followers I had -- that virtual likes and endless streams of comments validated my worth.
For five years, I’ve been discreetly posting videos online of myself, singing my favourite songs. Looking back, I realised that it was all for selfish reasons. Self- absorbed goals had my perspective skewed. I started to find posting videos a chore, making doubts and evaluation of self-worth second nature.
Below you can find some of my old videos dating back to 2015
I’ll admit, when Samantha and Ruben first approached me on November 4th,
I hesitated. I have no substantial experiences. None.
It became essentially clear that singing, posting videos of myself in the comforts of my room, and performing at a wedding were two completely different things.
A task that was out of my bandwidth.
The opportunity was sacred to me; it would be my very first wedding gig. I had to do some reflection.
If I’m taking the offer, I needed to do it for all the right reasons.
This took time of course .
But if there’s anything I’ve learnt as designer is that the whole is greater than the sum of its part. I needed to look at the bigger scope of things, re-evaluate what really inspires me.
The bassline in Superstition, the riffs in Sweet Child of Mine or even the way Michael Jackson first kicked and moonwalked across the stage
on Motown 25.
All of which gave me visual cues and inspiration to my doodles and design.
This, of course, goes without saying that the highest inspiration came when Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston attempted that modulation on 'When You Believe'. Music gold.
All of this made me feel like my three year- old self again, glued to the radio listening to Ricky Martin’s 1999 Livin' La Vida Loca; It made me feel magic.
The same kind of magic I knew I wanted Samantha, Ruben and their guests to feel. It is THIS magic I want everyone to experience when posting short one minute videos on my Instagram.
Soon, every practise session became an obsession. I needed every note sang right, every breath and pause executed with intention, and every note and phrase strung right.
Each song offered its own challenge -- all of which looked like a bezier curve on a graph; it had to be done with grace and finesse.
But the obsession to get things perfect means a lost chance to experiment. And without experiments in design and art, comes no beautiful accidentals.
I once heard a saying which goes,
“chasing perfection is selfish”.
After obsessing with the virtual likes and how I portrayed myself online, I knew what I don’t want to be -- selfish.
I gave the notes and rhythms power during all of my practise and recording sessions, hoping it’d guide me to something beautiful.
Everything that I’d find imperfect -- my skin, my effeminate demeanour not fitting of an ideal man, the notes sang and strung wrong -- these were all part of the curve, the accidentals.
I’m sure Samantha and Ruben had butterflies on their wedding day, I had them too.
Before we started, I looked around the ballroom, took a breath and gave thanks -- the only way I knew to reconcile with my soon to be imperfect performances.
We started with a familiar, Ed Sheeran’s Perfect.
I was clearly panic-stricken, but as my heart was racing, my mind caught up.
And the lyrics spilt over the best it could.
We began to live in the notes we were playing and singing.
Never would I've ever imagined, but we had several of the guests come up during our sets. I will never forget the first lady that came.
“I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you guys sound,” she said as she gestured her thumbs up. A smile I'll never forget.
It was humbling to see people in the crowd, smiling and singing along with us -- Something I can’t experience past the interface of Instagram.
We did it.
The only way we knew how -
with full of passion.
We performed to Samantha and Ruben at their wedding. And hopefully, someday I’ll sing to sold-out arenas around the world, to you.