The Void, The Darkness, And The Chosen Path Towards The Light

The past few months have left me stumbling, sometimes with tears streaming down my face, sobbing helplessly. There were many moments when I found gratitude, peace, joy and connection amidst heartbreak, questioning the future (my own and the world’s), and what I would find on the other side of all this in myself. What would be left of connections, systems, and the lives and dreams we have painstakingly built, piece by piece.

And then the police brutally murdered George Floyd, highlighting how much change is needed in this world. I was lost at sea, horrified and stunned.

As an immigrant, I chose to come to the US. Because it seemed like a great place to be, a place with different kinds of people and attitudes coexisting, where you can find culture, art, and intellectual curiosity in its amazing cities. A place with beautiful, vast landscapes to explore. A place of excitement and growth.

I didn’t really grow up with racism, though I understood racial prejudice growing up in Asia. Racism was something my grandparents and great-grandparents had fought against the British over, and won the fight in a magnificent show of civil disobedience. (I’m remembering the 9 year old version of it, which is how old I was when we left India for the Philippines.) It’s a chip on my shoulder in the world, but it was relatively small. Until I moved to the US.

I remember remarking to a close friend during college that I was becoming more and more aware of racism, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was getting older and more observant, or if it was because of my time in the US. My friend and I agreed the latter likely had a significant impact, and now I firmly believe it did.

As a teenager in Hyde Park, Chicago, I was part of a vibrant community that I absolutely loved in all its facets. Barack Obama had just starting his political career. I felt so much hope for my time in the US. I knew it was going to be amazing despite its challenges.

Over the past four years I’ve been left questioning if I made the wrong choice, if I chose the wrong country. Family members have bluntly told me I did. Being an immigrant and a person of Indian descent comes with its burdens in the US, but it also comes with the freedom to know that I chose to be here, and I can choose to leave if that’s what I really want to do. I built a life here from scratch, I can do it again somewhere else.

With that thought, however, I’m also reminded that I’ve lived here longer than any other country in the world. This is the place that feels most like home. I’ve worked hard to become a part of this country’s fabric and rather than running away, maybe I have a responsibility to see the opportunities for doing the right thing.

We need to change. This is the time when the pain has, once again, become unbearable and with this destruction and chaos there is an opportunity to get a fresh start, a clearer understanding of what needs to be done, and do better.

I hope we’re all able to find some peace, compassion, and growth as we crawl towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The darkness is always temporary, my experience tells me this. This is temporary, and will pass.

Red and Pink :)

I’m the kind of person who often wears black on Valentine’s Day just to make a statement. But this year I’m wearing pink and I’m going to help decorate the office in bright, bold colors tomorrow. I feel like I’m at the stage where I want to celebrate everything I can, and add as much color to my life as possible. Even if it’s Hallmark Day. 🙂

Hope your weekend starts with love, hope, and forgiveness! Here’s one of my favorite songs from Broken, Perfect:

2019 going on 2020

I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years since my last post. I promise, there’s more to come in the future and I’ll post more often. I’ve released a few singles and done several shows over the past couple of years. I’ve grown, but I’ve also grown more tired in some ways. I still have so much hope, but it’s tempered by certain sad realities of life in Trump’s version of America. As an immigrant, a person of color, and a woman.

I’m working on a new album. All the latest singles are from this album. My goal is to wrap it up as the latest chapter in my life over the next year or so.

Wishing everyone an amazing 2020 ahead!

Take care,

S.

Broken, Perfect (Album) – I can’t believe it’s finally over

A huge thanks to all the people I roped into this project: we did it. 🙂 Robert sent me the final versions of all the masters for “Broken, Perfect” last week, and I uploaded all of them on Soundcloud on Friday. Here’s the link! https://soundcloud.com/samayaformusic/albums

My friend Maira (an amazing graphic designer) designed the cover, and captured the heart of what I was trying to convey incredibly well. Thank you!

I can’t believe it’s done. Strange mixture of emotions, relief (we made it to the finish line), happiness (OMG, I’ve released my second album!!), but also a very real sense of loss (what’s the point of my life now??). A part of me almost feels shell shocked, because we’ve been pounding the pavement so hard for a while to get the album done. I think this is what empty nest syndrome must feel like. 🙂

The next project is our show at Brick and Mortar on August 6th (Sunday). The date is coming up really fast; I feel like this crazy year’s been speeding by.

Wish me luck on everything else to come, and hope you all had an amazing weekend!image1

Cycles: New Track on Soundcloud!

Just uploaded a new track on Soundcloud! If you’d like see us live at Monroe, get tickets here: http://aftonshows.com/samaya.

Cycles went through several incarnations, and we had to go back to the drawing board and do everything over for this one. It’s funny how that happens to songs on albums sometimes. 🙂 When I released the first version of the track that Robert and I wrote, we really liked it. We listened to the original version a few months later and couldn’t stand it anymore and realized it was completely different from the album concept.

We’re working hard on the show now and time’s flying by; I can’t believe April’s almost over!

Impossible and Burn released; Broken Perfect is now complete!

 

Finally, we’re here. 🙂 The last two tracks to finish Broken, Perfect! Burn wasn’t even supposed to happen; it came out of a studio session years ago when a couple of friends and I were just playing around with some sounds. We never finished the track, but I remembered the idea a couple of years later and decided to try a funk spin on it. Robert and I put a few beats together after we finished Impossible, and loved what happened to the track. Here are the two tracks!

https://soundcloud.com/samayaformusic/08-imposible

https://soundcloud.com/samayaformusic/02-burn

Enjoy! 🙂