Scary Isn’t The Same As Dangerous

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows I used to be afraid of flying. It was something that terrified me when I was younger. I remember winning a trip to Spain when I was 10 from Radio Disney and when they called me to tell me I won, my first question was “How long is that flight?” I was 10!

As I got older, my fear got larger until I really just couldn’t fly anywhere. I would have panic attacks on planes that were absolutely debilitating, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. Just thinking about being in the air made me uneasy. I realized this fear was misplaced, I realized air travel is the safest thing in the world, but I’d be paralyzed for an entire flight.  I once took a bus from Tampa, Florida back to university in Oklahoma because I couldn’t get on a plane! That’s 3 days of driving!

When I was in University, I had free counseling services available and I went to cognitive behavioral therapy once a week to try to change my mindset and my path of thinking, because NOT being able to travel was unacceptable for my chosen career. To be honest, nothing worked. I’m southern, I’m stubborn as hell, I just kind of gave up trying.

After I graduated University, I just accepted that I would never be able to fly. I started turning down job offers that would take me to other countries and my career really suffered, as did my personal happiness and well-being.

When I moved to NYC, I had my first full-time professional vocalist job offer in one week. I accepted a lead vocalist position for Carnival Cruise lines, and that meant flying. Flying ALL OVER the world. I got through a few short flights ( I couldn’t take anything over 2 hours EVER) and just dealt with the panic, but it was exhausting and hard to handle emotionally alongside rehearsals and performances. Then, my company asked to send me to Australia with the current band I was leading.

Australia was a bucket list place, somewhere I’d NEVER thought Id EVER go, especially with my fear. The flight was Dallas to Sydney. 17 hours.

I really wanted to go.

I said no, I’m sorry, I can’t. And I moved on.

But I LOVED my band. And I LOVED that job. And I’d always fancied myself as an adventurer and world traveller. I like being fearless. I needed to do this job.

After conversations with my band members, I finally typed a second email up, apologizing and accepting the position if it was still available, it was, I confirmed, and then I panicked. I did a ton of research and planned out how I was going to get through this.

The ONLY thing that I had heard worked for some people that I HADN’T tried yet, was a big commitment and kind of expensive, but I had to do something. So I learned how to fly a plane. I can fly single and double engine planes now! I don’t have a license, because that’s INSANELY expensive, but I can do it! Here’s a picture of me and my instructor:

 

I had such a good time with my teacher too, he was so calming, he knew my reasoning for the lessons was fear-based but he wasn’t gentle about it. He made pretty dark plane crash jokes in the air. (i.e, sucks people died, people die a lot, but what happened to the luggage though, lots of liquor in there) The way he talked about turbulence was a little rough (ha ha) but very realistic and I loved it. I’m a pretty dark-humor kind of gal, so I was automatically at ease.

One thing he said poignantly stuck with me, the first time I was supposed to land the plane without his assistance I said “This is really scary” and he said “Oh yeah. Of course it is. But scary isn’t the same as dangerous”

“Scary isn’t the same as dangerous” has become my mantra for flying and really for a lot of other things since then. It helped me get on the plane to Sydney. And god, I had a wonderful contract. I’m so glad I went. Since then, I’ve visited over 40 countries and I’ve flown to most of them (some by sea though, obviously) and I regularly fly without a problem, but I always think about it. Every single time I’m on a plane and I’m breathing calmly, regularly, just straight chillin, I feel a sense of pride and power in defeating my life-long fear. So far the plan is to be in California, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Dublin, Edinburgh, and more in 2018, so I’ll be in the sky A TON and I couldn’t be happier since I took that leap!

Here’s me at 7am, right after I landed in Sydney, admiring the opera house 

 

 

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The Afterthought: A Song Series! Autumn=)

 

 

 

As promised, another Monday has rolled around, and here is another tune that hasn’t quite made it onto my new EP! I was not planning on releasing this today, but I can’t record any live guitar (too loud in Brooklyn and it’s driving me insane) so I did a little piano demo of a tune I wrote in Athens, Greece. I’ve always dreamed of visiting Greece. One time I even bought a roundtrip ticket, but then my company sent me on a contract and I lost out. This time I HAD to go, and it was everything I dreamed of, and I can’t wait to go back.

I had planned on going from Dublin, to London for an audition (booked it), back to Dublin and around Ireland for a bit, but when I was in Dublin the first time, it just didn’t feel right, and I got VERY ill in London, and I wanted to go somewhere warmer to heal back up. So I forfeited my flight back to Dublintowne and picked up a cheap flight over the Swiss Alps to Greece. It was glorious. I didn’t have any gigs planned but ended up playing two, one in a beautiful rooftop bar overlooking the Acropolis!

The last day I was in Athens, I climbed up Mount Lycabettus. (Λυκαβηττός) The name means “the hill that is walked by wolves.” Mythologically, the mountain is credited as being created by the goddess Athena, who accidentally dropped it on her way to the Acropolis. (me too, gurl) as I climbed, I ended being so incredibly high up that it was almost unreal. No guard rails, nothing to stop me from falling over the side if I wanted to.

Around this time I was getting a little run down, tired of being in a different city every few days, and I was reflecting on my life as a traveller for the few years prior. You can hear some of my frustration in the lyrics “Everywhere I go feels like the same damn place” the song isn’t really speaking to anyone in particular, it’s more addressing my entire history of past relationships.

I like this song a lot, and started playing it on piano more so than guitar just because I think it lends itself better to a more relaxed style. It’s also part of the concept artistic musical I am writing, called “So Lovely” and so it needed to have a more-piano driven feel. (more on that soon) Anyways, that’s the story behind this song!! Hope you enjoy!! More music next monday!

 

 

The Afterthought: Cold To The Touch

 

 

So as promised, this is the first song in my song series entitled “The Afterthought.” These are songs I wrote whilst on the road, inspired by challenges and new experiences I had while traveling. I wrote this particular tune after spending a night somewhere I didn’t belong, somewhere I didn’t feel safe, somewhere with people who didn’t respect me. I kind of got stuck, without a way home and couldn’t log onto internet to call a cab, so I just went to sleep and figured it all out in the morning (safer than walking!)

There’s more of a story here, but I feel the song speaks for itself. One of the roughest spots I got myself into along the way of this adventure was in the company of someone who seemed pretty trustworthy, but I learned I trust too muchhh! Also, never let anyone drive you anywhere you can’t get home from, should you need to leave, even if it’s a friend. When you’re a female solo traveller, its important to always have a way home, not relying on anyone else. #protips

Here’s the lyrics!

"Cold To The Touch"  
ⒸSavannah Jaine Music 
2017 ASCAP

what'd ya tell her about me
whats the story
I need to know
so I can play along
Must've been something good
she chose to stay
was it that I'm crazy
I'll try to keep it that way for ya

Secrets buried in the basement
Things she'll never know
My legs encased in dry cement
but I'm just a stone's throw
was it hard to find a replacement
does she love you just as much
is your heart all full and warm
my body, my body's cold to the touch

she has my eyes I see
a little more innocent
she's not been hurt
thats all on me
what a pity
you chose to play
the only woman
who wouldnt let you get away with those

Chorus

You said "We're all just killing time, 
    we're all just killing time,"
Why couldn't I have mine?

Chorus 

 

 

New Blog Series: Tunes From The Road

James& KatieSo Ive been back in New York City for about two weeks now, back from the adventure and awaiting a new one! I am excited to be headed into the studio in the next few weeks to record 5 new, bangin,’ sassy, catchy-as-hell full-band (including my lovely horns) original songs I’ve chosen to be on my new Studio Ep, entitled “Siren,” but I wanted to start a new series here, showcasing other songs that didn’t make the cut.

I recently have acquired a bit of a home studio set-up, so I will be recording and releasing a song every MONDAY (these songs WILL be available on iTunes and Spotify altogether as a project separate from my EP) These tunes will  just be acoustic, just me and my Martin, the way I wrote them while I was traveling.

One of the major reasons I decided to backpack, gig and busk my way through 14 countries in 4 months was to experience culture, put myself in situations that I wasn’t familiar with, and to gain valuable life experiences to draw upon when writing songs. As an artist, I think of myself first and foremost as a writer and had been in a rut for quite sometime. I’m young, and I felt that my writing sometimes reflected my age and lack of experience, so I wanted to immerse myself in the unknown and gain new perspective.

(I’m Hannah, from Girls, but Id like to think I have my shit a little more together, thanks. but I bet her character thought she was fine too. crap…….)

Unfortunately, as someone who suffers from Bi-polar Depression, a lot of them are quite heavy, as I’ve had a hell of a year fighting the lows of my illness. ALL of these songs specifically are extremely personal to me, which is another reason they won’t be on my new studio EP, I don’t think I could stand playing them as often as I would need to in the promotional phase of a new album. Also, as much as they mean to me, I’m not sure how they’ll come across to you, dear reader. But I am very excited and nervous to share them with you in this new series, nonetheless, and I would LOVE your feedback.

As I said, at the end of this ten weeks, this collection will be available on iTunes and Spotify/Apple Music as well, the project will simply be entitled “The Afterthought”

ANYWAYS SO YES STARTING TOMORROW I’ll be posting one song and the story behind it (somewhat, with respect to individuals involved, if any) The first tune is entitled “Cold To The Touch” and I wrote it in Dublin, Ireland. I just finished mixing it, and its dark, and sad, and morbid, maybe one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written, extremely personal, it sounds a little bit like its about a murder even though its not (OR IS IT!!!!!!!!) and I fucking love everything about it. I hope you do too. PREPARE KITTEN VIDEOS FOR AFTERWARDS, it’s a heavy one. Check back tomorrow!

7 Signs You Travel Too Much

1

I’ve been On The Road almost all year now, and its become my new normal! I’m home in NYC for a little while, and a few things are extremely different….

7. You open your weather app to check how hott it is in NYC and it looks like this….#whereami
20187706_10213793865343219_1979407262_n

6. You put your status on Tinder as “up for drinks tonight” and you get 6 responses right away! COOL! oh, except 2 are from Edinburgh, one from Dublin, one from God knows where, and 2 from London. Looks like you’re out of luck.

 

5. You travel so much for work, you’re not quite sure where you are. When I was in Bermuda last week, someone showed me where we were on a map and I about fell over. Bermuda is geographically not even a little bit close to where I assumed it was. Also it’s British. But they accept USD as their official currency. $1=$1. They sure won’t take your leftover British pounds. WHO KNEW. Nobody, because it doesn’t make sense.

 

4. You cross the road looking both ways because you aren’t quite sure which way cars are driving…better safe than sorry, especially in NYC, but I’m starting to look like a bobble head doll version of myself. The fact that I’ve never been hit by a car whilst crossing the road literally astonishes me.

 

3. You are the luckiest because you always have a place to stay in NYC, but your best friends refer to you as as the gypsy lady i.e “Omg guys, make up the couch! Crazy Aunt Savannah is coming to town, wonder what shenanigans she’s been up to now!”

 

2. You have used a room key from the last hotel you stayed in to try to open your current hotel room door. Better yet, when it didn’t work, you went and complained to the front desk, handed it to them for them to fix it……………and then promptly felt like a moron.
1. You calculated that you haven’t been “home” in almost 8 months….so when your company offered you vacation pay to go home from your contract a month earlier than expected, you jumped…summer in NYC! I’ve found that home is a state of mind, rather than a physical place.

I Did Not Dream

Last night I slept really well                                     
I didn’t wake every two hours
The neighborhood was quiet for once,
Calm as the rain gently soaked

I woke this morning well rested.
With energy I’ve never felt before.
I took on the morning without caffeine.
But something was still missing

And I realized
In the comfort of those restless moments
Drifting between sleep and conscious thought
That’s when I have you
I feel your arms around me.
Your nose on my neck.
Sighing into me simply.
Perfect in your way

And though I am stronger this morning it may seem,
I am not well

I did not dream.

Artist Feature!!! Introducing the lovely Camilla Jones :)

I met my good friend Camilla In Dublin, for the first time in person when she so graciously offered me a bed in her lovely apartment. I got to see her play and was so in love with her voice and writing and I think that we should all get to knew her a little better as an artist!!!! Beautiful, relatable and catchy lyrics sung with lovely vocal control and musically interesting riffs and licks, quite a rangey performer, this one! Definitely was inspired to create by watching her play and that’s the kind of music I love to see live! Without further ado here’s what y’all need to know 🙂 

Since returning from sunny Australia in May ‘16, multi-instrumentalist Camilla Jones has sung extensively throughout Dublin: A six-month residency in O’Connells Bar on Bachelors walk; Various songwriter events including Circle Sessions in the International Bar, Zodiac Sessions in Bruxelles, Third Space in Smithfield, Sitting Room Sessions in The Clockwork Door; and support slots in The Vintage Room @ The Workmans Club, Tivoli Backstage and more recently The Main Venue @ The Workmans Club there’s no slowing her down! Citing Angus & Julia Stone, The Cranberries, Mary Black and Norah Jones among biggest influences, her style is a confluence of acoustic-pop, urban folk ballads, and soft jazz. She also popped her stand-up comedy cherry at Workmans in December ‘16, so if nothing else catch her set for the laugh! 

When did you start playing music? What was the first tune you remember playing?

My mum is actually a music teacher (amongst other things), so i’m sure she’d tell you I started playing music before I figured out how to breathe. The first instrument I had formal lessons on was the piano when I was about 6. I don’t know what tune I was supposed to be playing, but I do remember “composing” a piece about elephants in a thunderstorm which sounded exactly like you’d imagine. I essentially abused the piano, it was very emotive i’m sure. 

Who is your biggest influence as a musician? Maybe an artist, relative or music teacher?

My biggest influence as a musician is actually my dad. I know it sounds like i’m trying to brown nose my parents, hear me out. When I finished school and had no idea what I wanted to do, he pointed out the obvious and encouraged me to undertake a BMus in Composition & Production at the Australian Institute of Music. Every time we talk on the phone, he asks me how gigs are going and how my set organising is and if i’m focussing on my targets. It sounds like unlikely inspiration, but he’s really helped me take myself seriously and take music seriously as a career path. That’s hugely inspiring, to feel like what I do is just as valid as working in finance or medicine or any other area. Dads are awesome.

What brought you from Australia to Ireland and how has the transition been?

I was born in Dublin, so I didn’t have to worry about the hoop-jumping of visas or any related nightmares. I’d always entertained the idea of spending time in the country of my ancestral roots (sure we’re all a bit Irish aren’t we?) The tipping point was the introduction of Lock Out Laws and Licensing restriction in Sydney during my studies. Since introduction in 2014, so many live music venues have closed and single-handedly killed Sydney’s nightlife culture. Not to say the music scene is dead, the scene is alive and kicking, but it doesn’t get a lot of support. I definitely recommend having a look at http://www.keepsydneyopen.com/ for more info about that monumental screw up.

Dublin has an awesome open mic community, which is where I found my home-away-from-home. The irish are hilarious, really warm and welcoming. I’ve been so lucky with the souls i’ve managed to meet and now call close friends.

What are you most proud of, as an artist?

Pride makes me nervous, i’ve always had a love-hate with the idea. ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ is alive and thriving in Aus, essentially we all grow up a little fearful of becoming too big for our boots – so we’re not the best at actually feeling proud and recognising our achievements. I’m slowly learning to get over that. I should say i’m proud of finishing my degree, proud of recording an album when I was studying, proud of moving countries to make more tunes, proud of getting gigs in Dublin – but it all makes me a bit uncomfortable to say.

 

What’s your motto, or your mantra? What keeps you going when the struggle of being a musician and songwriter gets rough?

I think it’s really important to surround yourself with good people. I’m lucky to have friends I can play new songs to, who listen and give really useful feedback, and really lift me up when i’m feeling disheartened. They’re a really supportive bunch, I don’t think they realise how much I appreciate them turning up to gigs and asking about new tunes, it makes all the difference.

A lot of my friends make music too, I love listening to their stuff and talking about what they’re working on – that’s hugely inspiring.

Check out:

Sister Ursuline – https://soundcloud.com/sisterursuline 

Elaska – https://soundcloud.com/elaskaksale 

Sparrows – https://soundcloud.com/sparrowstunes 

Arlin – https://soundcloud.com/arlinmusic 

Leila Jane – https://soundcloud.com/leila-jane 

What are you working on right now?

I’ve recently aquired an electric guitar, a friend has kindly lent it to me and I’m having the greatest time. As soon as I brought it home, I sat there for 5 hours noodling around. I haven’t been so inspired in ages, i’m writing new tunes and reworking old ones. I’m planning on uploading to YouTube a lot over the summer, my dad also gave me a GoPro for Christmas which is full of footage dying to be made into some kind of music/video/spoken-word/artfest/thing. I just really want to create a lot more than I have been in recent times, and see what opportunities come out of that. Create first, think later!