Hello dear reader,
I’m sitting on a train as I write this. It’s dark and wet outside as the train swishes through the suburbs of London towards the West Country. I was in London for a couple of days. London was busy, and my hotel was fully booked. They didn’t have the room available for me that I was supposed to have, so they upgraded me to a penthouse suite.
Which was nice! I loved the view of some of the most iconic buildings in London, right outside my window. The glow of the lights kept the sky purple and orange all night and I felt like I was living in Blade Runner.
I’ve loved London like no other city in the world. I have lived there for over 4 years of my life, albeit mostly in some of the least glamorous areas. Still, I loved it. There is a pulse and sparkle to London like no other place. I always felt like I was right where everything was happening. It was sexy and infinitely exciting.
But now I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. The sheer amount of people filling every inch of every space is just too much. Endless queueing, waiting, being squished between strangers, smelling the garlic in their breaths. I still love living in a city, but I’ve moved on. I’ve learned the value of personal space.
Loneliness gets a bad rap. It’s so often talked about in negative terms, like a tragedy, a sad existence. Single-life is either depicted as a non-stop flutter from a date to a date in a desperate attempt to find the perfect partner, or a sad image of an ageing cat-lady, obsessed with soap operas and gossip.
I lived alone most of my life until I got married. People would often openly wonder about it to my face asking me why an outgoing and (seemingly) normal woman like me would want to live alone. I thought it was absurd. I absolutely loved my time alone and would often spend my weekends at home on my own, enjoying every minute of it. I’ve in return wondered the opposite. How can you discover and truly know yourself if you never spend time on your own? How do you ever have time to ponder the world, your life and other important things if you’re constantly surrounded by people?
Having time alone is super important for me, but nowadays it’s a rare luxury. My life is pretty busy and it’s mostly filled with spending time with other people. A few months back I realised that I was getting edgy and annoyed with everyone and I felt I never really had time to listen to my own thoughts. I was constantly needed and it was making me really stressed out. I was craving time alone, so I started to take some time out for me, alone. It has made all the difference, and I would credit the return of my creativity to it.
So far I’ve been working on this album completely alone. It’s not the first time I’ve been writing songs on my own but it’s the first time when I think I’m not going to re-work them with someone else a whole lot. I will collaborate with a few people on a few things, but the songs are going to be fully written and programmed by me.
It’s a well-known fact that working in a team can bring better results than just working on your own, because ideas generally improve when you bounce them with other people. But I have really enjoyed making this record alone. It has freed me to really very selfishly make music that I love, without negotiations and without compromises.
Also making these songs on my own has been part of my treasured alone-time. I haven’t really wanted to gather another group of people around me to do this, when what I’ve needed so badly is time alone. Making art, drawing and making music has been my way to replenish myself and take some time out of the noise of life.
I suspect it won’t be like this for much longer and that’s okay too. Now that I’ve cocooned these songs into existence, I’m looking forward to the next phase, when I get to work with people that I admire and respect and who I know will be able to bring a whole new dimension to this project.
So goodbye London, it was fun while it lasted.
And goodbye doing this thing on my own, without telling anyone, without asking for anyone's contribution or feedback.
I will keep holding on to my weekly moments of loneliness, though.
Until next time,