I knew it was risky bringing out my third album and making it self-titled. Generally the preserve of the debut album, the eponymous title generally says 'hello world', or 'introducing...' and I've already put out two albums before this so what does doing this now say about who I was before? How does it make sense to pick this route now? Am I navel-gazing?
Of course the pursuit of anything artistic can be dismissed as navel-gazing if you can't see past the creator to the creations themselves - it's what the songs are saying to YOU that matters far more than the way the songs emerged from me. That is always the way I feel about things created - they are made to belong to everyone, for everyone to engage with and not to keep to yourself.
But the process of writing songs and creating music or creating anything inevitably makes the creators confront themselves. Because it's only natural that you would examine what you have made before putting it out into the world.
And so many of my songs have come into being out of my subconscious mind that it can sometimes feel like I'm doing the aural equivalent of charting a map of unknown lands. And when confronted with myself listening back, I have realised that the whole pursuit of making music for me has been about and continues to be one about shaping and defining an identity through sound. A context in which to explore a human nature that doesn't 'belong' to a particular racial tribe (the consequence of a very mixed racial heritage) but belongs as we all do under the category 'human'. Just one sentient being as we all are, feeling emotions as we all do.
I didn't set out on this trip into music-making thinking 'I must create my sonic identity', but the further I have gone on this trip the deeper the realisation that this is what it is about. These are interesting times as the identity issues of mixed race people of colour are just beginning to be talked about more widely and I for one am glad. The binary world-view that we have all been encouraged to or collectively forced to exist in (and be on one side of) strips away and almost denies many complex nuances of experience and I think in many ways my music is a direct response to that.
So in calling my third album after myself I'm expressing a thankfulness to music for giving me a context in which to know myself, I'm saying I feel like I may have reached a milestone on the way to knowing myself and I'm saying I feel like I've reached a place sonically that represents me and here it is. But mostly I'm saying, here am I, just a person - treat me as a human-being, see all of me before you judge me, see me for the person that I am. I'm just like you.