Several years ago, I was watching Ken Burns’ documentary miniseries Jazz. In the documentary, one of my favorite moments is when the legendary composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington is asked where he gets his ideas from.
I connected with his response and words wholeheartedly.
This is exactly how I feel when I create too.
I spent alot of time imagining in my mind when I was a child.
One day I would be football player Barry Sanders bobbing and weaving through defensive lines.
Another day, Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon or Ripley in the movie Aliens in the Power Loader head to head against an alien.
I would play for hours on our small kitchen table making my G.I. Joe's move without touching them.
I dreamed about being a Civil Engineer just like my father.
I imagined playing the upright bass like Ronnie Foster's "Mystic Brew".
Rhyming as detailed like Nas and Rakim.
Making a groove as classic as DJ Premier did on "Crooklyn Dodgers 95'" or Parliament's "Knee Deep".
I can go on and on - that is the whole point.
When you believe in the power of dreaming, it changes your perspective on reality. Dreaming made me feel like it was actually possible to do anything I wanted. Dreaming made me feel like George Clinton was actually in the room with me when I listened to "Knee Deep". I loved to close my eyes and time travel. Something I still do just as much today.
I owe alot to dreaming because it helped keep me motivated through the joys and the tough moments in life.
When I started to apply dreaming to music, that's when I found my joy. It's a never ending world of combinations and surprises. My hack in The Matrix.
When I create, it feels like magic. Out of thin air, you think of this idea - inspired by memories, thoughts, people, sounds, and emotions. Fiction or Non- Fiction. Then you attempt to wave your hands, push buttons, and add sounds to bring the thoughts to life. You jam. You freestyle. Then Abracadabra, now you have a favorite melody/beat. You remember how it makes you feel. You run the beat back hundreds of times. You love to tell the story again and again of how you made it and relive the magic every time.
Dreaming is life to an artist.
I truly believe that God blessed each of us with the gift of our imagination, creativity, and gift of dreaming - REAL magic we as human beings possess.
Do not be afraid to dream and dream BIG.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life."
- Proverbs 13:12
"It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them."