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  • Writer's pictureZawadi Noel

Staying Inside to Let the Music Out

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Photo by Bradford Pace

2020 was a wild year. At the start, I had the opportunity to hit the road with John Forté, and open for him in a handful of cities. It was an incredible experience that promised more to come. As we all soon realized, that "more" would not take the form we expected.

Over the course of 2020 I stayed inside my pod. My family kept me grounded, in a wonderful way, but the grounding of my expected musical take-off was something else entirely. I felt lost and silenced.

Surprisingly, an opportunity that seemed to have slipped through my fingers reshaped it self to adapt to the new playing field, and returned to me several months into the year. By this time those feelings of being lost welled up in me, and became a new body of music: music that healed me in my sheltered state; music that gave voice to all the things I was feeling; music that reminded me that people where outside, behind their own configurations of walls, doing and feeling the same as me; music that said, "although you don't see me, I am thinking of you, and we are in this together".

In came The Uncharted Series, hosted by the Greenwich House School of Music, in New York City. This residencyshowed up out of seemingly nowhere and presented a paid opportunity for me and the family to further develop this new music in a completely foreign, but warm and inviting new space.

After days of constructing, reconstructing, and straight up jamming, we were able to breathe life into these songs in a brand new way. Not only this, but I was able to see just how far these songs needed to go: a new EP was forming in front of my eyes.

2021 has since begun, and with it a slew of firsts: a sweet article by Greenwich House; a second round of residency goodness; a new EP; and a virtual performance hosted by a venue I can't mention yet but when I do I can properly share all of this new music with the world.

So while I have been staying inside I have been preparing to let the music out.

Photos by Erika Kaplan.

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