January 23, 2014
Who inspired today's broken heart song?
A family who tragically and unexpectedly lost their daughter right before her thirteenth birthday.
Writing songs about heartbreak has its own challenges, but there's nothing more difficult than writing songs about death. Little Girl was inspired by Danika, a beautiful girl whose life was taken too soon. I wanted the music to be playful and childlike, yet eerie at the same time. The song is a conversation between an adult and a child. It's like a game of hide and seek where the adult is devastatingly searching for the child. The child is happy and assures the adult that she is okay, and has found her way home.
The family's faith inspired and triggered this song. No matter what religion you do or don't believe in, having faith takes heaps of strength. I truly admire this family's ability to hold on to their faith even after the loss of their daughter. I didn't know Danika, but I was told she loved rainbows, so I knew I had to include them in the song.
Where did you play?
I played in a walkway at Atlantic Terminal. I was much more nervous today because the station was extremely crowded.
How much did you earn?
$5.80. Two reasons for this: 1) People are more likely to stop and listen when they are waiting for their train on a platform instead of rushing through a walkway. 2) I was interrupted by the police.
Did anything unusual happen?
I almost got arrested! I had two cops approach me about an hour and a half into playing, asking me if I had a permit. Then the real adventure began. Before I started this project, I did some research online and didn't think I would need a permit. The cops, however, told me otherwise. They gave me a specific address (130 Livingston St.) where I could go and get one. I'm not the troublemaker type, and I like to obey the law, so I packed up my stuff and went straight there. The security guard seemed very confused when I told him why I was there, and sent me to a small office to speak to someone else. A man in a MTA vest sitting at a desk also seemed perplexed by my request. In fact, he had never even heard of subway performing permits. So he made three phone calls, but no one had answers. I then called MTA (specifically Music Under New York), and was told that I do not need a permit to perform in subway stations unless I have an amplifier or am selling anything. He read me Section 1050.6 in the Rules of Conduct, and told me I could keep playing. I generally like to consider myself a smart person, but perhaps with the lack of sleep this week, I decided to go back to the same station to perform. One song later, my police friends came back. I waved and smiled, but I don't think that was well-received. One cop yelled at me and told me I had some nerve coming back. I innocently said I went exactly where they told me to go, and was told by the MTA that I do not need a permit to play. He then continued to yell, saying I should respect the authority of NYPD over MTA. He then whipped out his handcuffs, dangled them in front of my face and told me if I didn't leave, I would be spending the rest of the day eating bologna sandwiches with him. I laughed, which I realize was a mistake, but I really don't like bologna. I kindly asked him the right way to get a permit. He gave me the same address again and told me to get the hell out of there. Fast forward to the end of my day. I was on my way home when I saw a group of cops chatting (across from a drummer performing in the same walkway). I stopped to inquire about the permit. They told me I don't need one, but "some cops are just rude."
Did you meet anyone interesting?
Yes! Adrian and Waffa - so sweet. Adrian wanted to post a video of me playing on Instagram. We talked about music (Waffa claims her only interest in life is bands), and a little bit about broken hearts. I invited them both to come sing with me sometime, so I hope to see them again. I also met a woman who was excited to submit her poem for the project. There was a man who gave me a dollar "only because I'm pretty," which I appreciate but then considered what that says about my music, haha. And I'm not sure if it counts, but I had a couple visitors today. One of them came with green tea with honey...thank you! I feel like a lucky lady. :)
What's the best advice you received from a stranger?
It would probably be from the man I spoke with on the phone from MTA/Music Under New York. He said although I do not need a permit to perform, if I get approached by a cop, my best move is not to argue, pack up my stuff and move on to another location. Probably a wise choice, unless I want to eat bologna sandwiches.
How are you feeling?
I'm feeling great, but tired. The nonexistent permit chase was quite exhausting. This whole project has been a huge adrenaline rush (in the most amazing way possible). After playing in the crowded walkway today, I'm feeling confident that I can tackle any station now. It sounds cliche, but I feel like a whole new person. People perform on the platforms daily, but I never thought I'd have the guts to be one of them. Even when I was playing today, I had to stop and remind myself that I was actually doing it. It's quite surreal actually. I don't think I've ever been more proud of myself. Today I was thinking about the first time I ever sang one of my songs in front of someone. It was for my friend in a band practice room in high school. I was so terrified that I made her turn off the lights and face the wall. I think I sang one line of a song, and stopped. Sometimes you just have to pause and see how far you've come in life.
Also, I received the most beautiful and heartwarming feedback from the woman who inspired yesterday's song. When I received her message, I realized how rewarding this project already is and will continue to be.
I also want to sincerely thank everyone who has been following me, and for all the support and love. I am so overwhelmed and immensely grateful.
© 2014 Kelly Bazely