I lost my job to the pandemic and ever since then I’ve been making music full time. I was a nightclub manager getting ready for the events that weekend when I got the call telling me my salary had been cut and the nightclub would be closed due to a state of emergency in California, and due to a city ordinance in San Francisco. I’d held that job for eight years. I invested my life into it. It seemed to me like I’d get married, have kids, and feed a family with it. And then in one week, on one day, it was gone.
Moments like that can wreck you. And if you only take one thing from following me on my journey, it’s this. In your lowest moments, when you feel lost, when it seems like everything around you has crumbled, there are seeds in that rubble – seeds that otherwise would not have been set free had your world not fallen apart. With those seeds you can grow a different life for yourself; one that’s greater and more fulfilling than the one before. In brokenness, there is opportunity. When your life falls apart, build a better one. My making this music is an expression of my own resilience. It’s me rejecting whatever darkness has tried to reach for me after I lost the life I’d built.
Alright, second part. I’ve been sober for eight years, and if you're curious as to why I use skulls in all of my artwork, my merch and so on, here’s why. The last bottle gifted to me before I went sober was a bottle shaped like a skull. I still have it, unopened in my living room. When I see that bottle, and I see it every day, I don’t see a crutch or a temptation, I see the strength of my own will. I believe reinterpreting the darkest points in your life as sources of strength and personal growth is key to blooming as a human being. The way I’ve flipped that skull to mean something positive in my world reflects that way of thinking. When you see the skulls I put out there, I want you to see that – and in the same way, when your life gives you challenges, I hope you see the light that wreaths them.
I decided to write this myself because I’m here representing me. I’m funded by no one. I’m signed to no one. I’m managed by no one. The music you’re hearing was recorded in my bedroom. Everything about what I do comes straight from the nerve. If I could’ve handwritten this instead, I would’ve, because that more-so represents my approach to all this. I’m a human being, and I don’t ever want to obscure that. In pursuit of success, some people feel like they need to become a lie. That’s not what I believe. You don’t need the mask to become a hero in your own life. Great things are born from what the cynic would call mundanity.
Lastly! A musician’s success is a gift from those who listen, so with all that I am, thank you for being here. I can’t stress that enough, man. You’ve got all my gratitude. And if you want support me making music full time, join my community on Patreon: patreon.com/kaistraw. I host a live stream once a month over there where we talk about life, music and whatever else. It’s a fun thing. Right now, that community is the reason I can do this.
I’m releasing new music the last Friday of every month, so keep an ear out and you’ll hear from me soon. Reach out, though! Send me a DM on IG or hit me up on Twitter. I love connecting with whoever’s got me in their headphones.