06-03-17 - this is crazy. i am actually writing another blog post the very next day. i'm on a 2 streak. haha. anyway i really didn't sleep too well last night. just kept waking up and didn't really sleep through the night. i don't know why that is, but it happens more frequently. i woke up at 7, made my bed, took a shower and the decided that i was going to read my bible and my daily bread. surprise, surprise i know. but this was different, i felt more motivated to be up and alert than sleep all day. so, i went to the nearest park near my house coming to find out this park is HUGE. who knew that something so awesome was literally in my backyard. i think sometimes we forget nature is a part of us and God is in nature. think about it. all the animals and plants are able to survive solely off of what God provided. isn't that crazy? and to think that we couldn't live without our iphones and starbucks coffee. what i got from this morning is that God wants us to have some time set apart for Him even if that means we have to be up early on our days off. i can tell you this much, this will be routine for me.
06-02-17 - yeah, yeah, yeah. i know it's been a while. a real. long. time. but, it's ok. i needed to regroup and collect all of my thoughts. as you can tell, i seem to have this pattern where i have to go into hiding. i have noticed that i have no real to feel like i am missing something. partly because i lurk on social media. i don't post as most do, nor do i post consistently. i can say i am consistently inconsistently. this is actually a bad thing. so, in order to fix this problem i've been having, i decided to go about it by forcing myself to do it. if that means that i have to get super anal about writing a entry the same time everyday, then so be it. not only have i been inconsistently posting blogs, but i have been inconsistent on my health. my gym member gets taken out of my account every month and i have not gone in maybe 2-3 months. it's these things that make cause me to be hard on myself and then i play the self-pity role. it's just two different sides of me battling. what you need to do and what you want to do. need should always beat out want. so this blog post is a vow. a vow to be better. a vow to do better. a vow to do my best no matter what the circumstance. i am placing my trust in GOD for this journey.
11/28/16 - Yep, it's me again, being inconsistent af with these blog entries. It's been about two months since I've written something here. There really isn't a great excuse other than I've been so busy with my thoughts. Too many thoughts, not enough action; So many great ideas, but not enough execution. That sounds really terrible, but that's the place that I've been in lately. I just felt like I couldn't entirely focus on the task at hand due to me being overwhelmed with gigs and people asking me for favors. It just gets exhausting. I AM exhausted. I thought that maybe I was slipping into depression. I really did not want to talk to anyone, or be bothered by anything. I kind of brushed off people that were wondering when my next project was being released. I just didn't really care about anything at all.
Life become routine: work. barely eat. barely sleep. work again.
When I say work, I definitely am not saying music work, but actually 9 to 5 work. Much of my time has been spent at my corporate duties and the expansion of the company. It's actually quite sad. I am excellent at my job and I care about the advancement of my employees, but I really do not want to be there. When you spend a lot of time on something, you tend to neglect things that actually matter. In my case: music.
I've been honestly trying to get back on track, but its difficult when you're so used to sulking. I guess it's ok to feel this way, but I know that I can't allow it to stop me from doing what will help me succeed. I've been called to use my talents elsewhere and staying in that place is only going to hinder my growth. I guess as I type this I am realizing that sulking only makes things worse. Like my best friend said: "You can't allow obstacles to stop you."
I guess the less I focus on things that won't get me anywhere, the more time I have for the thing that will propel me. God has more for me than fueling a big business' dream.
10/02/16 - Clearly the summer is over. It's been about a month since it's been over, but don't judge me because September was hot as hell. With a new month and new weather coming about, of course I would write another blog entry. As of late I have felt a certain complacency which has effected so many things in my life. At the beginning of this year, I was pumped full of hope and energy. As I received more gigs, struggles to create, and the pressure to stay "relevant," I could feel myself getting weighed down with the very things I really wanted to do. I faded into the background, decided to be observant, and truly figure out what it really was that I wanted to do. From the outside looking in, it may seem things are going extremely well and in fact, they are. The major problem is that I can truly say I am content. I hate this feeling for being extremely comfortable. I realize that most of the time we strive to be stable, safe, and comfortable with life when in fact God wants it to be the total opposite. We must stay in a constant state of movement and to do the work he has called us to do.
A few days ago, when I was feeling a little discouraged, I went through the Podcast app on my iPhone to find a little light. I came across some of Joel Olsteen's podcasts and the first one I pressed play on was titled "Ask Big." Funny once I listened to the sermon, everything made sense. He spoke about how we pray for the minimum when we should pray for things bigger than we can imagine. Instead of praying to get through the day, we should pray for excelling throughout the day. We serve a God that is able to turn impossible things tangible. I sat at my desk in awe. Olsteen continued by saying often times we pray, "Lord, I don't know what I'm going to do, but you just do whatever." He said that we should tell God exactly what we want. I thought about this statement for a very long time and I questioned myself: Toese, what the hell to you really want? I felt like I was asking for too much when it comes to God and it made me look selfish. In fact, God wants us to demand what we want and not be afraid to ask. In the bible it states that God will give us the desires of our hearts and why wouldn't we ask for the biggest blessings imaginable.
Yesterday, I went to the barbershop and was speaking to my mentor O about life and the craziness of Columbus' music scene. He stated that there will not be anyone who will make it out of Columbus because no one is a starving artist. No one is willing to give up being comfortable to pursue their dreams. He then turned to me and said, "Are you relying on your music to get you through life, or that Chase paycheck?" I sat there stuck. I couldn't even give a response and the response I tried to conjure up wasn't even worth uttering. He then said "Are you willing to say, it's either this or nothing? That there's no Plan B?" I couldn't do anything but stay silent.
I guess it's time for me to really dig deep and really step out on faith once again. I know God is with me always so I shouldn't be afraid of whatever comes my way. I have struggled before and God has blessed me with so many things because I sought after him.
We shall see what happens. You never know, i may be clear across the country.
Also peep my latest remix to Beyonce's Formation:
08/25/2016 - You may be wondering why I haven't written a blog post in a while. Seems like there's months in between posting these entries, but it's not like I forgot about them. I guess my time has be occupied with more important things. One of those things: Living life.
For the longest time, I have always made excuses on why I don't see my family in different states and why I never just get up and explore the world. This year I have been blessed enough to afford both with my money and time to spend on experiencing what the God's Earth has to offer. Too many times I have allowed myself to not experience the enjoyment of being with the ones I love.
A few weeks to a month ago, I visited Alaska for the first time in 20 years. Yes, 20 years! Living Alaska at the age of 4, I really did not have much memory of this place I was born. The only thing I could really remember is the mountains in the distance of the city. I was then reunited when I walked off the plane and was welcomed by these massive monuments. They made me feel as small as an ant. Unlike the tall skyscrapers of New York, the monuments were God-made. These mountains were so tall that you could see that they could touch the clouds. I admired the beauty God placed on Earth, so serene and tranquil. I could not help but be still.
While I was in Alaska, I saw faces that I have not seen in YEARS. Though some of them have known me all my life, I felt like I was meeting them all over again. As the first conversations started, they welcomed me so lovingly that I couldn't help but shed those feelings of being among strangers, but being among family. Who knew that my aunt would stand in the rain to grill food for Timo and I? It just made me realize that we are loved. I learned so much about my father and mother from the stories told around the dinner table. The aggressive Popz that I was raised by had come a long way from what he had become before. Even while typing this I feel like I want to cry of joy about how far my Popz has come from his previous endeavors. God is extremely powerful.
The biggest take away from the experience and most special moment would have to be meeting my older brother's parents. I was amazed that my older brother had grown up with such an awesome mother and father who would do anything for him. My brother is extremely talented. He knew how play instruments, play almost every sport, and most importantly had a lot of heart in everything he did. I'm so happy that I was able to learn more about him. Most importantly it made me realize so much about my mother and how her unselfish act gave him a great life.
All I can say is that God is so fuggin' good. He has been able to shape my life so much with these experiences and I am so grateful that He never ceases to give me lessons about life. Please, live your life. Go out there and see the world. Get to know your family and friends on a deeper level than the surface. Just live.
07/04/2016 - Sometimes God places you in positions that you would never expect to be in and a lot of times, well actually EVERY TIME, He places you there at the right moment. It's been two days of being at Audiofeed and I feel so honored and humbled to be here. I've never experienced something like this in my life. It's like having the summer camp experience that I never had the chance to have. From setting up a tent to sleeping in a sleeping bag, I truly can say that I'm "roughing" it. Well, sort of, considering there are showers and toilets here. The craziest thing that I'm experiencing is that there's such a comradary with all the bands here. Who knew band from all over could come together, play shows, and be with one another in peace. To see people genuinely happy to see one another is simply amazing. Something that I'm not used to by any means. Speaking of things that I'm not used to, I'm not used to watching hardcore shows. Who knew that I would ACTUALLY enjoy the music. I'm starting to understand each genre and what the differences between them are. It's so refreshing to hear music way outside my realm. The biggest thing that has stood out to me is that most of the bands are believers. A hardcore metal band is actually glorifying God. WHO KNEW? For so long I have always thought that metal, hardcore and other forms of rock was negative. But in actuality, it's totally the opposite. Just like people, music can express the love of God differently. It has really opened my eyes to truly learn the scenes, cultures, and lifestyles of other genres of music to be able to grasp the concepts of how they strengthen themselves in God. From listening to Bri's beautifully eerie voice to Phineas' ripping lead guitar riffs, I'm so overwhelmed with what this music has done for me spiritually.
Throughout it all, I'm still trying to find my place. Sometimes it does get a little lonely, but not in the sense that I need someone, but more in a fashion that I wish people could understand the interests that I have. But what I am learning is that life isn't about me. It's about living the way God has called me to live. It's my purpose to use my gifts to minister and I feel like God has been pulling on my heartstrings to continue to push myself to become better to be able to minister better to others. It's just been really tough to find a way to minister in a way that people can understand. The more I pursue music the more I have found that the different languages of music genres aren't that distant.
I guess I have to bridge that gap.
7/28/2016 - Comfest 2016. No really, COM-Muahfugginn-FEST. Never in a million years did I imagine I would ever be playing at one of the biggest festivals in Central Ohio. With thousands and thousands of people in attendance, there was no escaping bumping shoulder to shoulder with someone you knew. Unfortunately, being that the stages were not labeled very well most people could not find the tent I was playing in. (LOL that's so funny to me)
Unlike any other performance, I felt so welcomed and appreciated. As I got out of my car after parking next to the Off Ramp Stage, I was met by 5-6 blue shirts. I proceeded to try to grab my parking pass to show that I was really supposed to be parked there. As I turned around they smiled saying, "Oh, we're here to help you with your gear." Well, little did they know all I had was my backpack. Throughout this journey of music, I have learned that you must cherish every moment of kindness. It's a very tough place to be, but the love I felt was real.
There's so much that went on during that day, but ultimately I was truly amazes how talented my peers are. Though the day seemed to be about me, I was more amazed by my homie Jae. The crowd control she held and her presence really inspired me. She had the crowd at her feet. I was so proud.
Anyway, all I can say is that day was amazing. And honestly, I have no words to say how I feel beside: thank you .
06/04/2016 - This past weekend was probably the longest weekend of my life. Traveling 8 hours to New Jersey/New York by car definitely taught me how to have patience with the "process." Many times I forget that to get to where I want to go I have to endure a journey that may take a lot of effort and may test the limitations of patience. After 8 hours of nothing but tail-lights traveling through Pennsylvania, we finally got to New Jersey. (By "we," I am referring to Dwight and I) Being greeted by his Cousin-in-law, Carlos, when we arrived. Looking around the small neighborhood brought me to a sense of relaxation. Fast-forwarding to seeing New York City, I felt so small. The large ads with Rihanna's ANTI album and H&M model photos were lit up in Times Square. Nothing but bustling cars, street performers, and Nikon camera-holding moms filled the walkways. I couldn't help but feel immersed in the larger than life buildings and beaming lights. I felt so small. As though I had to remember that there's so many awesome things out there in the world to explore. When I arrived back home from the trip, I was so inspired to continue to pursue the biggest dreams that I have. I had to remind myself that God create a world with endless possibilities and though things may seem impossible to achieve, He can make those things possible. I truly appreciate God placing really awesome people in my life and exposing me to different situations to learn how to navigate through them. I can't wait to see how God works throughout this year.
05/11/2016 - As you have notice, I definitely have not been consistent with writing these blog entries, but it's only because I have not had the time to do so. Don't judge me. Most of you that may have read my entry about being consistent are probably rolling your eyes, but look I'm consistent in other areas of life like ... music. For the past couple weeks, I have really focused on music. Creating at least one beat a day and practicing the scales on the piano have been the tools that I've been using to keep me inspired without feeling any pressure of HAVING to make something. I know that God sees me at least trying to keep the communication between me and him consistent especially with all of the craziness that my life has been driven into. But, back to being consistent, I have been keeping my word with all of my friends when I say I am going to do something. I guess what the point of this entry is that I may not write on here often but I am actually investing my time and energy into the things that matter the most.
Oh, Dwight and I have been making music so that's what the picture is about.
04/23/2016 - Well, for starters, it was my pop's birthday so it was already a great day. (haha) Woke up around 7 o'clock to get ready to go to the barbershop. After getting my haircut, chopping it up with O and taking a quick power nap, I headed over to the YMCA to help prepare the lunches for the month of April's Feed The Streets project. After MarShawn's death, I felt like it was my duty to help the community as much as I could with participating in the program he started. Unlike the first one I attended, there was not as many people. It didn't surprise me that some people didn't show up after the event in February, but still didn't affect how effective the moment is. Bob, whose last name escapes me, from Channel 6 news, came up to me and asked:
Can I put a body camera on you?
My first reaction was hesitant, but apparently he saw something about that made him ask. So he strapped the camera against my chest and told me I was not responsible for the camera if something happens. (my favorite line. lol) After hours of walking, passing out food, talking locals who grow their own veggies, and taking a tour of a renovated house built in the 1930s, my Saturday felt fulfilling. Still kind of upset I wasn't able to get some of the banana pudding, but I guess that's God saying I really didn't need it.
04/21/2016 - You know sometimes God has a real big sense of humor, but not in the sense of him trying to derail you, but to put things into perspective. Last Thursday, I was invited to a bible study that was on campus. I did not know what exactly to expect, but when I got to the college house, I was blown away. There was a bunch of people on the porch and mingling inside the house. The group name was Bombay. Chairs lined up with bibles on them were faced towards the guy running the study. Meeting new people and eating a few carrots seemed to make me feel more at ease due to my hate of small talk. Once the bible study started, there was so many great points brought up about how we sometimes block God from entering our hearts and God wants us to allow him to work through us. For the longest time I felt like I could not fully commit to the journey and I truly was convicted of my unwillingness to submit. To be around other young people that are taking their spiritual journey seriously, really made me excited. Ben asked me:
So, how is your relationship with God?
I truly had to think about it. I knew me and God are homies but I never thought that I would truly have issues with him. Or better yet issues he had with me. All in all, I learned that God answers prayers and is moving frequently in my life. My heart has been changed in so many ways and I have to just fully trust him.
Last night was my homie Meg Paulsen's first ever event in which she curated. The "Femhouse" titled event consisted of an all female lineup with talented singers, an Emcee and a DJ! The Summit was overwhelmingly stacked with people on a Wednesday night and the atmosphere was full of love and excitement.
Before the show, I was able to speak to most of the creatives that were on the bill. Most talking about what drinks they prefer, or where to find food, most had one thing in common: They just want to be free and create. Like most creatives, we feel like the world is against us as if we must conform to the corporate strangleholds that has torn our society apart. But, a few have raised a middle finger to those standards and fully invested in their art. One of those few who decided to get thrown in the moshpit goes by Shilo Gold.
Shilo spoke about leaving her hometown, traveling across the country and using her wit and music to push her in the right direction. Most people would think: Wow you must be really stupid to just leaving everything behind and focus of music. One thing that she told me is that I should just DO IT and I can do it. Life is too short to live in the pains and stresses of the world. Life is golden if you live it. Don't just exist.
04/13/16 - As everyone knows, I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world. Candy has always been my weakness when it comes to unhealthy living. Always made me feel better when life got rough or if I needed a boost of energy. As most know me to never turn down sour patches, I have decided to do a fast of sugar. Today was the first day of my fast, and I have to say it was tough.
On Tuesdays, my department gives out free snacks. Since I am in leadership there are many perks of getting whatever I want from the cabinets full of junk food glory. It was so tempting to open a little bag of fruit snacks and get a quick "high," but I kept my willpower.
You may ask why I decided to do this fast. Well it's simple: I want to deny my flesh and focus on God! Also one of my homies told me that sometimes we have to get rid of something in our lives so God can give us something greater. So, I'm not sure what God will give me, but I have faith that this will help my spirit and teeth.
Wish me luck.
04/04/2016 - Last night I went to Andy Mineo's concert at the Park Street Saloon. Not knowing what to expect, I felt relieved to know that he had many fans. And not only did his fans love his music, but love his message.
After various opening acts and Twitter breaks in between, Andy finally started his set standing on top of a platform with 2 giant video panels that pointed inward like an arrow beneath him. The panels showed various montages of New York City's cityscapes, busy streets, and active locals.
I was in amazement. I never expected a set up to be so intriguing. Capturing all the effects of visuals, I felt like I was actually being taken on an adventure which is Mineo's music. Inspired me to rethink my live performances. lol
During a break of his performance, he spoke about his life and the experiences he has had. He said that he kept trying to find validation by trying to have all the material things that would make him "look cool." He sought validation by being on Billboard and having millions of views on YouTube, but was still unhappy after achieving these feats. Only did he feel complete when God intervened in his life and he fully trusted Him.
I can say that if Mineo can achieve all of the things he wanted to do and still be unhappy, then you must seek God to fix that longing of acceptance.
You are enough because God says you are.
03/30/2016 - I spent most of my Friday night traveling to Atlanta, Georgia. That was the first time I have driven this far of a distance in my 24 years of living. One thing that I took away from the experience of traveling there is though the journey may be stressful, tiring, and/or annoying the reward from being patient is worthwhile.
Once I got there I was so happy to be around my family. To hear jokes, play card games, hide from embarrassing stories of your childhood and the laughter of loved ones really made me change how I viewed my own life. For 5 years, I have lived on my own away from most of my family. I wanted to be able to grow as a man and have a better relationship with God. As I grow with Him, He has shown me that my perspective of life will change and new lessons will arise from them.
While I was down in Atlanta, I was playing with my nephew and little cousin outside. I also allowed them to help me wash my car. To see that I was once in their shoes really impacted me. It baffles me that I am now in the position my uncles and aunts were in when they were my age. Learning how to be fair and patient with people who aren't so experienced in fields has always been tough, but these moments really show that I have to give what I received.
03/20/16 - Today was pretty eye-opening. Spent the day in Mansfield with Jeff, Bri, and Aaron working on the last song off Jeff's EP Illogical Rest. It took us months to finally come together in one room to finish the song in its entirety. After spending the day with them I finally realized how intense life can really be for others. We have to love one another and keep in mind that we can be the difference in someone's life to keep going. I have always wondered how people have the will to fight and survive even though the odds are stacked up against them. The only conclusion I have come up with is God gave them that ability. How truly amazing He is. To think of prayers being answered when you feel like all hope is gone is truly amazing. I can't wait to see what else unfolds.
3/19/16 - Sometimes I feel like my brain is so full of thoughts that I feel overwhelmed. It's like my mind can never rest for more than 2 seconds. Even when I'm not thinking of anything at all, I still feel like I'm overloaded. Throughout my life I have felt like could never quite settle down, unplug from the world and really appreciate my life. After talking to Dwight last night, it made sense why I have been feeling this way: All my focus is not on the right things. Seeking God is never that hard because He is here with us. I shouldn't worry about what's going to happen next and just focus on Him. If I am able to do that, I will be well-equipped to handle the confusion in my life. More peace of mind. Clarity.
3/18/16 - This month has been the busiest month of my life so far. More work, less sleep: I feel myself drifting off into another world. Maybe it's because I'm that fatigued. (lol) One thing's for sure is though I feel tired and as badly as I want to sleep, I have to keep working. The work I am doing is not for myself, but for God's glory. I definitely cannot complain, because this is what I prayed for. To be busy and to have things to do to push my career in the right direction, but also to continue to grow with God. Got a lot of work to do, but I know that it will not be in vain. LET'S GET THIS WORK.
03/17/2016 - One day, I was just on Twitter and noticed that a guy named Kahlief Adams had tweeted that he loved my track "Sounds Within" (off of my project reQUESTed) which he heard from a mix created by a DJ named Macedonia on BSOTS. My drum-and-bass flip on A Tribe Called Quest's "Lyrics To Go" record really amazed him, it amazed him so much he featured the record on his Spawn On Me podcast during music break of the show. What is even crazier is that the podcast my track was featured on was featured on NPR! Soon after I was given the opportunity to revamp the theme music for the podcast.
Check out it out below:
03/08/2016 - Today was a pretty interesting day. With all the things I have accomplished, it's rewarding to be able to reflect on past accomplishments and to be able to tell someone else who is genuinely interested in knowing . Zak Kolesar was one of the few people who were interested in my story. Zak is a music writer for The Lantern which is Ohio State University publication that covers various stories. He asked me a series of questions ranging from my childhood to my young adulthood. He asked one question that really stood out: What do you think you need to do in order to take yourself to a different level? I really had to think about it for a second. I have accomplished so much already and I didn't know what would actually be the catalyst the really push me forward. It's crazy to think that I trust God enough to allow Him to do his work without me interfering. I guess it's like whatever comes will come and I have to trust that whatever God leads me to do will push my career further. I guess it's time to get to work.
03/07/2016 - BRUH.... it's been a long time coming. If you know me, then you definitely know how major this is. =) - enough said. Time to make some music.