Never Sleep Alone

Never Sleep Alone

“Where do you find your inspiration?”

I get asked this question all the time.

It’s a struggle to answer, because I’d love to paint a heroic picture of moments where a white tiger is in the corner of my studio, and as I throw him a piece of meat, I look to the sky (because obviously my imaginary studio has no roof) inspired, and as I dictate a few words to my assistant, beautiful angels float from out of the walls and begin to sing the words I’m saying, in harmonic and celestial cadences. But some of that is just not true.

When I write, it’s in the more quiet and subdued moments. I don’t actually write with very much confidence, and rarely finish anything with a triumphant chest pound. I don’t know how anything will be received. But I go with what I’m experiencing, or have experienced in the past. My metamorphosis has been cohesive and traveled a path that makes sense to me; it’s grown as I’ve grown. Not better or worse but reflective of what is happening in my life. Because I am the author of my “sound” – it is my life. I’ve never had to try and chase a current trend or hype a certain genre. The origin of everything I’ve done has simply come from me. It is consistent in that truth.

“Never Sleep Alone” could be taken so many ways. I hesitate to tell people what it means to me, because I want my listeners to imprint their own circumstance on it. That’s what makes it meaningful to them. But “Never Sleep Alone” is interesting because it conjures up so many moods.Essentially, the big picture meaning for me is this: we never sleep alone. Nobody does.

There’s a whiplash effect that happens pretty much every time I play on the road. While performing, I can almost tangibly feel the thousands of  eyes on me accompanied by thousands of hands reaching for me.  We all sing the same songs and move to the same strenuous beat and it creates this crushing feeling of belonging. Belonging, not just for me (I hope) – it’s a feeling that blankets the room. It is the opposite of isolation – it is desegregation and connectedness; it is unity.

In what seems like only moments later, I move from this sweaty and loud but peaceful state to a much-too-quiet hotel room. The door is locked, there’s usually some kind of buzz from a heater or air conditioner (or maybe it’s just in my ears) and then there’s me. I’m expected to sleep because I’m told that’s what people do. But it’s euphoric what we all do together, at these shows. And it’s really hard to come down. I cannot sleep because I never sleep alone. I am haunted by a mind that won’t stop racing, one that is fed by the energy of the thousands of eyes and hands and smiles.

It’s difficult to turn the night off  – I can’t shut it down. I am sleeping with these thoughts; I am sleeping with what just happened, I am sleeping with all the feelings of the night and the eyes and hands and hearts of everyone I just spent time with.

I never sleep alone.