If you made it here, there's a decent chance that you've seen my identifying phrase:
"From the left side of the internet."
Nowadays, artists saying they're "from the internet" is a cliche. We're passed the initial fascination with the internet's capability to connect people and cultures from all over the world. The internet simultaneously erases our identity while also giving us the opportunity to make it stronger. It's a strange paradox, and I am definitely affected by it.
I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Maryland. I'm a Marylander, a DMV artist, but I admit that so much of my identity as an artist is online. It feels disingenuous to 'claim' or 'rep' the DMV in the traditional sense when my art lives on the internet much more than it does offline. As much as I plan to change that, I accept the beauty in having my art available to folks that would never normally be able to experience it. To be honest, it gives me hope that success is possible. The fact that the internet allows my art to live inside the thoughts of you and other listeners is more than I could ever ask for. It's a truly beautiful thing.
So where does the "left side" come in?
It refers to many things, literally and metaphorically: the embrace of difference, the willingness to accept uncertainty, my commitment to feminist values...
But most of all, it works to combat that paradox I talked about. Even though I am "from the internet," my values are not lost when I am online. I have a home and identity here, a defining characteristic that guides me through my work as an artist. I am not here to pander - I am here to uphold the values I came with, and improve them.
This phrase is not meant to exclude anyone. It is solely a reminder to myself to remember where I am from. It's not a physical place, but a mindset: a mindset rooted in skepticism, humility, empathy and creativity.
Whether it be physical, mental or both, don't forget where or what you came from. Believe in the power to improve yourself and what you stand for. And know that I'm here, working on that along with you.
If you made it this far, thanks so much for hearing me out. Your support is more than appreciated, and it never goes unnoticed. Peace and love.