I was about to break down.There I was at the Vanguard Room in Lakeland Florida in the studio with my insecurities sitting next to me. We were two days into recording, and I was in love with the music we were making but I was also troubled. I took a break from music for a while and walking back into the studio brought back many fears and pressure and they were all rooted in one question: 

Will people like this? 

That question wasn’t the only issue, there were others. I was also concerned about staying true to myself as an artist and even not fully embracing my own process and journey. 

After listening to what we had of the song all the way through , quickly heading into my feelings I received a text from  one of my best friends asking me how the recording was going. It was like she knew exactly when to text me and what to say: 

“Darris you go from Clark Sisters to Coldplay within seconds, embrace your uniqueness and your process.” 

I knew exactly what she meant. It’s how I felt all the time, and many times I found  myself trying to fit the mold of what others wanted me to be. When in reality I  never was that way. I sat down thinking, and for the first time in a while accepted that I was coming to terms with who I was becoming. 

I hate living with in the box that people create for me, and yet, sometimes I feel so conscious about living outside the box. The emotional tension sounds stupid, but I know that I’m not the only one feeling this way. We all deal with wanting to be accepted, so we allow people to determine who we are going to be, and what we are allowed to produce. This box  hinders us from embracing our own process. I am not the same person that I was yesterday. I may like gospel music today and tomorrow I may sit down with my windows open and turn on alternative rock to put me in my feels. Then on my car ride, roll the windows down and jam out to some hip-hop. 

I’m learning that the journey of who we are becoming is all about integration, not limitation. For so long I hated the fact that I was unsatisfied with only doing gospel music which didn’t make sense considering I grew up around it, but loved so many other sounds. So I’ve decided I’m going to be me, because that’s who God created me to be, and I’m tired of the inner struggle.                                                     I believe that God is trying to teach us to lean into the journey. So I’m taking that lesson to heart and making a promise to God, myself, and my following that I am going to embrace my sound, my unique abilities, my journey. I will live with my life transparent so that you can grow with me. Lookout for my new song and join me on my musical journey this summer! 


justin eisner