Fearless.

Sometimes I go on rants about how tough the music business is, when in all reality, it’s actually been pretty great to me. I mean, I’m only 3 or 4 years into this, and I’m already getting paychecks and residuals, and I have friends that don’t know what those are… (Residuals are checks you get for having music on the radio or in film/commercials/etc…) I’ve done all of this without a manager, and without a “radio edit” for any tracks. So in all reality, I’m doing great for what I’ve had the ability to produce. (“Raw” had a budge of 2,000 dollars… for example…)

But sometimes I get so caught up in what people think about me, or who isn’t noticing me, or who is talking trash… Then I get on here, blog some negatory, hate letter to “No one” and just get a negative feeling in the pit of my stomach.

When I was growing up, I was the “Think Positive” guy who everyone liked. I can’t say that I had any enemies growing up, cause I literally loved everyone I met. I went to the same school from kindergarten till my senior year, and felt a great sense of belonging because my mom was the principal. I was one of the only seniors who regularly hung out with Jr. Highers or helped if they needed someone to talk to… But when I left for college something changed.

I moved up to Redding, CA to work at a camp, and rather than getting the promotions/stage job I wanted, I was made to work in the kitchen. I fell in love with Cassie, and then had to leave for Florida to go to college. Every day I would miss her on the phone, and call to see how she was doing, and she was LOVING Chico State. I was hating Florida, cause of all the rules I had to follow that I didn’t necessarily agree with. 7 months of that, and I was very upset and angry.

Later that year, my grandma had issues with cancer, my brother was found with drugs, both of my sisters got pregnant, and I was diagnosed with manic depression. All of these things coming together in such a short time took a huge toll on me. When Cassie and I broke up, it was much harder, and I started liking a girl named Linzi. When my best friend came down to Florida, and was late to get to the airport because he was making out with her, I snapped. I became some sort of selfish jerk who was not going to be impressed with anyone or anything, and was going to look out for myself first, and others second. “Why not?” I thought. That’s what everyone else is doing…

Fearless.

I’m currently reading Max Lucado’s book, “Fearless”, that my mom mailed me yesterday. It’s hard to read because it hits me right in he heart every time. I’m only two chapters in, and Max has already nailed two parts of my life that I have issues with. The first was “Fear”. In the first chapter he tells us what the Bible says about not being afraid. That over 120 times, Christ says, “Do not fear,” and yet I feel like that’s something I always do. A few weeks ago I tweeted, “Hurt people, hurt people.” and got a ton of different replies.  But it’s totally true! I usually lash out at someone when they are mean to me, or do something I feel is designed to cause me grief. Another quote that always comes to mind is from Star Wars. (Don’t judge me…) Yoda says, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate is the path to the dark side…” I don’t know why that has always strikes a chord with me, but it does. Am I part of the dark side? If I am, is it too late to switch sides?

The second chapter is about the “Fear of Not Mattering”. This one is HUGE! How do you not fear “not mattering” when you are an artist who’s entire career is based on people knowing who you are. It hurts like crazy when someone says something like, “Josh Damigo sucks…” or “Josh Damigo isn’t very good at music…” blah, blah, blah. I think back to one of the quotes I read about myself on an iTunes comment. Someone said, “Josh isn’t necessarily the most talented artist, but what he lacks in talent, he makes up with in heart and determination.” That quote stabbed like a knife. Why? Because I didn’t read the second half of the sentence. The first half spoke so loudly, that I couldn’t get to the second part. Had I actually taken a step back and looked at the full sentence, I may have agreed or even been grateful that someone noticed that I put my entire heart into every song.

I could go on and on about this topic, but it looks like I need to wrap this up and get to my next gig. The truth is that I need to keep working on becoming fearless, and not letting the small things bother me. “So what”, if someone slights me. At least they’re talking about me! and if they’re not saying my name, they will… cause I’m too stubborn and dumb to not eventually try to talk to them. If I don’t get “picked” to play a showcase, that doesn’t mean I can’t go to the show and work the crowd! 😛 I have a lot of friends to meet and even more critics to win over before I can start to be upset that people forget about me. 😛

Matthew 10:28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”

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About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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One Response to Fearless.

  1. Great post! There is a great book called Art & Fear by David Bayles, Ted Orland that’s excellent too:) I’ll have to read Fearless.

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