Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Don’t Smoke in Bed

I always tell my single friends to wear good panties “because you just never know when something interesting might happen”. I am not advocating promiscuity by the way. If you are lonely and in need of a good ole rogering – good panties just make sense…lol!

There are certain things you can logically anticipate. Other things will catch you unaware no matter what! I think it’s vital that we accept that for our own sanity. Here’s another thing to consider. No one can be aware 24/7. It is just not possible. Desirable – sure. Possible – not always…

Honestly, I can’t be nice or take the high road all the time. No one can unless they are prepared to visit a psych ward.  Someone once told me, “You are an entertainer. People don’t want to see someone who is moping or anti-social.” My first reaction was, “You have no idea of what it means to be human. There’s a time for everything.”

I get that people loose interest easily.Musicians are being packaged and produced every second. Fans want access to “their” musicians and real contact if possible. But what happened to accepting people’s humanity in between all this mess?

There is just so much pressure to “live the life of your dreams”. Sometimes we forget that there is something bigger at work than ourselves.  When you forget that  – the “should do this” or “must act like that” comes into play.

Crap (kak) man – just be yourself and wear good panties. After all, you just never know what could happen!

posted by auriol in on the wild side and have No Comments

2012

I will be honest and say that the movie did not blow me away. I didn’t let my daughter watch it because she is already a bit too preoccupied with volcanoes and disasters in general. Also, I didn’t feel like answering 3 million questions about the Mayans and predictions about doom, gloom and the end of the world.  I will tackle that later in the week, thank you.

Anyway, as I sat watching that movie I wondered just how many people really think that something like that could happen. Some people were really taking the movie a bit too seriously I noticed. I am sure those guys already made their money with this movie and let me state, for the record that John Cusack’s acting did not let me down. He kicks ass in every role he takes on. The movie just didn’t move me. I swear I really did try to suspend my disbelief.

There are those who say that 2012 signals a change in consciousness more than anything else. I agree with this thinking but that comes with its one set of problems. Have you ever tried convincing someone to change their viewpoint? Granted, it is not something I think anyone should do but that does not stop people from trying, though. Anyway, when someone changes the way they think about anything it causes all kinds of disruptions and upheavals in their lives.

You could say (silly as it sounds) that their world is erupting. The old conditioned ways of thinking and being are being blown to smithereens while they are being flooded with new information; information that they can no longer outrun or shy away from. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t as affected by the movie. I have had to face a few of my own tsunamis and volcanoes of late.

Hmm or it could just be that the plot line was a bit too thin for my liking…lol!

posted by auriol in Movies and have No Comments

Unnatural Selection

We all like different things for different reasons. Today I have some thoughts on music that need sorting through. Some people like music because it makes everything a bit more bearable. That annoying boss and pissy co workers don’t seem as bad if you tone their voices down and lace a funky beat over them in your mind. I have done that many times myself! Music allows you to just escape and switch off. I get that. I mention this because a few minutes ago I took a look at MTV to see what’s out there.  So often people say, “You gotta know what’s going on. The last thing you want to be is out of date.” Sure there is merit to that argument but I seriously question that kind of thinking when I take a look at just what is out there.

I have had many people tell me that they like my voice but not the pop tunes that they hear on the radio. While I find that amusing I never take it personally. Just like any job music does not define who I am – neither is it the only source of my happiness. It took me years and serious drama to discover that fact. So another music video is due to hit the TV screens and again it is not a song that I have any real connection with. It is just pop, sugary fluff.  Am I concerned that people will not take me seriously as a musician? No really. I guess this comes down to the fact that I have learnt a great deal about my own nature (the good and bad) and know that compromises are needed.

Knowing that has made a great deal more tolerant of all musicians. So the girl is shaking her ass and acting like a tart on the music video. Who really cares?  There are things worth taking seriously in this world and a music video doesn’t do it for me. In the new music video I have a bit of a dominatrix edge and I will confess that I like it. Dammit-all what girl would not want to order men around with a cane? A whip would have been a bit much! What I dig about music is that it gives me the chance to become other people.  In fact I am busy working on a sci fi themed song and it is a really interesting experience because of where I allow myself to go mentally.

Music is about experimenting and finding your own voice and style. While I can say that I am very proud of this debut album, it is not reflective of who I am as a musician. Did I compromise – sure.  Did I sell my soul –no. I merely haven’t found my thing yet. No matter what I do or the myriad of mistakes I might make what matters most is that I evolve as a person. If that filters in through my music – great. If people get that while they listen – even better.

I once asked a boss about someone who I had doubts working with. This was her response, “Auriol, you can’t always wear a coat when it’s hot outside can you? Neither can you wear a short little dress in this windy weather. You should think of people the same way…”

In the end it’s not what’s “out there” that is important but discerning what will serve you best.

posted by auriol in My music and have No Comments

Massive Attack

The night before I had to sing on national TV – not just one song but three – I got absolutely no sleep. I couldn’t decide if I was nervous or excited and I was too scared to figure out which. We had to be at the studios at 6am. I was washed and ready to go by 4. MUSE and RADIOHEAD did very little to calm my nerves and stop the freak-out that was going on in my mind. Yes, I knew that my band had my back – but I didn’t want to sing pitch perfect but with closed eyes the way I did last time on live TV!  No matter what happened, I told myself, I simply had to do better. Believe me I prayed like hell and did some fierce bargaining with my people upstairs…lol!

While on our way to TV station I warmed up by singing along to some Radiohead songs in the car. The people at the TV station were very friendly and the performance went down well. I closed my eyes but only at strategic points. The live interview was another animal altogether. Sometimes I get just a bit too animated. The result; I ended up saying crap too many times and this on a Sunday morning. And no one lets me forget it either! After the first live interview I got some feedback and here’s the important bit – I actually listened. By the time the next live interview came around I was cool, calm and collected. Okay, in my mind I was…lol!

Now that everything is done and dusted I have the time to think about what has happened. I was really scared during all the media and promotional campaigning. In fact  the band and I only got enough time to sleep during all the madness. And when I felt a freak-out coming I remembered what my best friend told me. “When you are doing something new it is always a test of courage. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to be scared though. Be scared but try to get over it.”

I just hate it when the hardest things to do sound so easy.

posted by auriol in My music and have No Comments

Everything is Illuminated

The mind can be a terrible thing.  It can comfort. It can lie… and seduce you into believing virtually anything. My daughter confessed that when she was smaller she thought God looked like the Mr Min guy on the TV ads! When I asked her where she got this idea from she replied “It just popped into my head”. She never questioned her thoughts and continued to believe it until she knew better.

I once heard someone say that when new people enter your life it signals the start of something other. Yes, it’s very similar to the line, “When the pupil is ready the master appears.” But we all know that people don’t really like change that much.  All you have to do is attend a party in Cape Town to understand. Everyone hangs out with their own friends and rarely talk to people they don’t know.  Now don’t act as though you were not part of that reluctant click once. I can already hear the justifications… “No dammit, I just have standards!” or “I am shy in front of strangers.” Perhaps there is merit to those arguments but that tribal mentality is very revealing. It shows how reluctant we all can be to not only new people and new ideas but how caught up we are in our insecurities. We want to stick with what we know and have it reinforced by the people who hang around us.

My daughter and I have lecture sessions a few times a week where we talk about more “serious” matters. Yesterday I explained that my sister was assaulted by her boyfriend and the impact it has on the family. I could see  that she was very shocked and angry. “I didn’t know he was bad,” she said. “No, he just made some bad decisions,” I replied.

In the movie Everything is Illuminated, the character named Alex says, “I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. Like you say, inside out.”

Yes, we all make bad decisions sometimes and until everything is illuminated we will keep repeating our mistakes.  So the next time someone around you messes up remember this – none of us came to this planet knowing everything…

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Feeling Good

“I just can’t take this anymore! Nothing I try works! After everything I’ve done, I’m still stuck in the same place!” We all know what that feels like. All you want to do is throw away that damn towel, forget as much as you can and try to make a new start anywhere else. When you reach that point you don’t really care about the lesson you’re suppose to learn or what gifts that troublesome situation can unearth. All you want to do is run away. Fast.

I know of some talented musicians who are always broke and play music in the dingiest, grottiest places. Amazing intuitive who want to help everybody but always struggle to get by. We all know those kinds of people and sometimes we are those people. It’s no sin, just life. We try to do the best with what we have. If you are lucky  you have your own Tony Robbins who can give brilliant, uplifting advice.  Anyway, as Tony was talking I remembered something – small but very significant. I remembered that I have so many things to be grateful for…

Sometimes we are all so focused on where we want to be that we forget where we are and all the hard work that got us there. In order to get out of my funky mind space I made a list of things that I am rather excited about. One of the things that I was thrilled about was the fact that I found a kitten. I am naming him Napoleon – not after the historical figure but after the choreographer from So You Think You Can Dance…lol! Hey, it is one of my favourite TV shows.

After making the list, I put on some John Lee Hooker, kissed my cats and went about my day. Dammit I did feel better…

posted by auriol in human nature and have Comment (1)

Release me

Life is messy. People are messy and we all lie to ourselves at some point. And we do it because it gets us through the day. It justifies our actions and dammit all – it feels good. Still all good things must end and when they do most of us crash and burn. We wonder if we can ever really trust anything or anyone ever again…

The one thing I learnt is that you can only run for so long. You can’t always look at the mistakes of others and say, “I am not that stupid! I won’t do that.” When other forces are at work and there are things you need to learn about yourself – you will get caught out eventually. That’s when you discover for just how long you have been lying to yourself and why. Now finding a workable solution too all those issues is another question altogether. With me music helps.

I remember stepping on stage once feeling so deeply, deeply hurt. I knew that there was no way I could sing anything  light or upbeat. I simply felt too defeated and ruined. The band sensing something was wrong played the jazz standard called God Bless the Child.  And when I was ready I took a deep breath, put every bit of sadness, each little disappointment, all my regrets and despair on to that stage with me and sang. For the first time I had a place to put all those fearful emotions….

I discovered that I can’t really write music when I am very happy or very sad. I write best when I am somewhere in the middle. Some people think I write too many dark and depressing songs. What they don’t know is that those songs even me out. Anyway, I just wrote a new song called Lie To Me  and through it I ask to be released from all my crap and messy emotions….At the end of the day that is all you can hope for; that you learnt something valuable and can move on.

posted by auriol in insight and have Comment (1)

Being Human

People like pretending they know the answers.  We love telling our kids or anyone who will listen “Don’t do this!” “Stay away from that!” I have accepted that life is littered with arbitrary rules and bullshit.  With people who refuse to understand. People who act righteous but aren’t and those who are blinded selfish desires. I can understand because I have been on the giving and receiving end many times….

To say that this world is filled with damaged people is an understatement.  People are damaged and damage others. We all have reasons to feel justified…. chip that we shoulder and resentments that we cling to. It’s easy.  You just sit there and stew in your own crap year in and year out. Recently I came out of a trying ordeal and honestly I was 100% responsible. It was all my own doing or (if you like) undoing.  And sure I fell to pieces many times and in fact still do – but there have been many unexpected silver linings and pots of gold along the way…

When going through a rough time many things are forgotten along with common sense and reason.  I was lucky because I had friends who did not preach at me while I was being a complete idiot. They did not point fingers and judge or give stupid advice. Instead they showed me how to deal with my failures…. to understand my weakness…and how to move away from my justifications, bullshit and anger.

And when you are going through your own little apocalypse there is no greater gift  than being surrounded by  people who can remind you what it means to be human…

posted by auriol in sanity's overrated and have No Comments

Somewhere over the rainbow

We’ve all done really stupid things. Things that would shock; things that seem out of character. While it’s happening everything seems just fine. You wake up with a smile on your face, greet your neighbors, call friends and then when you think you have a few minutes to spare you make more questionable choices…

I always wondered about those moments or events that seem to turn your world upside down. Sometimes they seem too fantastical to be real or to have happened to you. So you wonder, “Am I just stupid or is something else going on here?” Any other person would stop and say, “No, something is off. I should not do anything.” But you react because you cannot help but to …because those moments are entangled with your deepest desires and fears. So you do the instinctive; you react…and in hindsight those things seem almost fated to happen.

I hate it when people say things like, “Those moments of undoing come at a great cost and with great lessons.” I hate it because I know those esoteric mofo’s are right.  I should not focus on the who’s and how’s. Instead I should focus on what I am being asked to uncover about myself.

Sometimes I think we all have a bit of a Pinocchio thing going on. We are all just trying to find some way of making our deepest wishes come true….trying to find peace…. or any kind of joy.  For some it’s as simple as being understood, being cared for, finding a place to belong or someone to belong to. All those questionable choices  are a part of the search for that everlasting moment… when you will finally look, feel and be  – real.

posted by auriol in sanity's overrated and have Comment (1)

You’ve been voted off the island

“You are all just characters in my head. None of you are really here!”  This is one of the many quirky things my husband says – while sober! Sure he can be down right weird on most days but he might just  have a point. Sometimes I get the feeling that our lives are just one big reality show and we are all being messed with. Crazy ex boyfriends, terrible in laws, shady people do make for great viewing when it’s someone else’s life and not your own going to hell. Dammit where is that bladdy tribal council when I need it? Some people need to get kicked off my show!  Right now I am still deciding what kind of show my life is. For a while it was a soap opera and I was the shady character getting up to all kinds of mischief!

There are so many things that I will never get to really understand. I have made peace with that. Anyhoo it would be terribly boring knowing everything. I rather like the mystery and intrigue. The fact that I am a musician means that I get to use it all to my advantage. Once while trying to explain a concept to a friend he got very angry and said, “Well, I just don’t understand that. It makes no sense! How can that be?” This was his way of saying that I was talking bullshit.  He expected me to argue with him and start some crazy shit. Honestly, I only do that with my immediate family or close friends  and always in jest.

I decided a long time ago that I was not going to convince anyone of anything.  It really is just a waste of my time. There are things, I have decided, that are worth fighting for but arguing for the sake of arguing and to be proved “right” is just insane! But waking up each day and enjoying what life throws at you – now that appeals to me.

I like the idea that there are aliens out there, all kinds of crazy supernatural stuff, secret organisations plotting and scheming. Every time I catch a glimpse of the seemingly fantastical and intriguing it always leaves me wanting more.  This is what makes life so exciting.

The esoteric folk out there say that we scripted our lives before we incarnated….made agreements with people to play out certain scenarios so that we can learn…that we can opt out and hit reset whenever we need to. In short this life is all just an intricate reality show starring me…scripted by me… directed by me for….my enjoyment!

So when the mister goes off on a crazy rant I always listen (even though it might appear that I am falling asleep) because every now and then he says the most profound things…

posted by auriol in insight and have Comment (1)