He came to sing at a friend’s birthday party. For the whole time that he held the mic and sang, everybody was enchanted. There were those who sang along. There were those who got up from their seats and danced to the music. And there was me–the girl who can’t do any of those. I just sat and stare while the music played on. After the performance, he walked up to where I was seated and asked if someone was sitting next to me. I said, “No, there’s no one sitting here. If there was someone then he/she has moved to a different seat.”
He sat next to me and introduced himself; “My name is Zeek. How about you?” I responded, “I’m Anita. I saw What you did a moment ago. You’re good.” He smiled and said thank you. That was the beginning of us. We spoke all night. When he was called to sing again, he even used my name in most of the songs. That was thrilling. After the program, we exchanged numbers. Weeks later, he became my boyfriend and me, his girlfriend.
There was one thing I knew right from the start of our relationship; music was his first love. Every other thing comes second. In the corner of his little room were his guitar and a keyboard. He had set up a little studio where he practiced music all day. We could be in the middle of a conversation and he’ll suddenly go quiet for a while. Then he’ll jump up and rush to his keyboard and start playing. He’ll hum and put tunes together. Later he’ll say, “That’s how inspiration works. It can hit you no matter where you find yourself.”
One afternoon, in the studio at the corner of his little room, he said, “Sit here let’s listen to all the demos I’ve ever recorded. No one has ever heard them. I’m giving you a rare privilege to be the first person to hear them. You see how much I love you?” One after the other the music played on. He would tell me the inspiration behind each track and the mood he was in when he wrote the music. After listening to all the fifteen tracks demo, he asked me, “What do you think? I know you love them but which is your favorite? I looked into his eyes and said, “This is difficult to choose. All of them are beautiful and sweet. If you release them individually, they’ll all be hits.”
He screamed; “Wow, that’s all I want to hear. We are going to get famous darling.” You could see my comment made him very happy but truth be told every song I listened to on the demo was trash. Very raucous at best. It’s the kind of song that makes you switch the dial to another channel because it’s a waste of your precious time to listen to it. He had the voice. He’s sweet when sings the popular songs of others. He had a dream and he was my boyfriend. I couldn’t hurt that dream with my comment so I gave him what he wanted to hear.
Whenever he was invited for shows, he sang only the popular songs. He didn’t have the courage to sing his own songs. Maybe, that was an indication that he didn’t also trust in his own works but I loved the zeal and his desire to make it big in the industry so I provided the support he needed. Two years of dating and he was still hoping from shows to shows, singing other people’s songs. He kept writing songs that were very hard on the ears. No harmony and the rhythm was all over the place. One day, after listening to a new song he had written, I suggested he should change a word in the song because it doesn’t fit where it is. He said, “This is art. You don’t have any art in you to notice the beauty of that word at where it is.” I was very hurt. I said, “It’s only a suggestion. I don’t have to be a road contractor before I can notice a bad road.” It turned into a heavy argument. He passed silly comments about me and I told him my mind. That was the day I should have told him how trashy his songs were but I let it slide.
Three years into the relationship and all I had was bad music and promises of getting famous in the future. He didn’t do anything that brought him money. Yeah sometimes he played a show and got something but that didn’t happen consistently to be able to call it a career. He had a degree in engineering but wasn’t ready to work with his degree. He said, “Art is a pure thing to do and do it wholeheartedly. Immediately I add anything to it, my focus would shift and I won’t get famous. True artiste doesn’t work like that.”
Then he would call me every week asking for loans that he never paid back. He won’t take my advice but he would take my money and not pay back. He would say, “When I finally make it in the future, you’ll be by my side to reap all the fruits of your labor. Trust the process.” I started thinking about my own future; how time was going and how he wasn’t serious about making a meaningful life for himself. One day we had a fight. It was about his music and he made it very clear that he would always choose his music. I told him, “Go ahead and marry your (trashy) music. I’m gone.” The “trashy” is in brackets because I didn’t say it loud to his hearing.
He tried coming back severally but I didn’t mind him. I moved on with my life.
It’s been three and a half years since we broke up. He’s still an underground artiste. When you hear a promo mentioning the names of artists coming to a program, usually they’ll mention all the names of the big artiste and say “And many more…” Yeah, he’s always part of the “many more.” He gets invited but his name never appears on the bill. Not everyone makes it in the end, that’s something he should know. Some try for years and later change course. I hope it wouldn’t be too late for him and his bad songs but most importantly, I hope someone would finally tell him the truth. That all the songs he has ever written are shitty songs and no one would download or stream them if he dares releases them. He needs that awakening.