Behind the songs – Track 2 – Half Notion

Half Notion was written back in 2014/2015 not long after I had left university.

The lyrics were amongst the easiest for me to write and were inspired by a quote that just had so much relatable truth in it, it stopped me in my tracks.

I always
say, when you’re young and
unsuccessful, you don’t have the money,

and if you’re not careful, when you’re
old and successful, you don’t have the
passion. To be put in either of those two
positions is a tragedy. I think one of the
toughest times in any man’s life is his
twenties, because in your twenties
you’re fiercely screaming who you are,
but you have only half a notion of who
you are. Then as you grow older, you
whisper who you are, but people are
closer to you, and they listen. By that
time, you have half a notion, a quarter of
a notion, of who you are. I think the
tragedy is when you finally have all the
people that you need surrounding you,
and you have nothing left to say.”

This quote is from acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro from the beautiful coffee table book ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ and this is just one example of the wisdom this gentleman shares in his work. Watch a live interview of him talk about one of his latest masterpieces, ‘The Shape of Water’ and he will put a smile on your face!

Admittedly, I was in a position when I left university and finished education with flying colours yet for the first time in my life, I had no clear sense of direction of how to go about doing things. Not to say I did not have a vision, I am extraordinary lucky to have found something that I have been passionate about since the age of 8 but my ambitions lacked the resources and I felt pretty lost. I know for a fact that plenty of people end up in that boat, probably much more so than those that find their feet straight away.

As I had done during school and university, I wanted to prove myself in the real world as a person and musician, with no real idea as to how to that exactly and subsequently, my perception of the way things were going were that it was all painfully slow and extremely frustrating, so much to the point it was anxiety inducing.

The record that I had in production during this time was Eden Shadow ‘Melodies for Maladies’ but there were so many hurdles involved in making this stupidly ambitious record, it came to a point where I thought I was never going to be able to release another album ever again.

I wrote Half Notion to express that frustration, but at the same time I was looking for the wisdom amidst it all and in retrospect, it was simpler than my emotions at the time made it out to be.

I was in my early twenties and you know absolutely sod all in your early twenties!

I was caught up in half notions.

‘Half Notion’ is about accepting the fact that it is okay to only have a fraction of a notion about who you are, and learning to temper that alongside your ambitions, passion and desire for success.

It’s easier said than done, especially in a world where the media obsessed with age, people lie about being younger and youth talent in the industry is propelled at such a speed that they end falling as fast as they rise (with sometimes devastating consequences). As Del Toro says, success has it’s own downfalls as well and learning to love the journey is key, and making music as a solo artist and with Kinky Wizzards has never been more positive. I look forward to a time when we can take it all live again.

I still only have a half notion.

To finish, here is another quote from Del Toro about the same topic:

“The most desperate time is when you’re in your 20s,” said del Toro. “You feel like you’re too late, that you’ve wasted your life. Then when you’re 30 you realize, ‘No, I was just obscenely young, and it was the best time ever: anything was possible!

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