When I was 17, I met an angel.
Honestly, I did. Let me explain:
I have been composing music ever since I was 15. Being a huge film fanatic, it was only a matter of time until I got into film scoring and it has since become my greatest passion in life - an emotional, creative, ever-changing challenge. When I was 17 however, I still saw myself as a rock star.
After a successful rehearsal, our singer drove me back to the subway station. At the time I was busy writing and producing my very first demo tape, and because I was curious I asked my driver if she had ever sent her demo out to publishers and what reactions she'd gotten. She told me she had indeed approached a lot of people and that no one had written back. No one except one guy from a big music publishing company. He had written a page long letter calling her a terrible singer and songwriter.
That hit me hard. I got lost in thought and compared her songs to mine... and doubted myself for the very first time. My half-finished demo was way more noncommercial than hers. If her demo didn't get her signed, why should mine bring me to any success?
Still in thoughts I get out of the car, it's getting late. I say goodbye, shoulder my guitar bag and wander off to the station. There I am, still thinking, as someones catches my eye contact. It's an African-American, casually dressed, leaning against the wall. He's walking towards me, asks if I have a light. I don't, never touched a cigarette in my whole life, I say.
That could've been it. But the guy doesn’t leave. My guitar has caught his attention.
He doesn't really let me talk, it's like he came with a message, he just keeps on talking, even as we get on the train, eyes fixated on me. Not crazy, very relaxed and friendly, intriguing. I'm a little bit embarrassed, people are looking, he's talking a little bit too loudly.
And then it happens, the incredible part: Within his first ten sentences, he starts talking about how musicians should always write what they feel like writing. To never settle for mainstream. He tells me how he and his friends never listen to the radio, they always listen to their crazy CDs no one knows about. I haven't said a word since "never touched a cigarette in my whole life". Just when I realize how much I needed his words right now, he shakes my hand and leaves.
After all this time I only wish I had remembered his name so I could write a song about him.
I never doubted myself again.