This blog post deals with music, money, men…and the unfortunate mantra I silently repeat as I compose music, walk into a room and lounge in the arms of a delicious man.
So let me give it to you straight. I am not the kind of person who walks into any space and with my very presence announce, ‘I am Auriol Hays, so watch your damn self…’ I am not fiery and bombastic. I observe, listen and take my time. This is very deliberate on my part – whether music is involved or not. I am more interested in seeing how people behave if they have the freedom to be themselves. As I want that extended to me. This sounds fine and dandy but at its worse I am viewed as being a pushover, lacking in self-confidence and drive. As I am surrounded by strong minded people who are intent on sheltering me from this big, bad world.
It all started when I was young. I was raised in a very sheltered environment; married a man who loved and sheltered me in turn. When that world collapsed serious adjustments had to be made. For a long time the notion that home, affection and belonging could be taken away was a fear I could not shake. Especially if you add in the fact that it takes a while for me to voice my concerns. ‘Why didn’t you speak up?’ people demand of me. Truthfully, it takes years for me to trust anyone completely. And so the inevitable happens –I always end up leaving as I would rather be alone than feel indebted to anyone.
My sister once asked, ‘Why don’t you just make stupid music that people can dance to?’ I know what works on radio, what the masses listen to. I had to fight to not lose myself and my voice amidst some very loud and abrasive people. The idea of joining the masses once again does not appeal to me. Similarly when I walk into a space I am not familiar with – I take a step back. As I need to asses my surroundings and the people in it. If I am unsure I will show it, ask for help and voice all the fears I have. I do this from a place of strength. Hoping what is learnt in those instances stay with me. Yet is is often perceived as a lack of confidence. I have come to the realization that the onus is on others to manage their expectations of me. And if I am hired to perform I am under no obligation to give any more of my time than is required, because well… I am not your bitch and you do not own me.
Men and whiskey are tricky. I love a good rogering (that’s an old word for sex people). Yet, I have learnt to channel that energy into music so it does not lead to bad choices or spaces where I feel compromised. No dick, no matter how perfectly formed or large in proportion will be enough to chain me to a man. Of course I do encounter men who love making a fool of me. Again, the need to do so makes me question their agenda and not mine. I am a Scorpio and sexual intimacy matters a great deal. With the right partner it allows me to breathe more steadily and the music to flow more freely. I engage on my terms and with the blinding consent of a man of my choice. I am no one’s bitch – unless that’s the game we are playing on that particular night. And darling – you are going to have to do more than bring me a bottle of whiskey. A man who knows me and his whiskey will bring the good stuff, ensure I am fed and make conversation worth having.
Those who know and love me get it.. Musically it takes even longer. Trust and patience is needed. My favorite pianist and musical director know this of me. My new management team based in the UK give me all the space and time I need and so trust is built up step by step. Just because I smile, listen and hardly voice my opinion on matters political in public does not render me weak or without power. I am conscious of when and where I need to do so.
Mine is the voice that whispers to you when you mixed your drinks with all manner of shooters and bad red wine, the last thing you utter to yourself before sleep hits. That is the space I choose to make music from. And it isn’t a loud sound but it is one you cannot ignore for long….because if you do…you will end up feeling indebted to someone, living life on their terms. In short you will be their bitch…and life is to short for that kind of fuckery.