24 hours home

Pa'l Norte 2018

photo: Nathan Beer

Home visiting family in Santa Barbara again, for what is yet another 24 hour visit. After living in LA for 4 years now, the friends and life that I’ve established there makes it very challenging to be gone for very long. I just finished my second to last semester at USC- my friends all graduated on Friday, but since I took a year off I have a semester left to finish up.

I received many a pitiful: “doesn’t this make you sad to see all your friends graduate without you” from parents and family friends, but I’ve thought about it and it doesn’t make me sad at all. If I hadn’t left school for a year I never would’ve frustratedly sat in my bathroom writing SAY IT AGAIN or any of the songs off “shy” for that matter.


photo: Brigitte Crisp

Leaving school for a year was not my plan up until I did it.. which threw me into a series of attempts to find my footing. After working several jobs, figuring out which of my friends were worth driving an hour to see, and trying to find a new rhythm of life, I realized something. I realized that I blamed music for the things that felt hard in my life. Music is a hard path, it is something that is hard for the people around you to see as a steady choice, it is hard to feel like you have worth in a field of such talented and transcendent artists. It is hard to make money and to feel like it’s more than a selfish pursuit.

At first when I left school I refused to play music or write at all. I went a solid 3 months without touching my instruments or using my voice. And then, slowly, I realized that things were building up and the only way I knew how to express or understand them was through music. I started playing again, I started writing about how I felt instead of writing what I thought would sound good. And that is how “shy” was born, which is why it is so close to my heart.

But now, after a whole school year of being back has gone by, I am in a very different place. I feel more comfortable with being vulnerable, I don’t feel as much like an open nerve. I am ready to make art that comes from a new place in me and that is exciting. I am certainly not sad that all my friends graduated because look how cute they are:



And I will definitely be just as cute next year. 😉  I feel extremely grateful for the time and energy and love that the people and my life in general has given me.


I’ve been very fortunate, and in the past few months have experienced some pretty cool things that have made me love music more than I ever have. I am excited for this summer because I will be traveling and playing shows for almost a month straight, and have a music video for one of my favorite songs coming out. Hope all is well with you, and congratulations again to all my friends who are now USC Alums. Love to everyone.

❤ mad

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