Part 4: Feel It 


Sometimes you write something and you feel just "okay" about it. Just OKAY isn't good enough so you sit on it. Sometimes a week or longer goes by and you let the song breath. That's what happened when I began working on this songThere was just something about the lyrics that didn't feel right. I guess I wasn't "Feeling It". The words weren't hitting the mark.

Funny Story. In April 2016 I was asked to share a few songs on an episode of Voices From The DMV on an Arlington radio station. Being the optimist that I am, I planned to play this unfinished material on the air. To make the performance extra special I asked a friend to join me with her lap steel, maybe this would force the lyrics out of me. What on earth was I thinking. The day arrived, and when we got to playing this song, I had nothing. NOPE. I sang the lyrics just the way I had written them the first time around. You can listen to the song and the full episode HERE. In my mind it's a terrible version I should have not played on the radio but what's done is done, and I had fun. A few months later I found the right words to convey the message I wanted to share through this song.

"A Voice Floating On A Breeze..."

  The MESSAGE is for people like me. People who ignore that little voice calling out from the soul. It's like "A voice floating on a breeze calling help me help me". I'm asking you to acknowledge the feeling inside. You know the feeling I'm talking about. The one that makes you anxious and excited and scared all at the same time. The feeling that you want something more because you know in your heart it's what you should be doing. It's what you need, but you hold back.

"Take A Shot In The Dark..."

I'm calling you to ACTION. The chorus repeats "Feel it coming feel it coming soon, feel it coming feel it coming for you" because I believe that the feeling or the force inside each of us will never leave us. You can stuff it down, you can drown it out with excuses, try to ignore it but there it will be. So why not "Take a shot in the dark... till you feel a spark"? For me, I took a shot after a comment my husband made about a famous and successful musician who (though I don't know their life and all their struggles they had to get to where they are now) is living their dream. It occurred to me that I had never put myself out there to see what I could do. I had no trouble trying out jobs to see if I liked them but I wouldn't acknowledge the ache inside myself to do something creative. Once I took that step, my "shot in the dark" I felt the SPARK. I also found that the further I pushed myself and the more I accepted that this was my passion and my purpose, I wanted more and wanted it all. It was a little easier to overcome my insecurities and fear because there was just no other way to live. This whole song is my personal experience that I think others might understand and be able to relate to. If only you will "Reach for something you never knew". 

"Just Breath In"

A year ago I started practicing yoga. Yes, I know, everybody does yoga, but do you know what they do a lot of in those classes? It's a lot of breathing. You have to breath in order to live, but there are different types of breath. No I'm not going into a rant about the benefits of Y-O-G-A, that's not the purpose of this space. I'm just making a connection with something I believe and something I learned which confirms my beliefs. I believe whole heartedly the words in the bridge of this song, "Out of the darkness say goodbye, see the light and come alive and just breath in". Oh My Gosh, letting go of negative thoughts, letting go of fear and giving ourselves a chance at the purpose instilled in all of us will allow us to have a much more enriching light giving breath. "Just Breath In". I believe that listening to that voice calling out to you and taking action is like coming out of a type of darkness that you didn't even realize you were in. Or maybe you did. Either way, saying goodbye to the darkness and stepping into the light of who you are is like a revelation that you never want to smother because you have come more alive in who you were meant to be. 

I hope you enjoy this track and getting to know the story of this song. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. What's that voice calling out to you saying?

Part 3: Wanna Go 


Keeping with the order of the tracks on this album. Wanna Go is next up on discovering Chase The Moon. Before we delve in, a crucial part to the creation of these songs was my very first guitar. I bought an acoustic Yamaha guitar at a Sam Ash music store in Richmond while I was attending college. It was one of those "If I buy it, I'll learn how to play it" type of purchases. For $100 I figured I'd make an attempt. At the very least, it would make for a good night on the porch with friends if anyone else knew how to play it. It basically sat in its case only seeing the light of day every now and then until I took writing seriously.  In 2015 it was replaced by an electric acoustic Ibanez. I doubt I will ever get rid of my first.  It'll make for a nice practice guitar for one of my sons should they decide to learn.

"I'm Off To Somewhere. A Life Exploration..."

Once upon a time I was a single girl living in Richmond, working and attending school. I remember one winter break pausing in the doorway of the kitchen I shared with three other girls. I thought to myself, "What if I just dropped everything, moved out west and pursued music". Music wasn't really the only inspiration for this sudden halt. I craved a change of scenery. I yearned for the challenge of starting over from scratch. I stood there for about five minutes thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Then I thought how I'd never been the type of person to not finish what I started and so I decided to finish school.

Verse one: "I'm off to somewhere. A life exploration. It's time for change". Life happens as life does. We make choices and from those choices we take a new path. In 2014 I found myself once again with a choice and this time I chose to pick up paper, pen and the guitar from my early twenties. Thus began my journey and everything changed. 

"We're Like Fireflies In A Jar..."

Wanna Go shares a longing to move and explore.The Chorus: "Wanna go Wanna go away with me. We can chase all our dreams", speaks to the person aching for an adventure and a pursuit of something bigger. On the more personal side the lyrics speak to my desire to grow within my new found passion as an artist, but I don't write just for myself. I'm writing to kindred spirits. I'm asking if you Wanna Go on this journey with me? Do you wanna break away from the known and find yourself in the unknown?

"We're like fireflies in a jar yearning to be free". History tells us that people have always fought oppression. That when held back from going after what makes us happy and free, a fire ignites. Creating music was the spark that fueled each late night. It brought me joy and I yearned to share them.There was so much more to reach for. 

"Some People Spend Entire Lives In The Same Situation..."

Go deeper with me. The second verse: "I dreamt I was stuck, couldn't move an inch. What terrible luck". First, let me tell you, I actually do wake up in the middle of the night and can't move a single muscle. It's scary, but happening less and less after I wrote (Daylight), a song all about it (which will be released in the spring of 2019). Aside from my sleep paralysis, these are lyrics with a purpose. I'm speaking to the feeling of being stagnant in life. Sometimes it's boredom, lack of drive or opportunity. Other times it's depression that leads us here. I have had my bouts with depression and so here I conjure those dreadful, desperate and lost feelings of being unable to move and be free.

 "Some people spend entire lives in the same situation". I'm challenging you, the listener. Can you relate to the lyrics in this pre chorus? Now that I have young children I hear them repeat the same things I have said when I was a kid. "I can't wait to grow up and do whatever I want". Tell me I'm wrong if you haven't said that very same thing when you were a child. Why is it that when we grow up and and can do whatever we want, we allow ourselves to tow the line and follow societal norms and demands. Are we working to live or living to work? Day in and day out, do we say we want change but nothing does? Why did we think our parents were living their best lives yet they were telling us to enjoy our childhood because one day it will be OVER!! What keeps us from doing the things that make us happy and manage our responsibilities at the same time? Does it have to be all of one thing with no room to spare? Are we happy?

"Gonna Chase It Till It's Mine"

 I found joy in something once I allowed myself to go after it. Fear of the unknown and adult responsibilities were my biggest excuses for why I couldn't explore this path. I was happy in my life before taking on this new adventure, but is there a cap on happiness? The bridge: "I'm going after what I want. Gonna chase it till it's mine". This is meant to inspire and empower us go after our best lives because as we all know, life is short. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. We might have our excuses as to why we can't or won't go for that big thing we've always wanted. Sometimes there are legit obstacles that slow us down. If you wanna go after that thing, if you wanna live and enjoy your best life, I hope you go after it. I hope you chase it.


Part 2: Chase The Moon 


Chase the Moon:  

I think I wrote this in 2014. This song is all about the beginning of my writing process and journey to discovering my craft. I would often steal away to my basement just minutes after my family went to bed. There I would sit on the floor and I would start picking away at the guitar strings. In the beginning I wasn't well practiced on the guitar. I had taken a few lessons when I was 20 but here I was at 32 and felt like I was starting from scratch. Well, I was. But after midnight, I was alone with my guitar and my thoughts and we became one. Cheesy I know.  

  "I Called And You Came To My Rescue..."

I would strum through chords that I knew, find a pretty one that I didn't and soon something would take over and I was deep into creating. The line in the first verse:  "I called and you came to my rescue" is about my yearning to find something that gave me joy. I leaned into music and my passion was revealed. It showed up, it rescued me. And from then on I would write and play for hours and hours, losing sleep that I would never get back seeing as I had a toddler to chase after every day.   

    "We Won't Be Young Forever..."

The last lines of the chorus: "We won't be young forever don't you know... we're lovers of the night let's Chase the Moon". I did not waste the night, I chased the moon all the way to 4 A.M. I always feel like I got such a late start becoming a musician. I crammed in all the guitar videos I could to learn my favorite songs which lead to me learning more chords to play. Then I would take my new found skills and create a melody that I would soon and quickly write lyrics over. I hated the idea that if I didn't figure out everything going on in my head, the moment would pass and the song would be gone.  

"Going To Bed At Dawn..."

The second verse: "The light will cripple our senses. Going to bed at dawn to some is madness". I'm a natural night owl, I find that I'm more creative in the late evening so diving deep into songwriting was something I wanted to commit my time to. Much better to use my creativity than to watch TV all night or toss and turn trying to force myself into a traditional sleep pattern. My husband is a morning person. He'd much rather I join him for breakfast and coffee. Instead, I stayed in bed till the last possible minute or until my kids forced me to be awake but not quite functional.  

"We'll Chase The Moon And Own The Night."

It's easy to think that songs are about people. This one I feel initially sounds like I'm talking about another person. Ultimately, the lyrics are about creativity and myself.  The bridge: "It's a race to have fun, before the morning comes. We'll chase the moon and own the night". Developing this song and finding myself in the process I realized, I am me. I can only be me. I found myself happy and on fire to create something each night. 

This is still my process till this day. Late nights and early mornings. All worth it. 

Part 1. Discovering Chase The Moon  

Get to know Jahnel Daliya and this record "Chase The Moon" a little more.  

Two years ago in August I began recording this album. It included four tracks that represented the beginning of my journey as a songwriter. Over the next few posts I'm going to share a little more about the songs from this ep. You can stream it on any platform you use and follow along to really get the full experience of the posts as they are updated.  

Even though I am a musician and play and sing these songs at different venues, I'm still a bit shy about opening up and detailing all my deep dark thoughts (not that dark), but it's important to me to share this journey with others. You never know who is reading. You never know who needs the words you have to share. We all have a purpose in life and I believe that when you find yours it's your duty to give it 100%. I'm not saying that it's easy. I have succumbed to the temptation of netflix and chill. Sometimes I have doubted my ability to create and entertain others. But the fire has not died out and I refuse to quit now.