This song explores how, maybe, the more we accomplish, the more we might wonder when everyone is going to figure out that we don’t really deserve it. The song is in two parts – an angsty confession followed by a hopeful path forward.
Interview by Jacqueline Jax
host of A.V.A Live Radio
host of A.V.A Live Radio
Artist: Darin Jellison
Song name: Impostor
Genre: Electronic Folk Rock
This song is about the ups and downs of success. It literally started with my own fears around Impostor Syndrome, wondering how far I could go in life/work/music before it becomes obvious that I’m not as good as people seem to think. I can’t say I’ve had a hard life – I’m an Ivy-League-educated architect, from a stable and loving family. This song explores how, maybe, the more we accomplish, the more we might wonder when everyone is going to figure out that we don’t really deserve it. The song is in two parts – an angsty confession followed by a hopeful path forward.
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My music is introspective and personal. It is usually based on a feeling or idea I live with all the time, but often the songs take on a life of their own in the writing and recording process. It’s a blend of acoustic and electronic sounds because that’s what I find so interesting about music these days. It notices the ugly, scary, and frustrating aspects of life, but ultimately means to spread a sense of hope, togetherness, and love.
After my debut album, “On A Lark,” I made lots of discoveries about what I love about music, and a big part of it is playing live. I’m looking for ways to write with more intention that way. I record these full arrangements with lots of instruments going, but I play as a solo artist without a band behind me, so I’m trying to make songs I can really crush live in a really stripped-down style.
Like so many independent artists these days, my studio is in my house. I’ve been messing around with Ableton Live for over a decade, and in the last few years have finally gotten to a place where I felt like I could really make something work.
Maybe it’s my insecurities, but songwriting, recording, and mixing all takes place in isolation.
I have this effects box I love, my VoiceLive 3 from TC Helicon, that I use live and it has become my sidekick and inspiration in the studio for guitar and vocal effects. I love that I’m still using the Ensoniq ESQ-1 I got in 1987 as a MIDI device, too.
Ah… the eternal challenge. I think as independent musicians we are always trying to balance a 3-pointed construct – work, music, and family. There can be a balance in that, but it’s also never perfect.
Imperfection is really what seems to motivate me, fosters a desire to do better, or correct a mistake. I think, for better or for worse, I understand that all three are of ultimate importance. I cannot be a complete person without being somewhat divided between them.
Graham Cochrane and Joe Gilder from the “Recording Revolution” and “Home Studio Corner” podcasts talk all the time about how to get past all the hesitation and just get your music out there. Get better by doing the work. In particular, it was a one-song-one-month challenge they talked about that ultimately led to the collection of songs that became my debut album.
From that I resolved to write, record, mix, master, and distribute one song per month for a year, and collected together with some bonus material it became “On A Lark.” Looking back it seems pretty unbelievable that I had all of that inside me and just needed the right set of goals to get it out.
I live in the Lehigh Valley, about an hour north of Philadelphia. The music scene here is always surprising me. There is a ton of talent here and a lot of history related to the folk music scene, but it’s really much more than that. It’s possible to catch live acts across the full spectrum of genres and styles here. Philadelphia, where I work and play out occasionally, is of course contributing at a high level to the national music scene, but it’s really amazing how much music there is, just 50 miles north, in the Lehigh Valley.
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