What I'm Wearing: Socks: Happy Socks, Blazer: Chaps, Polo Shirt: Mark Anthony Collection. Pants: Kenneth Cole, Shoes: Apt 9.
Dear readers, it's me. To start off this post you may see I'm starting it off a little different. All my posts already feel very personal, but I want to make them feel even more personal, like a page from my diary/journal. So that's why you'll see a different opening from now on. This week as the month closes and my birth month begins, I begin to reflect on the last 21 years of my life. Yes I'm 21 going on 22. I don't talk about my age often, people think i'm a lot older than I actually am. To be honest, I'm okay with that. Most of my friends and the people I love are in the latter half of their 20's, early 30's, and even early 40's. I had to grow up fast, but I won't talk about that in this post, I'll save that for the next page. This post is to tell a specific story in this book of my life that I haven't really talked about on here. I've been open about my eye and little pieces of my life, but today we are gonna go back 3 years and talk about the rise and the fall of Dom Baza, 18 year old singer/songwriter, how is heart broke, and how he is learning to sing a new song 3 years later.
I got these socks from the team at Happy Socks. When I saw the flower pedal design they reminded of outfit 100, "Tale as old as Time". In Beauty and the Beast the rose pedals fell off the rose that the enchantress left for the beast when she cursed him. When a pedal would fall off the beast and all the people turned objects in the castle would become less human everyday. I look at this design of the socks and think of that as my life and my career that I hold onto so dearly. In 2014 I was handed my rose, my curse, Glaucoma. With that curse brought upon me it cursed everything I had worked for up until that moment. The socks are reminder to me, that it's okay to let the pedals completely fall off. In the end the Beast ended up happy with Belle, and the objects turned back into humans. I would counteract that story and say my pedals have fallen off, and like the beast, I was turned in to a completely different person. I'm not the same guy I was 3 years ago, but there is something so beautiful and poetic about that. I see that within the design of these "Happy Socks". They honor who I once was, who I am in this moment, and who I will become with every rose I'm handed in my life. I chose to wear a dark blue blazer from Chaps to represent the darkness that entered my bright blue skies and dimmed the lights on my career for a few years. The mint Mark Anthony polo is to represent the man I have become with a disease that controls part of my life now. The white Kenneth Cole pants is representing the fresh start that you can get after the pedals fall off . The brown pointed shoes is my version of a compass. It's pointing forward to remind me to keep moving forward. And lastly the hat is a nod to the Dom Baza I used to know. I purchased it in 2013 for my 2nd album, "Let The Music Be Your Guide" album photo shoot and music video. I thought since I'm gonna talk about my career, I might as well have a little nod to that piece of work that I poured my heart into only to be enchained by my own sorrow.
In 2012 at age 17 I graduated high school early, wrote, recorded, and released my first album "Time Is All I Have", earned enough money, and moved to Los Angeles by September of that year. I had been traveling back and forth from LA & the bay area for a few years and was ready to take that step at such a young age to live there on a more permanent base. I had the great privilege of growing up in California and getting to know both norcal and socal. From the moment I saw the capitol records tower at 4 years old, I knew when I get older I want to move there, I want to be there, I had to be there. I'm not going to go into detail about my life in LA just yet, I'm saving that for several future posts I have planned for the summer. You'll see that each of these posts since outfit 101 is moving this story to the end of the first chapter later this summer. Within in the first few months of my newfound life in a place I have always considered my hometown, I was approached by a talent scout. Within a week of talking to him I met with a pretty big and respected producer (names will not be named) who wanted to record a 5 song EP with me. I took the deal and ended up getting an extension and turning the 5 songs into a full 10 song album. Hearing my music that I wrote with just my heart, soul, mind, and voice turned into these beautiful larger than life pieces was everything to me. I have been working for this since I was 13 years old. It was like a god sent gift at the time. I spent all of 2013 with my head in the clouds. I was high off life and I didn't want to come back down to earth. 2014 came around and within the first 3 months my album wrapped and all hell broke loose with my career. The people I was working with didn't think I was capable of doing what I was doing prior with this newfound disease of mine. I ended up getting in only 1 radio show promo, and 4 promo performances. Everything was stopped and pulled away from me, I was left to bleed, I was left alone. In that moment when the phone calls were not being returned, my heart broke. I was going through hell. The early days of my disease were painful, and this stab to my heart didn't help me at all. I didn't perform for a year and a half. That did not mean I was not writing about my heartache though. I've been writing my 3rd album for the past 3 years now. I hope one day I can find someone or someone can find me to help me reach my purpose and destiny with this career of mine and let this new album I'm writing see the light of day, so you can hear my story beyond these posts. I was so down for a year and a half. I didn't know how to pick myself back up. In fact, I'm still learning to pick myself back up. It's not that easy, it was never meant to be easy. I closed my heart away from my soul and had to find a way to let music back in to heal me.
I named this post chiquitita after the song by ABBA. Something about the vibe of this outfit just felt so perfect to name this page chiquitita. I felt like the song was a gift from god. With lyrics like "Chiquitita, tell me what's wrong, You're enchained by your own sorrow, In your eyes there is no hope for tomorrow." "The walls came tumbling down, And your love's a blown out candle. All is gone and it seems too hard to handle". "But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you, Let me hear you sing once more like you did before, Sing a new song, Chiquitita. Try once more like you did before, Sing a new song, Chiquitita." I looked at the lyrics as god telling me, get up and do your job. I feel and I still feel as if he is telling me everyday, I gave you this voice, I put you on this path, Now get up write how you feel, and speak your mind. All those people who broke your heart, they all thought you something, you don't want to admit it but you learned a lot. Take what you learned and try once more like you did before, and sing a new song Dom Baza. Things are not like they were before. I feel as if I'm back to square one with my career. Back to the early days when I was 13 years old singing in rehabs, in fact i'm still doing that at 21 years old. Singing for other people with illness like myself or worst is a way to heal. My patients and I heal each other. Music heals and as I continue to find a way back to something similar to the life I almost lived, I'm going to continue to try to keep singing a new song and continue moving forward. Nothing stays the same forever, even the life i'm living now will eventually change, for I am evolving and getting stronger. Change can be heartbreaking, it can be scary, but it will be good in the long run. I choose to continue "changing".
Thanks for reading and always supporting me. See you in May.
Photographer: Joanna Wheeler
Every post I will include the song that inspired me to build a post around it's title.
Book 2: Chapter 1