Why I started music | Mariya Stokes

I was distracted when I was sitting down to write this blog – which was supposed to be about my favourite memories from this week – at 1am by a noise outside.


When I went to see what all the racket was about, I found about twenty people – a mixed group of artists, sound engineers, Project Wild Faculty, and RockRidge Camp Staff – all packed into a tiny gazebo by the lake with two guitars and a cajon singing Honky Tonk Women at the top of their lungs. Their rendition was a little out of tune and a little out of time, but filled with so much joy and energy that I had no choice but to squeeze in, sit down on the floor, and sing my face off with everyone until the song was over.


Moments like this are what I try to remember when things get tough.


Sometimes, navigating the music industry and deciding what to do next can be overwhelming. The music industry is complicated.


But music is simple.


It’s a soul connection, regardless of background, gender, skin colour, political beliefs, or economic standing. It’s joy. It’s freedom. It’s twenty people who are singing together and forgetting, even for just a moment, that anything else in the world exists except the song and the people they’re sharing it with.


This week, Project Wild gave me new tools to navigate the music industry, and provided me with opportunities to grow my support system so I can continue to pursue my goals as artist entrepreneur, and share the thing I love most with as many people as possible. I am so thankful for Project Wild, for the community of people that turned from strangers into close friends this week, and for moments like tonight that remind me why I started this whole crazy thing in the first place.


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