I'm ready to burn it all to the ground. Currently in my bed, on a lot of muscle relaxers, because I tweaked my neck. A chiro appointment has helped, but I'm still in a lot of pain. And I've been in a lot of pain for a long time.
I'm a survivor. I'm here as an artist, as a woman, as a daughter and sister, and as a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
I'm also here, like many of you, as a person who's had to deal with a whole lot of unwarranted bullshit in my life. The idea for this record didn't come about because I was in an abusive relationship, or in the wake of sexual assault. The whole concept started after my "booking agent" dumped me because I politely and nicely told him I needed to cancel a bunch of non-paying, no guarantee tour dates. (This was after I had paid him his booking fee) Before he hung up the phone, he had unfriended me. Just like that. Three years of interaction with someone down the drain. I didn't understand. The door got slammed in my face for the 9,246th time as a person working in this industry and I didn't even have a response.
Fast forward a few years later, when a set of influential and important people decided they didn't like me. No reason, no rhyme. They just didn't like me and didn't care what I had to say about it. Didn't matter who I was in love with, who I cared about. It didn't matter that I tried, it didn't matter that I gave my 100% to the situation. They were not having it and they went out of their way to make my life a living hell. (And wow, did they do a bang-up job!) I spent hours on the phone with my friends, my family. Asking the same question over and over; "Why don't they love me?" Who cares? They sure didn't care. I could jump through all the fire hoops in the world and it wasn't going to change their opinion of me.
The small hurts, the dirty fingers that poked at my sore spots, were really the inspiration for this album. I didn't unleash the big guns right away. "I've been to therapy my whole life," I said. "I'm fine," I said. I carried on with my partner, making this record in bits and pieces, doing what I could afford when I could afford to to do it. I cried, I had breakdowns in front of the mic. I seriously contemplated not releasing it at all, because surely, it was going to fail miserably like everything else I've ever done. I was sad, I was procrastinating, I was looking for a reason not to do this. I didn't want to share my sadness with everyone; it felt unfair. I plugged along because that is all I know how to do.
It wasn't until I was unexpectedly folded into a group of amazing humans that I got really angry. I was angry that everyone had the same stories. I felt a blackout rage coming on every time someone *else* would come forward with a story of abuse and every time someone I had come to care about said that they, too, were a survivor. Then I started to feel weary. I did not realize how much extra baggage so many of us carry around, all day long. So many of us are out here being forced to carry things we never consented to carry. It's not fair. It's not right. It's sickening and disgusting. I raged myself out until I was exhausted. And finally, I was tired. I am tired of being nice.
This is for all the times I said, "I'm sorry" when I should have said "Fuck off"
It's for all the times I said, "I'll try harder" when I should have said "Get lost"
For all the hours I tried to make it work when I should have walked away
It's for every time I backed down and made myself small so I wouldn't get hit or get hurt
For all the days I spent accepting the scraps from the dinner table when a Michelin-starred restaurant was down the street
I'm done. I'm tired of being nice. I'm #TiredOfBeingNice
And I know a lot of you are too. I'm here on my own, as an independent artist doing this with no guarantee of fame and fortune, no guarantee that I'll even make back the money or time I've poured into this record. I'm only here because I want to have this conversation with you. Because I want to tell you, "I HEAR YOU" and scream it together while holding you and catching some of your tears on my glitter-covered shoulders. I made this album because I know you've been here too.
Tomorrow, join me in the discussion using the hashtag #TiredOfBeingNice
***Please keep in mind that there is a distinction between being an asshole and #TiredOfBeingNice. This is not a space for racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, or any kind of bullying. The reason I called my album "Normandie Wilson Is Tired of Being Nice" and not "Normandie Wilson Gets Revenge On Everyone In A Violent Fashion" is based on my beliefs, and a lot of reflection on what I really wanted to say - which is, that I'm tired of being nice in situations that don't warrant it, and I'm tired of being nice to people who don't deserve it.
I created this record with a lot of care and reflection, with a lot of love and a lot of tears. I am excited to be in conversation with you about the record in a thoughtful way tomorrow.