The Same New Me
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it’s best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” E.E. Cummings
That canvas art is hanging on the wall in my studio. I look at it frequently throughout my work day. It refreshes my heart and reminds my soul that this painful and at times confusing quest for authenticity is worth the fight.
When I was in high school I somehow picked up the nickname B.Reith. I don’t remember who gave it to me or when it was given. I do remember recording my first album and having to decide on buying the domain name “BREITH.COM” (which I just put to rest yesterday - moment of silence :). I knew it was such a complicated name - so much room for misspelling and mispronouncing. But something inside of me was more set on being authentic than coming up with an identity to hide behind.
My whole career I set out to be authentic and transparent. So B.Reith was always fully me - from big tours to coffee shops - I wanted to share my truest self with whoever was listening. Yet the “B.Reith” brand put a hefty priority on quality over quantity. I became paralyzed trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation that somehow developed in my mind. Perfectionism, indecision, paralysis and fear held me hostage. I found myself hindered and restricted by the identity I was trying to maintain. My multi-genre style, diverse fan base and inability to really fit in anywhere in the music industry caused me to second guess my truest self. I found myself in crisis.
That crisis, though, led to a beautiful epiphany. Two of my artist friends (DJ Promote and Christon Gray) randomly mentioned the idea of changing my artist name to my real name. I said it out loud to myself. There was something very freeing about it. The thought of starting over in a way, but not really. It was the best of both worlds, a chance to rebrand without losing my original identity. A chance to release content more consistently. An opportunity to galvanize my current fan base and relaunch from a platform that we build together. A chance to drop the period, shed a layer and move deeper into the fullest version of myself.
So here I am. Brian Reith. The same new me.
P.S. I want to BE myself, not be BY myself. Let's do this together. patreon.com/brianreith