SAGE SUEDE

Clothing Line

Sage Suede – Work X Life X Clothing Line

My first live performance as Sage Suede will be around 7pm at Internal Matter for Open Mic Night! Fort Point on 03/31.

I took a while to ponder my career path and I am happy to be in a place where I can pursue several things at once and have a steady income. I have questioned the idea of becoming a musician because I didn’t want to create music for money at the expense of my artistic expression. However, since I have a day job, I don’t have to worry about that unless music becomes my only job. I suppose that is the end goal, so I will be very happy if I get to that point someday. Either way, I am still creating a lot of interesting stuff and I’m excited to share it with y’all!SWIM mermaid

I Want to Start a Fashion Line

Another idea I have for the future is a fashion line. I’ve been interested in designing for fashion for a long time and had some ideas for clothing yesterday, while sardonically doodling the Starbucks mermaid. This isn’t something that I’m ready to do just yet and I am mentioning it now because it is something I will do eventually.

Experimental Electronic Music

I made a few experimental electronic tracks in December while looking for a new sound. At the moment I am still interested in developing a grungy electro-rock sound, but I have been playing a lot of acoustic music since returning to campus in early January. The open mic night on the 30th is also acoustic. I have posted two of these songs on Soundcloud, but I need to go through the others because there are about 12 others. I’ll probably cut up most of these experimental tracks and integrate them with acoustic songs. Note: I had to remove some of them, because of Soundcloud’s upload limit and my new songs are better.

The song below is electronic and doesn’t have any lyrics. I composed it using Ableton and I really like some of the sounds, so I will probably sample it some day in a more completed track.

There is Always a Struggle with Music

I will record more music soon. For some reason, I’m having issues reserving the recording studio at Northeastern. I may just have to wait to do production from home, when I can get my hands on a microphone. I have several songs that are most of the way done in terms of vocals and acoustic. I’m not working on DIAMONDBACK Demo all that much and have slowed down on production because there is so much more that I have to learn and set up at the same time. I’m still working and taking classes as well.

I have already scrapped a few of the songs that I planned to use on DIAMONDBACK Demo. I will probably record/perform a few tracks acoustically while others will have an electro-rock vibe. I’m not set on one image, but I will be working on my own clothing line to some extent. I want to unify and empower people through music and provide people with a new way to express themselves through fashion. I am hoping that people like the idea because it could make for some really cool conversations. I want to make something that is bigger than myself and I’m glad to be moving in the right direction.

Sage Suede Charcoal Sketches

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Recently, I also started drawing with charcoals. I am not the best visual artist and I am much more skilled at music than art, but it’s fun to do. I think it is a cool addition to the website. I might even consider replacing many images on the site with drawings, but that will take some time.

Hoping to record the performance coming up. 
As always, thanks for checking back and there will be more music soon!

No One on Earth Can Define You

If we never truly know ourselves until after the fact, then how could we be expected to ever know ourselves at all?

We aren’t able to recall many of our memories and much of the human brain is unused. There are so many interconnected factors that impact the essence of any being, such that it is wildly inaccurate to try to define them from a personal perspective.

This is only one aspect of sense of self and has no consideration for externalities or other people/things that impact who you are in a given lifetime. It does not consider the human spirit and many people that rely on hard facts find the idea of spiritual inter-connectedness silly.

Although I agree that memory is most of what makes up personality, the essence of life cannot be defined without arbitrarily-drawn boundaries and since those boundaries are a point of reference, perception is subjectively based on personal experience.

I know that there is a metaphysical basis to understand these things, but that understanding is an inherent impossibility. As human beings, we will never have the scope of understanding to fully define the essence of any creature, especially ourselves.

Human personality is nothing like the essence of a greater being. I don’t agree with the assertion that existence comes before essence, because we already have an essence before we have any experiences. We are born alive and we don’t know where that essence comes from. Do we have an essence when we are still embryos, living tissue, cells? yes.

At what point do you draw a boundary of yourself as a single individual that isn’t influenced by the same force that impacts all of creation? We know that we are made up of interconnected physical systems, many of which are alive independent of our free will, so how can we exist without being tied to a higher state? Personally, I don’t think it’s possible.

Essence, by such a limited definition as human personality, will never fully embody who we are. These are related concepts and what we learn through existence is quintessential to developing a personal understanding of the spiritual side of life. It can be presumed that there is a connecting force in life, but it is inherently unknowable within the limitations of humanity.

Our understanding of ourselves does not define who we are. Yes, we are impacted directly by our experiences and these help to define us, but our spirit is not confined to a certain universal plane or time period and its origins are mostly unknowable. Our experiences likely make up the largest component of who we are, but our existence is not limited to a single perspective and even then we cannot consciously recall all of our experiences. That says nothing as to how we are influenced by others.

As humans, we have limited lifespans and can never have a full understanding of ourselves. There are smaller and larger scales to who we are that aren’t comprehensible, without scientific instruments. Life goes on regardless of whether or not we are a part of it. I do not believe we cease to exist at death or start to exist at birth and this cannot be observed to discern otherwise. As essence is in all life, it is unknowable- we cannot seek to define it through one life or one body.

The best we can do is to understand essence based on the body of our experiences, but to say that this personal experience precedes the essence of a human being doesn’t make sense, when essence is constantly changing. In fact, it doesn’t make sense to define that aspect of humanity at all.

All people have blind spots to their strengths & weaknesses and all we ever truly understand is within the bounds of personal experience. That doesn’t change the fact that we have direct and indirect effects on our reality that impact how we are defined by others. Does the existence of others and their interpretations of us not also make up a part of our essence? Just because someone defines me poorly, doesn’t mean that it is a part of me, but it is a part of my reality and subsequently the essence of who I am at a given time within my limited life.

I may never be able to acknowledge certain aspects of who I am… does that mean they don’t exist? No, but it does show that humans alone, both collectively and as individuals, cannot define themselves or their reality, due to a lack of understanding. Naturally, we are prone to try to define things, as it is the basis of all language to give things “names”. We can try, but we aren’t going to ever have a full definition of what is around us, or even our own experiences. It is impossible to integrate all past, present and future aspects of a given situation into a statement, so why do we limit ourselves and others to weak definitions of existence? Why do we label things, often with rash decisiveness? Out of habit and desire for a sense of order, as established by the more primitive part of the brain in all humans.

It can be logically stated that we need to exist to come to terms with or develop an understanding of who we are. Even further complicating things is all of the experiences that make up who we are that we don’t remember. A lot of the human brain is inaccessible and these experiences would all have to be factored into the essence of who we are regardless of our recollection, for it to be an accurate depiction. I’m not saying there aren’t some methods around this…

Essence as a dependent of existence, is understood based on how we experience the world, but our experience is not the only thing that has an effect on the world around us, or on our ability to affect the world around us. You can define something to the best of your knowledge, but as our existence is limited, most of us can only define certain aspects of ego – which bares little in representing a person in their entirety.

You are special. You are an individual that cannot be defined by mere mortals, with minuscule perceptions.

Demoback

Sage Suede – Demoback

I wrote these songs, because I intended to use them in DIAMONDBACK Demo. Washboard didn’t make the cut, solely because my computer crashed and I lost the file. I have never had expensive equipment and I am always making due with what I have. At the time I recorded these, I was able to utilize the recording studio at Northeastern University. I got into Northeastern by working hard in high school and graduating at the top of my class. I was only able to go, because I got the dean’s half-tuition scholarship, a scholarship from Pedernales and Huggs-Trust. Otherwise, I would have drowned in debt.

Musical Style of this Demo

It’s challenging combining electric guitar with electronic beats, because it can easily be overpowering. Then I have problems with wanting to play guitar in complicated rhythms that I can’t do while singing at the same time. I used a drum machine app for Cleopatra and Bird Girl, but will probably generate drum beats with Ableton from now on, because it gives me more flexibility with the rhythm. Before, I was struggling to reinstall ableton after my hard drive crashed, but my dad helped me through that – Thanks Dad!

Collaborations & Artistic Vision

I’m not sure what the future will bring and I may start doing more collaborations to bring more energy into my work. I can also play the instruments for songwriting, but I’m not going to be able to do keyboards and guitar live simultaneously, so I’ll have to work with somebody else on that. I think that initially I will just sing with a background track, because I always use syncopated rhythms and that makes it too difficult to play guitar at the same time. I guess for now I just need to finish the songs and can figure that out later.

My goal is to sound like I’m playing in a deserted night club, or like an underground fashion show in a warehouse. Something that is vaguely grungy, but also sophisticated with moody electronic beats. Still these are just ideas and I’ll see what ends up happening once I get deeper into the music.

This is a journey for me and as I evolve, so will my music. Thanks for listening!

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Julep (Acoustic)

Sage Suede – Julep (Acoustic)

I recorded Julep as an acoustic song. It wasn’t something that I chose to continue working on afterwards, even though my original intention was to create it in a more completed version with a backing track. You can see the video for Julep below and on my YouTube channel.

Always Making Progress on My Music

I am still evolving a lot as an artist and even as this was recorded a few days ago, my sound has changed a lot. Recently, this is mostly evident in the way I sing. If you’ve been following me, you may have noticed my name changed from AJ Bluejay to Sage Suede. This was for a variety of reasons but mostly I feel like I’m a different person and the music I had released to date as AJ Bluejay was too soft to really represent who I am. I was in a sad place when I wrote a lot of those songs and most of them are too sad for me to even perform. Sage Suede has a stronger presence, will feature better production quality and better embodies who I am as a person.

Why Sage Suede?

I Love Herbal Medicine

I chose the name Sage, because I have been strongly influenced by herbal medicine. Whenever I get sick, I turn to my trusty Herbal Remedies dictionary by Asa Hershoff, N.D. and Andrea Rotelli, N.D.. It has herbs listed by ailment, so I can look up whatever I, or a friend, is afflicted with. Then I can find herbs that may help. I’ve cured a lot of my ailments this way, but I don’t necessarily recommend it. Herbs tend to be a little safer than pharmaceuticals, depending on which herb, but you should still take note of side effects and any inherent risks.

I Enjoy Studying Magic & Spirituality

I also like the name Sage because it is a voice of someone that people look to for guidance and I would like to influence people to make healthy life choices. A sage is also a spiritual leader and is associated with magical circles. In addition, Sage is used in cleansing rituals and it’s just generally a positive thing.

So Why Are You Suede? Isn’t That a Fabric?

I like fashion and thought suede was good as a descriptive term because my voice can be soft, but also tough like leather. I know that I have a little bit of roughness vocally and that’s something that I embrace and often emphasize in my music. The biggest downside is my search rankings and I really hope I start showing up on search engines above a bunch of average looking boots (please hear my prayers Alfabet, Gods of SEO)… update: idk if saying it as a prayer worked but my SEO is great now.

Sage Suede – Julep

This song was partially about a girl I dated. She was pretty but we weren’t actually compatible in the end. I wish that things had panned out a little differently, so that we could have had a fighting chance, but it was never really there. We happened to hang out on a very beautiful day at the reservoir. I don’t feel like she ever really gave me a chance but that isn’t important. This is just a song with some general feelings I had at the time.

Julep, come quick
had an ankle bracelet
sun-kissed freckles
brown eyes bespeckled

short hair, you don’t care
about the way they speak
you know you’re beautiful
and they can be so mean

take my troubles dump them in the sea

Julep, shorten
the path to my serenity
the happy is inside of me

I complain, when it rains
I down black coffee while you read
your mysteries

boiled that tiger down
into a tea

your cosmic ray
brightens black celophane
their plastic pop
glowed when you sang

you had a way
to kill the hurt in me
with rose gold lips
you have me happily

You said touch builds desire
memory of foam
you taught me that troubles are
where you let them roam

your specialty was speaking low
softer than the lake
I saw you late last Friday night
I felt adrenaline

Julep, come quick
had an ankle bracelet
sun-kissed freckles
brown eyes bespeckled

short hair, you don’t care
about the way they speak
you know you’re beautiful
and they can be so mean

mesmerized by your thighs
tight leggings

Julep, shorten
the path to my serenity
the happy is inside of me

I complain, when it rains
I down black coffee while you read
your mysteries

let’s stay home
we’ll have peaches and cream

Sage Suede Bird Girl Recording
I recorded Bird Girl in the studio at Northeastern University this week.

Finishing Up College & Rushing on DIAMONDBACK Demo

My last semester at Northeastern University is this spring and I am rushing to finish DIAMONDBACK Demo, while I still have free access to the recording studio in the library. I feel like I’m constantly interacting with people that want to tear me down, but then again it’s basically been that way my entire life, so I’m glad I have lived in Boston. I needed the strength and aggression that Bostonians have to make it through conflicts in my life. As someone that grew up in Austin, I used to be a little too passive and that is a better way to treat others, but I needed to have that aggression as well. Tbh, I was probably a little too aggressive leaving Boston.

I Have Been Writing Music For a Long Time

I have been writing acoustic songs since high school, but no one has heard them because I have a high standard of quality. I also dabbled in beat production starting in middle school and took a free audio engineering course at Austin Community College in high school. I have performed in two musical revues for more singing experience through NUStage and did musical theater in high school, solely to improve my singing voice. I didn’t actually enjoy the music in musicals and I consider it to be way too cheesy, in a way that is practically unreal. However, I dedicated my time to it and grew vocally from my experiences.

Sage Suede is an Original Musician

Ultimately, my style is my own and I refuse to be an archetype, to copy blindly, or sacrifice my creativity and personality to fit into a genre. My music can’t exist without creativity and although it could become a business some day, I don’t ever want to make music that isn’t true to who I am. That will take a bit of learning on my part, because most of my early songs are way too sad, but I will start to express happier aspects of my reality.

A long time coming

I have had a passion for music since I was a child. I used to always be shy and scared as a performer, so I found the judgments of others difficult to cope with. In spite of that, I have performed throughout my life at concerts, on stages, for memorial services, etc. and it’s become more natural to me. I am done living in the shadow of a mediocre music industry and I’m not letting people step on me anymore. My music is gonna be released one way or another and I hope to entertain by being genuine, incorporating a wide-variety of my personal musical influences and to pull it all together in a way that allows people to see themselves as individuals, independent of societal definitions of happiness. I am making music to express myself, not to be someone else’s definition of ideal and as I grow, I want my fans to grow with me.

A lot of you are good friends of mine and I just want you to know that I really appreciate your interest in my music. Please share.

I still have a very long road ahead of me and I need all the help I can get!

It’s Alright (Fall in Love Again)

This Song is About Opportunity

When I first wrote this song, I was coming back from a depressed period in my life. I wrote it after Never Meant to Fall into… and honestly, it could not have been a more appropriate time. Summer was returning after a very cold winter and I was starting to get involved in modeling at school.

I was running a lot and averaging around 6 miles each run. I don’t run as much now, because I am a hard gainer and this kept me skinny for a long time. Some of the things that I enjoyed during this time were Boston Pride 2015 parade and Squeezebox Slam 2015. Pride was really liberating for me and I think it was my first pride. In Boston, I want to say most of the city is gay, so there is always a huge turnout and even Elizabeth Warren attends annually.

When I finished the song It’s Alright (Fall in Love Again), I wasn’t in a relationship. I think I had broken up with my girlfriend of 5 months a few months prior. She was great and I can say for a fact that she was one of the most beneficial relationships I have ever had.

I wrote this song about love in general, but I’m sure that there were a few people that were really on my mind. I was still sad, but I was in a better place than I had been before and in retrospect, I can understand that I got to that place by being with people that treated me right. Love is something that is unfortunate to lose, but it can be found anew almost anywhere. You shouldn’t waste it and it’s sad how often relationships fall apart for mundane reasons. However, when you think about it, it is inevitable that you will eventually fall back into love – even when you feel empty at present. In the end, if you lose it all, then that just means that the love lost was worth living. The more it hurts, the more meaningful the experience was for you and that is something to cherish, regardless of how much pain it may cause.

Sage Suede – It’s Alright (Fall in Love Again)

It’s Alright (Fall in Love Again):

I never said it would be forever
You had me on a tether
I used to love you at your leisure
I never knew why or whether we would

/Chorus/
Fall in love again
It was so long ago I held your hand
If we can resolve our differences
If we can stay in present tense

I don’t know what’s the matter
Things have never been better
And if your lips want mine
Maybe it’ll happen one more time
to

//Chorus//

Your pepper print dress
Waves to me you’re gone
Time was short
But for me it felt so long
Fingers so soft,
I want them in my palms
I have never felt so enthralled
to

//Chorus//

But one day
I’ll find my heart turned gold

It’s alright
It’s alright to lose it all

I know that most of my earlier songs are a bit sad, but I was speaking from the heart. Thanks for listening. 

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Never Meant to Fall into…

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Never Meant to Fall into… by Sage Suede

I wrote this song when I was really sad. It’s not something that I spent too much time on, as far as instrumentation and such.
I felt really awful about myself and my life at the time. I had roommates that discriminated against me and made me feel like less of a person. I felt like no one valued me for who I was and it was hard for me to ever be myself in what felt like a hostile place. I had a few friends, but most of them were extremely shallow and I can count on my hand the number that I stayed friends with after college. Most of my friends feel the same way about the people they met. It’s unfortunate how hard it is to welcome people into our lives as we get older…

Everything Was Freezing Cold

At the time, I had just moved to Boston. It was really cold and everyone was very cold to me. In my first two years of college we had something like 2 hurricanes, several blizzards and the marathon bombing. I did enjoy aspects of living there, like the places I went and the friends that did have respect for me, but there were so few of them that it made me very depressed. I was suicidal and this was actually before I went through some tough times. I don’t care if anyone believes me, but you can hear the pain in my voice. I don’t need to disclose everything about myself to know what I was going through.

There Are Two Versions of This Song

The first version is un-mastered and the second one is mastered. Initially I just wrote the song to express myself. That’s the main reason I ever wrote any music and the number one reason I wrote poems was because I was sad. I don’t think I would perform this song, because it would make me really sad. I am also not sure if I could because performing usually makes me happy. It is a side of myself that is so vulnerable, that I couldn’t stand to open myself to criticism. I know that it still has all of the issues that could be criticized, but that isn’t something that bothers me in an online freebie. The main reason I have it online is so that people can see my progress.

In both versions, I played ukulele. I intentionally used dissonant chords. In the re-mastered version, I also used a ping pong vocal effect and some reverb on the ukulele. I made the unfortunate mistake of leaving extra space at the end of the re-mastered version, but what better way to show my progress than to leave my mistakes out in the open! That’s how you know I’m a real artist that actually composes their music from start to finish.

Sage Suede – Never Meant to Fall Into

Un-mastered

Re-Mastered


Why am I still dizzy?
You know you’ve got me in a tizzy, missy
If I drown inside your whirlpool
I was never meant to fall into

/Chorus/
Love
It’s a blessing and a curse
I feel like I might burst
I can feel it in my nerves
The NSA found out first

You keep me on your little finger
dangling from a string
I am not man, I’m mouse
When we’re playing this here game//

Why am I not breathing
The air’s too thin and I’m left wheezing
If I’m writhing in your orbit
I was never meant to fall into

//Chorus//
Why do I feel fizzy?
I’m Wonka bonkers, my feet are lifting
If I die while in your current
I was never meant to fall into

//Chorus//
I don’t feel like singing anymore
I’m empty and devoid and
I’m made too much noise and
I like to see you flutter
but all I can do is stutter
now what words could I mutter
you’re melting me like butter
I’ve always been soft and I
don’t know how to love quite right

My heart is bruised and bloodied
it’s like a potato chip in the sink
that no one wants to eat
or like a piece of rotten meat

You just look so lovely
I feel like sunscreen on a hippo
awkward, not located right
somehow it’s skin is still too moist

my heart might walk away
if you don’t want me
I may die today
and if you look my way
I lose control, heart palpitates

//Chorus//
Why am I still leaning
on this broken rail above this cliff
if I fall into the abyss
I was never meant to fall into
Love

I have a feeling that the NSA laughed when I wrote this, because they probably did listen to it when I didn’t have a fanbase yet. lol

Both versions of this are on 2018 Freebies & Bangers!

Pretty Eyes

AJ bluejay 60s sunglasses

Sage Suede – Pretty Eyes

The first song I recorded as Sage Suede is called Pretty Eyes. I wrote this about a girl I used to date. I was a lot more sad about the breakup back then, so it may be a little dramatic.

The day I wrote this, I went clubbing with my roommate in college and a few of his friends. I was messaging her while we were out but one of his friends told me that I shouldn’t because she would think he was too interested.

I feel like one of the biggest struggles our generation faces is trying to tell people we care about them, when we still have to appear nonchalant and unattached. Disinterest is sexy, but it can also mean you aren’t interested at all. Unfortunately, that line is very blurred and often people go after others that have no love for them, just because they don’t give them much attention. Another problem with this air of nonchalance is if both sides play that game and it keeps them from ever falling in love.

I’ve always been the kind of person that loves a lot and won’t hold back with my feelings. As a result, it’s not uncommon for me to scare people away by appearing too interested. I also just talk way too much for most people. I don’t feel bad admitting that and it doesn’t bother me, because if someone doesn’t like me for who I am, then we just aren’t right for each other.

Composition of Pretty Eyes

The song is a bit said lyrically and ends talking about the idea in Buddhism that everything you have you will eventually lose. That is a sad sentiment, but it’s also very real and Buddhists usually talk about this concept at funerals. If you are aware that you will eventually lose everything, then you won’t hold onto things as strongly and it is easier to accept change. I learned this from meditation seminars at a meditation school. I don’t want to say which one, because I worked there for a few months too.

I wrote this song on a Saturday morning before an acting audition at Boston University. I’m trying to improve my stage presence by getting more experience in acting and modeling. I didn’t get the role, but I have become involved in NUStage at Northeastern University and met a lot of cool people. You can learn more about my acting experience on my portfolio page.

Let me know what you think of the song by commenting on this blog post. At the time I wrote it, I was going by AJ Bluejay.

Pretty Eyes:
Chorus//

Punish me with pretty eyes
hurt me with your perfect smile
you’re so unbelievable
that I can’t say a word
without being weird
The dating game is high and dry
my name to you is just some guy
the drinks at this club
cost a pretty dime
you’re like a feather
when the wind blows you pass me by//

Want to receive my love arrow?
You know I ain’t no pharaoh
I don’t have the gold
and I don’t know what I’m scared of

It I tell you that I care
all you’ll do is stare
leave me to get drunk and pass out
walking up the stairs

//Chorus//

Our generation won’t commit
we already have too much shit
I don’t care if it sounds dishonest
I want to love you lawless
I’m not desperate, I just care for you
but to play the game we stay as two

as soon as I express myself
you’d rather be with someone else
does he treat you like a queen
or is he just using you for some pussy
You won’t want me until we’re thirty
and by then we’ll live in different countries

//Chorus//

These words ring on deaf ears
You’d rather hear a song about
Shaking your ass and making cash
You lost me at the ATM
it’s all as the Buddha said
we’ve been on and off for years
everything is temporary

Thanks for checking out my work, more soon to come!

previously know as,

AJ bluejay 60s sunglasses
Photo by: Kaylan Tran
  1. Soft Serve Chillin SAGE SUEDE 4:36
  2. On Your Lips SAGE SUEDE 3:59
  3. Short Skirt SAGE SUEDE 3:06
  4. ElectroPapi SAGE SUEDE 4:36
  5. Be my Boo SAGE SUEDE 3:02
  6. Un Photo De Toi Nu SAGE SUEDE 3:02
  7. Lazy Sunday with You (Shaky Lips) SAGE SUEDE 2:03
  8. How Can I SAGE SUEDE 2:23