Wild Woman & the West Coast
As a teenager in high school, I was obsessed with the troubadour/nomad/beatnik archetype of the 60’s. I read books by Jack Kerouac and listened to ‘King of the Road’ by Roger Miller on repeat. I thought there was nothing more romantic than living on the road indefinitely.
But, there was one thing missing from the narrative I idolized: women’s’ voices. Where were the ramblin’ women playing their guitars, living out of backpacks, and refusing to adhere to the stereotype of a “proper woman”? I couldn’t seem to find them.
Thus, the Wild Woman was born.
I wrote a song about the woman I imagined existed. She was fearless, lived by her own rules, and wasn’t held down by marriage or a family. She romped through forests and cities, howled at the moon, and took lovers in quiet towns that she passed through. She hopped trains, spoke her mind and did exactly what she wanted to fearlessly.
Not long after I wrote this song, and started to share it with people, something magic happened. The song took on a life of its’ own – and every time that I played it, I felt this wave of confidence and empowerment wash over the room. Women approached me and told me their dreams; they told me they wanted to be Wild Women. I told them they already were. I realized that I had to continue on my path, and continue to share my story and theirs.
In only two years’ time, I have backpacked through Hawaii, won a prestigious award from a national arts program (YoungArts), independently produced my first EP, and launched it on every major streaming/music service. I moved my entire life to San Diego by myself (just ‘cus) and started creating a successful music career there. My latest adventure was my very first solo West-Coast tour that I booked and planned myself. It took an incredible amount of preparation, communication, practice, refining and GAS MONEY to make it all happen. All along, I’ve been writing, singing, collaborating and working on new material.
I’ll tell you: all of that work is worth it.
I travelled from San Diego to Ashland and back in three weeks; played 10 shows, 1 festival and connected with some incredible people. My older brother, Forest Bailey, who is also an amazing musician, hopped on the second half of tour with me and travelled up North to Oregon. Each show was an entirely unique experience, yet the common thread through all of it was pure love, support and good ol’ adventure. I got to see old friends, make new ones, and connect in my most vulnerable form of expression. The entire time felt as though my heart would burst from equal parts joy and exhaustion. From the comfy warmth of San Diego, to the scent of orange trees in Los Angeles, all the way through misty San Francisco, and verdant highways of Oregon – I sang my lil’ wild heart out.
I don’t believe in half-achieved dreams. I think that our lives are so fleeting, so fragile, that there is no reason to not work on the things you desire. I could have told myself that I wasn’t financially stable enough to tour, or that I wasn’t popular enough or talented enough. I could have waited until someone “discovered” me and planned it all for me. But, that’s not what a wild woman would do. She would say, “fuck it” and make it happen for herself. There were many times when I felt lost and frustrated and tired and doubtful of it all. But I kept making those small steps.
Don’t wait for something to happen to you – often times things happen by way of manifestation. Whether it be yours or external influences. We all have the power to direct our energy for positive effect. It’s important to remember that the process is the dream – that this wild, human experience is ours to enjoy and cultivate. My dream started with a song, and now it is growing into so much more. It’s turned into sold-out shows, hugs with strangers, sing-alongs in homes, dances in muddy marshes and winding drives to unknown towns. I’m finding comfort in the shifting scenery of the highway, the lessons learned in a redwood forests, and the absurdity of a completely stuffed car.