Fears of an Artist

Photography by Peter Pascucci

My dad always asks me when I’ll get business cards. I’ve been pushing it back for a while because I don’t know what to write as a job title. I’m at a point in life where I don’t feel the need to limit myself with my interests and what I do.

I’m a director, a writer, a photographer, a stand up comedian, and a musician. Who knows what else will be added to that list throughout my life. I look forward to seeing it grow. The only reason I do so much is because my whole life I didn’t know how to express myself or I was too afraid to do so. But ever since my junior year of high school, I’ve been on a mission to destroy that fear and to nurture my inner child in order to express freely until I die.
Last year I started working on my first solo EP, Youth FM. I picked up a pink electric guitar after watching the Jimi Hendrix biopic with Andre 3000. My goal was to mix my love of “white boy” music and what a young black male is expected to love (hip hop). I released my first song, “I Think I’m In Love” in August. I went to LA in January and shot a music video for it (it was always a dream of mine to shoot in LA at night with all the neon lights). It’s a one-take music video that I directed. I really wanted it to feel like a dream as well as express loneliness and how a breakup can throw your mental state upside down. There’s inspiration from two of my favorite directors Gaspar Noé and Nicholas Winding Refn. 

Photography by Peter Pascucci

I could’ve went a generic route and did a video about a boy and a girl breaking up and cheesy shit in the rain and stuff but instead I wanted to keep it simple and show what I think heartbreak and being single can be, which a lot of the time in New York is walking around at night and watching couples enjoy their happiness.

I made exactly what I wanted to and then began to doubt the video out of fear. I sat on it to the point that I took the song off of my EP since it became so old to me. But I’m over the fear. We live in a world were people are afraid to be exactly who they are and to do exactly what they want to do. People limit themselves, feel like they have to have life figured out, or choose one thing. I don’t want to live my life that way. I don’t want anyone to. I believe that the current state of the world requires everyone to fully express themselves and to understand each other. This is a key to uniting and improving the world. The best way I know how to express myself currently is through my art. I can only hope to become more honest, vulnerable, and fearless as I grow. Not just in my art but also in all aspects of life. I hope to inspire others to do so too, just like how my heroes inspired me. 

Youth FM and more will be released by the end of the summer.

 
Visionary. Trailblazer. Maverick. Not many artists have the foresight and innovation that Saleh possesses, even less approach their artistry with such fearlessness, vulnerability and sensitivity. I know that I didn’t and couldn’t. However, I am in the process of doing so after being inspired by Saleh’s work. A rising star in the Big Apple, I am certain that this maestro will continue to inspire others, as he has done for me. For more from Saleh, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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