“I am not my instrument”

I’ve been playing drums since I was 2 years old. As long as I can remember I have always felt very natural and at ease on the drum set, and had always identified myself – both to myself and others – as “a drummer”.
In my late teens, however, I began feeling and hearing other things inside of me that really wanted to get out. Picking up guitar, bass and keys, I began writing songs and singing as well as recording and producing music for myself and others. A few years into this, I realized I had a major identity crisis on my hands… who hell hell was I? Just a drummer who wanted so badly to be something I’m not. Or so I thought then.
I began to understand that not only were my own insecurities about changing my story very difficult to work around, but other’s insecurities about my branching out into other forms of musical expression were a dragging force that made me doubt very deeply my ability to do these things, especially singing.

It might be difficult to understand for someone who has not grown up in a community that identifies and values you as one thing, and then all of the sudden you go and start doing something else and they’re all like “what?”. They don’t believe, they don’t see, and they don’t understand why I would go and attempt something I’m not very good at when I was supposed to be “a drummer”.
My being a drummer, and only that, served a mechanical purpose for others (being someone else’s trusty time keeper) but also an egotistical purpose; for what would they have over me if I could do it all? What could they claim as theirs if I was as good, or even better than they were on their home instrument?

All of these relationship dynamics and insecurities kept me from growing as quickly as I could have, but at this point I am very thankful for the challenges as they forged a deeper and more stable belief in myself, in whatever it is that I feel inspired to do with my life. I still struggle, I still doubt, but I don’t let any of my fear about what other people think of what I do stop me from doing anything anymore.
Drummer, guitarist, bassist, singer, songwriter, producer, recording engineer, musician. This is what I be, whether they like it or not.