A moving story of soap.'s entrance to music
Aidan Francis D’isa is an artist that has been bringing his vocalist talent and lo-fi inspired beat-making abilities together to create something really special. The following is a moving story as told by him, about his entrance to music.
The story that will be told in this segment is the story of how I arrived where I sit today, in a self-built, pieced-together home studio that has positively changed, or maybe even saved, my life. It begins with the story of a young boy unknowingly stumbling upon what would become the most meaningful aspect of his life.
One day, while attending a small elementary school tucked away in Northeast Ohio around age 8, I was tasked by a teacher to author a poem. I sat there in the blue plastic chair and meandered through what I remember as a very basic and elementary poem - a simple rhyme about a man playing his flute on a dock, yet it must've been impressive to my teacher by some standard. As after I had turned in the piece of writing, I was called back to the teacher's desk, where she would exclaim...
"Did you write this yourself?!"
"Yes, I did", I responded.
She then went on to commend me on my writing and even went as far to hang up the poem in the classroom.
That day, I felt an emotion that I hadn't yet identified in my life as a middle child in a sometimes violent and tumultuous family.. I felt as if I had some form of autonomy, some sort of thing that I could work at and do on my own. But, I wouldn't realize just how important writing and rapping would be in my life until nearly half a decade later, around age 12-13.
In the first semester of 8th grade at the same school I attended earlier, I was asked to leave the school by a new administration who deemed myself and most of the male friends that I grew up with as problem children. Leaving led to myself becoming estranged from the people that I grew up with, loved, and spent the majority of my free time with months before we moved onto high school together. I vividly remember the sharp pain in my chest as I walked out of that building, separated from the only friends I had.
I was thrust into a new environment where I knew nearly no one, I felt very alone and, to be frank, heartbroken Although I eventually fell in with a group of people there, the problems at home had become increasingly intense; and witnessing, enduring, and trying to escape violence and abuse had become a weekly occurrence and soon was a normality. This led me to begin experimenting with drugs, and as most 13 year olds who are getting high and fucking off do, I began to attract attention from the police.
I could go on about the other bullshit that was going on at that time, but it basically created the perfect environment to begin expressing myself through writing and rapping when I was introduced to underground hip hop music.
Artists like Tyler, The Creator, Vince Staples, BONES(Th@ kid, back then), Underachievers, Flatbush Zombies, Xavier Wulf, Pro Era, A$AP mob, were all beginning to bubble up to the surface and inspire me.
It all culminated when I began to take writing music and poetry seriously a few months after I was removed from the school I originally attended, and I would later release my first song in early 2013, titled "soap.", recorded in a basement booth fashioned from pushpin-fastened towels descending from the ceiling to form a small cloth box in a large room.
Around then, music and delinquency essentially took over. I was out running around on the streets at like 2AM when I was 13-14 with my friends, and right around that time we were starting to make a little money off different things like flipping streetwear, amongst other things, which gave me a sort of mindset that compounded my interest in counter-culture and music. My mind wasn't in school anymore. I was having day & nighttime dreams about performing for thousands. Along with music, I started making videos, logos, merch designs and finding places outdoors that could further inspire me. In class, I would be writing verses on any piece of blank paper available, after class, freestyling with my friends, and when I went home, sneaking out with my neighbor to hotbox his moms' car and freestyle more. This is where I fell in love with what music did for my emotional well-being. But, as a young boy, I wasn't sure where to start, which is where the next part of the story begins.
So, fast forward and now I'm in high school, I grew up in a 4x4 mile town so you essentially couldn't take a piss without someone hearing about it. I'd been in trouble with the law multiple times for being in vehicles that got stopped with drugs in them among other petty things that all [or most] high schoolers do. Basically the majority of the parents in town took issue with me because, as I mentioned, everyone's dirty laundry is on blast when you live in a small town with not much to do, and I am far from perfect.
I wasn't invited to most things that my peers were but by that point in my life I had mostly given up on the hopes of living like a "normal" adolescent. I knew of nobody that I could talk to about the hell I experienced that in my childhood/adolescent home and it sent me further down a spiral of depression and self destructive drug usage ending in a series of seizures that I had, the first of which happened in school due to benzodiazepine withdrawal in front of all my schoolmates.
At this point, it made no sense to stay where I was, and once again, I transferred schools after being searched by the school officer and principals while I was sporting a broken leg, that of which they [illegally] ripped the cast off in an effort to find drugs..
In a way all of this was a blessing, because the next high school I went to is where I would meet the people that gave me the means, support, and knowledge to start upon the path that I am traveling down today. I met two of my closest collaborators who are very near and dear to me this day, among other important people who helped piece the puzzle together. I joined a collective, which led to me performing on my first show, which was opening for $UICIDEBOY$, Pouya, Fat Nick, and Germ on the SouthSideSuicide tour in 2016. It was quite a "baptized in the fire" moment, as most people don't start off their performing career in front of 400+ people rapping a song by memory over your pal's off-tempo beatboxing, but these are the moments that shaped who I am now, and after that show I practiced like never before to become the type of artist that I'd want to see on a stage, that I'd want to listen to.
I learned how to engineer and record myself that summer and haven't looked back since. When I spend time making music, I lose track of time, I forget about whatever petty issues that sometimes plagues my mentality and I become myself. I believe that finding and exploring what I am passionate about has been at the cornerstone of what I, and we as people, need to grow in all aspects of life.
As of this last Thanksgiving, I am 3 years seizure free/sober from the drugs that nearly took my life, the timing coinciding with the summer of 2017 in which I got my own microphone, computer, and DAW and began to follow what was so obviously the outlet that I needed and the path that I belong on.
I could go on about all the other things that played a part in this journey, but that's what music is for. Just know that if you're reading this, whether I know you or not, whether we left off well or not, whether we're past friends or friends now, I appreciate the part you play in my story and I am glad that I can have a hand in yours.