We are all so unique in so many ways with our complexities and emotions. We all live through them to the best of our abilities. This is what makes people, individuals. The way we express ourselves paves our way. Some people do it through their work, others through family life, some use religion, while my favorites express themselves creatively.
Energy comes from the heart and it’s what connects us to one another, inspires our thoughts and motivates our actions. There’s a saying that goes like this, “Heart is a fertile place. Anything planted in it will grow whether it’s love or hate.”, and I can attest that hate is a hard row to hoe. No matter how many or few people we interact with in a day, year or lifetime, we always share a part of our heart with the energy we resonate.
The Polish Ambassador, to me, delivers some of the most loving energy a human could manifest. He’s inspired to make the world a better place, not only through all of the facets of live music, but through all of the wonderfully capable human beings that listen to it. His tour promotes permaculture everywhere it takes them and leaves each place they jammed at better than when he and his crew got there. Love is not a weapon to fight off the evils of this world, it’s a key to unlock our greatest potential. TPA opened up and shined an incredible light on the differences between fear and love (in an open letter on Facebook). We have the choice to accept that we evolve throughout our life and seek to understand what’s truly in our hearts or suffer the consequences of fearing to do so. With growth there’s always change…
A letter to old TPA fans, new ones, and everyone in-between
In the last few weeks, there have been a few very negative and hurtful comments surrounding the direction of our tour and the musical aspect of this project, mainly an opposition to the attachment of a movement to the music: a movement that is rooted in love for this planet and each other. And I’m now receiving notes and comments from some of you who are confused and angry at that negativity. So I’m writing this post today to address it and release some heaviness that is weighing on my heart.
For as long as I’ve been touring I’ve gone down and met you guys after shows to connect offstage, and have shared myself via social media to hopefully give you an understanding of who I am and stimulate discussion so we all understand each other more. It’s important to me that you guys know who I am as a human, and to know me as David. The Polish Ambassador is a direct reflection of who I am as a person. The art I’m creating and have always created is a reflection of my own personal evolution. It doesn’t just appear out of thin air.
But I’m beginning to understand why it is such a rarity to see artists go down into the crowd after shows, engage their fan bases with thought provoking questions, and vulnerably share who they are via social media about why they create art. My speculation is that it’s because many fans hold a projection or an idea of who you are beyond the artistry. A fan may be thinking that because they resonate with the music, they know the person creating it.
I can understand that. When I was in my 20s I loved the Beastie Boys so much. Listened to them everyday. Thought to myself so many times…
“Those guys are so badass. I bet we’d be best buds if we knew each other. They would understand me.”
I literally felt like I knew them based on my emotional response to their music. I suppose that’s what we’ve been taught to do as humans, especially when we are young. We project ourselves and ideas onto people that are important to us. If the artist does not fit that mold, he or she might sadden or anger that person, that fan, which might just manifest into hate for that artist. Strange paradox, but I’ve witnessed this exact thing happen a few times over the past couple months with this project, and it is painful.
Some facts. We have sold out 85% of our shows this tour. Major venue and festival owners, professional booking agents, industry professionals have sought our team out to tell us that they’ve never seen anything like this. They’re saying they see over 300 shows a year, and the amount of love that is being created and stirred up in these rooms, is simply put, shocking.
In holding a large perspective of this project, I see that 95% of people coming out to our shows are ready for this kind of love. The roars of applause at the end of the night are like nothing I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been doing this for 5 years. The love in these rooms is palpable. That’s why this has been the most successful TPA tour to date, by far.
But there is a small percentage out there that have yet to access that kind of love. I can understand that too. I remember my first semester in college, walking by the theater department and seeing twenty people engaged in an expressive dance. It made me uncomfortable, and to make myself more comfortable I made fun of it with my friends. Now, I would view that as beautiful, but I can completely understand how others may feel disconnected or alienated through witnessing connectedness. 1000 people all around them beaming love. A love that their system is possibly startled by or unfamiliar with.
I see anger, frustration, and hatred as expressions of fear. And compassion, kindness, and gratitude as expressions of love.
Love attracts love. Fear also attracts fear. Both want to be around each other. Both are constantly searching for one another, but fear is afraid of love. Love is not afraid of fear. Love only knows love.
For those of us who choose to speak from our hearts, share our perspectives, and share the human behind the art from a place of love and service, we might get some unanticipated resistance.
A friend of mine said to me recently,
“If you start making big enough waves, there is always a smaller wave that will return and oppose that wave. It’s just the way nature works.”
So, I guess that’s where this project is at. It’s making some waves, perhaps some big ones. I’ve always known it was in my nature to shake things up a bit. That’s all part of the art for me. And yea, it feels super painful when someone I don’t even know makes a personal jab at me because they don’t agree with my own personal evolution.
I’ve said it a bunch, but I want to share it again — I truly feel that everyone has a right and a choice to live however they want, whether that means moving toward sustainably or not, drinking or not, listening to TPA or not… it’s all your choice. I respect and honor that. I too, as an individual, make my own choices.
I think often times, people forget that artists are humans. I actually read these negative comments. They hurt. But they’re not going to slow this movement. They might even fuel me to work harder. Because I truly believe in what has begun with this tour.
It’s taking me a lot of courage to talk about the message behind my art. It feels like uncharted territory. From my vantage point there are very few artists modeling that, and I’m doing it in hopes that other artists begin to do the same. That’s when a real shift will occur. How do cities and neighborhoods become hip? When artists and creative people move in. How do movements gain momentum? When the artists get on board. Art has the uncanny ability to make things cool, and things that become fashionable can change the world.
Just so it’s crystal clear, there is no way I could ever go back to another way of touring after having the experience of this tour. The potency of touring with people who share my visions. The potency of curating a show that start to finish has so many flavors and so much nutrition. This show ain’t a fast food operation. There is dance, there are words, there is a movement, there is learning, there is evolution, there is a message, there is joy.
A door has been opened and I simply can’t unsee what I’ve seen.
The power that music holds to truly be a catalyst for social change has been unveiled, and it is so damn beautiful. Service, community, building, co-creation, connectedness, comraderie, joy, sharing, giving, receiving, gratitude. The true byproducts of true art.
I’m more in than I have ever been before.
If you can’t handle the love that’s in these rooms, at these festivals, at these action days, and that is part of this movement, that is totally cool. I understand and can even empathize to an extent. I’ve been there. But at this point, I can’t even find the door to go backward. It’s vanished.
And just know, whether you wanna come to a TPA show to party, connect, learn, build, or just dance, you are always welcome to join us. Just want to let you know what direction this train is moving
With gratitude and love,
David aka Polish
In case you didn’t know, that’s what a real man sounds like when he shares his thoughts. Just a regular guy named “David”. It’s like he tattooed a window on his chest, so his heart could see the stars and find its way. I guess we can only truly admire our role models when we get to see them as our peers.
Thanks David, for just being yourself… it’s refreshing. One love.