One month to Forgotten Dawn's 5th anniversary in this internet hole called Newgrounds and a bunch of other places. OK, so what, right? Well, it's kind of a big deal to me, especially compared to my previous... er, "artistic" iteration. Thing is, almost 5 years ago I had no idea what I was doing. Not like certain things have changed over time — as much as I'd like to think otherwise.
Here's the premise to this weird and unusual post. It doesn't contain any updates or anything related to current projects and work in progress material. Feel free to ignore this if you're just not interested in my own trip down memory lane. Newgrounds historians take note. I think 5 years already feel distant enough for me to view things under a different light, as if I were a complete stranger filling the roles of judge, jury and executioner at the same time.
So, here it comes.
"The Brutally Honest and Tragically Funny Genesis of Forgotten Dawn!"
I'll be honest with you, Forgotten Dawn as a project is still a lucky coincidence. It was merely meant as just another cheap knock-off while waiting for the next music messiah to descend from music heaven™ and bless my mortal endeavor with more inspiring juice.
I had experienced a wealth of changes in 2012. I remember getting out of high school without any idea of where to go and what to do next. I just knew I harbored many interests and that was it, really. I felt really unprepared for that. Things then started piling up, stress came along to say "hi" and the combination of those took a toll on my music. For the entirety of that year, I was unable to create anything remotely satisfactory. It was a pretty bad case of writer's block. Granted it was also the year I expanded my library greatly, I didn't really know how to handle that kind of potential.
I used to make plenty of alts back in the days. Not that I won anything with them, but it wasn't the point. It was a mix of boredom, willing to role-play different characters each with their own personality and imagining how they would sound like, and simply screwing around with my audience. It was also a way to safely test whatever new tool or virtual instrument I would get with no real impact on any perceived "reputation" I could have had. Clearly, at the time I still needed to grasp the "nobody cares" rule. Baby steps, right?
My mindset at that time was still quantity over quality. I used to be incredibly wild when composing. Out of 100 tracks, I would really only recommend 20 or less. That was my own personal "success" ratio. At some point, I even made my own "label", envisioning myself as a curator of different artists that were still me under various aliases and personas. You may take a look, if you wish.
So, really, all things considered, when I made Forgotten Dawn, my cynical mind expected the same old thing I always did. Except not. This time was different. What made it different was the fact that I grew increasingly tired and frustrated of what I had done as @KKSlider60. Some people might still be wondering if I went off the charts forever never to come back again, so I'm assuming this post would finally clear any inch of doubt about it. It came down as an epiphany to me.
Back then, there was no option of changing your username as we know it today. There was no supporter status either. Your only chance was to directly contact either a mod or an admin and pray senpai would notice you. So, in a sense, I did have the option to just change my name to Forgotten Dawn, but I wanted none of that. I wanted to start anew. Zero. Nil. Again. For the, what- 4th time? Something like that.
I realized I lost that kind of initial "spark". The name KK Slider became my ball and chain at that point. I had littered my portfolio with tons of half-baked material, gigabytes worth of unreleased files now lost forever (courtesy of Seagate drives), plenty of "experimental" alts that led me nowhere artistically, and only a few released albums that I deemed worthy of receiving my own blessing. I wanted to desperately cling to that novelty feeling, even going as far as imitating what I thought was my own successful style. It felt pretty disasterous for me at the time. Again, I wanted none of that.
I didn't wanna drag that kind of legacy into the new era. "If I truly wanted to experiment and broaden my musical boundaries, it better be good and have soul!" I heard myself crying from the inside. I figuratively wanted a new home for myself. A peaceful place inside my head devoted to creativity where I could simply unleash my potential as myself, for who I was. Just one single nexus I'd always be welcome to stay as much as I wanted to. That was my vision. Definitely not a shallow business filled with subworks and musical afterthoughts. Definitely.
February 22nd, 2013 - The day I mustered the courage to finally call it quits with KKSlider60 and embark on this new age of discovery. I made this loop called "Whispering Horizon", and that was the last time I logged in as my old alias. Haven't logged in ever since. Not even by mistake. This is my home now. It's like mentally moving to a different place. I packed my stuff, the bare minimum, and christened the next cave as my new base.
Does it still feel new? Maybe. Kinda. Parts of it still do. To be honest, it kinda has to. I think it should never reach the point of predictability. It's like an organism, a constant busy workshop. It's always changing, evolving, adapting. As long as there's movement, there's life. It stops when there's no such exchange of energy. That's how I want things to be for myself.
Did I succeed in unleashing my full potential? Well, I'd be lying or in complete denial with myself if I said I did, so... Time will tell. Who knows, maybe my next project will be called Remembered Dawn.