Breathe. Jump. Soar.
I feel the world operates at its best when people are elevated, and I think music and quality entertainment elevates like nothing else. So my mission is to positively impact as many people as humanly possible through my artistic expression. I want to make people feel inspired to live their best lives, and be the best versions of themselves. If I can do it...anyone can. It’s not easy. But it’s super simple.
See, one day back in 2012, I quit my lucrative day job to pursue this passion full time, and never looked back. I believe if we all decided to follow our hearts and passions and just understood how to apply the necessary focus it takes to make that a reality, the world would be an amazing place. This is what being ‘WEIGHTLESS’ means to me.
Wait. Let me rewind a little more.
When I was a boy, I wanted to fly. I remember a literal burning in my body for the desire to one day leap from the ground, and not land. Like Superman. I would try and try in our concrete backyard in Newark, NJ, and then try again in our linoleum apartment with a bath towel tied around my neck like a cape. "Maybe a running start? Maybe if I jump off these couple of steps. No. It’s in my mind. Think harder. Focus. No, no. DON’T think at all. Just let it happen. Ugh, no put your hands out in front of you."
See, I always felt that if I could fly, I could literally rise above anything. I could look down on whatever was wrong from an elevated perspective and know exactly how to fix it because I was no longer IN it. I could help; I could help my family. I could help myself. I never did think like the other kids. Life was pretty good as an obsessive dreamer. I’d go on to accomplish quite a bit. Received a huge scholarship to a prestigious high school in New England, and then went on to another huge scholarship to a prestigious university in NYC. I listened hard. I worked hard. I follwed advice.
“Go to school. Study hard. Get a great job. That’s the key.” So I did. I went to school for Music Education, because they all said, "you should always have something to fall back on."
But it just felt... wrong. Even though I was doing everything 'right'. But who was it right for? Why does life feel so numbing? This didn’t feel much like flying at all. It barely felt like walking. It felt more like dragging some kind of weight around. It felt...normal.
One day in my senior year of college, I dropped out. I received an opportunity to travel abroad to pursue my first recording contract. And I took it. And mid-way through the semester, and just decided to never go back. Naturally, as these things go, the contract didn’t pan out. And was dropped from the deal. But my fire was stronger than ever.
“I’m gonna make it.”
After searching for most of my late teens and early 20’s for my 'big break’ - band after band, showcase after showcase - and coming up dry, I thought “maybe they were right all along...” So I decided to get that great job everyone raves about. I became a stock trader in NYC. (Go big or go home, right?) Naturally, as these things go, that didn’t pan out either. And I was laid off not long after 9/11.
Bouncing around from one crap job to the next, I landed a job for the Department of Defense. It was a great job. (I can’t tell you details about it, or I’d have to kill you.) But I met some great people there; all of whom I am still friends with to this day. I did that job for 8 years, and excelled greatly, and was finally making a good living and doing music in the evenings and weekends. It was just what I needed at that point in my life, when everything else seemed to be leaking through a sewer grate. It wasn't perfect...but as they say "life isn’t meant to be perfect". I heard the voices of everyone around me: “Maybe you're not meant to fly, and that's ok.”
But. There I was again. Left with that hollow, nauseating self-cutting question: “What the HELL are you doing, Genoval? Is this how our story goes?”
The answer of “hell no, this isn’t our story” pounded through my head over and over. It scared me, mostly because of what everyone else had told me in the past. “Settle for normal. Everyone seems to think that’s just fine!”
But I knew from when I was a boy...I didn’t think like everyone else. This caused quite a sadness within me. And after learning from the ideas of some amazing mentors and becoming obsessed with their podcasts and books... I realized one thing to be true. Depression is your own soul telling you it’s sick and tired of playing some character that's not you.
Now, to be clear, I never stopped pursuing big things in music. I somehow managed to score some proud musical moments like recording an album with multi-platinum producer Anthony J. Resta. And touring with my band. As well as being invited to sing the National Anthem at MSG and Prudential Center sports events. But...it still felt like a ‘side hustle’. And I felt like my focus was all wrong. My scale was lopsided on the wrong end. Music was NOT my side-hustle, dammit. Music is my soul. It’s who I’ve been since I was 7.
Turns out I had been lying to myself this whole time.
So one morning in 2012 - on what was probably my 900th morning in bumper to bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway - I decided My real story starts today. And I went into the office that morning and gave my two week notice. Felt like college all over again.
And here I am today. A full time musician making a full-time living doing NOTHING but performing, and creating art. The impossible dream. And I’m living it. I am grateful for my whole story, by the way. There has been no time wasted. I needed to go through everything I went through in order to learn what I needed to learn to be exactly who I am.
Who am I? Well....start from the beginning and read on.