someone has asked me the experience in life that has made me who I am.
i would honestly say that the experience that changed my perception of who I viewed myself as and what made me so much more confident about who I was was definitely writing and recording music. the ability to lock my room door, sit on the floor with my headphones and write to an instrumental. To look down at the paper and finally bleed all my emotions into 4 minutes was incredibly cathartic to me. For so many years I had lead a lie, had hidden my emotions behind a smile, and tried to die. But for me finding something all my own, something no one could take away from me, something that expresses me was bliss. I couldn't lie in words, nobody couldn't steal my song from me. and so begin the foray into music for me. I had a keyboard when i was in the sixth grade and had piano lessons by 8th grade, i begin coming up with lil melodies and things floating around in my head.
I remember the first song I wrote was about my friends turning their back on me... I sat in my window of our LondonTowne Apartment and looked out onto the sidewalk and just begin to write everything that was in my heart. The lies, the betrayal, the shame, the feelings of never finding true people who cared for me and most of all never ever finding love. As I sat down at the piano and started putting chords together and piecing a melody together, I began to feel some of that stress run through me...everything was being released from me. Suddenly after writing down the keys, I felt a sigh of relief that everything on my chest was gone.
I fell in love with words. I lived for words, to breathe them, to speak them, to hear musical notes, to express myself through music.
Sitting down and mentally focusing on putting together a collection of songs was hard but was also the most fun I had ever had. I remember sitting in the living room, listening to a collection of beats with my notepad scribbling away whatever was on my heart with my parents circling around in the house, unsuspecting that their baby boy was recording an album. I remember writing songs about love, lust, love lost, growing up without a father, feeling confident, feeling bounded, feeling free, and exploring all the thoughts in my mind. The first CD was cool because I was discovering my sound, my style, getting in the things I wanted to explore in my mind and I was having so much fun. Listening to the first round of mixes (courtesy of my horrible self), I was totally amazed that something I had made was totally mine. This came from myself, every single word, every single lyric, was mine.
I hated my name because I was named after my father and I hated having any likeness to my father so with liberation of everything, I wanted to get rid of my name. I originally was gonna use the alias Dark Affinity but Darion Tariq seemed to fit me a lot better. Darion came from a name search and seemed to fit all the qualities I had in my mind...Tariq pays an ode to talented Tarik of The Roots by changing the K to a Q. Through Darion Tariq I could say what I felt, I could speak my mind and say what I felt.
Going back in my tiny lil' room with the microphone and N-Track setup, I felt like I was prepared to release all the emotions building into my pre-teen body. I remember turning all the lights down low, just listening to the beats in my headphone. Many of the songs erupting from my first CD were dark and introspective and in an oxymoron fashion, I titled the album "Sunshine". This was my sunshine, the first time someone listening could know the exact feelings at any particular moment in my mind. So even though this album was dark and definitely introspective, this was my liberation from harboring around fifteen years of pain inside. "Sunshine" took over a year and a half to record. I had recorded over 100 songs by the time I mentally began to put the tracklisting together. I just had so much to say that I continously wrote and recorded during that year and a half. I picked seventeen songs that I felt expressed what Sunshine meant to me, I mixed those songs down, and I burned only two copies of that CD on July 23rd 2003. Only two souls in this world have a copy of that album.