By Faye Webster
On long family road trips, my brothers enjoyed watching movies on their portable DVD player. But I was listening to vintage western swing records my mom played on repeat. My grandfather played the same songs to us on his guitar. I knew all the words. When I hear these songs today, I am reminded why I started playing music in the first place.
I learned guitar hoping to develop the same smooth rhythm as my grandfather. But I was caught between my love for western music…and an interest in my brother’s rock ’n’ roll. I needed to find a place between the two, so I started to write my own songs.
I wrote my first song when I was 12 years old. It’s called ‘Rollin’ – (a song) about driving with my friends. Listening back to it, I can hardly recognize myself.
At 12 years old I was convinced I was grown up. I began to drive around with older friends in the front seat rather than having my parents there. This was the first time that I felt a great amount of freedom.
As I’ve grown up, my songwriting has changed – now, it focuses on more intimate things in my life. Things like friendships and family relationships and the kind of person that I want to become.
Songwriting gives me the ability to express my thoughts to others in a way that just feels right. All my fears of saying things face to face fall away when I’m writing a song.
Music is something that helped me discover who I am. And after years of feeling different from my peers, it has played a major role in my adolescence as a companion I can always lean on. I’m grateful for that.
Faye Webster is a senior at Grady High School in Atlanta.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Bleau