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  • Derek Nakamoto

"Know Who You Are (And Why It's Important)" Reflections

Updated: May 20, 2018


November 4th, I gave my first class at the 2017 TAXI Road Rally and what a cathartic experience it was for me. I want to thank all of you that came giving your valuable time sharing your stories during and especially after the event.


The idea of the class started from a feeling I had doing the One on One Mentoring Sessions that the artist and writers not knowing the essence of who they were could not take the information presented in a meaningful way. I had many mentors and experiences in my journey that our present industry's climate does not offer and wanted to share the importance of seeking those experiences that are still here in a slightly different way.


I have experienced enough cycles in this business to realize the folks who had a keen sense of self weathered the challenges they encountered along the way. It doesn’t matter what the genre is, if one is a writer, composer, singer, instrumentalist or producer. How we move forward is defined by who we are. It is a daily challenge that never goes away because there is always something to learn. I especially realize when I think I know something … life smacks me in the face with a lesson that clearly tells me how much I don’t know.


I was floored by some of your reactions at the end of the 90 minutes … young, old … men & women … red eyed, some in tears … it dropped me! I thought “what just happened here”.


Grace is abundant, we just need to get out of our own junk to see it. It’s a little harder in challenging times and again even in those times I found it in greater abundance.

It does not matter what our beliefs or traditions are, the teachings are the same. Life our lives being genuine and authentic as possible, strengthening our minds and bodies to provide clarity to do so and in loving ourselves love others. Build our community in the fashion we want it to be.


Driving home at the end of the rally, Linkin Park’s One More Light sung by the late Chester Bennington came on the radio. His performance and profoundness of that lyric kills me. In that auspicious moment looking at the clear full moon I teared up. I am just as screwed up as the next guy just waking up each day trying to figure shit out. We all walk this planet together. In that moment I realized this class was really for me and ALL of you lifted me in helping me figure out who I am.

That’s the way it works, we lift each other. As human beings we have a responsibility to each other. As artist our medium has never been more important or needed than ever. It is a responsibility in building our community. Whether it’s a licensing cue, song for placement, artist or instrumentalist music … that responsibility is shown in how we treat ourselves and each other.


This is my commitment and belief. I cannot thank all of you enough for the experience you have given me, it meant more to me then you could possibly know.

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