Something profound happened to me the other day. I realized that I was control. It was a powerful epiphany that knocked right me out of my Nike ID’s and flat on my back on NYC concrete.
My single “Miss America” premiered recently and until its debut I was totally and utterly manic. When faced with a major life event I instinctively create scenarios in my head where “Everybody Hates Malene.” To add insult to injury homeloverfriendartistdude wasn’t hitting me back (I think we may have broken up via the Twitter unfollow button but I’m still not sure), my manager left town (for an impromptu, well-deserved vacation) three days before the jump and the anxiety of how I would be received was driving me batty… mix that in with a touch of PMS and voilÃ ; Malene the Manic.
Meanwhile, I’m a walker and, until recently, like most New Yorkers I had no driver’s license (yeah I said it!). In times of manic episodes I pace and mentally traipse through the halls and winding stairwells of my mind talking myself down from the ledge and smiting every crazy thought ninja creeping through my otherwise rational brain.
So here I was, mentally pacing and physically walking through Brooklyn, obsessing about how my first single would be received. “Miss America” is a huge title, considering that I’m not the natural poster-child for this name. You’re probably expecting an “all American” blond-haired, blue eyed pageant queen in perfectly done makeup. However if you look up at the image up top, you’ll see I’m a Trinidadian-born, Brooklyn-bred naturalized citizen, b-girl turned alt-chic who was raised between the concrete of crack era NYC and the cane fields New Pleasantville, Trinidad & Tobago. This dichotomy is the rub. I realize it takes a lot of chutzpah — which I have –Â to walk around town calling one’s self Miss America. But I thought about it, it dawned on me…. I am Miss America, the living, breathing, working reality of this country.
We the different, we the working for change, we the creative, we the unconventional, we the honest, we the brown, the yellow, the rainbow, the inked, the pierced, the married, the single, the career driven, we the beautiful, we the renaissance… we the people.
I am Miss America as much anyone else that can attest to what it means to live in this country.
I have worked so hard to pour myself into this project with my producers and team surrounding me. Drawing strength from my long studio nights drenched in Jack, my anxiety began to dissipate once I began to believe my truth.
The thing about truth is, once you muster up the strength to look it in the eye and become brave enough to own it, it becomes your foundation. Then you can walk with sure footing because you know you’re on solid ground. Blind faith is easier to have now because I know I’ve beenÂ blessed with the resources and tools necessary to fulfill my destiny.
My name is Malene Younglao, I am a renaissance woman and my art will make its mark on the world. I am a collection of contradictions always in a race towards achieving balance. Though I am flawed, I am perfect, and like John Coltrane I will continue to evolve until all that’s left of me are the products of my labor… proof that I was here. I am kind. I am impulsive, I’m a lover and a fighter because you can’t separate the two. I lust for life and appreciate the gift of living. I carry two others on my back so I have to be focused. I have been given everything I need to succeed and now is my time. I will and I must seize the day.
This is my truth. My truth is my power.
You can catch Malene at the WIADCA Benefit for Haiti tonight at Thursday Sept. 2 2010 at the Brooklyn Museum. Click here for more information.