When you want a tree to grow taller, you don't water the top of the tree. You go straight to the roots. Depth before mass. Depth before reach.
The same goes for us, and for the things we create. Water the surface, the branches, and the leaves may shimmer, but it evaporates. Water the roots, and you give sustaining life.
I changed my name to Jakob Martin because I wanted to try on a mask; I wanted to see how it felt to paint my branches. At the time, it was the right decision for me. Becoming 'Jakob' was new and interesting. When people start to call you something different, sometimes you start to feel different. It was a great escape.
But when you change something on the surface without changing anything at your core, it's just that - a mask. And the longer you wear it, the harder it becomes to take off. I kept wondering when being Jakob would stop feeling weird and become normal, and as much as I tried to embrace it, it never really did. I don't need that mask anymore.
My parents named me Martin Axel Storrow. Martin after my grandfather Martin Axel, who I never got to meet. He helped to liberate one of the Nazi camps at the end of World War II. A couple of years before I was born, he was crossing the street with my grandmother and they were hit by a driver who wasn't paying attention. My grandfather pushed my grandma out of the way and she survived. He did not. My last name, Storrow, was changed at Ellis Island from something much longer and more difficult to pronounce. The 'Storrow' comes from my father, the best man I know. I am proud of where I come from.
This is not a rebranding, but a rebirth and a return.
When it comes to music, I have always written honestly and from the heart. I kid around that when I break up with a girlfriend, the joke is really on me, because she might be angry for a couple of months, but I'll end up singing about her for the next five years. It's funny, but there's truth to it. And when you apply that to something like the loss of someone you love, or a hope or fear, the impact runs deep. For most of us, our defining moments are little secrets that we can lock up inside, but an artist's job is to break open the safe and expose those feelings to the world, to give us perspective, to show us to ourselves. And if we're going to have the audacity to say what's in our hearts with that level of depth and honesty, we should also have the courage to do so openly.
Goodbye to the painted branches. Hello, Spring.