Ever since I was a young kid, there was an immense love (and some talent) for music inside of me.
I was always fascinated by songs & sounds, and developed a sense for rhythm and tonality early on.
As I should discover later, I also carried potential (and desire) for storytelling and visual arts within me.
A name was born
One day, me and one of my classmates (half-heartedly) decided to start a "Let's Play" channel on Youtube.
As we were brainstorming names, 2 ideas made it into the final round: "Darkgamers" and "Soulwars".
Out of that, the channel "DarkwarsLP" was born.
At that time, I was not yet into composing music.
Grasping the potential
That changed rather immediately one day.
The year was 2013, and I was sitting in a cinema watching the movie "Man of Steel".
For some reason, it spoke to me and moved me in ways I had never felt before in my life.
Looking back at it, it was not just the music. It was more than that. But at the time, the music was what hit me.
I had never heard much orchestral music before. I was simply blown away by Hans Zimmer's score, the fast-paced strings, the brass, the drums,....
In his music (and the movie), I felt at home and understood.
As I should discover later, what actually blew me away was the impact of music and storytelling, not so much the movie per se.
I had never been touched/moved by any movie or its music like this before.
In that moment, I excitedly realized:
"WOW, THIS IS WHAT MUSIC (& Visuals) CAN DO TO YOU???"
This realization rocked my world and prompted me to start composing music myself.
(Additionally, it would later also prompt me to start drawing, directing, acting and telling stories visually.)
TSFH & First steps
After this monumental experience in the cinema, I discovered the genre of soundtracks and so-called "Epic Music" and came to especially admire music by Nick Phoenix & Thomas Bergersen, best known as "Two Steps From Hell".
Their music inspired me, got me through tough times, and sometimes even made me feel like a superhero, able to be and achieve anything I dream of.
It was during that time that I started to create my own music. It began with putting together some purchased samples/loops like LEGO pieces in a program called MAGIX and just trusting my ears & my heart about what I felt fit well together.
Meanwhile, after realizing we would never actually create gaming content, I decided to use the channel "DarkwarsLP" and its brand name for my own music.
Hence, "DarkwarsLP" became the first channel where I uploaded my music.
(It no longer exists today after I migrated my content to a new channel removing "LP", simply calling it "Darkwars".
The original upload dates are reflected on my Soundcloud)
Over the course of the next years, several tracks saw the light of day that way.
Improving the craft
After a while, I grew tired of only using loops/samples. I wanted to compose my own music.
I got my hands on other programs including Cubase & Logic and started to use samples way less, ultimately making my 10th track "Courage" the first one completely free of samples/loops.
I only rarely went back to using them.
EWQL's Composer Cloud and Native Instrument's "Komplete Ultimate" Package became the instruments of my choice.
Out of sight
Growing up in the world of digital connection and social media, it was easy for me to constantly compare myself to fellow composers out there, especially my inspirations TSFH & Hans Zimmer, but also others.
What added to that phenomenom of comparing myself and doubting the worth of myself and my music was my age and my surroundings, as I was just becoming an adult at the time and was constantly trying to find out who I am / who I wanted to be.
It was that sense of self-doubt and comparison that prevented me from making my music known to the world.
I was not ready to step into the spotlight.
Into the spotlight
As time went by and with the help of a lot of personal development, I started taking steps to give me and my music the seriousness & attention it deserved.
First, I started sending my music to popular "Epic Music" channels on Youtube, including "Epic Music World", "The Prime Cronus", "Trailer Music Weekly" and others.
Although I did not hear much back at first, I was featured on several channels over the course of the next months.
The next huge milestone happened in 2019 when I participated in the "Hollywood Music Workshop", an event for/at which I composed a track which I then also conducted (my first time ever) and recorded with & in front of an orchestra.
Since I did NOT get laughed out of the venue (and actually had a lot of fun), I further gained trust in me, my music and my ability to touch other people with it.
As did many tracks before, "Free Yourself" came out of nowhere. It is not uncommon for me to be surprised about how I started with a simple melody and all of a sudden I am sitting in front of a finished piece of music.
This time however, was VERY different.
I could already feel it during composing.
Never before have I felt so great while writing a track.
Never before did I have such a clear vision of how I want the end product to be like. (both visually and musically)
But the most amazing thing about this track was this:
At the time of writing/finishing "Free Yourself", I was going through a tough time in my life, again doubting the quality and worth of me, my music, my life and my future.
THIS TRACK HELPED ME TO COPE WITH THOSE DOUBTS.
AS I WROTE THIS TRACK, I REALIZED THE POWER AND WORTH OF ME AND MY MUSIC.
THIS WAS MY HANS ZIMMER MOMENT.
I WAS ABLE TO FREE MYSELF BY WRITING "FREE YOURSELF"
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, I WAS ABLE TO INFLUENCE MYSELF WITH MY OWN MUSIC.
And with this track, I am still able to do it today.
This is highly unusual, because as a composer, you usually are so involved in the creation of your music that by the time you finished it, you no longer want to hear it / no longer are able to hear it in a fresh / new / "first time" way.
This was my Hans Zimmer moment.
This was the track that I JUST KNEW I could reach, touch and help many people with.
This was the track that made me understand WHY I compose music.
WHY I do it
It took me 18 tracks to realize one thing:
So far, I had only ever COMPOSED TO EXPECT.
EXPECTING likes, income, features, fans, fame, .......
I had never composed to give.
I had never thought about how my music could impact others. I only ever cared and got angry about how few people were appreciating/following my music.
That changed with "Free Yourself".
As soon as I finished it and even before, I knew one thing:
I want this track to help others.
I want it to help others free themselves of anything that scares them. Limits them. Bothers them. Holds them back.
And it was at this point that I finally realized why I was composing music:
I WANT TO MOVE, TOUCH AND HELP PEOPLE WITH MY MUSIC; ALLOWING THEM TO GO TO PLACES INSIDE OF THEMSELVES THEY WOULD OTHERWISE NOT GO TO.
I WANT TO IMPACT PEOPLE THE SAME WAY HANS ZIMMER IMPACTED ME ALL THOSE YEARS AGO.
I WANT THEM TO FEEL AT HOME AND UNDERSTOOD.
I WANT MY MUSIC TO CREATE A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN FEEL SAFE. A PLACE WHERE THEY CAN OPEN UP.
It is these guiding reasons that will follow me on the path ahead as a musician, whereever it leads, but also as a human being.
There are many forms in which I want to have an impact with my music & my storytelling in the future.
These include, but are not limited to:
A global tour
Composing music for a game
Composing music for a movie
Writing my 3rd album
Directing & portraying Hal Jordan on the big screen
Meeting/jamming with Hans Zimmer, TSFH & Junkie XL
But there is one thing I know:
No matter where I'll go and what I'll do next,
I have found part of my purpose in life.
I am a musician.
And I would be honored to
touch your life with my music.
Now you know my story.