Interview – Reach Divine

Reach Divine is an incredibly diverse artist, as displayed in latest track, Come Out My Firefly. I’m always intrigued by music that’s a little different from the norm, so decided to have a chat to find out more!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Come Out My Firefly, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song?

Come Out My Firefly is the third track on the album Supraconscious Gnosis Spontaneous Mystical Opus (SGSMO) Volume 2, released independently on March 18th.

I wrote and recorded Come Out My Firefly in the spring/summer of 2016 when I was in the midst of ego death. I felt anxious living with my parents at twenty-nine years old with no direction and nothing external to show for all my past efforts. But I had this deeper awareness/gnosis that I was experiencing a spiritual transformation and to continue to follow my heart and my inner light, even when my situation seemed strange or may have looked pretty bleak to someone outside of myself.

The lyrics at the beginning of Come Out My Firefly are “Ever dreamed of being someone you’ve never even seen? Ever wondered why they all seem to disagree? Ever thought, there’s so much more to me than I’m led to believe? Well, you’re not crazy. You’re the creator of your own destiny.”

Those lyrics specifically speak to a time when you might have to be the only one who believes in yourself, and the only encouragement you get comes from within because no one, including you, has seen the truth of who you are yet. And no one else can follow your heart, your light, for you either. But over time, all that inner devotion and dedication to your light does lead to self-realisation – the awareness within yourself as being one with the greater flow of life itself. If you stay true and follow the light of your heart through all the ups and downs of a spiritual transformation, you eventually “show us how you shine” as you embody your light as the truth of who you are in presence — now living in sync, or in harmony, with your true nature.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

I felt oddly prepared for the isolation part of it because when Covid first came to the States in 2019, I had already spent the previous six years living like a hermit due to my spiritual transformation. I feel fortunate to have some sense of where to place myself in a time of upheaval because I know how frightening and destabilising it is when the reality rug gets pulled out from underneath your feet, and there is nothing left to hold onto but yourself. My heart goes out to everyone whose lives are affected.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

With Reach Divine, I willingly step aside from the awareness of my ego to create something unknown to me in collaboration with what I refer to as spirit, love, nature, or the mother. In other words, I tap into our inherent potential as human beings to utilize our creativity as a catalyst, guide, and mirror for spiritual self-reliance, self-development, self-healing
and self-empowerment.

The songs that come out are creative representations of my inner dialogue with spirit. Starting with Dearly Beloved from Supraconscious Gnosis Spontaneous Mystical Opus (SGSMO) Volume 1, each song is reflective of another step I take along the path of love – where I perceive myself to be heading in my evolution as a human being.

I recorded most of the songs of SGSMO Volumes 1 and 2, including Come Out My Firefly, by myself in the closet of my childhood bedroom during that spring/summer of 2016. I had a basic setup with a single microphone and an old iMac, but it was a lot of fun for me. I remember I was awake throughout the night for months, immersed in these new songs coming through my headphones. Each one feels like its own world with its unique message, feel, and colours. Being a witness to and a conscious participant in the act of creation with spirit is forever fulfilling because I never know where she will take me next.

Do you plan to release more singles in the near future?

I do hope more come out in the future, but as of now, Come Out My Firefly is the first track from SGSMO Volumes 1 and 2 that stands out to me as a single – other than Dearly Beloved from Volume 1.

Have you started writing for an EP or an album?

The SGSMO Volumes 1 and 2 albums just came out on October 22, 2021 and March 18, 2022. I can feel what might come next in Volume 3 and maybe even Volume 4, although nothing has begun. Some words I have might become songs, but living in union with spirit means that I recognise and honour the sanctity of our collaborative relationship and wait for her to be ready too. Nothing of nature responds when we try and force her to do something for our own reasons. I could try, but I would be alone in it and have to accept the ramifications of my choice. I would not be able to create anything true or lasting without her mutual participation, and I would deplete myself going against the flow. So that’s why I use the artist name Reach Divine instead of my given name – to communicate where I place my awareness and semantically convey how I create in a partnership with spirit.

Your music is rather diverse! What/who influences you most as an artist?

Creating music with spirit is very playful. It’s like being a child again, where I’m utterly content and fully immersed in my inner dialogue, making music purely for the joy of seeing where it leads me. I get to throw away the ego’s ideas of being a musician or needing music to have a specific style or sound – and I have no clue if someone else will like it or if I’m even making it the ‘right’ way. I just let myself play, and I’m endlessly fascinated by what comes through to guide me along the path of love. Over the years, my influences eventually whittled down to just one – my desire to be led further in my growth in and understanding of being love. Without love, I feel nothing about life is worth living, and everything we say and do becomes disparate and disconnected from the truth.

What have you been listening to recently?

I haven’t put music on to listen to since sometime before my spiritual transformation in 2013, but I’m still somewhat aware of what’s going on. Nowadays, I just choose to stay close to my centre. I feel that music can either detach us from ourselves or bring us closer to our true nature, and part of why I create with spirit is to facilitate the latter.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world? Are you influenced by your surroundings?

I’ve been living just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, since June. I know Madison has some history with bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana coming through Smart Studios in the 90s’ to record Nevermind before they re-recorded it in LA (except for the song Polly). But I’m not active in the music scene here, so I’m not aware of what’s happening these
days. I don’t have a car, but I was fortunate to land in the perfect spot to concentrate on establishing a foundation for Reach Divine. Most of what I need is within walking distance, and I’m grateful for the support and stability this land provides. I also live a few blocks from a lake and conservation areas that are very beautiful, but I spend the majority of my time focused on
Reach Divine and taking daily steps to bring it out into the world.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

No, not yet. I have to wait and see how that might work. I don’t know how I would perform because there are some technical issues beyond my know how that I need to work out. I’m also not sure how touring would go with Reach Divine because giving up that control of the ego and living in union with the organic nature of spirit makes adhering to something
predetermined like a schedule a constant source of comedy, but I’m open to the possibilities.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

I can’t say for sure yet because it hasn’t happened, but I imagine the performances would be as diverse as the music is. So it could be anything from a paired-down solo act to an elaborate theatrical production. I had a dream where I saw myself performing from the perspective of being a member of the audience. The stage was overflowing with this beautiful natural scenery and there were lots of performers wearing intricate, decorative costumes. It felt very playful and joyful, like a celebration of the natural beauty of our human nature. I actually thought it was happening on another planet because it felt so wild and magical. I have no idea if or how something like that would happen, but you never know where the path of love might lead with spirit when you put your light first.

Any last words for the fans?

Put your light first.