This week we are shining a spotlight on Aufwie Mysterious, whose cathartic experiences performing live music in SL have helped him grow as an artist and encouraged him to positively impact others with his songs.
How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I've been a Resident in Second Life since 2010 and I remember hearing about it on the telly as they were talking about these new virtual worlds and how you were able to do almost anything you wanted, such as meeting new people, learning new things, attending art venues and so on. The idea of having the chance to create an alter ego caught my attention as I struggled with depression and PTSD from an early age. It was then that Second Life became the perfect place for me to learn how to socialize again and be who I wanted to be without being judged or exposed. Since then Second Life has played a very important role in my development and it became a safe place for me. Eventually this alter ego merged with my real self and became a virtual representation of what I am.
How did music come into your life, and what instruments do you play?
Music has always been there for me, I can't remember a moment in my life in which I wasn't surrounded by it. My father was a professional drummer, my mother an amateur singer, and in such a tiny house like the one in which I spent my very early years with them, my crib, the drumset, and the many recordings my father had (big fan of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Genesis, The Police and Elton John) it was pretty difficult to not to feel involved in that world. So I started playing drums at the age of 4; I loved to play and sing, just like Phil Collins from Genesis. It wasn't until about 2006 that I discovered all these punk rock and indie rock bands such as The Libertines, The Smiths, Sex Pistols or Green Day (to name a few) that completely blew my mind to bits and I felt the need to get my hands on a guitar and make songs. So my father got me this low, low, low budget generic stratocaster that, for me, was the most marvelous thing I had ever held in my hands and there it all began. I was already playing drums and doing live shows with a band when I was 12 but I wanted to become a frontman, so I kept drumming while taking guitar and singing lessons and it wasn't until I was 18 that I formed a band called Love Paranoia (you can still find some songs on spotify) with which I finally got to experience what I means to be in front of a band, staring at a crowd in the eye and speaking your heart out to them. And I loved it. Since then, I've dedicated my life to music completely. Today I play drums, guitar, bass, synths, ukulele and whatever instrument I can get my hands on for my homonym project called ''AUFWIE''. My professional life now consists of doing live shows in Second Life, writing and releasing my own music, and also producing music for other artists as well.
When did you start performing live in Second Life, and what regions can people visit to hear you play?
The truth is that since my early days in Second Life, I would be busking around the grid, literally anywhere I could open my mic and sing. I always loved to use music as a way to cheer people up, to distract them from their busy lives for a moment, so that's what I did for nearly 8 years; Just log in and hop from one place to another singing my heart out for the few that would listen. It wasn't until this whole Covid pandemic started that I realized it could become something bigger. Some friends encouraged me to start doing live shows properly, and before I could realize what was going on, I was performing once a week for 50 people, more or less. I never really thought of myself as someone special or particularly skillful, but I guess people liked it! Nowadays I'm performing three to four days a week, in almost every venue in Second Life, and I really couldn't be happier about it. Every time I log in to perform, it doesn't matter how awful my day or my week has been; the very moment that I plug my stream in, everything feels better instantly. Some venues I regularly perform at are Seaside Lounge, After Dark on Idle Rogue, and The Grand Strand.
How would you describe your music, and who are some of the musicians who have influenced your style?
I don't think I can properly describe my music when it comes to style. I think it doesn't follow any particular style or genre, it's more about what I feel like writing and composing at the moment inspiration hits. If I were to make a list of the artists that have influenced me I could do an everlasting list, just 'cause I'm so profoundly in love with music that every single witted song in the world makes me want to create. As I mentioned before, the UK progressive rock scene was of great importance 'cause that's what my father would listen to all the time. Besides that, I remember going to my best friend's house and her sister (the embodiment of punk rock in my eyes back then) would lock us inside her room and make us listen to The Clash, Sex Pistols, Green Day, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys... All those bands were exactly what I needed, even though I didn't know that I did! Later in high school, I got to share time with the weirdest kids (just like me) and we would listen to absolutely everything, from reggae to industrial metal and whatever comes in between. So today, I'm a mixture of a hundred different artists who paved the way for me, and my music and I are ever changing.
Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
Skye Galaxy. Probably the most professional Second Life music performer. This bloke cracked the code and made me realize it was possible to be a pro musician here. First time I got to one of his shows I understood what it meant to take Second Life as a job when it comes to live music. It just made me rethink my shows, my setlists, everything. Besides him, there are dozens of great artists that I love to hear in Second Life, let me mention Rara Destiny, Sol (Puppi OwO) and J. Doe to name a few. They're all amazingly talented and beautiful singers, and it's always wonderful to share the stage with them. Also shout out to my mate Dj Noizy (noizyzapp) for his pure hard work and commitment. I don't think there's a more professional DJ in the whole grid.
Where can people follow you to know more about your next releases and shows? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
Spotify: aufwie | Spotify
Instagram: @aufwie_ | Instagram
Youtube: aufwie - YouTube
Twitch: @aufwie_ | Twitch
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Aufwie. Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup