Don’t worry! I won’t go into too much detail (!).
This is an account of my musical achievements since the start of my journey as an independent musical artist, to the start of this website (if there are any subsequent achievements, these will be listed in the blog section alongside my other musings).
My first achievement was in 2015, when I was still a closeted musician – closeted in that I didn’t tell anyone that I had a dream of becoming a full-time musician!! (I was a little on the shy side about it). Anyway, I contacted a studios in Manchester (UK) that I’d read some really good reviews about, called ‘Blueprint Studios‘, to enquire about recording some songs with them. Fortunately, after they listened to some demos that I’d sent over to them, they arranged a meet-up (to give me the opportunity to discuss my options further) with someone interested in working with me – Fred Kindt (The Slow Show)… I was super nervous yet super excited about this!
Gladly, the meeting with Fred Kindt went really well, & so I booked a couple of sessions to record my debut EP ‘Crush.‘ with him, at Blueprint Studios, in April 2015.
Recording my debut EP was a wonderful experience, & at the time I was really satisfied with the output… I actually remember feeling the most content that I’d ever felt, & treasure that feeling in my memory bank dearly!
At the time of writing & recording the songs for ‘Crush.’, I was massively inspired by the folk scene – particularly being in adoration of: The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, & Ed Sheeran… Consequently, the songs featured on ‘Crush.’ lean heavily towards that genre.
Here is the track listing for ‘Crush.’:
- No Other Fish
- On the Grass
- Her Senses
I made ‘Crush.’ available for streaming & download for a year. I also told my family about it!!! The SoundCloud stats started to increase (great stuff). However, after beginning my next project, I realised ‘Crush.’ was a very raw & a very acoustically orientated EP, which contradicted my new project… So, to avoid confusion, in terms of what direction I was taking my music, I un-released ‘Crush.’ from public consumption.
This is the EP artwork that I used for ‘Crush.’:
Thankfully, within the year that ‘Crush.’ was available to the public, I did get my first airplay (get in!). This was my second achievement! It was on Callum Mitchell’s Salford City Radio show… I remember how nervous I was in the run-up to that show (nothing like Katy Perry’s throwback in her ‘Part of Me’ film!). Extremely grateful for that airplay of ‘No Other Fish’ though – it fuelled my ambitions!
My third achievement was at the start of this year, 2016. I was looking to record another EP, one that would reflect my change in direction in music. This change in direction happened when I began to re-listen to synth-pop artists that I’d previously loved such as: Chvrches, Broods, & Lorde. In addition, I’d developed a massive appreciation towards an emerging synth-pop artist called Shura, as she not only created ace songs that I could connect to on a personal level, but she also appeared to be a really lovely person (good – it’s okay not to have an ego…).
My affinity for synth-pop became influential when I started to take more notice of all of the layers put into a track, & the atmosphere that the layers create. I love dreamy music, & I realised that if I incorporated certain layers into my songs, I could have an output with vibes that someone could potentially drift away to too!
I started looking around for a recording studio &/or production company that had a good reputation with emerging artists, as my intention this time was to, not just create an EP, but to also develop as an artist, in order to establish a sound that people would associate with my music. I found Sugar House (best discovery ever!). Sugar House not only were interested in what I wanted to aim to achieve by working with them, but they were also interested in what direction I wanted to go. It felt like they were invested in helping me produce songs that reflected my affinity towards synth-pop. After several creatively enjoyable studio sessions at Catalyst Studios, we created my four-track indie-pop EP ‘Don’t Let the Bad Seeds Grow‘.
The track listing for ‘Don’t Let the Bad Seeds Grow’ is:
- No Other Fish
- Blue Sky
- TV Man
Here is the EP artwork that I used for ‘Don’t Let the Bad Seeds Grow’:
My fourth achievement was when one of my tracks (the new version of ‘No Other Fish’) was broadcast by my local BBC Introducing show. Holding my phone wasn’t dissimilar to holding a hot potato, when I found out this news!! I was, & still am, absolutely thrilled by this achievement… In addition to this, I was invited in to have a chat with Sean McGinty, which was a really, really lovely experience (fifth achievement being for my first music interview!). Listening back to our chat, whilst having dinner with my Nan, (via her Bang & Olufsen vinyl system!!!!!) was really nerve-wracking, but also super, super exciting! I wish I could’ve kept the recording as a keepsake!! I’m using quite a lot of exclamation marks, but reliving these memories makes me feel really bubbly!
Achievement six happened in June 2016. Since 2014, I’d attempted to get onto Fresh on the Net’s listening post… Even before ‘Crush.’!! So, after I began to grow a little more in confidence since my previous achievements, I decided to try again. Great news – I made the listening post!! I was thrilled, but couldn’t tell anyone because of the website’s rules & regulations – argh!! Hehe! I did get some really nice feedback from some listeners about the track I’d submitted though, which was ‘Blue Sky’, which was great. Unfortunately, ‘Blue Sky’ wasn’t selected for the Fresh Faves list, but I was so happy that I’d achieved the listening post, that I didn’t want the fact that I hadn’t made the Fresh Faves list to spoil the moment! So I didn’t let it.
In June 2016, I also had my first airplay on Amazing Radio – achievement seven. This was totally unexpected, and I was delighted that ‘Blue Sky’ was featured on Shell Zenner’s playlist!
From my submission of ‘Blue Sky’ to the Fresh on the Net team, something amazing (& totally unexpected) happened – ‘BLUE SKY’ WAS BROADCAST ON TOM ROBINSON‘S BBC INTRODUCING MIXTAPE SHOW, ON BBC RADIO 6!!!!! *achievement eight* This took a week to sink in! National airplay was something I had always dreamed about, but thought: “if it did happen, it would take a lot longer than just a couple of years of trying”… I was wrong, & I was absolutely thrilled to bits that I was wrong, when it finally sank in!
The next achievement (nine), is definitely one of the highlights of 2016… My first “booked gig”… I was invited (by Rob Hodson of Bolton FM) to perform (live-on-air), at the Coffee Grind, for Bolton’s Food & Drink Festival. I couldn’t have been happier with how it went, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience… In addition, Bolton FM received some positive feedback about incorporating my live performance into the show, which was really lovely to find out… It’s nice to enjoy things, but when other people enjoy it with you, it makes it extra special!
Here’s a shot of me at the Coffee Grind:
I remember precisely how I was feeling, & what I was doing when I found out about achievement ten! Receiving a tweet off Shell Zenner suggesting that we met up for a chat couldn’t have been timed better… I walked around work smiling for the rest of the day! So, yes, I had definitely been looking forward to talking with Shell Zenner about music & stuff, in the run-up to our meeting. I’m still incredibly thankful to have been featured on Shell Zenner’s show… please check out her shows on Amazing Radio!
Head over to the blog section on this website, if you want to read-up about my journey from this point onwards!…