Big bouncy drums
When I first started putting out music I think I got very caught up in big production; big bouncy drums, but that’s not necessarily me. I was looking at everyone else and at the time, electronic and poppier music was really in the spotlight and doing really well and I was like, “Oh clearly that’s what I have to do and then my music would be good”.
Spiral >>View Video>>
It’s not really something that I’ve overcome, it’s more something that I’m learning to deal with a bit better: comparing myself to other people, which I do all the time. It’s really hard not to do it – you compare your music to other people’s, you compare your success to other people’s and even outside of the creative industry you compare your life situation to other people’s.
If I have too much time on my hands I go into a bit of a spiral and I’m like, “Awh I’m not where that person is, or I’m not where that person is”, and that can be really hard. It got to the stage where it stopped me even from writing songs. If I sat down to try and create something, it would get to the stage where I’d think, “Oh but that person wouldn’t do it like this and they’re definitely more successful than me so maybe I should do it a different way.” But that takes all the originality out of your work. I’ve only in recent times learned not to do that. Everyone is on their own journey and yeah, those people are successful, but they’ve gotten there doing their thing that’s unique to them and that’s why they’re doing so well.
A phrase my brother told me is: “Compare and despair” and it really is true. As long as you’re focusing on yourself and you’re setting your own targets I think that’s how you can achieve what you set out to achieve and that’s how you can be content. It’s taken me a long time to learn that and I’m definitely having a few slips ups every now and then, but that’s when I turn my phone off and stop being on social media.
What is it that I actually like to do? >>View Video>>
Over the past couple of months I think lockdown has given me a bit of perspective on things and allowed me to come back to my centre and ask, “OK, what is it that I actually like to do?” It’s nice to come back to the kind of folk electronic music which is what I grew up with… not the electronic side but the folk side. I feel so centred in that and happy with that. It doesn’t matter then if things don’t go really well because at least I’m happy and content knowing that it’s original to me and not someone else’s path or journey.
Social media is such a negative space sometimes. It’s obviously so good to reach people or listeners that you’d never be able to do otherwise, and it’s a great space to be creative as well, but it’s only useful if you use it correctly.
A good friend of mine, Joe, said something that stuck with me: “I need to get rid of the brain fog, if I stay on social media too much I actually get brain fog and to get rid of it you have to just take a technology break”. I think regular breaks from the rat race is good.
Keep my mind healthy >>View Video>>
I have been going to therapy for a year and I go once a week to keep my mind healthy. It definitely started off out of a need – I’m a very anxious person and I overthink a lot of stuff and in the past I have definitely fallen into depression over certain things.
I’m doing much better now but it’s definitely down to that hour a week where I have to just figure things out about myself and just talk to someone who’s non-biased or who doesn’t know anyone I know or have any relationship with anyone who’s in my life. I know that that hour is just for me.
Moving targets >>View Video>>
One thing I’ve learned definitely from going to therapy and talking about it is that unless you are focused on yourself and the goals that you have, you’re chasing moving targets all the time and trying to balance moving plates, whereas if you just have one thing to focus on, which is yourself and if you’re content in yourself, everything else doesn’t have that big an affect on you.
In terms of writing, if I’m just focused on myself and what I want to achieve rather than what other people want to achieve, writing comes so much easier because I’m not trying to be anyone else or I’m not trying to copy anyone else’s style it’s just what’s unique to me and that’s something that I had to learn and had to practice. It’s uncomfortable at the start but it definitely does get better and easier.
If I sit down and if I’ve had enough space to think about things and if I’m just playing the guitar or playing the piano or singing or whatever… the best stuff comes out when you’re playing it for no reason.
Once the live industry comes back, and it absolutely will come back, it’s going to be busy and it’s going to be really competitive because everyone will have all this material that they’ve been working on so it’s important not to let that cloud the enjoyment of creating just for the sake of creating.
My recent single called Sea Glass is the first song I ever recorded, I think I wrote it about three years ago and brought it into studio. After that I started writing the poppier ballads and so I brought those out because I thought that was the kind of sound I wanted to go for.
My manager said to me, “You have a song and it’s absolutely gorgeous and it’s ready”, but I was like, “Yeah but it doesn’t really fit with the genre”… eventually I was convinced to release it and not once have I doubted it since it came out. I love singing it live and we made this deadly music video for it and now we’re going to make an acoustic version of it and that song came out within a week of just sitting down and noodling on the guitar.
Next year in the spring we’re aiming for an EP release and hopefully, fingers crossed, I do, I believe it will happen, lots of live shows next year so I’m thinking about that.
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