Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Finding the balance

        With 2012 coming to a close, most of us reflect on what we have accomplished and set new goals for the coming year. We call them New Year's resolutions. Eh.... I've never really been one to wait until the end of the year to sit back and say, "Okay, time to set some goals". I do this all year long. We all live crazy busy lives, balancing the things we HAVE to do, with the ones we WANT to do, but finding that balance sometimes is not an easy task.  

For me, finding the balance between my son, working a full time job, (Yes, I know this isn't something I talk about much) the band, a solo career, and everything that goes along with all of this isn't easy at all. But I have found that setting your priorities FIRST is the trick. For me it's my son. I won't lie and say I haven't gotten caught up in a new song release and all the exciting things that come along with that, the work involved, but I guess this goes back to, we are all a work in progress! We are all trying to find the balance. I'm lucky that I have a job I love, and it pays the bills, therefore it comes second! My boss and I have had many conversations about the fact that he's felt guilty sometimes that I work for him and not working on my music full time. How lucky am I that I have a boss that feels that way? He's an Artist, so he gets it, but as I tell him, until I can get to the point that my music pays all the bills, he's stuck with I should mention that I'm extremely grateful that my work schedule is planned around gigs and studio sessions. How many people can say that? 

So as 2013 creeps upon us, I want to say "Thank you" to everyone in my life. My kids for the joy they bring me, my family who supports, my friends who encourage, My Producer Bill Hare who donates his time and energy to help bring my music to life, my boss who is not only  a dear friend, sharing his life and business growth experiences with me, Cherie Davidson for her gift of word, the band for their complete dedication of the music we play and their friendship, and to the many, many fans that buy my music and share it with others. Without you guys none of this would be possible.

May 2013 be awesome for all of you!



Friday, November 16, 2012

What does it take to be successful in the music Industry?

What does it take to be successful in the music Industry?

I would love to say there is a formula you can follow that will guarantee your success in this very competitive and complex Industry, but there just isn't. I get emails all the time from Artists just starting out that ask, " Can you tell all your secrets to help me get a leg up in this crazy business?" I'm always happy to share what works for me, along with what hasn't, and it's been a pleasure, especially with the younger kids to share my journey thus far! I've compiled a few questions I get asked most often and thought I would share them with the rest of you as well.

Q: I'm only in High School and feel like the music world is so far out of my reach. What can I be doing to get noticed?

A: Well first off, High School is where I first started. Get involved in every musical available to you. Join the choir, and participate in talent shows. Remember that most High Schools offer Scholarships towards college, in my case they were music Scholarships. Also, talk to your music Director. Lots of times they have been involved in the music Industry as a Profession and they have lots of words of wisdom. Don't forget that there are tons of Community theatre groups out there for teenagers.

Q: I love writing lyrics, but sometimes I get stumped and frustrated. Do you have some advice for not hitting a brick wall with my writing?

A: Sure, Walk away and work on something else! Every writer experiences writers block, and the trick is to know and accept that your at a fork in the road and to let it rest a bit. So many times I have started song lyrics and had to shelf them until I decide where I want the story to go. Your NOT a failure when this happens, but chances are the lyrics are important to you, so let them breathe a bit. It will come to you. A side note. Try writing about only the things you know. It's so much easier. I myself have a couple songs lyrics that sit in the vault till I'm ready to visit them again.

Q: I wanna be rich and famous. I'm a great singer, and I've attached a song I wrote a couple months ago. Can you listen and tell me what you think?

A: (This was a Fourteen year old with an amazing voice) but I didn't care for the song. This was my response:

 Hi there,

You have a beautiful voice. Tell me a little about you. My only suggestion would be to hone in on your songwriting skills. Figure out where your strong points are, where are your weaknesses? Practice makes perfect! This is a great start. Study chord progressions, and network with other musicians. You can learn a great deal from their experience. ( I try very hard to keep things positive with the younger kids. They have the whole hormone thing goin on, and who am I to crush a young girls dreams of being rich and famous. I've been there! However, as a musician you HAVE to be able to take constructive criticism.

And lastly, the one question I get the most:

Q: What's the ONE most important thing you can advise to further my career?

A: There is NO one thing. In this Industry there are no rules, so you try many different things. If that doesn't work, try something else. There is no handbook, but I have a few suggestions. Networking with Industry Professionals is a must! Producers, Artist Development people, labels, other musicians. Social media is a huge one. The internet has given all of us Independent Artists a huge platform. Share your music, talk about your experiences. But be cautious. The internet can be a powerful tool. Once it's out there, it's out there! Find a Producer! When I hear Artists say, " I don't see what the big deal is about having a Producer" I have to laugh. A Producer is the one person closest to you and your music. If they are a good one they will bring out the very best in your ability, and advise you both personally and musically where your next steps should be. And most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP! I know personally how difficult this can be. Doors close, emails never get answered, blah blah blah, but remember this, this is YOUR dream. Own it. Perfect your craft, and push hard. When you fall, get back up and push harder! No one can do this for you. If you want it bad enough you'll do the work!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Can I write a hit danceable Pop song? You bet your ass I can!

To be honest, for the last week I have been pondering, "What will my next blog post be about?" The conclusion was to relate the last two months of my life. A new song experience. I'd love nothing more than to tell you, " It's been totally easy" but it hasn't. Virtually every song I have released has been a ballad. I love singing the ballads, but I wanted to write something that moved. Something very Pop and danceable. How hard can it be right? This kind of music is what I listen to all day long! So determination kicked in. I started researching different chord progressions in Pop music. Where does the bridge usually formulate? Building a vocal hook. ( This is the part of the lyrics that stick in your head) and learning new engineering software to help me move tracks around. During this process the song was passed from Producer to Producer, listened to by several Industry Professionals who all had suggestions to make it better. So I made changes, and more changes, literally sleeping with this song. I will be honest and say that for the last two months I have done little else. I would lay in bed at night thinking, " If I bring the guitar in here, or add a kick drum there..." I pushed away any form of a social life because it would take away from time I could spend on the song.  I've been accused of being obsessed with it, but Perhaps obsessed is a little dark to say. I would say that I totally believe in what I'm writing, the concept of the lyrics, faith in my ability, and driven to get the message out! And it's paid off. Boy have I learned a lot, and I'm happy to say that in two weeks we enter the studio to record a final version of my very first, all original upbeat Pop tune. For all of you that follow my music, this one is gonna blow your mind!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

From this moment forward

Writing for me has always been the easiest way for me to express myself, so when it was suggested to me I start a blog depicting my journey, it made sense. But where do you start? Let's not go backwards, that's not really my style, I'm goin with right here, right now! With a few pertinent flashbacks along the way!

My life is crazy! In a great way. When you make the commitment to pursue your passion, everything else takes a back seat. You spend huge amounts of time honing your craft, researching different avenues to showcase your craft, building doors to walk through when there isn't one in front of you, and building a network of Professionals that I have found offer their support and guidance as you wade through the mud.

There is no handbook for the music Industry. You try one avenue and if that doesn't work you try something else. It's a process. You stand on this platform and yell, "Here I'am" and hope someone notices. You rely on friends, family, and supporters to share your links, talk about your music, see your live shows, and hope you catch the eye of that one person in the Industry that can change your career.

Because I have this slow burn, this incredible drive that never leaves me, I push forward everyday, creating new ideas, writing new songs, storyboarding new videos, collaborating with other musicians, and performing live with the band.

But, this kind of drive comes with a down side as well. Of course I make the time for the special moments in life, but this kind of commitment requires a complete lifestyle change. You spend less time just hanging with your friends, and more time focusing on your dream. People don't always understand, I get that, but this is MY dream and no one can live it but me. I'm creating my path in life, and no one can walk it but me.

I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing.