001. Where to start?
I have always loved music, It helps me to understand where I am in the world, It gives me the feeling of connection, knowing that there are people who feel just like me. And there are things you can understand about yourself just by listening and feeling.
That was where it all started for me, that was how I began the journey to becoming a musician. And that is what I want to convey in the music I create. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to follow the artistic muse into a world of discovery into all kinds of different music and musical situations.
I have always been writing and recording music since I was a teenager but my view of the music industry and experience was firmly rooted in the old school. Basically, I thought that just making a living surpassed the dream of a lasting career, as someone who writes their own original music. People don't buy cd's, I'm 36 with kids, I need to make money, there is no future in original music, venues are using the pay to play method were just some of the things going through my mind. Slowly over time, I started spending more and more time on the money gigs and I started following the art less. Until, over time, I stopped listening as carefully to the music and it had stopped showing me what it used to show. That's what happens and I presume it is also what happens to everyone after they have been doing something for a long time.
Late last year I came across a social media post about how not only has the music industry not disappeared completely but with some knowledge and new skills it was actually still possible to make a feasible career from producing your own art on your own terms. Not only this, but I discovered there was a thriving community of online independent musicians and artists already doing it, creating and building sustainable careers and communicating and engaging with people all over the world by leveraging the technology that is available to every one of us.
Firstly, It required a large shift in my perception of what the music industry was. What I always thought was you make music, gig as much as is humanly possible, then you get a record deal, make a record, have a hit and bang you are playing Glastonbury main stage Saturday night. Easy right? Otherwise, with the internet, you make music put it up online and boom it goes viral and you are playing the main stage at Glastonbury, easy right?
Well, these are two ways you could do it but what really opened my eyes to what is possible is the Idea of the 1,000 true fans. It goes like this, If you can get your music to 1,000 people who care enough about it and your career to support it then you have a sustainable income which will allow you the artistic freedom to create whatever it is the music is telling you to create. We now live in a world where there are 7.6 billion people, 1,000 of them is 0.0000131579% of the world's population, that is almost the same as a payment percentage of a Spotify stream, tiny right?
That's what this weekly blog will be about my journey to reach 1,000 people from my small studio space in Celbridge in Kildare. I will share as much as I can about what has been inspiring, motivating and frustrating me.