Hope you’re well, welcome back to another post that no-one asked for. Today’s post has me feeling a little sentimental, but in the best possible way.
For the rest of this post to make sense, I suggest you read a post I wrote way back at the beginning of 2018, in January, about what I was hoping to get out of the coming year. You can read that HERE.
In the post, I shared some of the main big goals I’ve had for quite some time, and over the course of a year and half, I’ve surely but steadily made them happen, and I’m just super proud of the outcome, so I wanted to share it with you all!
One thing I wanted to touch on before I get into it, is a bit of a mentality I’ve picked up along the way. I think in so many industries, especially the music industry in particular, there’s this huge emphasis on staying humble. I definitely value humility, but I’ve come to realise there’s a difference between remaining humble, and under-valuing yourself. It’s okay to share what you achieve, and it’s okay to feel proud about yourself. There’s nothing wrong with having pride in what you do. If you start using it to justify being arrogant and condescending to people, and if you start using it to support a superiority complex, then yeah. There’s an issue there. But if you’re just genuinely proud of what you’ve achieved and what you’ve created, I think, the more the better.
So on that note, I wanted to share some of the goals I’ve met in the last year and a half that have contributed to making these last few months some of the most productive and successful I’ve ever experienced.
TEACH. If you read the original post, I explain in a bit more detail my goals oriented around teaching music, specifically singing. I’m just super passionate about sharing the type of music education I had, one that was super informal, very relaxed, structured around live performances, acoustic gig nights, playing with bands and creating my own music and having fun, without the stress and huge reliance on grades and exams.
Since writing the post, this has been probably the slowest moving goal in my list, but in the last couple of months particularly, I’ve really hit the mark with where I want to head I think. Instead of teaching out of my house, I joined a music school who’s entire philosophy and ethos encapsulates everything I mentioned above. So far, I’m teaching basic piano for little tots, and singing, which I’m enjoying heaps. I also help out with a bunch of admin and reception stuff.
WRITE. Writing in 2017 was very slow for me, and I think I’ve definitely kicked it into second gear with this. I wrote plenty of songs in 2018, which resulted in singles like Tell Me and Same Wine which I released earlier this year. I’ve continued writing and creating songs, which means I was able to release another single this year in August, Free Rides, and am steadily working towards releasing an EP towards the start of 2020. So much writing guys. Nine times out of ten, every time I’ve picked up my guitar or sat at the piano I’ve come away with at least a few lines, a new chord progression or the framework for a song. I’ve also been writing heaps more for my band, and our catalogue of originals is steadily increasing at a rate that really excites us all.
One thing I’ve noticed with this, especially in 2019, is that the level of skill I once thought of myself of being at, has vastly improved. I think the amount of music I’m listening to, new and old, all over the spectrum in terms of genre, has meant that the songs I write now are getting a bit more adventurous. I’m having to learn new chord shapes and new progressions on the guitar to get the sound that I want and to write what I want to write, and it’s really helped my music playing in general, improve exponentially.
GIGS. This is a huge one. I think the biggest maybe. I’ve been gigging non-stop. One gig a month, minimum, whether that’s with my acoustic duo or with my band. One of my best friends, Daniel and I have basically secured a residency of sorts as one of the acoustic acts at a local bar/beer garden that all of our friends and the students in our area head to on a Wednesday night, and it’s always super fun. Our four piece funk/soul/RnB band has played a hugely successful night there too, which was one of the best nights of the year for me.
I think a new goal for me would now be to maybe do some gigging all on my own, just me and my guitar. All the gigs I’ve done, I’ve been able to have fun with one or more person, rely on them to bring a really high level of skill in terms of music, and focus solely on my singing, but I’m keen to try doing a bit on my own if the opportunity comes up.
BUILD. So this one has changed a little. I realised that it was a bit selfish to take over the entire study of my house to use as a studio, especially when my dad uses it for work, my mum uses it for her volunteering, and we basically keep all the ‘admin’ type stuff our family needs, in that room. So I’ve continued with my endeavour to get the perfect set up in my bedroom. At the moment, it’s pretty basic because I don’t have that much room, but I’m pretty happy with it. My desk is all I need in terms of space, and I’ve got all my equipment sorted. It also helps that the carpeting and the size of my room helps to make it a pretty ideal environment for recording vocal stems for mixing, which I’ve found myself doing a lot. After finally biting the bullet and buying Logic Pro and then spending a further three hours updating and setting up my midi keyboard, my demos have been taken to the next level. Easily.
SHARE. I think this one is pretty obvious. If you follow me on any of my social media, more specifically my Instagram account which is linked below, you’d have seen a fair share of shameless self promo for any and all music I released during the year. It’s meant that my Spotify following has grown a little bit, more people are aware that music is my main hustle and I’ve had a bunch of opportunities jump out at me to pursue.
COLLABORATE. Possibly another contender for the most successful goal out of this list. Since the original post, I’ve collaborated heaps. One of the biggest collabs has been with my good friend Jarrod, who produces under the name Nitecaller. He’s the master mind behind the production in all of my songs, and they wouldn’t be half the mixes they are if he wasn’t there to bring it all together. Another big collaboration is with Daniel. Our acoustic duo is going super strong, we’ve made a bit of a name for ourselves around the local area and it’s a very fun collab for me to be a part of. Added on to that, is the band that we’re a part of. Along with James and Charles (holy moly how did I never notice their names make up James Charles) on drums and bass, we’ve really nailed a good groove and it’s another project that’s really fun and welcoming to be a part of. I’ve also been collaborating heaps with one of my best friends from univeristy, Gem, and we may or may not have a single on the way … keep an eye out.
But there you have it. I think it’s super important to look back at the goals you’ve set, and how you’ve taken steps to get closer to them. I think it’s also really good to keep your goals evolving and changing, because who you were at the start of the year when you set them, isn’t the same person you are gonna be at the end of the year, and your goals should change and grow with you. I’m personally super proud of what I’ve achieved in 2019, and I’m only crossing my fingers that 2020 is just as good, if not better.