In September 2016 I set myself a goal, a musical challenge; to write, record, produce and release my own music independently.
I knew in theory that it’s totally possible. I had slowly accumulated a bunch of home recording gear and had listened to a few podcasts on being an independent musician! But most independent artists have been doing this for years and have honed their craft to perfection. Everything I had produced so far sounded like it had been recorded at 30,000 feet on an Airbus 300 using a megaphone held backwards!
But a challenge is a challenge so that’s what I have been doing. My target was set for the end of January 2017. I deliberately decided January rather than December as I knew the festive period would be a write off due to my abdomen being full of mince pies and my vocal chords saturated in gin! Plus I needed a bass guitar to lay down bass tracks and wanted to wait until the sales to buy one!
So, over the last few months I have written a number of songs, spent my Sunday afternoons laying down dodgy vocals, desperately trying not to wake Ivy whilst she’s in the next room sleeping. I consider my multi-instrumental abilities to sit somewhere within the realms of “slightly above poor” to “flukishly half-decent”. “Rusty” would probably be a generous word to describe my piano playing. Non-the-less, one by one the instruments and vocals have been printed leading me on to the part that I am truly awful at – mixing!
YouTube is a wonderful thing. Yes, through copying EQ curves and mimicking compression settings – after googling “compression” – I’ve pulled together a mix that is about as good as I’m likely to get at this stage in my engineering career. It is a million miles away from perfect, and I could probably spend months endlessly tweaking and still fall short of satisfied. But my main objective was simply to get some music out there independently. I’m sure anybody else who works on similar projects would sympathise with me, that I can’t be fully creative writing new songs when I haven’t yet shelved the existing ones. It’s a bit like watching Prison Break – when you’re approaching the end you just can’t appreciate anything else on TV until you’ve binged watch to the finale!
I hope to improve as a writer, performer and engineer as I write and release more in future. But for now, I’d really appreciate any comments or suggestions on my songs once they are out there. I’m not too sure what my style is yet, or what best suits me. So please let me know which track is your favourite and what you’d like to hear more of. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook message or tweet me. I don’t have an official release date, as I’m still figuring out each stage. But keep a look out on my social media pages as at some point before the end of January, if all goes to plan, I should have a 4 song E.P. available to download or stream. I’m not expecting anybody to buy it – I certainly wouldn’t! But if you use AppleMusic or Spotify etc. you should be able to get it there.
Happy listening folks!