The Power Of Community

What is your community? Do you have support and accountability for whatever it is you want to achieve? If not, go find it now because it changes everything 🙂

This weekend I spent a day in London in a studio+ bar with Mr. and Mrs. Finish More Music and about 40 other music producers from all over the world!

A few years ago I decided I didn’t just want to be a vocalist… I wanted to learn how to compose, arrange and produce the songs that I hear in my head and feel in my heart. But, the idea of producing my own music totally overwhelmed me. So many options, where to start?

Since I’ve joined the Finish More Music program I’ve finished about 20 tracks and am slowly but surely starting to find my own sound and creative voice. I still have a long way to go but because I’m no longer alone on the journey I know that I will get there.

Here’s a little impression of the joy that was experienced meeting my soul-peeps-producer-buddies in real life for the first time! Plus, a snippet of a song that I’m working on in the background…

PS: More footage is coming later but I can’t share the details about that yet 😉

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Keep Going And You Will Find Your Creative Voice

When you spend 5 hours recording a 3-minute vlog and you’re still unsure if you’ve managed to get your point across 😂

So, in case I haven’t… here is my point in writing:

The creative journey is messy. Sometimes, for a long time, it can seem like you’re not getting any closer to where you want to be.

But all the exploration, all the detours, all the trying, all the failing, all the bumps in the road… I believe they’re all helping you to get closer to the essence of your unique creative voice.

At the beginning of this year, I felt I had wasted a lot of time trying to learn about music production when all of a sudden I found myself only wanting to make simple guitar songs.

I literally spent 2 months thinking I had wasted 2 years trying to learn to work with Ableton when I would have been better off practicing guitar.

But then, a while into my ‘acoustic guitar only’ phase I realized it wasn’t so much that I just wanted to write guitar songs.

It was just that I needed to write songs on guitar for a WHILE to get back to my intrinsic motivation and to realize I was simply craving to move into a simpler, more soulful musical direction (not to give up on music production itself).

But dang, that got messy and confusing and frustrating for a while!

What I wanted to share today is that I now see how all the exploration we go through on our journey is essential to grow into the core of what will become our unique creative voice.

We take with us all the skills (not to mention life experiences) we build on our journey, and it is never a waste of time.

My friend came up with a little ven diagram to illustrate this point, which you can see in the video.

In other words… let’s trust this messy process, and keep going!

Can you relate? 🙂

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What Is Pushing You & What Is Pulling You?

When everything you thought you wanted
And all the plans that you made
Don’t seem to make sense anymore
Don’t really resonate in your soul anymore
Don’t fundamentally get you excited anymore

It’s good to ask yourself….

What is pushing me, and what is pulling me?

Sometimes you lose your inspiration for a while for the thing you love doing
I thought that I was just temporarily not feeling it
Or suffering from some hardcore “resistance” as Steven Pressfield calls it

Not wanting to do the real work of becoming a better composer/producer

But it seems that that’s not really been the real issue
It seems to have been a deeper-seated misalignment

So I’ve been asking myself…

Musically, what is pushing me and what is pulling me?

Taking on too much of the arrangement and production process feels like pushing
Or at least, not quite like my zone of genius
Focusing predominantly on house music feels like pushing
Or at least, not quite what fulfils my soul anymore
Making music solely behind my laptop feels like pushing
Or at least, not really allowing me to connect with the essence of why making music makes me happy

So what has been pulling?

I’ve been pulled to focus on just chords on lyrics and melodies
I’ve been pulled to write songs away from the computer
With just a guitar

I’ve been pulled to play guitar in general
To feel the sound of the strings vibrating
To hold it closely to me as the tones fill the room
As the chords and the color of my voice blend into one

I’ve been pulled to make songs
Just simple ones
With just a guitar and my voice

I’ve been pulled to make songs
That can stand on their own
Just like that

And that perhaps don’t need a lot more
And that perhaps, when they’re done, can be remixed into house tracks by other people
But not me

In any case, I’m embracing the not knowing at this point
And just allowing myself to play
And go with what’s pulling me

Sometimes that’s the best thing you can do.
Or maybe always!

So, what is pulling YOU?

PS: Throwback Thursday pic on a Sunday, is that illegal? Well this is pretty much me right now except for being 7 yrs older and not having bangs. Close enough 😉

I’m gonna take some time to explore my new musical direction. Want to know when I have new music to share? Then sign up for my mailing list and I’ll keep you in the loop!

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Not All Things Are Fun About The Things That Are Fun

Making music is fun.

Coming up with melodies is super fun.
Playing around with samples is heaps of fun.
Singing on stage is jolly good fun.
Jamming away with new plugins is fun-tastic.

Lots of things about music are fun!

But vocal editing? Not so fun 🤐

Very much unfun in fact.
Funless.
Lacking in fun.
The ultimate anti-fun.

During vocal editing, massive amounts of NON-fun are had.

But…

Then you just have to accept that:

NOT ALL THINGS ARE FUN ABOUT THE THINGS THAT ARE FUN.

And that’s OK.

You keep going anyway.

The end result WILL be and that’s what matters.

PS: What IS fun is that my friends Paul Hooper and Douglas Young released their Contrast Sessions radio show last week. A MUST check if you’re into deep / progressive / melodic house! With voice-overs from yours truly: https://soundcloud.com/contrastsessions

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The Messy Grey Areas Of Life And Art

What does your voice of resistance sound like?

Ya know, that nagging little voice in your head that tries to convince you NOT to work on your music, your book, your epic business idea or anything else that you secretly most want?

Mine sounded something like this in the past weeks:

“Ugh, I don’t like music anymore. I just really don’t like it anymore. I don’t just dislike my own music. In fact, I don’t like house music in general anymore. So repetitive. Ugh. It just doesn’t inspire me anymore. That’s right, I don’t like any of the songs in my 367-tracks-house-playlist anymore. You know what? Actually, I just don’t like music in general anymore. I just don’t like music, period. That’s probably it. ”

Hmhm that’s right, my voice of resistance convinced me that: “I just don’t like music in general anymore”.

How is that even a thing?

Obviously, it isn’t.

But allowing myself to believe that served a convenient purpose.

Because if “I just don’t like music in general anymore” I don’t have to go back to music making!

And if I don’t have to go back to music making I don’t have to be confronted with the messy grey areas of life and art.

The messy “grey” areas meaning things like:
– my producing skills that are getting better but are not yet great
– my songs that have potential but aren’t arranged as well as they could be
– my voice that has a huge range but that I’m not even remotely using to my full potential because I don’t practice it enough

Oh, all the imperfection! It’s horrendous.

Sometimes the grey areas can be so intensely frustrating that you’d rather not deal with them at all.

Sometimes the grey areas can be so painful that you’d rather tell yourself to walk away from the whole thing and do something “simpler” with your life.

Sometimes, as much as you can see improvement in the long term, the grey areas are still so disappointing that you’d rather just give into resistance for a while.

Sigh.

But if that happens and you realize it, don’t guilt-trip all over yourself for the lost time.

‘Cause some people spend their whole lives this way, running from whatever they secretly most wish to create.

But you don’t.

You have caught yourself yet again.

You bought into it for maybe a few hours, a day, or a couple of weeks… and now?

Now you can get back to work.

Who can relate?

PS: And yes, that means new music is coming soon 🙂

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