I did it!! I actually did it!!! After all the months and months of preparation, studying, applying and generally sorting out what I needed to do, my debut single went live on Friday 30th September. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be available on that date. I was a little late submitting my files to the music distributor as I had encountered an issue in the size of the single artwork. Every platform seems to want things in different formats and sizes, another learning curve.
I was hyper the evening before when I just happened to check iTunes and I seen that my single was available for pre-order. It was unbelievable to be looking at my song and my artwork on iTunes. Soon after midnight it was available on Spotify and it was then that my DM’s became incredibly busy. The weekend was a whirlwind of emotions. I was so happy that I had achieved this huge goal but I was also sad that my parents and my sister were not here to see it. I know they would have been so proud of me and my Dad would have been asking me every five minutes how many people had streamed or downloaded the song.
The tears flowed on Sunday evening when I heard my song played on Phoenix Country Radio to an audience of 42K people. The DJ gave a beautiful introduction to my song, the story behind it and a taste of my background as a carer and now grabbing the opportunity to follow my dream.
So, what now? Well, I’m currently in the process of licensing the video to accompany the song and I’m also claiming my artist pages on the various streaming/downloading platforms. I also really need to start singing again as I’ve not had much opportunity to actually sing during the past few months whilst I sort all of this out.
Looking further ahead, 2023, the year I start to gig? I may as well push the comfort zone a little further now that I have come this far.
I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post, the time is flying by and as usual, busy, busy days. It sure is correct that the older you get the faster time goes and surprisingly even in these days of lockdown and restrictions, the time has passed very quickly.
Anyway, I was planning on writing a post about how my first FB live session went and I still will include this information and also tell you how the second FB live session went. Yes, I’ve done two!! Go me and pushing the comfort zone in all directions.
I was so excited when the lady that runs The Virtual Club Bar group on FB sent me the above photograph for sharing the event. It was really happening. The day before the event I managed to get a bit of a cold with a sore throat. Typical. I drank lots of honey and lemon and a few Lemsips to ensure I had some kind of voice on the day. Oh I was nerve wracked the thirty minutes before I went live. I was so excited and so scared. I pressed the “go live” button and that was it, I was on. I had selected eight songs and I started off with the first one and although I couldn’t see comments I could see lots of hearts and thumbs up floating across the screen which helped so much. I knocked my microphone over half way through but I kept going. I do have a habit of losing myself in the music and forgetting where I am in a song and that happened to me during “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight”, I kept talking, restarted the backing track and off I went again. I have often said to my lovely vocal coach that my USP will be the audience wondering if I will come in on the right note, at the right time and if I can remember the lyrics because I do drift away into a world of musical daydreams.
By the time my 30 minutes was up I was nothing short of exhilarated, I’d done it, my very first gig in a virtual kind of way. My throat just about held up to the last song. It was well received as I was asked back and I did another 30 minutes, without microphones falling or forgetting where I was in the song, on March 14th and I was delighted with the comments and feedback. Somehow I managed to save this particular FB live session to my phone and I have uploaded it to You Tube so if you have half hour free at any point, tune in and let me know what you think.
I have been asked back a third time this time for an hour on Sunday 25th April at 5pm so I am currently working on my set list for that. “Rose Garden” appears to be a firm favourite for people and I’m going to start including more Country and Irish songs as I get more confident. This has been great practice so far for when I may be able to take to an actual stage. The head will be gone off me with nerves when I get that far.
Singing is something I always wanted to do and never ever thought I would. After a career in Industry leading to the Corporate world and then giving it up to be a carer for Mom and Dad, I never allowed myself to think that I could make this happen. Yet here we are. I didn’t give up on the dream, I pray, I push myself, I dare to feel the fear and have a go. What have we got to lose but a bit of pride if things don’t go as planned. I know I will regret not having a go at this. I love singing so much, my guitar playing is coming along and I receive such lovely comments from people that it spurs me on. Never ever give up on your dream, you can manifest it, you need to work for it and you can do it.
It has been a while since I blogged about what I’m doing with my music. If you don’t follow me on Instagram or FB you won’t have seen my various leaps of faith over the past year. You may remember that I had started to learn to play guitar. My sessions were very start and stop due to my caring role and then the sudden passing of my parents last year. I returned to the vocal coaching and guitar sessions towards the end of last year. Just before lockdown was imposed here in the UK, my guitar tutor informed me that he felt I was ready to attend an acoustic night and feel the waters of performing live. I was happy I was finally at that stage of my learning and I was also so scared. The thought of actually getting up on stage to sing and play guitar…absolutely terrifying. And then came lockdown, great weather and the gardening.
As lockdown ensured all live gigs were cancelled, social media, especially FB, was alive with people performing. Singing, playing instruments, comedy sketches, art work, you get the drift. I decided that now was the perfect time to try some of this for myself. How hard could it be to sing into the phone? Actually, it was nerve wracking. The number of times I had to say to myself “you don’t have to post this online, it’s just a practice run”. Sometimes it took hours to sing and record a song. I would lose my way in the song (sometimes I get carried away with the melody and forget the lyrics). Sometimes I forget to come in at the right point in the song, sometimes I sing in the wrong key. I can tell I’m going to be a very interesting act when the time comes.
I made a start and my first effort sounded ok (I’m terrible at self praise), I looked like a statue on the video. My friends all gave very positive comments and messaged me to say “why aren’t you smiling?” or “why aren’t you moving?”. It was difficult enough for me to stand there and sing into the phone, remember the lyrics and come in at the right point of the intro never mind move or smile.
However, each song I sang I became a little more confident. I shared my songs to various groups on Facebook and I was blown away with the amount of views and lovely comments I would receive. I started to receive messages with requests and I’m making my way through the list. I’m so enjoying that people want to hear me sing!
I have a wobble now and again, a crisis of confidence, wonder what on earth I’m doing, think that I’m not good enough. Then I have a word with myself and tell myself to just go for it, do what makes me happy and if I want to sing, play guitar and be sparkly then I should just do it. It’s so easy to measure yourself against what someone else is doing, or how others appear to get shared everywhere and I’m plodding along. But plodding along is good, I have a lot to learn about the music industry and how it works and what I need to do, the next steps. I’ll get there. A lovely lady once said to me to take the long road up the mountain, the scenic view, it’ll be better for me when I reach the top.
Another piece of advice I was given is about believing in myself because if I didn’t, nobody else would.
I have written some songs which I am working on with my guitar tutor. It really is the most amazing feeling to hear the music that was in my head come to life. I’m loving practising the songs on the guitar. We are even talking about getting into the studio next Spring and recording a CD. This is the stuff dreams are made of, well that my dreams are made of.
As referred to on an earlier blog post, I had meant to tell you all about the excitement of making the music videos. The build up, the amazing weather we had on the day, how things just seemed to work out perfectly and how wonderful my friend who was making the video was. So professional, full of ideas, tricks and his schedule and project planning was spot on. It was such a fabulous afternoon and I am so happy that I got to make that particular big dream come true. Unfortunately life events took over and it is only now that I am endeavouring to catch up with my blogging.
“How are things in GloccaMorra?” is a song from the film Finnian’s Rainbow and is something my Mom says to visitors to the house. She wears a huge smile and asks “How are things in GloccaMorra?” We heard Barbra Streisand sing a version of this song with a medley from the musical “Brigadoon” within the song, a verse of “Heather on the Hill”. I loved this version. Getting a backing track was impossible so I had to commission one myself. It was a difficult piece for the producer to replicate as it is an orchestral piece but he did an amazing job on it. I recorded this song especially for my Mom and anytime we play it on You Tube she sings along.
I also made a video for the song “Summer Love” taken from the Neil Diamond film version of “The Jazz Singer”. I love the melody to this song. Imagine our surprise to be sitting on Friday evening in December watching the John McNicholl show on Keep it Country TV and for John to introduce me and play the video for “Summer Love”. Oh my goodness how proud Dad was of me. It was an incredible feeling to see yourself on TV!!
I posted both videos on Facebook and I was overwhelmed with the response I received and the amount of views, this really is a dream come true.
Here is the link to my You Tube channel which I hope to update very soon. I do have two recordings made last June when I made the other recordings which I haven’t uploaded yet. Please give me a visit, I really do value your support. Also below is the “GloccaMorra” video, would love to hear what you think.