I should have a new song to upload in a week or so. That’s quite exciting. It’s another 90’s classic but after this I’m going to start trying to record more modern stuff. My only issue is that the more I listen to modern music, the more I realise it’s, well…bad.
I’m not really into covering the Justin Beiber or Ariana Grande stuff, but it seems to have taken over the market. A lot of it is just manufactured, auto-tuned bullshit. What makes it so much worse is that so many of these pop stars can really sing. Ariana Grande, for example, has an amazing voice but it’s hidden behind masses of compression and auto-tune on her records. Other’s have virtually no talent, of course, but we’ll just pretend they don’t exist.
I don’t mean to suggest that there aren’t great fucking muscians out there. The likes of Royal Blood, Father John Misty or Jason Isbell prove that, but it’s getting more difficult to find them. I’ve spent hours on Spotify and YouTube trying to find new music and after a while it gets a bit depressing. That I nearly always end up listening to older bands I already love is telling of the state of the music industry.
I suppose living in a digital age means it’s easy to release records. Almost anyone with a laptop can do it. I’ve been tempted to put some songs on Spotify simply because I can. It’s the illusion of success, I suppose. It’s the same with my YouTube videos. The idea of millions of people having access to my music is exciting. There is a sense of deflation when after six months it’s had less than 100 views, but the idea is that it takes just one video to launch a potential career. It’s massively unlikely, but like millons of other YouTubers, I live in hope.
At the heart of it, I make music for myself. I find it a kind of therapy in a way. When I play guitar or if I’m writing then there’s nothing else. I’m in my own space. Recording can be frustrating, but listening back to the finished product – cover or otherwise – is hugely rewarding. I’m not always 100% happy with my recordings and I can hear huge problems with the vast majority of them but I accept that I’m limited to recording in the spare bedroom of my house on outdated and worn out equipment. It’s not going to be perfect. It’s just fun.
With that being said, the idea of that being my whole life is something I will always dream of. I love writing, recording and playing in front of people and it will forever be my goal to make a career out of that. I’m not the most talented singer or the most progressive writer, but I think I’m pretty good. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be uploading songs to YouTube or running a website about me. I’ve come so close to giving up completely, but then I see what the alternative is: A life of call centres or retail or working my way up a broken, unfair and unjust corporate ladder. A fate worse than death.
I’ve never been much of a fan of reality. I find the 9-5 a bit tedious, extremely frustrating and painfully unfair. I’m sick of giving up almost half of my life to just get by. As austerity has worsened, I find myself poorer. It puts an unecessary strain on my life that I simply don’t need. Dealing with this, along with several other things, has exponentially worsened my mental health and the culmination of everything led to a suicide attempt a couple of years ago. I understand that several people have it far, far worse than I do. Many are literally struggling to survive. Some have more debilitating mental or physical issues, some don’t have money to buy food or heat their house and others work longer hours at worse jobs and my heart truly aches for them. Unfortunately, I, like everyone else, am horrendously selfish. My own problems feel to me probably far worse than they actually are and though I don’t feel like a victim of circumstance or anything quite that dramatic, I am incredibly unhappy at where I am in my life at this age.
Partly it’s my own fault for not working harder at my music when I was young. I never practiced, I never tried hard enough to record and I blew money on booze when I should have been saving up to by equipment or get studio time. In the last few years, the last couple of months excluded, I’ve only written a handful of songs. Yes, I had a hard time but rather than push myself to actually go out and fucking achieve something I squandered the time and money that I had. I let the worst parts of me – my depression, my anxiety and my laziness – take over everything and win. Now, I’m scrambling to make up lost time.
Over the next couple of months I’m going to try and record two covers and upload those to YouTube as normal. On top of that, I’m trying to record some original songs. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet. Maybe I will upload them to Spotify or maybe I’ll record a proper video, upload that to YouTube and really push my Patreon. As yet, I’ve not got a clue. Hopefully I’ll get a few hours in a local studio and get a better quality of recording. I really want my first EP to be better than anything I’ve done before.
For the forseeable future, I’m going to keep trying to make a career out of my music. I have a genuine burning desire to change things for the better, to see the world and to make people’s lives happier with music. I know it’s unlikely, but there’s something in me that tells me to keep fighting even in my darkest of hours. Once the hope dies, all is lost. So I’m going to keep hoping.