The Sign That Told Me To Sign or Not To Sign
It’s been a pretty mind blowing night…to be honest, it’s been a pretty mind blowing 7 years (that’s how long it’s been since I wrote my first song).
When you set upon a passionate path, you start the journey with a vigor, determination and confidence that is so beautifully childlike it makes you want to jump rainbows. The intoxicating feeling of being invincible to the usual challenges that “normal” people have to deal with gives you an armour nothing can penetrate. We promise ourselves that nothing is going to get in our way, that doubt is not an option, and that we don’t need to worry ourselves about human things like shelter or love or money or even air as long as we are living a passionately authentic life….living our dreams!
When I left my old life (corporate, married, safe blah blah blah) I thought I’d be rich and famous in tops 2 years. I didn’t care for the fame or the money…it’s just what I thought was going to happen. The world was going to discover my music all in one go and I wouldn’t really have a choice in the matter. Things haven’t quite worked out that way…and I can’t tell you how glad I am that it didn’t, especially after the doubt of the last 6 months and the sign I was given tonight.
Doubt is an interesting beast in my life. When I first embarked on this journey I viewed doubt as a mark of weakness. Somehow I felt that if I was doubting myself, I was deciding that perhaps I didn’t have what it takes to fulfil the dreams that I have. My dreams aren’t to be a world famous singer or to be rich…my dream is to inspire the world to choose a life based on authentic happiness and I would lead by example by doing the one thing that makes me authentically happy…my music.
Over the last 2 years of this journey doubt has come to be less of a beast to me. Previously I wondered how come I doubted myself so much when those who have come before me seemed to make it look so easy (by “those” I am not referring to musicians/entertainers, I am speaking of visionaries). How is it that I continually question if I am following the path of least resistance? Am I doing the best thing by my music, am I doing enough to get it out there, am I working too hard, should I be working harder (those who know me are laughing right now). Those doubts are now my friends. I’ve come to realise that they keep me constantly checking that I am exactly where I choose to be….if I am doubting something, then there is an element of it that steers me away from authentic happiness. The last 6 months the doubt has been focused on whether my decision to have my own label rather than sign a deal with a label has been a smart or silly decision. To be honest with you, this has been seriously messing with my head for a long time even though my gut always knew the answer.
6 years ago, I came into the music industry when the game was changing. The labels had well and truly broken their own backs with the horrifying ways they had treated artists and the music buying public. Independently released music was the way of the future…and all of the sudden everyone became an independent artists releasing music of all kinds of quality and I had to find a way to have my music cut through all that noise. I was getting offers from labels who were interested in me after hearing one point of buzz or another that they’d heard about me, but the second they heard that I didn’t have any form of addiction or vice, and that I wanted a clause in the contract that allowed an independent auditor to review their financial records relating to me every year, they always walked away. I got to the point where I stopped taking meetings with them in person to stop wasting my own time. 20 minutes on Skype and the discussions were over, ending exactly how they always had…with them showing their typically slimy label ways.
So I have an album coming out later this year. It has taken me almost 2 year to create this album and I don’t mind telling you, it’s pretty amazing! Having my own label allows me the opportunity to create whatever music I want and no-one can tell me that I am or am not allowed to take it in the direction I want to go in. This album is unlike anything I’ve released before…it’s and EDM Album (Electronic Dance Music). I believe in this album so much that I want to be sure that it has the wings that it needs to fly…it needs to reach a critical mass and I’m not sure that I can do that on my own. Now I could try and find a way to do that myself or I would sign a deal and have the label I choose do it and have them promote the album. They can make it happen faster and grander. I chose a label that I wanted to work with and set my sights on them. That’s when the panic started…that feeling of serious doubt in the pit of my stomach that was saying to me “What the fuck are you doing? What are you doing to our vision? Why would you hand it all over to them? They are going to ruin everything you’ve worked so damn hard for.”. Honestly, I had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to sign but I wanted to do the best thing I could by my business…I needed help to know the path ahead, so I chose to see the answer. Tonight I got that answer.
After a month of ridiculous communications with Paypal who have completely messed with my ability to make any money from my new single ‘Shackles’ or collect any money for ‘Project Missing Sweet Angels’, my pain lead me to consider turning to the labels even though my gut was screaming NOOOOOO! At my wits end about my capabilities as a business woman I screamed out for guidance. I always feel better when I watch this show, so tonight I decided to soothe my frustrations with an episode of of it. It’s called ‘Touch’. The show is about a boy (Jake) who uses numbers to see patterns that most people don’t. Those patterns connect us with other people and situations that influence and affect our lives. Jake and I have a lot in common.
In the latest episode, was a man who was travelling the world getting 50 very specific artists all to sing this one song. He would record the song on audio and video and collate the whole thing and put it on youtube. When another character asked him why he was doing this he told her ‘My father was a record label executive for many years. In those years he took amazing artists and knowingly signed them to bad record deals where he took all their money leaving them high and dry with no career. He died a few years back and left me some money, so I’m using it to travel the world trying to get those artists to sing the same song and hopefully I can right a little bit of his wrong.’…to be honest, the moment he said my father was a record label executive, my eyes popped. I knew this episode was written just for me to hear and in that instant I started panicking…”OK so it seems I have my answer, no record deal. But how do I know that everything is going to turn out the way I have chosen? How do I know that I have what it takes to make this music fly the way I have chosen it too?”….right at that moment they revealed the song that he had been travelling the world recording…”Everything’s gonna be alright”! I haven’t stopped crying since that moment.