Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope you all had a wonderful festive season, santa came and you enjoyed the pudding!
This blog will give a quick review of what I was up to in 2015. The lessons I've learned, the successes and the area's I need to work on. I will also share what I'll be up to for 2016.
At the beginning of last year I decided to only set one intention, which was:
- Tour Ireland and play as many gigs and to as many people as I possibly could.
Let's begin with Successes
1. In 2015 I played over 80 solo gigs and this included playing in the UK and Portugal.
2. I released my debut EP "Odyssey". This has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little boy and I first heard Elvis Presley singing blue suede shoe's I wanted to make music and share this with the world. I've done it!! :)
3. I also got to do some radio interviews in both Ireland and Portugal and my song "Strange Mentality" was played on both Irish and Portuguese radio. This was a huge achievement for me as I know how difficult it is for musician's (particularly Irish) to get played on Irish radio.
4. I teamed up with an Irish music licensing company that licence music for film, TV, gaming etc. I was contacted by this company through my website, who happened to come across my music online and wanted my music on their catalogue.
Rewind - I had one goal when making my record and that was to give it everything so that the music will speak for itself. So having this company contact me, showed me that if you concentrate on the present moment and put everything you got into what your doing at that moment in time, well then everything else will take care of itself.
5. I started to delve a bit more into the world of jazz guitar by starting an improv jazz course at the NewPark Music College. Something I have wanted to do for a long time and it's a real eye opener!! It has really pushed the boundiers of my guitar playing and I certainly (at times) feel well out of my comfort zone. However, this is a good thing and this is what I need to do more often in order to become a better musician!!
6. By far my biggest achievement for 2015 was to finally be able to open up and tell my story to the world.
Now for the areas I need to work on
1. I need to Blog more as I feel that this is a great way to stay connected with those who follow what I do. I didn't blog consistently enough last year so this year it's on the list.
2. This is the music business and I'm slowly but surely figuring this all out. As you'll know most musicians despise the business side of things and just want to make/play music for people. This is my business and I've got to drive it and as I have discovered over the last year no one else will drive this for you. I need to do far more research, reading, networking and expand my knowledge in the ever changing world of the music industry.
3. Becoming much better at organising myself - with regards planning tours - planning practice schedules - planning the release of my music - planning my next dinner :) - planning to tidy my apartment etc. This one is a bit like learning a new song! You sit down and listen through the song a few times then you plan out your approach to learning each section of the song and then you get to work at it until you have it under your fingers and then move onto the next section.
4. I have not written any new songs in a long time so this will take priority in 2016. My next release will be a mixture of old Irish ballads with some original songs. So if you have any songs lying around that you think I might like please do get in touch. Just the other day I was given a few really nice original songs by a very talented Irish songwriter and his brother. Its alway a great pleasure to receive new inspiring material :)
5. Turn off all distractions and just get things done. So for example if I was waiting for a response to an email I would have the phone on and beside me. This is a total distraction and from now on I will only clock in once a day and allocate a specific time to look at emails etc.
6. I didn't do a tap of exercise in 2015 and this is not good because as the old proverb goes "A healthy body is a healthy mind"
Intentions for 2016
In no particular order
1. I need to read more because it gives me inspiration and I can learn more, which is very important. I don't particularly like reading but when the topic is interesting then I'm hooked. I read a really interesting book I picked up at the airport (while travelling to Washington DC) called "The Black Hole Focus" this a great read and I would strongly recommend it. I have just started to read a book called "The Secret" and this really gives you an insight into the power the mind.
2. I will be blogging at least two times a month this year. I like blogging but I find it hard to actually sit down and just do it. It's a bit like exercise, you hate the idea of it until you get exercising. Then it's not half that bad. I personally follow other bloggers and these certainly give me inspiration, motivation and I learn lots of different things that help me as a musician. So I think I can hopefully inspire, motivate and help others with my blogging
3. I'm touring Ireland in May with a very talented musician called Dan Chapman. Maybe you might like to host a house concert, if so please don't hesitate to get in touch. Then I will be heading across the pond to the UK to begin a tour at the end of May and the beginning of June. After this I'm playing some shows in Germany for the very first time and I'm really looking forward to this trip.
4. On the 28th March 2016 I will be releasing my song "Free Their Souls" to commemorate the 1916 rising. This is a song dedicated to the brave men and women that laid down their lives for Irish freedom. Its a song about never forgetting the sacrifice that so many have made to free their souls and never to forget them and to be proud to sing our songs and tell our stories and to sing them loud.
5. I love to busk and this year I'm going to get out and start busking. You meet lots of different and very interesting people with some crazy stories and big hearts. So lets wish for some sunny weather :)
6. Keep running: I started back running again and I will aim to do it 3-4 days a week from now until tomorrow. I always find it hard to get motivated to do some sort of exercise but when your their you always think this isn't so bad. So here's to a more energetic 2016
So thats it, now I've got to get to work!!