4 Aug 2014

Back To Basics - Where Have I Been? | Music Monday

I've been a little quiet lately in the music department, eh?

To be totally honest, for the last couple of months I've been completely avoiding this subject - yup that includes giving people the most vague and awkward answers when they asked how my music was going... I apologise if you were on of those lucky few! Haha.
Why? ... because I really just wasn't comfortable discussing my 'music career' when my mind was up in a heap about it. 

After a major pep talk from Moma & Popa Bear this week, I decided that the easiest way to fill you all in on where I'm at at the minute was to write it all down.
I've literally written and re-written this blog post a gazillion times because it's awkward for me to admit half of the things that I'm writing (it sounds stupid, but it is), so I guess the easiest thing to do is to start from the beginning.

If you're new to this blog then you might not know that I'm also a singer (I'm sure you've guessed by now though. Haha) - you can find my YouTube channel here. Since I was a little tyke I've loved to sing. It was probably brought on by my parents fab taste in music and the fact that my Grandad was (and still is) in a band and is an extremely talented songwriter - you go Grandpawww! A few years back, with a bit of a nudge of encouragement from Daddy dearest, I decided to start posting covers on YouTube. Sitting in my room researching new songs to cover quickly became one of my favourite pastimes (*cough* Geek!). Moms used to tell me that she loved walking past my bedroom door hearing me 'rehearse'... even though I thought that no-one could hear me with the door locked? ... 
Not sure how I worked that one out. Fail. Haha.

Little did I know that a few years later I'd be pursuing my hobby as a career. Yup, just before I started University I decided to take the plunge and try something serious with my music but it wasn't until I was in 2nd year that I really got the ball rolling. I began attending songwriting classes and workshops and, to cut a very long story short, I eventually met some amazing and accomplished producers in the UK that offered to work with me. Who wouldn't say yes to an opportunity like that?

For about 2 years I pushed my music out to the best of my ability, spending more hours than you'd know trying to figure out new ways of getting people to listen to my covers. I'd began working with a few different producers in Dublin (that didn't end too well) trying to feel my way around the industry but in August last year, both me, my parents and the guys over in the UK decided that I needed some material of my own - yup, that meant originals. I began working on my very own EP and wrapped it up back in April / May and that's probably the last that you've heard of me, where music is concerned.

So what happened?
I'm not really sure how best to describe this... but I guess I wasn't ready, or comfortable, taking the huge leap from YouTube into 'the music industry' and honestly, that's harder for me to admit than you know (hence why it's taken so long for me to spit it out). 

At first, I thought I was freaking out because I'd finished University and all I could think about was my future... more importantly the fact that there was no guarantee of a happy ending at the end of my music tale, but I quickly realised after confronting the problem with my parents that that wasn't what was wrong at all. 

This week I had one of those moments when I had to be completely honest with myself for the first time in a long time, after a super awkward 'How's your music going?' encounter ... and now it's time to be honest with everyone else.

To put it plainly, I was completely naive when it came to the music industry. I wasn't ready for what I was getting myself into - full day studio sessions (that aren't as glamorous as you'd think - you won't find yourself in any fancy, expensive recording studios like you see on Rihanna's Instagram, more like basements and shed-turned-studios), big personalities (that made me feel really small and were so hard for me to handle), situations with managers, trying to find 'Grace' and even people that are in it just to make money from you... if I went on, I'd be here all day. I'm also not just talking about my experiences with any one person in particular, this is a general overview.

Something that I loved had suddenly turned into something that I didn't want to talk about... that I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to pursue anymore - and that's when I started to freak out. 

Being from a small town made it super hard for me to handle the personas of people that had been in the music industry for their entire lives; who were used to fast pace work, quick writes and nailing things right away. You might not think that I'm an 'introverted', quiet and timid person, but to these guys I was. There were several attempts to 'break me out of my shell' and find 'the real Grace', not the nervous, quiet one - no prizes for guessing that this done the opposite. Haha. Instead, it made me feel like I didn't know who I was. I also wasn't comfortable with the fact that I didn't have as much control as I had when I was the person recording, editing, looking at visuals for music videos etc. - that comes down to the perfectionist in me!

Basically, back in May I told my parents that a career in music wasn't for me anymore, I still loved it, and I still loved to sing but I ended up cutting ties with music and stoping everything completely. I told nobody what happened because I didn't want to admit my naivety to myself, never mind anyone else. 

Don't get me wrong, I was super grateful for the experience & it wasn't all horrendously bad - I was still getting to do something that I thought I wanted to do, some of the people I met along the way were lovely and I guess the whole experience will stand to me in the long run - but it just wasn't what I thought it was going to be. My music didn't feel like my 'baby' anymore. The enjoyment that I got out of uploading my own content to my YouTube channel had started to slip away.

It wasn't until this week when my parents met my old school Principal out in a restaurant that I started to think about my music again. He had asked them how I was getting on with my music but more importantly, he told them to tell me, no matter what happens, to make sure I always keep music as a part of my life. 

Moms and Pops then reminded me of why I set up a YouTube channel in the first place... because I loved to sing and I just wanted to share it with others. Even if I don't want to pursue music as a career right now, that doesn't mean that I should stop singing... and on that note, I cracked out the mic, the tripod & the camera and recorded a new cover.

It's only been 3 / 4 months since I stopped doing anything music related but it feels like it's been at least a year! I don't care if 5 or 5,000 people watch my videos... I just do it because I enjoy it. It's as simple as that. I may not get to upload videos as often as I'd like, but I just thought I'd write up this long winded post to let you all know that there will be new content appearing on my YouTube channel from now on.

I'm kicking it all off again with a bitta Ed Sheeran - and I really hope you enjoy it... really. :P

Apologies about the inappropriately long post and congratulations if you got to the end of it. Virtual brownies for all of ya'll... back to regular scheduling for the rest of the week! :P

XO, G.

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