2022: a year of reinvention, and nearly walking away from it all.
So I guess you were wondering where I have been all this time.
The last time I posted something was probably before my gig at the "Loch Stock and Smokin Barrels" festival where I performed with Touch, however since then, things have taken a backward step.
Since the end of last year, I have felt a bit lost and not sure where my music career (if you call it that) is going, and the start of 2o22 has only reinforced that.. A few of our Touch gigs were cancelled due to extreme weather and lack of ticket sales, plus someone hacked into my Instagram account where I had nearly 8 years worth of archival footage of my music, as well as images of my kids taken away, and now someone is out there is using my account to scam money from other people which makes me sick to my stomach. As well as that, I have not been able to write a song that I am proud of, and I was even pondedring whether being a rock chick is still part of my musical identity, and it all spiralled when someone said to me at the end of a student showcase that my set was "depressing" that I started questioning whether I should keep doing this. Nothing was coming my way, I had nothing inspiring to write about, and I was this close to stop getting singing lessons and no longer being a part of the Andrea Marr Music School that I have been a student and an Associate teacher for nearly 12 years. It wasn't until I spoke to my teacher that she said to me that instead of focusing on my music to further my career, that I should just focus on singing because I enjoy it, which is not easy for me because I always like to have a goal in sight whenever I am working on something.
Some of you may know that I am a christian and I believe that God has given me this gift of singing and he is not only the giver of gifts but he also has the power to take them away, or at least put things in place that may stall our creative process. During this time, I have really had to draw deep into my faith and realise that all these years, I have been using my music as an idol to validate my identity, when really our identity needs to be in Christ alone, and if we are not using our gifts to glorify him, then God has the power and the right to take it away from us.
So these last few months, I have had to focus on my music as a way to serve people: rather than sing music that so depressing and self focused, I have decided to focus on music as a way to inspire and motivate others and to help lift people's spirits. Through running the AMMS showcases, I have learnt the power of service and helping build on the dreams of others, and through listening to worship music, I have learnt to no longer use God as a tool to put myself on a pedestal, but to draw near to him and to immerse myself in his presence and wait on him (as well as trust) to see what plans he has for me next.
And boy has he delivered!
A few months, ago, I received an email from a woman who works for a vocal trio group called 'The Treblettes" who are a sassy vocal group who sing covers from the 40s, 50s and 60s, everything from the Andrew Sisters to Motown. Last year, I auditioned for them in November when they were looking for a singer to join their group, and unfortunately my audition was not successful, yet in July, they contacted me asking if they could train me up to be one of their back up singers in case one of their regulars weren't available (thanks to COVID-19, we live in a very unpredictable world) and since then, I have been focusing my energy on learning all of these new songs and harmonies. I had my first gig with the Treblettes yesterday, and I had a ball! All of the joy I experienced prior to this malaise had returned and now I am looking forward to see how the future will pan out with this group.
I don't know how long this season will last (only God has the power to determine that) but for now, I am happy to live in the moment and commit my all to this new project, so please have a look at my dates tab and you can see when I will be performing with the group next.
So have I figured out my musical career? Not quite. I hope to one day write music again, once I figure out what my style is, but if there is one thing I have learned about myself it is this:
Every artist goes through a period (or a pause) of self-reflection or redefining who they are, and it's probably a good thing.
Going through a period of doubt or frustration, doesn't mean you should quit, but maybe taking a break or a step back can do wonders for you and your creativity.
A friend once said that you should never create something out of desperation or out of determination to receive validation from others. This is not a good motivation to have, and people can generally sense this and start pulling away.
Always have the right motivation for doing something and remember who created you and why they bestowed these gifts to you.
Hope you didn't mind the long post, and I'm sure not many people will read this, but I guess I needed to get this off my chest eventually.
Take care and may the rest of the year bring your whatever wisdom or opportunity that captures your desire.