All of a sudden there are only a couple weeks and some spare change left of my three months in Berlin. I feel like this has been a successful trip but, mostly, I feel like I have reached then end of the beginning of my mission to make a career for myself as a musician. Six years ago I could barely play a song on the guitar (let alone write a song or sing in public) and now I have organised and completed my first European tour, my album is receiving some nice reviews and my show is at the point where it seems to be well received whenever and wherever I play. And I have two general feelings about all of this:
The first, obviously, is that I feel quite good about having gotten this far. For most of my life I never allowed myself to to even contemplate such an undertaking. I did everything to be as close as possible to the music but I could never allow myself to take the leap as an artist…and now that ball is rolling.
The second feeling is that I am suddenly a little daunted and overwhelmed by the question of what to do next. I am in the classic metaphor of having reached the top of the first mountain only to discover the rest of the range spreading out into the distance. Which mountain is next? In which direction? Which will take me closer to my goal and which further away? Will I just end up going round in circles? This is where I am right now. My thoughts are constantly circling all these options and more, trying and waiting to find some concrete idea on which to land.
So without knowing exactly what I should be doing next, I am going to do two things. The first thing is that I am going to repeat what I just did: organise another tour and then, hopefully, record another album, and then, go on another tour and then another tour and then maybe another tour (which should all take me through to the end of 2016). If recording and performing are the cornerstones of a music career then it makes sense that I aim to be able to do those things properly and I am pretty sure (or, at least, I need to remind myself) that I didn’t learn everything the first time. Progression by repetition, ya know.
The second thing that I am going to do spend some time reading and researching and thinking about what sort of direction I should be heading in for the medium-to-long term. Do I tour the same places or different places? Do I focus on club gigs or should I be looking for festival bookings? Is it worth putting in the time to try and find a label or am I ok on my own for now? That sort of stuff. (Ok? Ok!)
But before all that I have my last three Berlin gigs coming up this week, one of which is a live recording that I am very happy to be doing because it means I can a) save my current live show for posterity and b) have some updated material to send around when I look for shows.
Also, I have two weeks of summer left to enjoy, my great friends Phil and Leanne are arriving for a visit, we have tickets to see Patti Smith and all the other good things that will happen that I don’t know about yet.
So ya, that is all that about that. Thanks for reading 🙂