Well that’s it 2014 is over. It’s been an interesting year in both my family life and my musical life. Musically I have been focusing on production and have had a blessed year with plenty of people asking me for remixes and it has been the year I started work on some new original material.
Many of the tracks I completed are not out yet as for those not in the industry may not know the time of track completion to actual release can be a very long process for a whole host of reasons I wont bore you with. I still can’t believe the caliber of people I have been able to work with and had offers from. I have worked with the extremely talented Brian Keys Tharme and have been asked for remixes by Ed from Black Beat Niks and Glenn Thornton from Slaag records to name just a few. One big stand out of my year was Remixing Sofia Rubina for Andy Ward. A vocal booth inspired song called Bring That Vibe, Sofia actually performed my version live at this years event which is a first for me. Although the track is not released yet that is a moment I will never forget. Plenty more lined up too and some really exciting projects on the horizon.
DJing wise has been a fun year and I have to thank Bob Povey and Jon Coomer in Bournemouth for booking me for Bump and Hustle so much this year, its been really fun spending time with you guys and I love what you have done for so many years. VBW was as always a highlight of my year, please read my previous blogs for full reports on this. The summer ball although a little low on numbers saw me go back to my routes playing a classic soul set with lots of microphone usage. Not sure why I did this it just felt good at the time and may well some thing I do more given the right time and place.
A big one off my bucket list happened in 2014 too, I played in Ibiza and it was my first ever visit to the island. I spent a week with family and a few VB friends. The island itself was much as I had envisaged (unfortunately) its commercial, big business corporate sponsored very expensive and for the most part soulless. No doubt there are still some pockets of great nights and things to do but you will have to seek them out. It didn’t help that I got sunstroke and was really poorly for 4 days. Still I am glad I went and experienced it and it was not all bad as I got to spend time in the sun with some good friends.
Another music related project I was asked to be involved in is a Facebook group called Underground Music Production. Originally set up by Danny J Lewis I was asked to be an admin. Danny had to leave due to personal reasons and the group voted me in to take over. The idea of the page is to share production knowledge and industry insights. It’s been a roller coaster ride as the group has nearly 4000 members. Darren Benjamin (Daz I Kue) and Brian Tharme have been valuable admins and without them I am not sure I would have continued with it. Although I am talking about it here it’s actually become a secret closed group. You can only join if an existing member asks me. I wont go into all the ins and outs as to why but if you know me personally and are a producer drop me a line if you would like to contribute, just bear in mind it’s a completely spam and self promotion free zone so don’t bother if that all you want from it. We have some really experienced members sharing all sorts of knowledge and we as group have some really exciting projects on the go. Watch this space!
It has been an exciting year as far as my family life goes too. As well as spending lots of time with all three of my stepchildren both at home and around the country at their places of residence we have had some big landmark moments. Firstly my stepdaughter had a second baby girl in August Rae Betty. I have no children of my own and have never really been much of a baby friendly type of person but both of her children (Rae and the now 3 year old Evie) have really changed me as a person. I adore both of them and they have opened my eyes to the immense joy they can bring. I am sure it will bring me closer to all the children in my big extended family.
The second major event was my stepson Joseph got married in November to the lovely Rachel who he first met at our Vocal Booth event in Spain. It was a beautiful day and the sun shone throughout (who would have thought we would be walking along the beach in T-shirts in November) I wish them all the best and long may it last.
My long-suffering wife Amanda has been at my side through most of the above and I am always grateful for her patience, understanding as well as her hilarious antics that are fast becoming infamous with my friends.
We are all happy and healthy in a time when many friends have been in poor health and some have lost close family and friends. My thoughts go out to all those that have experienced poor health or loss over the last 12 months.
Although I never met him a huge figure in House music sadly passed in 2014. The truly legendary pioneer of house music Frankie Knuckles. Fitting tributes have been made and my mind was certainly turned to just what an immense influence he was to so many.
I’m not sure that anyone wants to read my ramblings but it’s strangely therapeutic to write this all down at the end of the year and helps focus on things as we move forward into a new year.