2012 Some thoughts on my year.
I almost didn’t write this as there have been some tough times this year but I have been persuaded me to get things down in words so here we go.
Where to start? My mind is bouncing around thinking about all that has happened this year. Most that read my site know me as a DJ or producer so I will start with that.
DJ wise it has been extremely slow. This maybe because I don’t push myself for bookings, or it could be because of the saturation of the market, It could even be because I’m not actually that good, I am not a seamless mixer and don’t fall into any one genre as most things seem to these days. Saying that I have experience I am always professional. I produce and have now had releases on some respected labels. I also have a good online presence and seem to be respected by my peers. I’m not upset by the lack of gigs but some interest would be nice. I see some people constantly putting booking contact details on Facebook and to be honest it all looks a little desperate to me. Like party and new release promotion this type of constant pushing really turns me off, as I know it does others, it’s just not my style. If this means fewer bookings then so be it. If you want me you know how to get hold of me!
Release wise it’s been exciting! I have achieved more with this than I ever thought possible. I have had Remixes and original productions on Tony Records, Soul Free, Canvas and SOL. I have plenty more in the pipeline too. My latest release Simple Message is probably my best work to date and was further enhanced by an amazing remix from Peter Oakden featuring keys from Ricky Reid. This is the first time someone has remixed one of my own tracks and the result was mind blowing. A big thanks to Pete, Ricky and Craig Smith for the support and making this project happen.
I have also been involved in an exciting project with Professional producer Danny J Lewis called collaborate and learn. This project is producing a track from start to finish and documenting the entire process on YouTube. Not only is it teaching me more about production but many others also. I have had so many inspiring messages regarding this project; it really has and is a very worthwhile venture. I have always said it is important to share knowledge and hopefully inspire people through that sharing.
You can check all the videos so far right here on my website just go to the Collaborate and Learn section.
Talking of my website 2012 saw its launch. This is something I have wanted to do for a number of years but did not have a clue about how to go about it.
It started with a conversation with Lainy Lewis who very kindly asked me to go to London for a photo shoot. The results are photos used on my site and some more fantastic shots I use for press releases and more. One of the pictures made it onto my Simple Message release for Soul Free Records. For those that don’t know Lainy’s work please look her up on Facebook. As well as being a talented photographer she is amazing to work with and is a warm, genuine and a likeable soul.
Once I had some decent high-resolution images I felt I could start a website. The timing was perfect; Andy had just started a new venture building websites.
As a DJ and friend this seemed like the perfect time to go ahead so after some brief conversations we built and launched Blackwax.net.
As well as being a central location for all my work I am really enjoying writing blogs with random thoughts and things I find on the World Wide Web. Thanks to those that have subscribed and read regularly. Despite not promoting the site much I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of “hits” the site is getting on a daily basis.
I have attended some very good party’s in 2012.
Has it been the year of festivals?
The Southport weekender, Suncebeat in Croatia, the Vocal Booth Weekender in Spain. These are all very good party’s and all unique in there own special way.
Southport was my first in the new venue in Minehead. The sheer scale of the site was a lot to take in, it did take some getting used too. My usual dark corners where gone and I had no idea where to find the rooms and more importantly the regular hangouts of friends. All that aside it’s still a very special event and good times where had by all.
Suncebeat was a very last moment thing for me and was blown away by the beauty of the area. Some brilliant DJ’s sets and some very fun times (see my blog for a full review) The beach stage was brilliant and I will say one day I would absolutely love to play on it. Its just the sort of place I love to play and the type of gig musically I know I would revel in and perform my best.
Vocal Booth Weekender –The highlight of my year for so many reasons, again a full review is already on my blog from this year’s event. It’s an honor to play this party and it truly is something very special. Recently I have been added to the official website as a resident DJ, Many thanks for that its always nice to be appreciated.
Some great nights out, Francois K’s experiment with 5.1-surround sound, Bump and Hustle in Bournemouth, Inner Rhythm at East Village, Uber in Birmingham, Beat Players in London, The legendary wrong boat party (I am known to many as wrong boat after that one) and Craig Smith in Cambridge to name a few.
Family wise has been a roller coaster ride with splits and new relationships, the kids moving back home and my good wife having some medical problems, Its been very challenging to say the least but as the year draws to a close things seem to have turned a corner and we are all seeing some positive changes.
As I contemplate this part I’m thinking just how important family really is. It may get in my way of doing music or attending gigs but ultimately family is everything, this has become more apparent as I get older. I have 3 great stepchildren and 3 grand daughters, a right handful too say the least but they all give the family unit so my love and light.
I am not one for setting goals and New Year resolutions but I have some things I would like to achieve in the coming year.
My daughter is getting married in Florida so obviously that’s a big one emotionally and financially. DJ wise I have no intentions of pushing myself but it goes without saying I would like a few more gigs, if offers arise I will be very choosy what I do. I don’t do bullshit politics or deal with unprofessional twits I have been there and dealt with that too many times over the years.
Production wise I have treated myself to a Native Instruments Maschine so lots to learn there. I am convinced this will inspire me and give me a different way of working. If I manage to have as many releases in the coming year as I have in 2012 then I will be happy. I don’t really make music for money lets face it if that is your driving force then you must be slightly insane and you should stop. I enjoy the creative process and if only one person smiles on the dance floor while dancing to one of my creations then that is all I can ask for.
This blog could have easily become something very negative and I could have moaned and vented. (Victor Meldrew) I have tried not to do that. I was told I would feel better for putting this down on paper even though I have not written most of the things that drained me emotionally this year. Just sitting here thinking about everything has served its purpose.
Lastly I have met some amazing people this year and re-connected with old friends. Saying that I have neglected a very dear friend this year, despite living very close buy and having a baby I have not managed to go and see him. I feel terrible about this and will be making an effort to correct this as soon as I am back home. (You know who you are)
All in all 2012 has been a good year even though emotionally it has been extremely challenging at times.
See you all in 2013 and I wish you all a fantastic new year in whatever you do.