Ending The Decade On A High
It’s that time of year again where I like to do the whole “look back and see what actually happened”. Except this time, we’re going to be leaving the 2010s behind us and moving in to a new decade with 2020 vision! Why do these retrospectives though? Who cares? Well, I care, otherwise I wouldn’t write them haha!
For me, it’s important that you glance at the rear view mirror from time to time to see where you have come from, what challenges you’ve overcome, lessons learned and how you can apply all of that in the next 12 months. This is called experience and experience is really important to develop in all walks of life. Who knows, if I share something that someone can learn from then surely it’s a worthwhile exercise, right?
So let me share what I did this year with a little bit of storytelling and then we can move in to the future – starting with…
Yea well, it would be rude not to start with this wouldn’t it?! Specifically Drum & Bass has been at the forefront of this year’s releases with the Foundations EP, Ghost Times EP and a collection of singles to sink your teeth in to!
However, I started dipping my toes in to other genres with the release of Time Machine, a Deep House music collaboration with @winkandwoo, which has been warmly received by you legends and a bit of a rave track with the two other fine gentlemen who I co-founded the Electronic Music Alliance with (Bufinjer and DaveyHub) called “Don’t Call It“!
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting the kind feedback I got on the tracks where I stepped out of the comfort zone but I was having a chat with Eonlake earlier about being focused on one genre or trying out multiple ones and we agreed that, “if you have a certain style, that will always carry over no matter what genre“. People will still recognise your sound and style so the lesson here is, keep trying out new things and have fun with the process – expect different genres coming from me in 2020 🙂
Here’s a link to my personal favourite releases from 2019:
At the end of the day, I am just a beats maker but without the help of Audio Animals to bring the tracks I make out to their fullest sound-wise then they’d just be left as “quiet little squeaks”, stuck in a music software somewhere forever and not allowed to see the light of day! So cheers to the wizards at that studio, I’ll definitely be using their mastering services for as long as I make beats!
But music isn’t really complete unless you have a cool graphic designer to help you bring the sounds to some artwork and I have to say a big thanks to @gabrielatravels for her part in designing the covers. I’ll be turning to her in 2020 for all my music artwork as she really nailed the designs much better than I ever could! Collaborations and teamwork make the dreams work hey! Here’s a little look back at what those graphic skills gave us:
Electronic Music Alliance (EMA)
Mannnnn!! What an incredible part of 2019 this buzzing music community has been! 12 months ago, myself, DaveyHub and Bufinjer joined forces to create a place where electronic music producers can feel at home, sharing knowledge, experiences and collaborating on new tracks. Not only this but it’s also a place where we want electronic music fans to enjoy tunes and styles that you may not have otherwise heard, spreading good vibes and letting us curate multi-genre playlists so you don’t have to.
If you’d have told us 12 months ago that we’d have set up a community with 120+ music producers, reached a following of 5,000 combined on our EMA Twitter community and label (Electronic Alliance Records – EAR) profiles then we’d have probably laughed.
Now though, that’s a reality and we’re so grateful for all the support everyone has given us and got involved along the way! The weekly playlists will keep coming and the monthly newsletters will keep you up to date with the latest goings on inside the Mothership!
In less than a week’s time (3rd January 2020), we’ll be unleashing our 1 year compilation with 20+ artists and I’ll be co-hosting a very special show on @spotlight.artist on 3rd January 2019 at 18:00-20:00 UK Time.
Joining me on the show, we’ll have 5 other members (who we affectionately call EMAliens) and we’ll have some brand new releases, exclusive to the label – make sure you follow our EAR Twitter profile to be kept in the loop as no doubt we’ll be promoting the heck out of this one!
I’ve learned a lot working with Bufinjer and Davey (I call them “The Daves”) but probably the strongest lesson learned is that when people (naysayers) tell you “it can’t be done”, that means, it absolutely CAN be done… and THEN some!
We’ve played to each other’s strengths, which has helped us get to where we are now with the foundations we’ve set up and we have one kick ass community of EMAliens who look out for each other and give some of the most heart warming support. So there you go – positive vibes and a “can do” attitude will get you very far 🙂
Damn son! What a 3 month adventure that was back in April-June! After having enough of a previous job, I decided that I was going to do something I always wanted to do and spent 3 months travelling around Australia and New Zealand. The adventures of which I’m still writing about now over on my @travelfeed profile.
I’d highly recommend you set up your own travel profile here if you like sharing your own holidays on social media (you may get a little reward if your posts are well written)!
So far, I’ve written over 25 blogs about that trip and I’ve loved reliving every moment. There’ll be many more to come still but the main lesson I learned on this trip is that you really do have the power to do whatever you want to AND you can be smart with the way you go about it.
If you want to go travelling then don’t hesitate. Work out a budget, research where you want to go and plan for it. Or if you’re one of those who loves flying by the seat of your pants, just go for it! You won’t regret it and you’ll see things from a very different angle when (or if) you come back! When things started getting tough after coming back, I just took my mind to where I visited and instantly calmed down. It’s magic!
The last 4 weeks have been filled with another special event as my brother got married and I had the honour of being Best Man! I’m still constructing the blog on all of the tales that unfolded with this one but to give you a taster: the Stag Do was “eventful” with funny costumes, a “tipple” of alcohol and yours truly had a few difficulties with the authorities!
Then the wedding itself provided its own amazing tales and my Best Man speech was probably the first and only one in the world that was done in a lab coat with the buttons done up incorrectly accidentally/on purpose! I can’t wait to share it all with you once it gets the thumbs up from my brother!
One of my other long time friends who I’ve known since school (that’s over 23 years) continued the string of marriages in the old R.G.S. crew a week before Christmas and then next year 2 more from the “Walking T**ts” are getting married, leaving just me and one other to fill “our calling” but I can say with 100% certainty, it’ll just be me left “roaming free” in a couple of years haha!
Joking aside, I did learn that it is possible even for me to get that warm and fuzzy feeling again. That and I definitely do NOT want to stand in front of a large group of people for public speaking ever again!
One platform I’ve been pretty involved with over the last 21 months or so is called STEEM and it’s had a big impact on my blogging/writing focus. I’ve always loved the idea of blogging and just having a blank page to write down thoughts about things but never really considered structure, headings or any of this other formatting stuff until I joined STEEM.
Effectively, it’s a social media platform where the users reward your posts based on how much they like/dislike it. Each account is able to upvote or downvote the post and each post is “live” for 7 days. At the end of the 7 days, the final balance is paid out to your profile. Most people keep the post payout in their profile so that their own vote is worth more. So for me, my vote is worth £0.10 but some others are worth much more, even up to £10 and beyond in some cases.
For me, it’s been a fun experience as I’ve learned to write travel blogs, put more effort in to my music blogs and learned all kinds of things on a variety of subjects, whilst earning a little bit of pocket money for my efforts. It beats Facebook for me anyway so if you wanted to see what it’s all about, you can see my profile here but if you want to get started, just let me me know. I’ll be writing more about this platform in 2020 regardless 🙂
Your Top 3 Contest
And finally, I also co-run a fun contest that I set up with 3 others I met on the STEEM platform (@cheese4ead, @foxyspirit and @plantstoplanks) where we basically ask people what their favourite Top 3 things are about a specific topic that we pick each month.
Those who want to enter then write a post on STEEM and send over half of what that post has paid out as their entry fee. Their nominations get entered to a poll where we let the users of the STEEM platform decide and we send out prizes to those whose nominations were voted as the Top 3!
And with some exciting things happening in 2020, we’d love to see more people join the fun as we’ve given out over £100 since we started in April – head over to our chat room to find out more. Otherwise, you might upset our mascot, Q, and we can’t have that!
The lesson here is pretty similar to what I learned with setting up EMA – you need good people with a positive attitude to get awesome things done and you really can achieve anything you want to that’s fun for everyone involved. Long may it last!
All The Best for 2020
So there you have it folks, the main events in my 2019 and looking back, it’s not been that bad really has it? Of course, there have been some other things going on that haven’t been quite so good but if I give time to stuff that brings me down then life would be pretty miserable… and who wants that haha?!
Here’s to a great 2020 for everyone and I hope we can connect with each other more in the next 12 months.
Take it easy