Having just finished our 3rd sell out UK Tour to an amazing crowd of Funk and Soul lovers, it’s hard to believe that it was only a few years ago (in the spring of 2012) that I was at my lowest.
Where it all went wrong...
My previous bands record deal hadn’t worked out and the band fell apart. I now didn’t know what I was doing. I was still working as a sax player, but rarely playing Funk & Soul music (which is what I loved the most) and was producing records that I just didn’t enjoy.
I was desperately trying to find a way to make money out of the music business.
I didn’t know it yet, but that’s exactly where I was going wrong.
I grew up on The Blues and fell in love with Funk and Soul music, but I wasn’t spending anytime making it – instead I was taking on any old project and music had become a job!
Then it all changed...
It was around 2am in mid summer of 2012 in a Reading Casino, that quite literally….my luck changed! I stopped off for a flutter on the way home after a gig, as I often do. Lots of my musician friends often head here, mainly because we often finish late and we can always get a drink here and relax after work.
Following a few games of Black Jack I ended up hitting ‘perfect pairs’ 7 times with odds of 30-1, leaving the casino just over £10,000 richer! (fortunately my mate JJ pulled me off the table when the luck started to change)
I have never had an experience that aligned my path in life so perfectly.
I KNEW that I now had the opportunity to make the album that I wanted – so I called on THE funkiest names in the music business to make the Soul & Funk album I wanted which at the time was Steve Pearce (bass), Frankie Tontoh(drums) and Otha Smith(guitar).
Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, The Temptations & More...
These guys are some of my favourite players in the world, having worked with Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, The Temptations and hundreds more! – so I was super excited about making this happen. (a ridiculous statistic is that the band had collectively played on records that have sold over HALF A BILLION records!!)
I knew that I needed to get that spark back and get that energy of FUN as well as funk in the music. I didn’t just want an album of session players disappearing up their own proverbial.
I had a little bit of experience in social media marketing so knew the importance of video and decided to film everything and recorded all the studio sessions as they happened, I then posted them on Facebook. I promoted the videos for a few weeks, but the response I got was astonishing – and I still can’t believe it now!
The track "Vinyl is My Bible" is one that people just seemed to LOVE. Here it is:
Fast forward 3 years, 3 sell out tours, 120,000 fans on Facebook, 10’s of millions of views on our videos and it’s still that feeling of fun that I crave when I think about my life and career as a musician.
I finally started to have success in the music business when I decided to focus on the music that made me happy, and find people that also LOVED funk and soul music. Once I had found a way to connect with people on social media directly (hopefully people like you!), people that love Funk, Soul, Blues and Jazz….that’s when things started to happen for me.
It's a wonderful feeling to know that this mission I was on, (to bring a little more funk and soul to the world, and a little less auto-tune) was also shared with a tribe of people like you!
This involves you...
It’s YOU, the listener, that makes all of it matter. I look forward to many more years writing albums and heading off on the road for the experiences of a lifetime. It's sometimes hard and sometimes ugly but the journey is always worth it and I wouldn't change a thing.
Here’s to hoping that you are part of that journey.
Now you know the story of how this album came together, If you’d like to hear to hear more of it… click here to listen to ‘First Strut Is The Deepest’.
Thank you for being a listener and for making this journey a thoroughly fun one so far!
Let's carry on this mission together, trying to bring a little more Funk and Soul to the world, and a little less auto-tune ;-)