The painting is inspired by a native Alaskan ghost story and is called "Listening".
Danny has gone through many creative media including ambient composition, painting and wood sculpture. His current creative outlet is designing mindfulness strength-training programs as a personal trainer in Swindon. He was a mature student at Brockwood Park School where he could frequently be seen driving past classrooms on a tractor.
I know Danny through a mutual friend Adam Black, and he is yet another creative Brockwood connection. I love this painting, and although he has more, he hasn't got a website yet. He can be found on facebook, and contacted there or, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today was the day, I launched my main kickstarter campaign to crowdfund my debut album!
I am taking a big risk here, and I am counting on my supporters, friends, family and fans to help give me what I need to launch my career!
As a workaholic I have spent every second studying and applying music business principles. I have secured a fantastic launch venue to hundreds of people, and have begun booking in my 2016 'Gentle Heart' tour for the 'Gentle Heart' album. I have appeared on 5 radio stations including most recently, a live interview on the BBC . And I stormed to the top of reverbnations folk charts for Bristol. I have sold over 300 copies of my 'Gentle Heart Collection', and have a strong fanbase and social media presence, a new E.P. coming out next week, and I have played live to literally thousands of people in the last five months over the southwest, and I loved every minute of it (Ok, well, most minutes of it.). I have all the industry connections, I know where I am going to record, where I will get the album mastered, printed, distributed online and in retail, as well as which venues will put me on as I take the album on tour all over the UK next year.
Besides, I have thought of lots of unique and interesting rewards to make it thoroughly worth your while to 'back me', so check out my kickstarter campagin below.
It says 0:12 on my red bedside clock, I hear your feet ascend the stairs, Then you click the bathroom lock.
My gaze is afixed on an orange street light, As tonight’s hot tears pierce, Yet another cold night.
“A real man must come at least once every day”, I don’t want to feel the bed shake, And hope you’ve found another way.
To relieve all your tension on a hot DVD, With some beer and a joint, Then you won’t involve me.
It says 1:23 on my red bedside clock, Your snores are now deep, And your hand stuck to a sock.
That is filled with limp manhood, It’s time to get up, In my haste as I stand My hand hits a tea cup. On the table, you stir, But you’re out for the count, I get dressed in the silence, Then slide my way out Of the bedroom that’s held all my darkest despair, There’s no looking back, no regrets can I wear.
It says 2:34 on a red bedside clock, But I’m in a hotel, Tender arms are now locked, Around my glistening shoulders, Still glowing from the love, Of a man who adores me, We finally woke up, To the fact that life is short, Too short to be sad, Wrapped in a marriage of violence, There’s life to be had.
It says 3:45 on the red bedside clock, The alarm sounds, we rise, And my eyes look in shock, At my new cuts and bruises, They’ll be the last ones, No more oversized glasses, Or heavy foundation,
My new love plants kisses, On my forehead and holds me, I’ve no fear with him, For his tongue never scolds me.
We’ve planned this escape, For what seems like forever, But fear had a tight grip, Around my neck, thought I’d never, Be quite brave enough, But I’ve learned to stand tough, And I’m sure not deluded, It’s gonna be rough.
I’ve snipped all my connections, To the old wounded life, I can’t risk him ever finding, This terrified wife, Who he’s beaten into submission, With his hands and cruel words, As we get in the taxi, I’m seen but not heard.
It says 4:56 on the train station clock, My hands are enclosed by warm fingers, In an effort to stop, all my trembles, He mumbles, “I love you dear girl”, Then we step on the train, Entering our new world.
I’ve the clothes that I stand in, And a few hundred pounds, And the love of a soulmate, Who won’t let me down.
As the train pulls away, And we start our first day, The calm silence is gently broken, “No more tears now”, I say.
Here are the twelve most useful tips I have gathered so far while trying to learn how to promote myself as a musician and singer. I have picked them up from all sorts of sources so message me if you want more details on any of them.
1) Every, or almost every, social media post should contain 4 things; a picture, a call to action, and a link. Also, the shorter the better, and on facebook, try to use time-based words like 'today' or 'just now' - it helps your post to rank higher and therefore show up in more people's news feeds.
2) The two things missing from most websites: 1 - A 'press' section, including pictures, a short bio, and quotes that anyone from the media can 'lift' with ease to publish anything about you. You want to make it easy for someone to find all the relevant info. and 2 -A 'Booking Info' section. Including performance statistics, stage plot if you have a band, live pictures and videos, media quotes specifically about your live shows. and anything someone who is interested in booking you might want to know.
3) Think about the purpose of your website. Is it to sell your music directly? Expand your subscriber base? Get bookings for private functions? Or for large theaters? Design your website around one main goal, and one or two sub goals depending on your needs.
4) Get professional photos. Pay someone to do it for you. It makes a big difference, the difference between a professional and an amateur. They will do things you can't even imagine to subtly make your image more pleasing.
5) Youtube is the number 1 place where music is discovered nowadays, so have ALL your music up there, even with a picture or 'lyric' videos if you don't have a full video.
6) Be consistent. Across all your internet platforms. As much as possible, the same fonts, the same, images the same colours. This strengthens your image.
7) Connect! A simple one, but the more people you have in your network, the more opportunities you are connected to. Network = Opportunities.
8) The most important thing about social media is to 'engage' people, and second most important is to keep you in their minds. You don't want to come across as obtrusive, but you want to remain present, so think about how you can engage people. Ask them questions, run competitions, show them something funny, respond to their responses to you etc.
9) Ask. If a 'call to action' is made explicit it is three times more likely to be effective. So if you want likes, ask. If you want people to share, repin, comment, link, retweet, plus 1, or anything else, ask. Not too much, but don't be shy. Call people to take action, if you want them to take action.
10) Follow up everything. If someone offers you a gig in conversation, it's not impolite to send a quick message a couple of days later. Most of the time the response is 'oh yeah, I forget, what dates can you do in...'.
11) Think about how you can expand you network. Attend events, grow your social media connections, use your social media to drive people to your website, put on a show with a similar artist, or collaborate on a youtube video. People who like their stuff will also like your stuff and vice versa. There is an almost unlimited number of things you can do to expand your fanbase, and when its big enough you can ask them to; fund something, attend your shows, spread the word etc. etc. What I love about the music industry these days is how personal your relationship is to your fans, especially as an indie artist.
12) Give away your music. At least some of it. Even in the old days artist made 90% of their income from live shows. If you can leverage your music to grow your fanbase, that will be far more valuable long term than making a a small amount of money now. Draw people in. Invite them in, give something out. :)
Today I watched this.
There is a big debate in the music industry about how to control piracy & streaming, and how to make people pay for music. But, who is asking? The record labels, big business are concerned about how file sharing on the internet is cutting into their profits. Artists are concerned that they aren't able to make money with their music, either by file sharing or through music streaming service royalties being so minuscule as to be undetectable. But, as Amanda points out, people *want* to pay for music. I know this, as she does, from my experience in my busking days. People hear something that touches them, and come forward. They did this entirely voluntarily, based on their connection to me, and to my surprise they did come forward. Some people said I should hide the money I got from busking so people would give more, or add money into my case to start with. But I never did, and not a single person looked into my case before they put some money in! As Amanda proved with her crowdfunding campaign, people want to give something in exchange for something they receive. This is a perfect antidote to the marketing push to maximize profits, and brings the focus back to people, who are the core of this exchange. Music is relationship for me. As an artist I play to people, for people. I ask them to support me, if they want to, and if they go the extra mile to come and see me play, I go the extra mile to meet them, to find out who they are, and to make a personal connection.
Amanda's essential point is that asking how to make people pay for music is the wrong question, and it should be, how can we let them pay for music?