If you know me personally (or are getting there (or are self employed!!)) you will know just how much work it has taken and how much of a struggle it has been to get to where I am. Self employed people work 24/7/356, and, it's largely unpaid - for the beginning period. That being said; I have hundreds of engaged fans, I've played more gigs than I can (reasonably) count, I've been number 1 in Bristol's folk charts for 5 MONTHS!! And, with the help of producer Robert Weil, I've put together a stellar debut album (Gentle Heart) which I can't wait to share with you, and I planned a 4 month UK headline tour to promote the album and properly establish me and my music. My friend Tracey Bower was inspired by something she saw on the telly about the arts council and prompted me to have a look...6 (utterly boring) weeks later I had managed to put together a proposal for a 'Gentle Heart UK Tour 2016', and submitted the application to Grants For The Arts.
Meanwhile, I wrote songs, continued to travel, worked on the album, created some marketing strategies for the following year, and WOAH, what came through the post? A nice, big, (juicy), envelope!
Yes, they have accepted my application, and are funding my tour next year! Every (serious) musician needs a budget to work with to get out there. There are innumerable costs associated with starting up, releasing, promoting & touring, and to begin with, you haven't got any bloody cash! Now that stop has been removed, the only thing in between reaching my goals is time, and I, can't, WAIT!!
So thank you to the Arts Council and the National Lottery fund, for recognizing a serious, independent musician, and investing in my future, and in the future of the arts of England. This budget is make or break for me, and will be extremely carefully allocated. Now, first things first...anyone for a 1st class holiday in Barbados? (KIDDING!!!) :D