Something that has annoyed me so much but made me discover the most amazing thing…

So, I’m not one to blog extensively about ‘life’ stuff, but this thing has been niggling at me recently and it is getting worse, but an amazing realisation has also overcome me. I think blogging is an amazing way to get stuff out, write things down, and express yourself, but obviously I’m pretty conscious because I know people who follow this page of mine are more than likely doing so to see music related things. So i’m sorry if you don’t want to read these kinds of things, but hopefully some of you guys can take something from it. Maybe.

This will be lengthy, but stick with me on this one, I promise!

Before I vent and try and explain what’s annoying me so much, I just want to say that of course we all look at blogs, websites, instagram accounts etc. and think ‘Wow. Their life is so awesome. Everything they post is so cool which means 100% of their life is the best ever!’ I’m a culprit. I do exactly the same thing when I’m aimlessly browsing the internet. BUT I’m also on the other side. I have an Instagram account where I post pictures, and of course I’ll only post good stuff, why would I post a photo where I look bad? Or A photo of me cooking? We all filter what we post and I think we should all bear that in mind before judging ourselves and not being grateful for our own wonderful lives!

That leads me onto part of my annoyance. I’ve noticed recently, that (not naming names, i’m not that cruel!) but people that I once called very close friends are trying so painfully (and embarrassingly!) hard to stay relevant, ‘cool’ and ‘desirable’ by using the internet. Posting heavily edited photos of all the MEGA FUN they’re having just to let you know that maybe they’re having a better time than you’ll ever be having. When we all know in reality that they’re only doing said activity purely to post the picture online, and then resort to spending the remainder of the day twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next Facebook notification so they can talk about the COOLEST TIME EVER with their ‘friends’.

The thing about this that annoys me most, is not that they’re posting what they’re doing online. I LOVE to see what my friends are doing. It’s the fact that its so painstakingly obvious that they’re not having a good time. They don’t love what they’re doing for the right reasons because if they did they wouldn’t be trying so hard to make sure everybody knows about it. 

Next thing (this is all connected i swear. Stay with me!) is people’s incapability to accept they’ve made a massive mistake, accepted they’ve potentially ruined a lot of their opportunities and relationships. Ive seen it a lot recently. Someone’s made a mistake, and instead of feeling guilt and sympathy for the person or people they’ve hurt, their main priority is what they are going to be losing as a result of this. And they wonder why they feel so bad about what they ‘love’ doing all the time. (!?)

Ive seen people recently hurt someone and then put themselves first. Instead of trying to build bridges or maybe just completely stepping away, and having enough respect to realise it’s not their place anymore, they try to find different ways back in so that they are still connected to what they’ll be losing. Whether it’s suddenly being pally with people who do the job that you want, people who do what you do, people who have some kind of status, names that you can drop to make yourself seem important… It makes me feel stupid for once admiring these people that were manipulative, it makes me feel used and naive, but its made me a whole lot wiser.

It leads me back to social networking. Would these people who are trying to get to somewhere and don’t care who they’re hurting actually befriend these people if they worked in, lets say, Greggs? No, they’re befriending them because they are a stepping stone closer to what they want or where they want to be. Is this facebook status really what’s on their mind? No, they just want to still be relevant. Do they actually really love what they’re doing? No, they just want to be in on something and they’re worried their mistake is taking it away from them so they’re desperately trying to have their eggs in as many baskets as possible - Regardless of self respect or pride for their work. They’ll take whatever they can get.

For example, would someone who loves music and creating so much go online to post negative things about an artist and their work? No! They do it for the reaction. They know there’s at least one person who will agree and think they’re the coolest person ever.

I’m constantly making sure that of all the mistakes I make, I don’t put myself first and feel sorry for myself for feeling guilty, but feel sorry for the people I could potentially have hurt. And to see people I know not take their passion or the people around them seriously and fairly while accepting their punishment for what it is does make me wonder.. In the music industry it’s hard to stay focussed and I’ll admit that. For example I love fashion, I think it’s an incredible way to express yourself, and I just generally love putting colours, patterns, textures and shapes together. I love being creative! But I’m aware there is a fine line between loving fashion for those reasons, and just loving it so people can compliment you on how good you look. The same way that an artist loves the act of painful pleasure they get from painting some that means something to them more than the compliments they receive after. The same way there’s a fine line between a musician loving to play and craft words and melody purely because it makes their soul feel good, and just being fanned by endless people who worship you as a person, not for what you create.

It feels like I’m going nowhere here.. but what I’m trying to get across, really, is that people are constantly wondering why their dreams aren’t coming true, why its so hard to create what they want and I really believe it’s down to the reasons you’re doing it for. If you want to be a musician because you just want to be famous, then great! But don’t expect it to make you feel fulfilled, wholesome and happy. 

Basically, loving what you do will make your dreams come true. I’ve realised this. If you’re complaining about how much you want to be a successful musician but it’s just not happening, your writing doesn’t seem to be going where you want and it’s frustrating you and you can’t stop thinking about what you get at the end of it then DING DONG you don’t love it. And it’s not going to happen.

If for example, your dream is to be, I don’t know, a painter, and you enjoy painting so much that you’d happily smash up your painting when you’re finished and not even show anybody then your dream has already come true. You can sit and paint all day long and no one will ever see your work but you don’t care, you’re a painter. You’re the happiest when you paint.

Same with music, if you can happily write a song that you loved writing, loved creating and loved singing but happily hide it away never to be heard and not feel like you’re wasting something, then you’ve succeeded. 

I have hundreds of songs that no one knows about. Literally hundreds. I think some of them could do so well, but I don’t care. No amount of success, money or fans could match to how good I felt to just create it in the first place. And that’s why I’ve succeeded. My album could’ve charted at number 12456779935784 instead of number 2, and I’d still be happy as larry. Because I did it for how good it makes me feel to just be a creator.

I hope any of you guys who have trouble with your hopes and dreams can take something from this, and manage to step away from our ever towering and blurred expectations of ourselves given to us by the media to really appreciate what you do and why you love to do it. Love is the source of happiness, success and abundance and it’s something that’s become so fluorescent in my life.

Big love everyone x

I lept in to the present age
Possessed myself with a holy rage
Cause I’ve found someone else to blame
I’m not alone I’m just afraid

I went down to the river of death
I try to believe but it makes no sense
Buried myself in a shroud of coal
Maybe it’s true and ill never know

Where’s the fire?
Where’s the rain?
Where’s the ocean I made?
Trying to find a language a language to speak to my demons
Trying to recommend myself for release

Oh my soul you’ve been down for weeks
Nailed to the perfect apology
Shade in a colour I don’t recognise
So amazing, so divine

Where’s the fire?
Where’s the rain?
Where’s the ocean I made?
Trying to find a language to speak to my demons
Trying to recommend myself for release

Somewhere On The Avenue

I see you in the headlights
I see you in the headlights
1916 resolution
Architecture evolution
Somewhere on the avenue, life is good and good for you

The circle of the spotlight
Silhouette against the dark night
Hundred storey elevation
Futurist delineation
Somewhere on the avenue, life is good and good for you

But it’s so far away
It’s so far away
Unrealistic expectation
Rich imagination
I see you hidden in between the lights

People scattered on the skyline
Bound for glory in the night time
Casting shadows on the pavement
Like the people who have made it
Somewhere on the avenue life is good and good for you

No matter what it takes,
Let it take from you
One day you won’t come back
You’ll come back someone new

But somewhere on the avenue,
Life is good and good for you

Happy New Year!

Its that time of year where I do my cheesy ‘thank you’ for the year, but this year i actually feel like I have so many things to write about that this could be incredibly long!

This has been the most productive year of my life, I’ve achieved all the things I’ve wanted to do this year and I’m already starting to get excited about the things that I can get my teeth into next year.

To list just a few things in order, I started the year touring in Australia supporting Ed Sheeran with Passenger. It was an incredible experience and went straight from that into my UK headline tour in March. (Definitely learnt the lesson to probably not gig whilst jet lagged. oops) 

After the tour the boys and I had the most amazing summer playing festivals. Glastonbury and V festival really stick out for me. To play the same stage at Glasto as I did 3 years ago but this time penultimately headlining (and as a local artist!) was real moment for me. 

This year I also did my first festivals outside of the UK and spent a fair bit of time in Japan, playing to the incredibly loyal fans and experiencing new cultures. Its unbelievable to know that something I’ve created has made its way outside of the UK and landed in the other side of Asia and in turn has brought me and my music there. 

The most ridiculous thing that happened to me this year was being invited to tour the UK and Europe with John Mayer. We had the most wonderful and enlightening experience to tour with real musicians who are playing for the right reasons. They were such wholesome shows where everyone from the lighting guys to the audience to the people actually playing were all their because they all loved music.

When the tour ended we set out on my English Rain headline tour of the UK. Two stand out shows for me were Shepherds Bush Empire in London and the O2 in Bristol. I went to my first ever gig at the O2 Bristol and just to have a sold out hometown show there was amazing and something Id never forget. When I first moved to London I was feeling pretty lost and almost losing sight of why I came there in the first place, and stumbled across Brooke Fraser playing at Shepherds Bush and was blown away by her voice, her songs, her band and the room she was playing and made it one of my goals by the end of the year to be able to play there, and we did. It was so incredibly special for me and I’ll never forget it.

To finish the year as we always do, my incredible friends in Hudson Taylor, Mo Hat Mo Gheansai  and Orla Gartland, Hannah Grace, Jack Morris (aaaand the rest!) played a small gig in Whelans to family and friends. After a year of trying to protect your art whilst everything is going crazy around you it was so humbling to just play a show for the pure love of playing music and having fun. 

All these incredible events that have taken place since I last wrote one of these blogs this time last year, have been down to support of family, friends and most importantly the loyal fans that have showed love and care for the music we create and I am so grateful and thankful for all these opportunities that have come my way this year. 

Most importantly, I have grown up so much this year, learnt so much about myself, the people and world around me, and I’m really on my way to becoming the person and artist I want to be. Protecting your soul, and being true and honest with yourself and everyone around you is the best way to live and be. By living honestly out of pure love, doors open for you and your life, and give you space to grow as a living being. The environment around you moves and gives space for your dreams, desires, soul and faith, and thats the biggest thing I’ve learnt this year.

I have so many plans for 2014, with new music, new ideas, new places to play, and even new projects all together and i’m excited to see where these ideas take me, and the fans that have showed support throughout 2013!

Happy New Year!

Lots of love

xxxxxx

When I look at lovely things
Like the shadows in the trees
The silver stillness of the winter sun
I have a strange heart
Because my dreams took me away
But what would my world be without you

The blue dawn that breaks
The light that hits my face
And all the places that I long to go
There’s energy that flows
And it keeps my mind from grace
But what would my world be without you

The road I walk is dry
Under the cold October sky
The dew shall weep the morning into night
But I can see the treasure in everything we do
Oh what would the world be without you

The world that crosses by
As we’re living different lives
The redemption in the lies we chose to hear
But too be stuck in the middle
Is a blessing in disguise
Oh what would my world be without you

I don’t wanna close my eyes
Make my bed in a narrow life
I’ve secrets that ive stopped to keep
Lay them down and forced to sleep
For I couldn’t tell
That I’d lost myself
In a pool of doubt
And contentment
I’ve forgotten how
To tell them

Something’s changed inside of me
There’s a distant hallelujah when
You disagree
Now I don’t wanna fall asleep
There’s a way to love
And a way to be