What do I want? That seems to be the question that propels us forward through life and keeps us accountable. Maybe then the question becomes how much do I want it? But perhaps the presupposition is that one is already 100% committed.
I’ve begun mixing my debut album Return to Emerald City and this has become my new obsession. I was speaking recently with my boy Gordon Bourke about the hustle, grind and just music in general and he goes:
Like they say Pete, if you aren’t exhausted at the end of an album, you haven’t done it right.
This blog I thought I’d take some time to remind myself why I love what I do, why I do what I do and hopefully answer the question in the process:
What do I want?
Of course I want stardom. One of my dreams is to rock stadium shows and have the crowd screaming my lyrics back at me.
“Welcome to the Friendzone!” would be pretty dope. There’s certainly an element of ego in that dream. A need for acknowledgement and probably at the core of that is a need for validation.
Another goal is to actually support myself through my art full-time. I think that’s a goal for a lot of creatives. A thought struck my the other day with a potent simplicity:
Creatives need to create.
That is certainly the case for me.
Ok so let me tell you about the conversation I had with my good friend Gordon. We were talking about the pursuit, the hunger, creating, hustling, really everything involved in being an indie artist. He said something that we have spoken about before but that I needed to hear again:
Pete, all that matters is the song. It all comes back to the song. Creating the best song you can and making the best version of it. All the other stuff is just white noise.
What a legend. I was asking him about a music campaign for my new album – produced entirely by the prodigy Supaadry – and he was giving me some tips. Gordon is someone who has been in the game for a long time and just released his 4th studio album Midnight Lights with his band Josh Orange. A beautiful mix of folk rock, it is an absolute banger of an album.
What do I want?
Anyway, back to me and the question of what do I want? It’s a question that applies to all areas of my life, not just the music. Although now I’m a full-time music student, it’s all becoming integrated. Our conversation went on and Gordon was like:
Enjoy the journey Pete. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. The only difference with bands that make it and bands that don’t, is tenacity. There are so many talented bands that never make it and many untalented bands that do. The only difference is tenacity. Keep doing what you’re doing bro and an opportunity will come.
I think it’s true what he said. We went on speaking about how there are no guarantees and no magic formula to success in the music business. He said something pretty cool about how if that was the case then every act a label signed would be a success, but the reality is something like only 1 in 5 artists that are actually signed to a label are successful.
Ok so one last thing we were speaking about. He goes Pete, enjoy it and keep your expectations low. Don’t expect anything. I know it’s hard, but don’t expect people to be excited like you about your music.
I actually found comfort and hope in what he said. It just reinforces my hustle, grind and passion and makes me wanna make it even more.
So what do I want? That really is the question and I think my answer will constantly keep changing. A good place to start is I want to sell a million records in 5 years and keep creating the best music I can.
As always, thanks for rocking with ya boi Prim!