4 months. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that it has been nearly 4 months since my last proper blog post. So I thought it was time to rectify that, and take stock on what I have been doing this year.
Last year I said that 2017 had been the most important year for me creatively to date, and I have certainly built on that this year. Writing new songs, putting on live shows, working on a new album, my new podcast series, About Last Night and of course, dipping my toe in the fashion industry and working on brand strategy for Amanda Thompson Couture.
I continue to be clearer day on day on what I want to do, be and achieve as an artist both musically and in a wider creative sense. And that clarity is something I am unbelievably appreciative of.
But the biggest headline for 2018 has been one of personal growth. In fact, I might go even further, and say that it is possible this year I have experienced more personal growth than ever before. For me this is massive, because everything I do as an artist and creative hinges on what’s inside me, and how I feel.
Emotion and connection continue to be my primary drivers. But, this year I feel I have finally gained the ability to be a little more discerning about how I want to spend my time and not being scared to release things that do not serve me anymore.
And though for years I have described myself as adopting a “fly by the seat of my pants” methodology to life I have started being more structured in the way I approach things. This is definitely paying dividends, especially as for the first time in a long time, I have three very distinct areas to balance in my working life: my music, my podcasts and working with Amanda Thompson, which I do twice a week.
Many people are intrigued by this new venture. And it is funny how things turn out. For a few years now, I have really wanted to be involved in fashion – but like most industries it is really hard to break into them without any direct experience, and coupled with the fact that I wanted to do this later in life…. Well, let’s just say it wasn’t proving to be straightforward.
In case you don’t know, Amanda Thompson is a self-taught fashion designer. She is an incredible talent; and creates timeless pieces from the most exquisite fabrics and the fact that she has invited me to work on her brand with her, with such generosity of heart – is really humbling. What’s even better is we seem to complement each other pretty well. For me, it is exceptionally gratifying to share someone else’s creative journey and use my skill sets in a different way, and the fact that Amanda is a gorgeous human being makes this journey all the more sweet.
As for my music – it continues to be my lifeblood.
At the moment, I am working with producer James McMillan, on a project that takes me back to my love of musical theatre and jazz. What is great about working with James is it’s both stimulating and challenging too; and he is pushing me in a way that I don’t think I have ever been pushed in the studio. I cannot wait to share this album with you in 2019. I think it is going to be really quite different from anything I have done before.
And finally my podcast series. This is something that has been in my head for years – I think I may be a closet talk show host (!) My guests have made this project a triumph and a joy for me. I thank each and every one of them.
So in a nutshell, that’s my year. This year more than ever I have learnt to accept and honour my past and the decisions I have made, look forward to the future – but above all enjoy the now. That is definitely new this year.
It has just occurred to me that where I am both personally and professionally is vastly different to where I thought I might be when I was younger. But I am also realising that there is no limit to discovery and finding joy in the present moment and feeding it into every area of my life.