When I woke up yesterday, it was just a normal day. I got the kids ready for school, dropped them off and then drove to work. Work followed by tea, homework, baths, bedtime, piano teaching and THEN… by the end of the day I had released a new song. Yes that’s right, I just randomly released a single spontaneously, on a whim. That’s one of the joys of being an independent artist (believe me there aren’t many, but that is definitely a good thing).

Over the last two years, people have asked me to release some of my demos and live music so that they can hear how the process works. It’s funny, as artists, we often think that people always want the finished product; however, it seems that people like to to see what goes on behind the scenes. There’s something edgy and exciting about hearing a rough demo or a live performance. You can feel the energy and emotion that the writer originally intended, and hear how the song developed. Often the demo sounds vastly different than the actual song that is finally released.  The reaction to Worn Out Shoes, a song I wrote with Adam Overton, was overwhelming. Despite the rawness of this recording, (I laugh in it and Adam apologises!), people went mad over it.

With this in mind, I’ve decided to release an EP called Sketchbook:The Demos which will be released later this year. The first single from this project is What Am I Meant To Do With This Love? You may remember that I recorded a video blog about this song in November 2015; it took me ten and a half years to write this song! Sounds weird but in artistic terms that’s normal. The amount of time and maturity needed to process the topic and create something you’re proud of can be a long event.

Releasing this single is a real kick up the arse for me. In March last year, I announced that I was pulling out of the music industry due to the fact that people stopped sodding well paying me. As romantic as it sounds, teaching music and making music for free ain’t gonna to happen: I have two kids and a mortgage. I have managed to partially to stay in the music on a part-time basis, however the threats of non-payment continue and recently an organisation cut my pay by 20 per cent and backdated it by four months. The arts are in big trouble. Only today I had a text from a friend in the arts industry to say that she was made redundant on the spot just two days before.

I’ve spent decades trying to make good music. There were times where I felt that I had sold my soul to do that. As soon as organisations become involved with art, you lose your baby in both good and bad ways. The good being that many hands can make a song or the bad way, can mean that your music gets wrecked. I couldn’t handle being told what to write about anymore. I’ve never been able to fit into the traditional mould of “Christian Artist”, I consider myself to be an artist who happens to be a Christian. That’s not to say that my faith doesn’t inform and influence my art, however I feel it’s my calling to write on wider topics and explore what God wants to say. So what I’m very politely saying is… this is me. Deal with it!

So enjoy my spontaneity, warts and all recording! Check out my new song: What Am I Meant To Do With This Love? and support my art. I’d love to hear from you about my work, you can contact me here.

Check out my video!

It’s been an incredible musical journey for me over the last ten years. I’ve written, recorded, collaborated and taught – and as we move into 2013, the time is right for something new! Last year I returned to the studio with Sound Consultancy, the team behind artists like the Daughters of Davis and Philippa Hanna. The result is ‘Sirens and other Mysteries’, a brand-new six-track EP released this coming April. The team have really pushed me forwards, and helped me create what I believe is my best collection of songs yet!

BUT THE JOURNEY DOESN’T STOP THERE…

… Now we need to share these songs with the world, and that’s where you come in! I need your help to produce a music and promotional video that will carry an uplifting and inspirational message to a whole new audience: These are songs about life, faith and hope. I believe that God has called me to create music that is honest, open and realistic so that other people know that they are not alone in their struggles and successes. By branching out into visual media, we can help more people engage with music, life’s difficult questions and, of course, the Gospel.

In return for your pledges, I’m offering a whole range of rewards. As well as copies of my previous releases At Second Glance and The Sanctus Project, I am also offering vocal materclasses and your chance to appear in one of the videos. Remember, if we don’t reach our target we don’t get a penny. Any funds are greatly appreciated, so join us and help inspire, challenge and encourage through music!