Uncategorized

Women are vicious. Can we please stop?

I haven’t written a blog for ages. Weeks. Not because I haven’t had the time or haven’t wanted to but whenever I have gone to write one I haven’t felt like I have had anything relevant to say.

I like my blog to be about the sort of things I think are truly important. Certainly this subject is something I struggle with continually.

Before I go on, I have a statement to make;

I do not, in any way, believe that I am better than anyone else. Nor do I believe I am flawless as a human being. I make mistakes. I say hurtful things. Sometimes I say them and mean them. Sometimes I say them and hurt people without ever meaning to. I try to be a decent human. I don’t always manage it.

I make that statement because I don’t want people to read the rest of this blog and believe that I don’t think it relates to me too.

Recently I have had personal experiences of women attacking me. Not physically, but the kind of snide attacks that leave you questioning your character and feeling worn down on the inside.

I am blessed to have many friends. A lot of these friends are male. There have been several incidents in the last few months where I have had to distance myself from those friends because their girlfriends see me as a threat. That probably sounds arrogant, but I can tell you from personal experience in earlier years that when you decide to hate your boyfriend’s friend who happens to be female and you don’t know the first thing about her, it’s definitely not because you know she is the devil incarnate. It’s because somewhere deep down inside you are allowing yourself to feel insecure and inadequate.

It’s taken me a very long time to realise that if I was with someone and they cheated on me, be it with their friend, my friend or a complete stranger, that person would not deserve me anyway. Equally, choosing to dislike someone who is a friend of your partner will put strain on your relationship and unless that friend really is actually trying to get in your partner’s pants and they are letting it happen, that strain is YOUR FAULT.

A lot of the viciousness between women often comes from some sort of jealousy or assumption, and it usually involves a love interest or something similar.

Take Monday night for example. I went to a charity event. Watched some bands. Managed to get my friends and I into the after party. Met some of the musicians. All great fun. At one point I was chatting to a beautiful girl – perfect hair, amazing style, the most beautiful eyes. One of the musicians (male) came and stood next to me. His arm brushed mine. He had the softest skin EVER! I mentioned this. I am very open and honest and have no qualms with complimenting someone as and when I see fit. The girl I am chatting to lunges forward, turning the musician away, exclaiming rather loudly that I should stop trying to get into his pants as his girlfriend would not be happy about it…. Talk about embarrassing! Cue me trying to explain that I simply stated the facts – he had soft skin, end of, before quickly realising this chick wasn’t going to change her mind so I wandered off to find more beer and other people to chat to that weren’t so crazy. Needless to say her beauty seemed to fade before my eyes. A real shame.

I’ve also met some little girls recently at some of my gigs who are bullied. One in particular related to my song Little Big Mouth and even sang it at a girl in school as a way of getting her to stop being nasty (apparently it worked).
I was bullied at school. Called buck tooth, big foot, likened to a boy for having no boobs or hips, called a geek, suffered verbal and physical abuse… Women can be nasty!

The flip side of this is that women – ALL WOMEN – have the capacity to be motherly, nurturing, caring, considerate, beautiful people. If women could put down their insecurities and connect with each other on that level wouldn’t the World have so much more beauty in it?

I wrote a poem with all this in mind. The first part inspired by one of those friend’s girlfriends. The second part inspired by like minded people I have been blessed to meet and become friends with in recent months as well as the beautiful friends I have already.

Before I pop it here, I will sign off with this: For those of you ladies who are reading this and getting instantly vexed, ask yourself why. Is it really because you don’t agree, or is it because on a deeper level all this is ringing true and you don’t want it to?
Those of you nodding your heads and hopefully smiling, thank you for being the ones I seek continually and come back to for inspiration, guidance and love.

Guys – I am without doubt that some of this can be attributed to you too, be is the positives, the negatives or both. You lot could do with sharing more love too. 😉

Here’s my poem

“Girls”

Girls. Who have em eh?
But I get it,
Being erratic
Attacking other women
Because really, you want to be them

And I know you’re gonna read this
And say who the fuck do you think you are?
I’m not insecure, I just hate you, that’s all

But I’ve been there.
Not wanting to change who I am
But being threatened by who you are
Wondering if the man I have
Would rather be linked with your arm

It’s a prehistoric, inbuilt mechanism
We all have it there
But as we grow we make choices
Can I really be bothered to care?

Not not care about you
But not care about who’s better
I’d rather get on with my lot and love myself
So I can love you, whatever

Yeah I can love you
Through all of your spite
Because these days I just see another human
Not a competitor to fight

And this won’t change your mindset
It’s not gonna make us friends
But I’d like to say bless you
I hope love follows you, right to the end.

Women are strong. Beautiful. Motherly.
If we loved each other more I wager the World would be less ugly.
If only we could stop all the jealousy.
Stand together and spread love recklessly!

I reach out to my sisters, to those broken and torn
To ones with hidden scars as well as the physical ones worn
And I give you my hand, my head and my heart
Forgive me my trespasses. I am ready to be part.

Part of a sisterhood, part of a revolution
That will encompass our brothers, our parents, our children
To take back the power of that lost love and light
And to stand strong, together as each heart we ignite.

Standard
Uncategorized

It’s not a complaint, it’s a celebration.

I’ve slept less than 6 hours a night and haven’t eaten a cooked meal in over a week. My bedroom resembles a car boot sale and I’m pretty sure my cats think my flat mates are their actual owners.

This isn’t a complaint, it’s a celebration.  I am so blessed to be so busy doing what I love.

However, I feel it’s time to lay bare some home truths about following your dreams as a musician.

I often get the impression that a vast majority believe that being a musician is having an elaborate hobby supported by full time work or generous and well off parents.

I gave up my 32k job to become a student. This gives me just enough in the form of student finance to live on. I spend the majority of this on rehearsal rooms, travel, accommodation and per diems for my musicians, advertising and other musically related expenses.

At my level playing small pubs and clubs with the occasional small festival thrown in for good measure, payment is sporadic at best. I am lucky to get expenses and when I do it rarely scratches the surface of the actual expenditure that made it possible for my musicians and I to play.

Again, this is not a complaint. Yes, it would be wonderful to be paid and make money from the music I lovingly create and play. The industry as it is does not allow for this. I am merely pointing this out and I am 100% grateful to those promoters and venues who do pay me, however much, as every penny goes back into doing what I love and goes a long way to make what I do possible!

I think it is important that the impression people have of following dreams is a real one. It’s not writing a few tunes and suddenly being a rock star. It’s working for years from the bottom up, hoping you’ll be able to pay your rent again this month and afford to get to the next gig while possibly NEVER being a so called star or being out of part time work and in full time music.

It is hard graft. Blood, sweat, tears… I’ve shed all of them to follow my dream. I’ll continue to do so. I love it.

Writing songs and booking gigs is just the beginning. It’s also sitting up til 6 in the morning sending emails to more promoters, blogs, magazines and radio stations asking for exposure then getting a few hours kip before packing a bag and getting a train to who-knows-where to play a gig or do a radio interview for 20 listeners because any airtime is worth the exhaustion. It’s working a part time bar job every night after a full day of rehearsals on minimum wage and thanking God for that £6 in tips because that’s your bus fare back to the studio the next day. Thick skin and determination is essential. Passion is everything.

Apart from my sheer love for the music, the other huge element to keeping me in this is the people. I now have many people who support me continuously by sharing my music, promoting me in venues, turning up to gigs, playing my music on their radio stations… They are my heroes. One person singing along propels me forward. To have as many people as I have to call friends, fans or colleagues is a huge gift.

Rather than waiting to have an album to credit people, I’m going to list some of the important people I have around me so far and thank them whole heartedly for their amazing support. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. If I have forgotten to list anyone, please forgive me.

Twitter Fam:
@MrPeepsSays
@BoltonAddick
@TrustFox
@SqrPig
@MusicForiTunes
@JonpPenny
@DaveyHub
@ryan_Unsigned
@krystaljonjo
@SpeedOfSoundUK
@GBH68

Blog Fam:
www.nijimagazine.com
www.thepunkarchive.blogspot.com
www.thebartonquandry.com
www.musicvstheworld.wordpress.com

Radio Fam:
Coral Rose Radio, Lancaster
Shoreditch Radio, London
Krystal Radio, Essex
BBC Intro, Norfolk
London Unsigned/Unsigned Gig Guide
#RKC, Paris

Promoter Fam:
Elena Katrina
Nick Jaques
Wayne Samways
Zaid Zarathustras
Cheeky Promotions
JakRock Music
Dan Littlechild

My Musicians:
Nzoyi – guitars, keys, MD, brother from another mother
Jeff Cramer – guitar
Ben Witherstone – guitar
Frankie P – bass
Sophie Lord – bass
Michael Osborne – drums
Shakira Malkani – drums
Paolo Gravanti – Cajon
Amanda Brown – drums

Band Fam:
Ghouls
Riskee and the Ridicule
Banjaxeld
Gifted Circus
Nakisha Esnard
Facio

Fave Venues: (for hospitality, promotion, and friendship)
Golden Lion Hotel, Carmarthen
The Kings Arms, Salford
Bar Vinyl, Camden
The Blueberry, Norwich
Milgi, Cardiff
The Tram And Social, Tooting Broadway
The Aquarium, Lowestoft
The Worlds End, Finsbury Park

Special thanks to www.archstudios.co.uk for their friendly, very accommodating and generous team. You look after me and my team so well!

Also, I humbly thank every friend, fan and family member near and far who have given me a couch/floor/bed to sleep on, a meal, come to a gig, chucked me a tenner in times of trouble… Too many to name but you all know who you are and I hope you know how much I love you.

May my struggle carry on and bear fruit to be given back to you in abundance.

Standard
Uncategorized

I’m a student. How am I so busy??

Hello people of WordPress…

My apologies for not updating for a couple of weeks. I never thought being a student would mean I am busier than I was when I was a retail manager! Having said that, I am far happier than I ever was then.

Perhaps I should back that up with some history?

I have been a mature student at LCM/UWL for a year now. Prior to this I have spent the last 14 years in retail management for various companies, the most notable being Schuh. I worked for them on and off for 9 years total in the end!! While Schuh is an amazing company to both their customers and their employees, I have always wanted to be a musician so a year ago on a spur of the moment, I jacked in a very respectable 32k a year job to become a very poor student studying Music Management.

For those of you interested in retail, I do highly recommend Schuh. Brilliant company, lovely people, amazing customer service. Their link is below;

http://www.schuh.co.uk

Deciding to become a student again is one of the scariest decisions I have ever made. It meant going from being in a very stable environment in a very stable company and a comfortable wage to being in large amounts of debt over a three year period with no guarantee of a job in my chosen field at the end of it and vastly less money. I had to give up living on my own to live with other people for the first time in years and learn how to budget a lot more affectively.

BEST DECISION EVER! If you are unhappy in your job and you’ve always wanted to do or be something else, just do it!! I cannot recommend it enough. As far as I am concerned, I do not want to be on my death bed with the words “I wish I’d…” forming on my lips.  So far LCM has been briliant in helping me to understand how I should be presenting my music to the World and how I can affectively manage my own career up to a point.  If you are interested in LCM or UWL, the link to their site is below;

http://www.uwl.ac.uk/academic-schools/music

Onto my last couple of weeks then. IT HAS BEEN AWESOME!! Since my first gig of the year post I have had another four gigs! First off was a live set broadcast on KrystalRadio.net.  Jonjo Cosgrove has had me on the show a couple of times before – once as a Skype interview and once to co host his Wednesday night show with him and promote my charity single last Christmas.

Playing a live set on radio was an awesome experience, and it was at The Underwater Studios! So many cool music videos and film shots have been filmed in the tank there it’s unreal! Check it out here:

http://www.actionunderwaterstudios.com/latest.htm

If you’d like to hear the live set, it’s on my SoundCloud here:

https://soundcloud.com/milliemusic/acoustic-at-krystal

Next up was a gig at The Matthew Cross Hair Salon in Sevenoaks, Kent. I realise this sounds bizarre. I honestly did not know what to expect when I was invited to play in a closed salon by AVP – Acoustic Valium Project – to raise money for charity. It was awesome! Matthew is lovely, as is Dan Littlechild (the man behind AVP) and the whole night was well run. The salon is GORGEOUS!

I also played at The Bedford in Tunbridge Wells on the 27th March for AVP. It was a fantastic event and I was quite literally overwhelmed with the response from the audience. I only had a few CDs with me but I sold them all and had to fess up to others who wanted to buy one that I didn’t think I would sell that many so hadn’t had the foresight to bring more!

This poster was up in and around the venue – I was incredibly flattered to have been used as a poster girl…

avp

I met some lovely people artists and audience alike and if any of you are young aspiring musicians, I recommend getting in touch with AVP. some of the artists on their rosta are as young as 13 and incredibly talented. They are accommodating and nurturing in the way they deal with their artists, and everything they do is geared towards helping others. Their next big events come in the form of Angel Fest at the end of May, and Demelza Go Dotty week at the end of June, both to help raise funds for recent flood victims. Check out AVP here:

http://www.acousticvaliumproject.org.uk/

I will be playing both by the way – full band stylee which I am naturally VERY excited about! I was even featured in an online paper to do with it.. *proud* you can read the article here:

http://www.courier.co.uk/Tonbridge-flood-aid-concert-videos-bands/story-20686248-detail/story.html

I have been up to so much more over the last couple of weeks that I think I am going to have to save it for a different post. Look out for “Gigs and such” up in the next couple of days…. I’ll be talking about gigs I’ve seen rather than played and the reviews I’ve been doing for the Punk Archive.

Happy Monday lovely people…..

Standard