What In This Wonderfully Wide World Have I Been Doing??

It seems I’m not the most consistent of bloggers – my last post being almost exactly a year ago. Nevertheless, tis a new year; I have resolutions, dreams and ambitions, and actually a fair bit on, that I shall inform you about via the world wide web, specifically, this blog.

Soooo, what in this wonderfully wide world have I been doing? What did 2017 mean for me musically and what pray tell cometh in 2018?

Way back at the start of 2017 I released my first independently produced e.p. which was met by overwhelming love and critical acclaim by my Mom, Dad, big bro, sister and my nephew Ben!… Otherwise things have been a little quiet… I did achieve some radio air-play for the song Queen Of Sheba, but besides that, as I said it’s been quiet.

However, I did stumble upon a little gem. A treasure trove of possibilities for an independent musician. An underground grotto that few find but those who do, plunder! I discovered the musical world of sync-licensing. This is an industry term that simply means “put a nice song on that scene”, and is an oasis for the independent artist as most TV shows, films and adverts have limited budgets and can only afford one Coldplay or Mumford and Sons, the rest can be spent on cheap, unknown, desperate wannabe’s that possess songs that sound a bit “Mumfordy” – enter, moi!

Now, so far I haven’t secured a song sync (one kid did put one of my tracks on his YouTube vid), but this is a long, strategic game. I have been building relationships with licensing agencies both here in the UK and across the pond. I’ve started writing for a London-based music library called Bibliotheque Music, who signed three of my Christmas cover-songs last year and recently asked me to write and produce a grungy-americana album for them… whatever that may be?! I’ve also joined a community of like-minded, sync-focused writers by enrolling on an Access Course with L.A.-based licensing-agency-to-the-stars Catch The Moon Music, who I will be mentored by and submitting to over the next 12 months.

I have some live gigs planned, and will be doing more alongside dAudio Music Group this year. And I’ve also just dropped a new release, a single called “Don’t Let Me Down” which will be available to purchase or stream on iTunes, Spotify and all good digital music services shortly. And I shall of course be working on a new e.p.

So 2018, my goal this year is to get one of my songs placed on a someone’s television screen somewhere – be it a TV show, film, advert, big or small, anything anywhere. And if I do, then my goal is to do it again, and then again… and continue with this approach until it vaguely resembles a music career!!

Until 2019, readers (hopefully much sooner!)… Happy New Year! May your 2018 be full of creativity, joy, peace, love and music! X

A Musical Challenge

In September 2016 I set myself a goal, a musical challenge; to write, record, produce and release my own music independently.

I knew in theory that it’s totally possible. I had slowly accumulated a bunch of home recording gear and had listened to a few podcasts on being an independent musician! But most independent artists have been doing this for years and have honed their craft to perfection. Everything I had produced so far sounded like it had been recorded at 30,000 feet on an Airbus 300 using a megaphone held backwards!

But a challenge is a challenge so that’s what I have been doing. My target was set for the end of January 2017. I deliberately decided January rather than December as I knew the festive period would be a write off due to my abdomen being full of mince pies and my vocal chords saturated in gin! Plus I needed a bass guitar to lay down bass tracks and wanted to wait until the sales to buy one!

So, over the last few months I have written a number of songs, spent my Sunday afternoons laying down dodgy vocals, desperately trying not to wake Ivy whilst she’s in the next room sleeping. I consider my multi-instrumental abilities to sit somewhere within the realms of “slightly above poor” to “flukishly half-decent”. “Rusty” would probably be a generous word to describe my piano playing. Non-the-less, one by one the instruments and vocals have been printed leading me on to the part that I am truly awful at – mixing!

YouTube is a wonderful thing. Yes, through copying EQ curves and mimicking compression settings – after googling “compression” – I’ve pulled together a mix that is about as good as I’m likely to get at this stage in my engineering career. It is a million miles away from perfect, and I could probably spend months endlessly tweaking and still fall short of satisfied. But my main objective was simply to get some music out there independently. I’m sure anybody else who works on similar projects would sympathise with me, that I can’t be fully creative writing new songs when I haven’t yet shelved the existing ones. It’s a bit like watching Prison Break – when you’re approaching the end you just can’t appreciate anything else on TV until you’ve binged watch to the finale!

I hope to improve as a writer, performer and engineer as I write and release more in future. But for now, I’d really appreciate any comments or suggestions on my songs once they are out there. I’m not too sure what my style is yet, or what best suits me. So please let me know which track is your favourite and what you’d like to hear more of. Send me an email at matt@matthewfinchmusic.net or Facebook message or tweet me. I don’t have an official release date, as I’m still figuring out each stage. But keep a look out on my social media pages as at some point before the end of January, if all goes to plan, I should have a 4 song E.P. available to download or stream. I’m not expecting anybody to buy it – I certainly wouldn’t! But if you use AppleMusic or Spotify etc. you should be able to get it there.

Happy listening folks!

X

“The lullaby to end all lullabies!”

Sometimes somethings have to end for new things to begin.

Last August, my child-free life came to the end of its existence with the arrival of my daughter Ivy. So-long irresponsible me (I’d been known to stay out until, I don’t know, 12.15 am or something crazy like that!!), farewell last minute adventures to far flung places, auf weirdersehen clothes without food on them, and goodbye to getting anywhere on time, ever! I was ready to take up the role of father. Nappies, midnight walks, all the way through to talks about boys, and how they are totally off limits!

In all honesty, I was sold the second I saw her.

I also came to the end of a long spell as a musician at a small church, at around the same time. I knew I was hanging my guitar up for a while. I had a strong feeling I’d miss it. But the time was right. It had to end.

So, fully focused on dad-stuff. First task, stop her from crying. I’ll sing a lullaby.

I didn’t know any lullabies. I knew ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’, but it only has one verse, and even with a couple of extra made up verses (Up in outer space so far. Did you get there in a car?) it’s really over quite quick. I also recalled a challenge set for me by a friend – “bet you can’t write a lullaby like that Tom guy off of McFly”.

So I penned ‘Ivy’s Dream Song’, and like all self-respecting millennials, filmed it and put it on Facebook, tagging in my mate.

Over night, 7000 people watched the video. By the end of the week, half a million. By the end of the month, 1.1 million views, a couple of radio plays and a charity single. I’d gone viral! I actually knew now what it felt like to be one of those cat’s that meow along to 70’s disco classics!

One online magazine called it “the lullaby to end all lullabies”.

I had apparently ended the need for any more lullabies. We now had all we needed. Children’s music composers the world over must have been throwing down their pens in fury.

So my guitar had been hung up in retirement for about 2 weeks. But I’d caught the bug again. The last time I’d composed anything for my own love of music was about 8 years ago. I’d been playing regularly in church, but not really been creative for years. Now I was hooked. It was like finding that old friend you’d grown up with. We had so much to catch up on!

I don’t know how long creativity and I will hand out again. Hopefully it’ll stick around for a while, but I know life is fluid and not static. The point is; my child-free existence had ended. My role in music at the church had come to an end. And the worlds demand for lullabies had apparently ended!

But I absolutely love being a Dad. Life feels fuller, with more purpose to it than ever. I’ve fallen in love with music again, and the joy of writing songs. And I can’t get enough of creativity, the privilege we have on earth to make stuff. Be it songs, art, friends, food, even little humans.

Sometimes somethings have to end for new things to begin.