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We’re sharing the music stories of industry veterans, aspiring young musicians and entrepreneurs to help others make informed decisions when shaping their own story.
Vocalist, vocal coach and songwriter Aisling shares her music industry journey:
Within the first few years of living in London I found myself in the position where I was signed to a production deal by the head of A&R at Universal Music to produce an album. I was completely green to the industry with no formal training, just my talent and ability to write songs. I was paired with a pop producer who was wrong for me and I spent the next year trying to explain to the production team that I wanted to go in a different direction. Unfortunately they didn’t listen as they thought that as they had more experience, knew best and that I should be grateful for the opportunity.
At the end of the year to my relief the album didn’t get picked up and was shelved. Anyone else may have considered that to be a failure but for me it taught me a valuable lesson. Always listen to your intuition and stay true to yourself. I decided right there and then not to chase the “golden record deal” and to just concentrate on being authentic, working with talented people and to let my gut instinct lead the way. Through many twists and turns I’ve found myself now working as a full time self employed singer and vocal coach. This has not been without its challenges. I’ve had to work very hard, gigging every weekend, late nights and many hours spent driving on long journeys, carrying and setting up my own heavy PA system and sometimes dealing with very difficult audiences, but the positives of being my own boss, of making the kind of music that comes from the heart, working with amazingly talented musicians and getting to perform and connect with some incredible audiences far outweigh any negatives.
One of the bands I front, Neon Villages, recently supported bass legend Marcus Miller on his sold out UK tour and I regularly perform live around London. I also host a jam session every week at Mau Mau bar on Portobello road called Move Your Hands, which has witnessed some of the best performers and musicians in the UK and abroad. Recently someone told me, “I know you are going to make it” to which I replied, “I’ve already made it. Every day I wake up and get to do what I love, on my own terms and be my own boss”.
If I could give one final bit of advice it would be – Don’t be difficult to work with. You can assert yourself politely when necessary and know your boundaries but don’t throw your ego around or be the “diva”, as reputation will quickly spread that you are not easy to work with and that may mean missing out on some great opportunities. Regardless of how talented you are stay humble and grounded and eager to keep learning. Always try to keep good relations with people and if you think they are trying to exploit you or manipulate you then walk away. Try not to get embroiled in unnecessary drama or gossip. Turn up on time, do a good job, be a team player. Make sure you keep positive people around you who can inspire and motivate you on your journey and keep your distance from the whiners, critics and haters. Then trust, believe, have a goal, have a plan, work hard, be authentic and just GO FOR IT! And Good luck!
Find out more about Aisling and her music here.
Listen to Neon Villages here.
WHAT’S YOUR STORY? #mymusicstory
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