Life does seem to move on incredibly quickly-and progress along the Yellow Brick Road of my life has been breathtaking the last six months of this year; so much so that I'm amazed to find that my last update was as long ago as January!!
There have been a lot of hurdles to overcome in that time and some serious determination needed - even more than usual - to keep looking ahead further down the road, holding tight to the music and a dream I had a long time ago. Music has indeed been my companion through all of it and always will be. And there have been Angels also along the way.
I am soon approaching FOUR consecutive years at Number One blues artist for New Zealand on Reverbnation. Four years since I put out my first ever release and went all the way up that chart. And each week I gain more fans on there, musicians from all around the world of all sorts of styles of music. It's a great pleasure to go listen to them and I still think despite criticisms of Reverbnation, that it is the best music site for Indies on the net. I don't and never have and never will pay to obtain 'likes' or employ inhouse street teamers; my music takes its chances out there and I believe it is more important to have real fans who avidly support your music than just numbers and names that you
have purchased in order to go up the chart. Surely music is what matters and the quality and integrity of that music?
However.........it's a huge cause for celebration for me to have achieved that. I'm also very proud to have got 4 of my original songs into the permanent directory of radio play on Song Vault where they already made me a 'Certified Member' which means my music is up there with the big names in Blues and other genres too. The song 'Earthcry' which is my view of the planet and all its troubles, has been at Number One in the New Age chart there for weeks now.
And just as important are all the great people at Mixposure who of course honored me by making me Artist of the Month last December, but who consistently support me. Not only that, but it's a great place to be and talk music!!!
In addition to all that, I'm very fortunate to have lots of lovely people in radio who play my music and who tell me that they are eagerly awaiting my next - my second - album. This work has been ready to go for a long time, but the success of my first album 'In The Making' encouraged me to delay putting out more whilst people were being kind enough to download the album tracks. But now, the time is almost here - just a case of picking the right time and as always, I go with my gut feelings on this!!
In fact, prior to releasing the album ( self produced as with the first one), I intend a single release of a song that has been waiting in the wings for a loooooong time, together with a video. It's not blues, it's not jazz, it's not rock, it's just, well, just what it is so hope you'll like it when it hits the internet shortly!!
And of course, music and spoken word goes on all the time in my world; I write or record music just about every day of my life and now have around 240 copyrighted songs, only 45 of which have yet been released. Yes, it is indeed a way of life.
You can find my music AND my spoken word on my main website which is HERE
And to put icing on a cake that was already great, my video of 'Red Red Rose' was voted Video of the Month for June. I love the poem of course and am proud my arrangement and performance was liked by so many people.
The story with my radio show Tommie Talks Music is equally as exciting and the show is now aired on 20 radio networks around the world, in the USA, the UK, Europe and of course New Zealand.
As of today Tommie Talks Music on Reverbnation is the Number One radio show for Auckland NZ so a big thank you to all the radio networks, the listeners and of course my guests!!
You can find all the details of the radio stations and the times of broadcasts on my dedicated website and I'd like to say a big, big thank you to all the radio stations for their support and enthusiasm for my shows. I LOVE doing the interviews and have now added an hour of blues to some of the shows, which as I'm proud to be an Ambassador for the Blues at the USA Blues Hall of Fame is only as it should be!! On other stations, I do a mixture of World Music and also now Classical - which also is very important to me.
I recently did an online interview with a German magazine and the last question was 'what advice would you give to someone intending to get into the music business as an Independent artist'.............my reply was:
You have to be prepared to get hurt, disillusioned, let down, betrayed,
disappointed, and hungry.
Believe in your dream and believe in your music.
Keep it real so that you are proud of every single thing you release.
Help others; promoting other Indies is important.
And I truly believe all of that; at least that's how it has been for me. But the creation of music for me overrides any disappointments or heartbreaks; I make music because I can do no other, because it is there screaming to get out, all day every day, because it quite simply is my life and I would have it no other way.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this latest update and most of all, if you actually purchased a download or CD, then you are helping me make my dream come true.............