• Richard Tracey

Living in a World of Make Believe...

Martin Pellow (the singer of Wet Wet Wet) once sang "I was living in a world of make believe, when my best friend wrote and told me....".

Now, that could be most of us and most of life right there. I find myself sometimes dreaming of things I cannot have, or will never attain.

Does that mean we shouldn't aim for the world? That we should just give up, because the reality is we might never get the things we wish for?

Well, they are tricky questions to answer.

It depends on what those things are. Most things you want in life are obtainable, through hard work, patience and the assistance of that magical thing called money.

But some things might be beyond our reach and sometimes we just need to accept that.

When it comes to the independent music scene, I wonder if there are a lot of artists expecting to be lauded and dripping in praise every time they release a new song. People rushing out to purchase it, or stream it on a platform of their choosing, over and over, making that artist a lot of money and beaming in recognition.

The reality is, the reach for most independent artists is far from getting close to that level. We reside in a bubble, where we are in contact with the same people, over and over on social media. We get praise, recognition, even sales, but it is from a limited amount of people.

We are always gracious that those persons take the time out of their lives to do this and some artists are content, that this is their reach and they know without paying out hand over fist, they will get no further.

So, if you are an artist, who wants to make it big and have their name up in lights, like the lucky ones picked for stardom, then you might have to reconcile within yourself that the chance of this happening is extremely low.

There are many things at play. Cost. Looks. Attitude. Age. Gender. Sexuality. Potential PR and Social Media reach.

The things that should matter, talent and whether the music you are making is really good, seem to be pushed far back in the search for a new PopStar.

I think it is right that we should aim for the world, but with the knowledge that the chances are slim. It does give you something to aim for and hey, you might actually get further than you think, if the timing is right.

So, knowing inside what you can possibly achieve and having those expectations at the right level, might make you happier with creating music and releasing it.

If it does better than you expect, that is a bonus and gives you a good feeling.

If you cannot hit the highs, obtain the praise, get the radio plays and have the major labels battering down your door, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy what you are doing, but you are more likely to be happy, as you are not expecting it.

Some artists think it should just fall in their lap. They think that no-one else is making music as good as theirs. This is where they go wrong. I don't think we should ever believe that. There is so many incredible artists out there in the indie scene, creating music that I think is a better standard than the mediocre songs getting played on mainstream radio and getting into the music charts.

They might know what they can achieve and are working to that level just now. Who knows, the right person might hear one of their songs and before you know it, it goes viral. But they will not be making themselves mad, or depressed because it isn't happening now.

With social media and online music platforms, our music is there forever (or until we stop paying to keep it there) and anyone can find a song released years ago and fall in love with it.

So it's about working to a new set of rules. Adapt and control your destiny. Be content with how it is going now, but never lose hope.

Every time I create a new track, I think it's the best I've written yet. Then I release it and it doesn't do much. Once upon a time I let myself get annoyed at that. Now, I'm just going to enjoy the ride and keep learning and perfecting my craft to the best of my ability. I don't have the luxury of disposable funds I can pump into the music creation, due to work and family commitments, but the money I do spend goes towards always trying to make the next track bigger and better that the one before, because who knows, the right person might hear it, so it needs to be bloody good.

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