Time seems to have flown around and it’s my turn to write the blog and time seems to be a good theme to pick up on, as the old phrase goes, timing is everything and like all of those adages there is more than an element of truth of truth in it and it works both ways, let me give you a couple of examples. I’ve kept names out of this to protect both the innocent and guilty.
One of the many singer-songwriters I know had an opportunity to appear in a Sunday supplement. Their feature was part of a wider feature on empowerment. A short interview had been carried out and all they needed to do was ensure that they got a picture of their new cd to the journalist by close of play Thursday, to complete the article so it could be ready for the Sunday. Unfortunately they didn’t get it there until late Thursday evening. They didn’t get included in the feature, the person that setup the feature struggled to get other artists featured in the particular Sunday supplement for a couple of months and opportunities went begging.
Two people were talking in the reception area of a theatre when the manager of one of the bands that was playing the venue arrived with marketing material. He heard the two people talking passionately about a singer they had seen at their local folk club the night before, the manager asked if they had something he could listen to and a week later the singer was performing three songs in front of eighteen hundred people and completely sold out of cds.
Timing is a strange thing, in that second example it would have been a different story if the manager hadn’t been able to hear the music or simply was impressed. The moral of the first is that other people’s deadlines are important, people rarely set them just for the sake of it and sometimes there is no way back, the moment has passed and is gone for ever.
It’s unfortunate, but often creativity is a bed fellow of chaos, the same freedom that gives light and experience, is the same one that abhors routine. It’s not a hard and fast rule, there are lots of good creative types, musicians included, that keep up with the paperwork, knows what the deadlines are and aren’t constantly rushing around at the last minute desperately trying to get their passport renewed because it had slipped their mind. Naturally there’s a majority that straddle both camps are generally switched on, but occasionally the grey matter lets them down. If you are in the first camp though, you may seriously want to find someone to take care of the admin for you.
But there is more about time than just keeping it organised, there is looking at it and think about when it might be right and here there is no hard and fast rules, circumstances can conspire, both for and against you, but there are things that you can do to mitigate the situation.
Debut releases are a good example, when is the best time to put one out? After a few gigs when people are asking if you have anything available? After you’ve finished your degree? Once you’re semi-retired and you have some time to get back to doing what you love? I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I hear a multitude of debut releases from all the above circumstances and many more. I’m going to make an assumption here, that you are good enough to warrant a debut release, that you have quality filters on, you may enjoy singing, for example, but are you actually any good at it, in which case, simply enjoy.
The circumstances of a debut release may vary, everyone is different, but there is something that you can apply consistently to try and skew the timing in your favour and that, quite simply is planning. Yes that applies to all of your releases, your tours, your submitting songs for use in tv programs I would argue that it matters a whole lot more for your debut release.
That doesn’t mean you should wait until you have a real opus, not all debut albums are going to set the world on fire, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make an impact. Have a clear goal for the release, is the objective of the album to get you better known, to make more sales, to have a take away from gigs? Are looking for it to unlock bookings or get more airplay? Or all of those things? This is going to sound awfully corporate, but think about your objective(s) and plan for them and the right time really will start to come into focus. There is music and there is the music industry, to get your good music into the later will take planning, hopefully it will be time well spent and try not to let it take away your love of the creative whilst you work towards your time.
Talking of time, there’s also time for a blatant and shameless plug. The new Fatea Showcase Session Winter 17:Freezing is now available, help yourself to a copy from www.fatea-showcase-sessions.co.uk