A personal note from Katie
This is a personal story I would like to share with you today! A lot of times, us songwriters are dreamers, we have a vision of where we want to go with our music and a lot of times the odds for these ideas to become a reality aren´t exactly in your favor! It is a competitive industry and music is subject to personal taste, which makes songwriting a difficult trade per se. There are no stats available on what people are gonna like or not (you do have some data with regard to what is being played on the radio, but every song is different nonetheless).
And yet, being a songwriter, you just go with your gut and fight for your dreams. And today I would like to encourage you to keep going, no matter how unlikely it may seem to be successful in this industry!
Let no one stop you!
When I was 14 years old, back in the 90ies, I started writing songs in my mind…I made up lyrics and melodies and I “could hear” how the songs would sound on a professional recording! I knew which songs could possibly be a “Bon Jovi” song or a “Celine Dion” ballad. I felt in my heart that that was what I wanted to do every day! Write songs, that when cut by the right artists would make it big!
This might sound familiar to you! However, back in the day, things just were not that simple. There was no internet (or well, it was just starting to evovle), no social media, no online resources on all things music business. Back then, people were still relying on being “discovered”. It was the era of the Supermodels, and Superstars that needed labels and big management corporations behind them. I, at the time, did not even know how to put chords to my songs and yet I had this dream, that one day I´d be able to record demos! That one day, somehow magically someone would find out about my talent/passion and help me develop as a songwriter…that´s what I thought! Now, looking at the world as it was then, the probabilities for this to happen were probably beyond 10 %. I did not live in a place that was known for a flourishing music industry, I was not a savy musician and I talked to NOBODY about those dreams! Not even my parents knew! All I did was dream. Just picture the most naive girl in the world! That was me!
Fast forward to 20 years later. I picked up the guitar again, started writing songs and in 2015 saw an advertisement on facebook for a songwriting seminar that was to take place in my city. I opened this ad, because it had come just in time and things got even crazier…The host of the event was a popstar from the 90ies that I had adored as a kid! Her name is Patricia Kelly from the Kelly Family, a band that were as popular as the Beatles in terms of record sales in Germany! I had been a die-hard fan. Honestly, my first reaction was to close the ad and leave it be! And that is exactly what I did! This felt too big and too scary and I just froze! (Note: I´m a chicken!)
A couple of weeks passed by and the day of the seminar, I could not help put research the event again! By now I thought it was probably too late and sold out anyway! But I checked the facebook page and read a comment that said “you do not have to play a song or participate actively! You can just come and listen!”. There were still tickets available at the entrance and then I saw that the venue for the workshop was literally 5 minutes (!) from my house! Like: How much more does it take to get Katie moving??
I went and barely made it in time and got a last minute ticket and it was the kickoff for my songwriting “career”! Not only did I learn so much about how to go about composing, I suddenly felt empowered to look into how the business works as well!
Needless to say that there are countless books, websites and even online courses on all things music available now. So I started investing! I registered for a one year audio technician formation at a local school and learned how to record demos and even entire song projects. Today we have easy access to digital music production tools and can produce our own demos at home! What a blessing!
So, let´s go back in time. The little dreamy kid that thought that some day she´d have demos of her songs at hands, has just released an album! The likelihood of 10% from back in the day became a given in today´s world! Sure, Celine Dion and Bon Jovi haven´t cut a song of mine yet, but let´s wait and see;)
My point here is, that even if your dreams seem unlikely, they are only unlikely from the point you stand at! In the world you live in at a certain point in time! But the world changes, you change and probabilities change! So, please everyone! Never stop dreaming and make sure to stop and look at how many dreams of yours have come true without you noticing already! You´d be surprised!
Keep dreaming! It´s the first step forward always!
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