I got involved in the Music Industry for all the right reasons. I wanted to help people and see them succeed more in the Industry. What I didn't realise was the monster I had taken on . Working in Bars and booking bands was all I knew before I decided to dig deeper into this industry . I was an old timer and never bothered with computers . In fact I couldn't even turn one on .This did not deter me however as I believed that someone had to try to find a better way forward for Irish Artists. Why was everything so difficult ?
I had spent previous years listening to artists talk about how difficult the industry was and especially from Cover bands I knew . Most if not all came from the independent scene and just could not survive in that world . Their love for music kept them in the business but playing their own songs was what they really wanted to do . Some of these acts were actually very successful and were making a good living but you could see that old longing was still there.
I went to work on helping artists as soon as I left Galway . I was the Music hall manager in the Quays Bar but felt a disconnect with Music . The disconnect was what people were listening too at the Music hall . Don't get me wrong , we had some fantastic acts there but mostly Cover acts as people wanted this Music . I remember walking on Shop street and listening to the buskers playing their original sets and would always ask them how everything was going . Sometimes I would invite them to perform in the Music Hall before the main act. The delight on their faces performing to maybe 400 and 500 hundred people was something I will never forget. I wanted to do more for them but i knew that people just wouldn't appreciate new material as it wasnt popular demand . I had to leave . It just wasn't me and not what I thought a venue should be .Money is always the name of the game with Venues and the quays was no exception. This beautiful Venue existed on popular demand and its clients demanded it. I had to go and try and create this popular demand for independent Music . Was i mad ? Completely.
I went to work almost immediately and learned how to use a computer . I emailed every venue with this new idea i had and got very little response . I emailed radio stations , the same . I emailed everyone that had anything to do with Music to get my message across but still very poor response . Independent Music was a No No Subject in all corners of the industry . It was shocking for me to realise this that no one had any interest in even replying to me on this subject . I ploughed on like a bull in a china shop and probably rattled some cages as I went . I didn't care who i annoyed . I was raised to have thick skin and on many occasion met undesirables in the Business who couldn't figure me out at all .Suspicion was the best way to describe those people's impression of me .
I decided to set up a social network purely for independents artists . I called it livemicsworld . I was fed up with the Music Industry not listening or helping the Independent artist . I wanted to build a massive network of artists and together we would make them listen . That was the Plan but the other side of the coin was the artists themselves were also fed up with the industry and it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to join my free social network .
I ploughed on once again and came up with a Competition " Livemicsworld International Artist ". I did this to attract artists to the website and to also create a buzz around what i was doing . It attracted many great acts I have to say and things seem to moving on nicely but then the other side of the coin kicked in and People didn't go to the events. Again popular demand came back to haunt me with a vengeance. What i did learn was artists responded to opportunity during that time and some of the puzzle that is the Music industry was coming together for me . Everyone who did go to the events told me afterwards that they were some of the best nights entertainment they ever experienced. So much talent on all those nights from people you would have never heard off . Something had to be done about this I felt .
I went for a job interview around that time . It was for a Managers Job at the baggot Inn in Dublin . I truly believed that this was a sign and an opportunity to bring all of this to Dublin . It was also one of the Pubs owned by the fitzgerald Group who owned the quays in Galway. All the greats had played at the baggot , Bowie and bono to name a few. When I got to the baggot Inn I was unbelievably disappointed with the pub . Not one picture or any sign of what I had heard about this Pub. It looked more like a Chinese Restaurant. During the interview I realized very quickly the owner had no interest in anything i had to say about Music so i cut it quite short and left . There was a homeless man sitting outside on the footpath as I left and i gave him some change . I remember his face , a young man , polish I think and he couldn't stop thanking me for my help . As I made my way back to the train the homeless situation became very alarming to me . I remember I didn't have a whole lot of money myself but what I did have I shared with people as I passed them.
I was disturbed about what I had seen, going back on the train . I decided to try and do something about this and shared my experience with people on social media . The response was very large and I decided to have an event in aid of the homeless. I was very surprised that so many artists were willing to help . So many struggling artists out here but willing to drop their own concerns in aid of others. It's a very beautiful thing to witness and humbles me each time I speak about it . The Simon Gigs were born that year and like the Livemicswolrd events attracted unbelievable talent to it ..
The simon gigs have being a huge learning for me in so many ways . They have helped artists too by allowing them to be heard and be part of something special . It's a gathering of very special people and people who come to witness the events are blessed with origional Music from artists all over Ireland . Everyone attending is taking part in assisting another or others . Music is being heard in its most origional form and and everyone goes away with a new experience.
I brought my music journey to a whole different level in 2015 and opened my own Venue . I wanted to give all artists a stage to showcase themselves . I had a in house PA and sound engineers on standby when needed . It was revolutionary in my own head but The locals didn't seem to get what i was doing. It was a very big risk as I didn't have a lot of money but I had to try. I had learned so much about the problems the artists were facing and wanted to combine all I had learned so far and have a live stage to move further along . The puzzle was starting to fit into place and the venue I felt was the next step .This was probably the hardest time of my life. My expectation was the local Music scene would get what I was doing but suspicion got the better of them . A venue is useless without the people it represents . It was built for them and very few saw this . I don't have all the answers as to why this part of the puzzle didn't work but I clearly underestimated how I would be seen in the eyes of the Artists there . Some call it the clique , I call it a mentality created by an unforgiving Industry .I brought more Music to that venue that any venue in the area or any area In Ireland in my time there. I called it the MusiBar as that's exactly want it was. Again I learnt many lesson in that time . You can never predict what other people might think of you no matter the intention . I also learned that the artist must act independently and not as a group or Clique. To forge your own path always and seek opportunity wherever it is . Also learn to engage in a venue that will represent you and has the ability to showcase you if you work closely with them . Give back to your venue by encouraging your own family and friends to support such a venue . Remember if you can't make it in your own backyard you are not going to make it anywhere. The venue is the key to your success as it is your home and launching pad . Every artist should have their own unique venue attached to them and all your ground work should be done from there. All successes should be celebrated there as this is where you originated from. Artists are not doing this and this is their biggest mistake . Loyalty is extremely important to any venue . If the venue know they have this , they will bend over backwards for you . There is alway a flip side to this. If you are experiencing a bad vibe from the venue , owner , manager and you think that they are not prepared to work with you the way you want, then leave and find another . Remember, they need you and you need them , its an equal partnership always .
I write from my Musibiz website now . The name is obvious and is an extension of my Musibar experience. Artists still submit to me and I have them on the website . I write blogs about the business and I think I always will . Artists can find me here most days . I am alway looking for the next step to help the independent artist more. If you read some of my blogs you will find lots of information and advice in them .
I have being working on a new project Called " The Irish Indie Chart ". The idea was to funnel Independent artists through it in collaboration with a major record store Group. The aim is to help each artist have a realistic chance to reach the Official Chart . I've being hounding Major Record for a while now and it was looking promising for a while . They look at this business in black and white and tell me that Independent music is a very small revenue stream in their stores and that my chart will not make any difference . How do you know i ask them if you don't try it LOL ? I wanted every available Artist going through their stores with their Cd available online also . My chart was a tool to gauge each artist's progress and a way to sell their Music . Its ready to roll , I told them and all they have to do is simply have it available. Record companies are struggling and in my opinion new a new injection of Origional Artists and a proper system in place for optimum sales , I felt they would Jump at this opportunity for more sales . Seemingly not ? Most Record stores still accept Submission by the way but have your homework done before you approach them. Have a very good email list ready and when you launch with them , inform your list when to buy the Cd. Also make sure they have you available online as some of your fans are not going to travel long distances to buy a Cd at one of their stores .Official Charts are compiled thursday to thursday so you have a week to get busy with any promotion . You can also play at some of their stores to launch . I was also told interestly enough that as much as a 100 sales in the thursday to thursday window is enough to be charted in the top 20 in the Irish Charts . That's something that any artist can work on with the right plans put in place . A Chart entry is a big deal as the Industry are always looking for the next act . Plan Plan Plan.
I have being studying Life Coaching recently and some may wonder , what the hell is that got to do with Music ? A lot actually as it is badly needed in this industry. I have trained and qualified as a life and spiritual Coach . I would like to help with all aspects of a Artist's life. I sense they need direction and some emotional help . We all need this in fact. So much confusion going around and people are left wondering how to fix themselves and their closen path . I have introduced this service on my website to anyone who needs help moving forward with life and getting the best out of themselves . You would be very surprised the habits we pick up and the attitudes we have that are stopping us from succeeding . My main purpose when i got started with this was to help others find a way . The most important thing I have learned is you start with yourself first before you go any further . Get that right first and the world is your oyster . More times than not, we all need help with this so I make this available to anyone who wants help with issues they need to address .
Anyway guys , I could write pages of this stuff but I have tried to congest this down as much as i could . I hope you find something in this and thanks for reading .