‘Mum I want to be a Singer!’
These are words uttered by dreamy eyed youngsters up and down the country. The only problem is, what happens next?
At 18 years of age, having never played a single gig – never mind touched a guitar or piano, I had no idea.
The Internet wasn’t the all-encompassing beast that it is today; back then it was all about opportunities advertised in The NME and The Stage. ‘Singer wanted, 18-24 who can dance’.
Yes it was the era of the girl/boy band!
So off I trundled to Pineapple Studios to attend every dance class I could, along with every audition – including Mis-Teeq.
Turning Away from Pop
It took lots of hustling and many renditions of ‘Play that Funky Music’ at weddings to work out that I wanted to be more than ‘a singer.’
I slowly realized that I had something to say, that I had a musical voice beyond just singing.
Living in a contrived, paint by numbers pop star world of ‘Sing like this, wear that, have your hair like this, these are the lyrics, these are the chords…oh, and you’re a bit fat’ was not a situation that was going to work for me.
I realized that in order to become a professional singer, I also needed to become a producer, a poet, a musician, a businesswoman and a product!
My Own Beginning
So, I bought my first guitar, dusted off Nan’s piano, bought a book on music production and embarked on a journey of constant, extensive education.
I started to assemble a team of budding musicians, teachers, writers and producers who wanted to collaborate.
I spoke to anyone and everyone who knew anything about music and came to the conclusion that the days of the major label were numbered and that I’d have to tread the independent path if I wanted to have any control over my artistry and career.
That’s when my incredible Mother stepped in. We made the decision together to start our own label, artist and creativity driven.
My sister joined the fight and the three of us attended meetings, mailed out C.D’s, badgered promoters, consumed any available information/tips and hustled.
Our first breakthrough came in the form of bagging the support slot on the ‘Journey South’ sold out UK theatre tour a massive achievement at the time.
I’ve picked up many allies along the way but none more valuable or frustrating than the Internet and it was during this tour that I became best friends with MySpace.
The Arctic Monkeys, Sandi Thom… Remember these guys? The story goes that they broke via MySpace, by gaining however many hundreds of thousands of fans.
Were those numbers manipulated and the story created by labels and PR though? Who knows.
Love it or hate it, the Internet turned the music industry on its head.
Like all revolutions, change comes with both pros and cons. The Internet revolution is no different and is most definitely not over.
Attend any music industry conference and the biggest item on anyone’s agenda is how to make money from music.
Gone are the days of a hit single selling 500,000 units with queues out the door of HMV for a long awaited album, so how do you make any money out of music? See my top tips here. [to slide show]
See Scarlette’s Slide Show on Top Tips To a Singing Career
Scarlette Fever: a woman on the rise. Having reached no.2 in the billboard dance chart and 2 playlists on BBC Radio2, expect to hear much more from this talented artist.