Is it being in the spotlight or pushing to make it, living completly for music or fame?
What exactly do these musicians have in common?
Millie Weaver (singer who has performed on The Voice U.K) had this to say about the pressures she faces.
“I feel the main pressure on musicians is just seeing other musicians releasing music. Sounds basic, and of course it isn’t meant to be negative, it’s great seeing people succeed and getting out there, but it either pushes you to want to put something out there as well.
Though this is a great motivator, it can also sidetrack you away from the sound you really want to achieve; you focus on the deadline of the release rather than taking the time it needs. This was what I experienced with releasing ‘Senses’, of course I’m proud of it, but I feel it was rushed towards the end, so it wasn’t quite what I expected nor hoped it would be. That’s why this time I’m using that experience as a lesson and doing things at my own pace, as well as weight up my options on where to record and which musicians to work with, and focusing on what I really want to express what I didn’t get the chance to do with Senses.”
Caitlyn P (acoustic singer) found pressures occurred elsewhere.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure for musicians to be original and offer a variety of music, as for me being an acoustic singer it can be hard to produce music which sounds different and reflects on myself instead of producing music just to entertain, so it can be difficult to be creative and different whilst still providing entertainment.”
How on earth did these people get to where they are now? With Caitlyn playing festivals around Cambridgeshire, she’s moving in the right direction.
“My journey to where I am now with my music was mostly my confidence increasing. I went from not knowing how to play guitar and singing two or three songs at a gig. To being a self taught guitarist and doing sets of 40 songs or more, so for me it was learning to perform for myself and focus on how I can improve myself based on what I know. Being helpful to myself instead of worrying about the reactions of other people, as for me I’ve always made making myself proud a priory.
I think my family and my friends helped me along the way as they helped me build up the confidence to perform in front of more people and have always supported me.”
Millie was similar with the support and encouragement from her family and friends.
“I have A LOT of people to thank for my influence in music- my friends, people who have booked me for gigs and asked to host open mics, even the people that’ve broken my heart in the past that I started writing about! Mainly my dad and brother. They both encouraged me and after my dad passed my brother has taken on being both a guardian and an idol.”
Eshi ( Lead guitarist of Indigo Youth) feels that online pressures interfere with musicality.
“Musicians of this age, certainly have the pressure of needing social media statistics!
I walked past a music venue with a sign advertising that a band with 5000 likes on facebook were playing there.
I mean, what happened to good music? We live in an age where the internet has made it possible for so much activity and opened up avenues for the music world, but with that comes the toxic perception of audiences that a lack of social media interaction directly translates to the quality of the band / musician.”
So what impact does this have on musicians?
“This can be very destructive for young talented musicians that need time to develop and explore by having the chance and opportunity to perform and gain confidence. Musicians are forced to spend more time on their image and social media presence then they are on the actual music! Without monetary backing, I do feel that breaking through and exposing your music to the masses can be difficult amongst all the noise / memes and will eventually discourage a lot of musicians away from pursuing their ultimate passion.”
So what inspired you to make music?
“I grew up with a wealth of great music in my house, often listening to my fathers Michael Jackson and Prince records, or watching him play his guitar. Following in his footsteps, I began teaching myself the guitar at the age of 12 with the aim of learning every pop punk song of that time (Blink 182 etc), as any teenager would do, and as soon as I could , I convinced some of the kids at school that hung out in the music rooms at lunch if they wanted to be in a band!”
And then what happened?
“Before I knew it I was in a funny looking group of musicians performing in questionable pubs in Bolton in front of the regulars; you could say it was a character building experience. I experimented some more playing in synth rock bands, performed as a guitarist in a grease musical and even for a trombone ensemble!
Moving onto my college years I got my first taste of playing in an original synth rock bands writing a lot of my own music and recording in the studio. I worked and met with some amazing musicians that I can’t thank enough for their insights and creative inspiration.
What happened when you moved?
Moving into Manchester, despite being an engineering student, I started to explore my love for music production and began producing electronic dance / drum n bass and generally learning how to produce, and as soon as I had a part time job, I began acquiring make shift recording studio.
Yet another change in location to Cumbria saw a change in the music I was involved in, and really gave me an opportunity to develop and widen my playing style. I initially started playing the acoustic around the town, but quickly missed that raw energy a band can give you; nothing can beat that combination of frequencies. After an eventful work social which inevitably concludes in the local karaoke pub, I met Matt Payne, a colleague that happened to very talented at the keyboard. A few weeks later, and after persistent messages from Matt, I decided to meet to run through some music or in music terms, ” have a jam”. Soon as I heard his 80s synth sound combine with the funky 1985 telecaster tone of my guitar, it was hard to ignore. Since then we have formed a family of musicians, performed gigs, recorded 3 tasty singles, launched a website, released our first music video and have plans for a lot more!”
Millie has offered this advice to anybody who is just starting out.
“To anyone wanting to get into the music scene, just do you. Your pace, your voice (none of this putting on an accent shite), your words. Believe in yourself when no one else does, and if they do, believe them. Take every opportunity for a gig, but if you need some time to write, take the time to understand your thoughts and feelings. Here’s the big slice of Gorgonzola: on the highway on life, everyone has their own lane, stick to yours, maybe cross and collab, don’t crash though, but keep going and you’ll get there . It either pushes you to want to put something out there as well or make you lose some momentum. The challenge and choice you’re faced with, is either give up or keep going.”