I’ve always loved singing, and have been recording and performing professionally for over 15 years. You can check out my story here. 

In 2017 I decided to take a career break from my day job. One of my goals for that time (among other things) was to write an album. As soon as I left work in March, I went straight to India, then booked other trips around the world and happily procrastinated for months and months. I met with a couple of producers and wrote a lot of lyrics, but even though I know all the people to help me achieve my musical goal, it just sat there, largely untouched and unachieved 7 months later.

So I did some soul searching.

What was it that was stopping me? I know I can sing, and I’ve been writing for the last 20 years so it’s not that I can’t do it… That’s when I realised it wasn’t the technical side of being a musician I struggled with, it was the emotional side. I just wasn’t ready to make the album I dreamed of. I had too many debilitating fears of judgement and failure, I didn’t want to make myself vulnerable, my self-belief was too small, I was too worried about what everyone else would think, I wasn’t ready or willing to step out and show the world what I’m made of. The more I reflected on this, the more examples I uncovered where my emotions had stopped me achieving my musical goals.

This led to an important decision. I needed to work on me, using that baseline of self awareness to really tackle the stuff below the surface that was stopping me achieve my goals.

Alongside my musical journey, I’ve built up a professional career in learning and development over the last 15 years. I’m a Henley Business School qualified performance coach, a CIPD accredited trainer and facilitator and a leadership development consultant specialising in emotional intelligence and behavioural change. I think this is the reason I could recognise what was stopping me, and what I needed to tackle some of these challenges.

I looked around to find support for this specific side of musicianship, and i just couldn’t find it. There was some more generic emotional / behavioural training but nothing that specifically tackled the challenges we encounter as musicians. So I buried my head obsessively into tons of research. I studied groundbreaking reports such as the “can music make you sick” report commissioned by Help Musicians UK and spoke to hundreds of musicians to understand the unique challenges we face. This process led me to a powerful realisation. I’m not alone with these struggles.

I went back to the day job with a ton of travel memories, and a brand new dream. To support musicians (including me) to learn the emotional and behavioural skills required to be a musician. Whatever your goal is, whether getting a record deal, singing for covers bands, songwriting, busking or writing an album (!) emotions and behaviour will play a huge part. So let’s talk about that and use practical tools and techniques to overcome the challenges we face.

With my knowledge of learning and development, coupled with my knowledge of the music world, I’ve started to create a practical musicians toolkit. Designed by a team of professional, experienced musicians, we’ve used these tools to great effect in our own careers. We hope this toolkit will build, develop and grow as our community builds, develops and grows.

This is an ongoing learning journey for me, and I’m nowhere near the finish line. I’m learning every single day and I’d love The Real Human to become a powerful, collaborative experience… Where we can support each other through the tough times and the good.

Just to clarify… The album still isn’t written… Maybe I’ll get there throughout this process.