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Blogging. The Back Story.

2020.

Websites have become old hat. Unless you’re a dedicated writer first and foremost, you’ve probably abandoned your dot com. Most musical artists I know rely solely on social media. There is no central presence. Their biggest and best ideas are on Facebook. Musicians often have plenty to say. Seems fair; that’s where the audience is. Is that enough of a reason? 

Social media poses a problem for publishers. I suppose it poses many. It’s noisy. It’s not archived. It’s ugly. But the big problem with the big F (and most other services) is ownership. Everything you put on Facebook belongs to the service. I want to own my own bit of the internet. So this is a self hosted WordPress blog, with the modest amount of extra faff that comes with that. 

Having said that, this isn’t really my website. It’s not the shop front. It’s a blog, in a traditional sense. It’s only for writing, whatever and wherever my thoughts take me. I just want to have a bit of clear space to say whatever. I have my music website of course, where I do blog, but the music, the gloves, they all take such a centre stage that it doesn’t feel like a blog. I just want to write in an uncluttered way, and let dyskinetic.net be the shop front. 

It’s 10 years since I started blogging. I started my first proper blog on March 1, 2010. I don’t have much to show for it sadly; a major hack attempt coupled with my non-tech-savvyness meant that my blog legacy is long gone. In a sense I am relieved. No doubt there was some cringy nonsense in there. But of course, it’s a loss to the story. I’ll enjoy some creative license and attempt to retell some of those tales about how I got here. 

It feels very significant to start blogging again now, 10 years on from my first attempts. I was trying to make an album on my own in 2010. It never surfaced. I was completely lost in my attempts to define my identity. Life was very different, and I was, I now know, deeply lost and unhappy. But I was trying to put something out into the world to make sense of those feelings, and it helped. 10 years later I realise I’m not necessarily not still lost and unhappy, but it feels very different. I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot to be afraid of too. This future is a strange and scary place. Being a Disabled person in post-Brexit Tory Britain feels like a Children Of Men dystopia. 2010 was the beginning of that end, but at the turn of the decade, today’s political horrors would seem like grotesque caricature. I have so much now that I couldn’t have imagined in 2010. Nicci and I lived with her mum, I was signed off work, too fragile and in pain to hold down a job. In 2020, we own a house. We have three kids. My music puts the food on the table. I’d barely seen outside my own postcode. In the last few years, those futuristic gloves have taken me all over the world. If there’s one thing 2020-Me knows well, it’s gratitude. 

There’s much to say, and much to learn. Here begins my little corner of the www to think out loud. 

And of course, Happy New Year. Happy New Decade. Theses are strange times. The raging Twenties are upon us. 

Categories
The Back Story.

2019.

2019. You’ve been pretty incredible. Musically, the best year yet. A huge part of 2019 was of course the fact that my music took me on a lifelong dream to Japan. I’m a better version of myself for having been there, and I’ll never forget what I learned about myself and the world while I was there. At the start of the decade I couldn’t imagine playing music outside of B77. Kawasaki Symphony Hall is a long way from Tamworth Castle Grounds… 

It was also a year of amazing collaborations. Ayaka Takai, Josefa Torres and Adam “Nolly” Getgood – all artists I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. Tick, tick, tick. I’ve spent time with some of my biggest influences; having a chance to chat about the music/family balance with Justin Furstenfeld was an important moment. I’ve got to hang a little with my biggest influence as a producer, the legendary Guy Sigsworth. My long time sensei Imogen Heap has done her most ambitious performances to date this year, and I’ve been so grateful to be invited to ride along with that journey through the year. 

Arts Council England afforded me the opportunity to work on my music harder than ever, with two(!) significant Lottery funded grants this year. I’ve had the most artistically focused year of my life, taking time to refine my craft, knowing that we’d be financially secure as a family while I mostly ignored everything that wasn’t *exactly* what I wanted to do as an artist. Lucky isn’t a big enough word. 

Family life has been more complicated, as family life is. We’ve had amazing adventures, and we’re closer than ever, but it’s been tough. We went through one of the hardest things we’ve ever been through towards the end of the year, which we’re still trying to come to terms with. Some of you know: I’m not ready to be anything other than vague about it online yet. A story for another time. 

And of course, my health continues it’s slow decline, so there’s no way of knowing how long it will be before these adventures come to an end. But I’m very lucky; more and more of that bucket list gets ticked off.

If there’s one word I have for 2019, it’s gratitude. For Nicci, the kids, music, and making Pinch Me career moments the new normal. Happy New Year!