What Comes Next

musings of a professional dreamer

I’ve just received the latest mix of Fight A New Day from Tim at T-Time Studio. I wish you could see the ear-to-ear grin on my face. It’s too rad and I am too stoked.

So now what?

Over the past few months, while the album’s been in the mixing phase, aside from the crazy tour and tour planning, I’ve been analysing what comes next. It’s my two year “fulltime” anniversary next week, and I want to take things to the next level, not purely because it would be nice to have some kind of stability in my life (financially anyway), but because the music deserves it.

So with a new album on the way and a “thinking bigger” attitude, my head is filled with pending decisions… Solo vs Band… Record Company vs Sticking it out Independently… South Africa vs Bigger Ponds…

I’d love to be touring with a band and I think the music deserves it but I want to be able to pay the guys properly and right now I need every cent to make ends meet. And finding the right band is a daunting task I can’t even begin to contemplate right now. I love performing solo but it limits me to a certain degree and I’d rather my solo shows were more exclusive.

As idealistic (and maybe a little bit stubborn) as I am in sticking it out independently, the backing of a label would surely help to reach the wider audience that I believe this music deserves. But with the so-called downfall of the record industry, do I want to be looking for a record deal? Perhaps I just need better management (okay, actual management). Maybe all I need is a PR company, which I’ll pay for… how? If you look at the more successful artists is this country, for the most part, they’re signed to record companies. Sure, I’ve managed to source my own distribution, but just having my album available isn’t going to sell it. If giving up a share of album revenue is going to result in selling more units, creating more album revenue, isn’t it worth it?

I’d love to tour overseas but with a new record coming out and one too many loans to pay off from all the local touring and my two albums, is international touring and even bigger debts really the best idea right now? I’d love to head off for a new adventure in a foreign land, perhaps with a more permanent move in mind, but would that really solve my problem? Who knows?

So now what?

Now, I’m sending the new album out into the music world to see what happens, to see what the industry gurus think. I’m not releasing it just yet. I’m holding off for a month or so to finalise my plan. Truth be told, I can’t manage this beast on my own anymore. I need to find the right person / company / knight in shining armour to help me forge ahead.

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate my two years of fulltimeness (sic!) with a bottle of champagne, listening to an album made from the story of two years of believing, two years of fighting, two years of driving and dreaming and planning. An album that makes me smile proudly and reminds me why I do this in the first place.


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© Shannon Hope 2017