So, you all know by now that I have been writing an album with some very talented artists over the past year. I have been extremely humbled by their support and privileged that they have wanted to work with me as an unknown songwriter.It is still very new and strange to me calling myself a songwriter and it was never something that I wanted to do, or at least it wasn’t something that I thought I wanted to do.
When I was 16 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma and I underwent 9 months of Chemotherapy. I was lucky. I survived. But it changed me.
After cancer, I think your outlook on life does change. I think you become more positive. The little things in life that worried you before no longer seem so trivial and you appreciate every moment and every experience that comes your way.
I decided that I wanted to write a song about my experience to help other people who may be going through treatment and to help those who had gone into remission and weren’t feeling so positive. I wanted to write the song in an inspirational way; talking about the battle but still putting a positive spin about it into song.
When I thought about songwriting, it was never something that I wanted to do as a career. It wasn’t even something I wanted to do as a project really – how that changed!!
In conversation at a gig one evening, I mentioned my idea to a friend who told me that there was no way I could make this happen because I don’t sing and I don’t play an instrument. These words are all I needed to make this project happen. Those who know me well will understand why this was the fuel that I needed. I am extremely stubborn, extremely determined and will move mountains to prove someone wrong when they doubt me.
I know that there is a perception of me as someone who is very quiet, easy going and not overly confident but don’t let silence fool you. I am extremely strong willed and when pushed I will do everything in my power to be ten times bigger and better than you ever imagined I could be. So I started writing, one song, two songs, three and the next thing I know I knew, I had contacted 7 artists, found a producer and booked in studio time.
At this point I was a few songs short but wasn’t quite sure what I was going to write about or who I wanted to approach. I then met Stuart Landon from The Angels with dirty faces but it wasn’t until a couple of months later that we actually worked together. I have always believed that people come into your life for a reason even if at the time you don’t know what that reason is. Looking back now, it’s amazing to realise just how important he was going to be to my story.
Easter weekend at Fort San Antone and The Ash Cooper Band were playing a headline gig up at the Fort and they had a band opening for them who just happened to be The Angels with dirty faces!
They were brilliant and Stuarts’ version of Chris Stapleton ‘Whiskey & You’ had me sold.
If you ever get a chance to see this band perform, you must. I am sure that they are the ones to watch on the scene. They have a drive and determination that I haven’t seen in the industry for a long, long time and a talent that is outstanding.
Fast forward a couple of months, I put a post onto Facebook about the album and I had a message from Stuart asking if I was looking for any other artists to work with. I said I was and the rest is history!
‘Shatter Like Glass’ pretty much became a song in a day. I remember writing the lyrics and thinking “I can’t send these over” and “He’s a professional, what if he hates them” but I told him to change what he needed to and if it was rubbish we could scrap it!!
That very day, he sent me a demo back and I loved it!!
I’m really difficult to please but I didn’t even have to listen to this demo on repeat to know that I loved it and that I wanted to release it.
Everything in between is a bit of blur as since that day, we chatted, we decided to release it, The Angels with dirty faces started performing it at festivals such as Wolvestock & Fort San Antone and then we went on a promotional tour!
We set a release date of Friday 14th October and I just hoped that it would hit the Top 40.
It’s a funny thing releasing a single as an unknown songwriter. You see it performed at gigs and at festivals and you see the reaction to it from the fans. You see the support that it is receiving on the live circuit but this doesn’t necessarily mean that those people are going to go and buy it on release day.
This was also the debut single for The Angels with dirty faces so I felt a little bit of pressure in making sure it didn’t fail for them either. They are an outstanding band and hot on the scene right now and I didn’t want to let them down so it was so important that we got the support with the single and we were really lucky!
‘Shatter Like Glass’ was released worldwide on Friday 14th October as scheduled and hit number 4 in the iTunes country chart!!! Number 4!!
I have to admit that this was the best birthday present I have ever received! It was my birthday the following day and we were still at Number 4 that morning. We were only held off the top 3 by the CMA 50th Anniversary song ‘Forever Country’ so what an achievement! It is amazing to see your song sat at the top of the charts with artists of that calibre! 30 CMA artists, Grammy awards winners and record breakers!!
Stuart has said that we cannot celebrate until we hit number 1, so we are going to write together again because we both want a number 1 and I want champagne so that’s the next challenge!!
We have had so much support before, during and after release and I am so excited to carry on with the recording of the album which is due to hit the world on Friday 3rd February 2017.
I have to say a huge Thank You to Stuart and the rest of The Angels with dirty faces because without them I wouldn’t have my first cowrite released, I wouldn’t have a Top 4 single or be a published songwriter. He took a chance releasing a single with an unknown songwriter and I like to think (I hope!), that the risk paid off!
And the biggest of thank you’s to every single person who downloaded our single. It all means nothing without your support and it has been incredible to experience it.
Thank you to all of the radio, tv and social media hosts for your reviews, interviews and sharing of our music. It means the world.
Our single is available from iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/shatter-like-glass-single/id1158482413
For more information on Angels with dirty faces go to: https://www.angelswithdirtyfaces.uk
There is so much to be excited about right now. Watch this space. The Angels with dirty faces are a name that you are going to be seeing A LOT of and you don’t want to miss it!
Keep it Country….