A year ago, I was a writer/musician, sitting in my study working on my second novel. Having played with original bands for years – and coming close but never quite getting the elusive record deal – I had put my music away in a bottom drawer to concentrate on my writing.
Someone advised me that if I was serious about being a writer, I needed to get on Facebook and Twitter, and start a blog. So I did. At first, it was intended to be a blog about writing but I soon realised there were any number of other blogs out there about writing. Wondering how I could put my own slant on it, I decided to start posting some of my original songs. I called the blog “Rant, with Occasional Music” and started posting a song every Monday on what I dubbed “New Music Monday”.
In November 2011, I got involved in the #TwitterXmasSingle organised by Brenda Drumm. This was the first Christmas Charity Single organised and marketed solely through Twitter and other social media. I was one of the soloists on the song “Winter Song”. Organised, recorded and released in the space of two weeks, “Winter Song” reached No.1 in the iTunes chart on the day of release and No. 8 in the Irish charts overall. It was because of this – and the feedback and encouragement I’d received from people who listened to my music online – that I started to think about recording my own album and marketing it solely through Twitter and other social media.
I set up a studio in my house and recorded all of the songs on the album there. “Do You Dream At All?” is entirely self-produced and self-released. The marketing budget is a laptop, a twitter account and a Facebook page. In tandem with these recessionary times, this is DIY music-making.
On April 2nd, I realised a childhood dream, when “Do You Dream At All?” was released as a CD. None of this would have ever been possible without the support and encouragement I received from the Twitter community and the readers of my blog, and it shows – once again – the power of social media, and the ever-changing landscape for the creative artist.
You can listen to samples of the album and buy the CD here: www.cdbaby.com