I wanted to share a little of my journey so far with you...the beautiful ups and the challenging downs...in the hope that it may perhaps inspire, motivate & even comfort in some way...
I still have so much I want to achieve in life and many more hearts to connect with through my music, education and my photography, finding out each day exactly what I am made of...
My eclectic musical taste stems from growing up listening to Eva Cassidy, The Carpenters, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, along with the greats of Classical and Opera.
I love when great melodies intertwine with stories that hook me in, leaving me wanting to listen over...songs that speak to me, make me laugh and cry, remind me of something dear, carry a powerful message...inspire me...songs that make me FEEL something - that are real and fearlessly from the heart.
I recall with perfect clarity the goosebumps I felt, at age 10, hearing the voice of Karen Carpenter sing 'Rainy Days and Mondays' from the old brick cassette player my dad gave me. My soul connected with her voice & her emotion...I knew with the certainty of a child that music would always be a part of my life. It wasn't something I considered making a career of however, it was simply a part of who I was...something intwined in the very fibres of my being.
I've always loved helping others grow & learn so after graduating I taught at GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY, later moving into the private sector as SNR HR LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER. This chapter, however, was brought to an abrupt end following injuries I sustained in a car crash in 2002 which left me unable to function at my previous level.
It was during this dark time of incapacity and pain I turned to music and wrote my first song, 'ALONE HERE WITH ME', as a form of 'self-therapy'. I wasn't quite ready back then to share my music with the world...that would come much later with 'Alone Here With Me' featuring on what would become an AWARD-WINNING DEBUT ALBUM, the track itself being the first song of this century to be played on BBC RADIO SCOTLAND's coveted IAIN ANDERSON SHOW...
Before music would become my chosen path, there were years of rehabilitation and pain management programmes, learning to live and thrive with/in spite of physical limitations & chronic pain from injuries from the crash. I believe you should always make the best of what you have and follow your dreams in spite of what may appear as limitations...so I built 'workarounds' that would enable me to be ready for the next stage in my life...becoming a MUM to two amazing little boys!
These two little miracles became a big part of my MUSICAL INSPIRATION - there was a newborn reason to write, STORIES TO TELL, messages to impart to them, pieces of my heart I hoped would live on in songs for generations to come. I would write and sing the songs to the boys at bedtime, noting which ones they liked the most and asked for 'again'...and which ones they perhaps remembered the melody of but not the lyric, giving me an indication of which parts of the songs I'd need to do a little more work on!!
When my youngest started school in 2018, I sat with my husband and worked out if creating music, my true lifetime passion, was something I could now consider pursuing on a professional level..all these years and life lessons later...I was finally ready!
With only one or two friends in the music industry and no experience in writing or performing my songs professionally it was a daunting decision to leap into the unknown...yet with a strong desire to share my songs in the hope that they would connect with (and perhaps even motivate or inspire) a wider audience, and that feeling deep inside that I ‘just could not NOT do this’ ...I took the chance and went all in.
I am thrilled that the songs and their messages are really CONNECTING WITH AUDIENCES. People approach me after live shows to share how my songs are now part of their lives, that my lyrics tell their own stories, inspire them to take action and follow their own dreams. It's like the SONGS HAVE TAKEN ON A LIFE OF THEIR OWN and no longer 'belong' to me...they have their own HIGHER PURPOSE and I'm so happy that I have helped them come to life and reach the people who needed them most.
Since taking that leap of faith, focussing on making this dream a reality, I have enjoyed regular airplay on BBC & ONLINE RADIO, been awarded NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL 'One to Watch', had song placement in the coveted NSAI TOP 40 and added a coveted DANNY KYLE AWARD to my musical CV at the 2019 CELTIC CONNECTIONS Festival...the same Festival I would return to the following year to release my AWARD-WINNING DEBUT ALBUM to a SOLD OUT audience!
I have had a song I co-wrote performed and released by Nashville legend WILL KIMBROUGH, have worked with world class engineer PAUL SAVAGE, Award-winning Producer FINDLAY NAPIER...performed with, recorded and released songs with some of my own musical heroes including BOO HEWERDINE, toured with international touring artists including Michael Logan and Jesse Terry, and shared stages with Legendary UK artists like HORSE. The Show I created during lockdown 'The Homebird Sessions' (now a touring show in it's own right) was nominated for a UK AMA (Americana Music Association) 'Hero' Award and I have used music to shape two talks for the world renowned educational TED Talks, releasing the first song ever to have been written for and debuted at a TEDx event (written with my fellow friend and musicians Yvonne Lyon and Adriana Spina).
It's been a rollercoaster of hard work and emotions but I can put my head on the pillow each night knowing that I worked hard to make these little dreams I had become a reality, with their own ripple effects reaching many through using my passion to help others in some way.
For this and so much more I am eternally grateful.