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Making this house my home.

ImageWhen I was 16 I joined a band full of guys in their mid twenties – they’d already had some success, with play on triple M and triple J and in my eyes, these guys were music gods. Somehow I lucked into the situation. Right place, right time. Right place being my brother’s bedroom (he was the lead singer) right time being the day their bass player quit.

My first show was an EP launch to a sold out Espy Gershwin room. Goodness me, was I terrified… As if this is a logical first show for a 16 year old! I exclaim with textually sarcastic intonation – You might as well have called me Gabriella Cilmi.

I had butterflies in my stomach as my brother drove us there, he was doing vocal warm ups and I was trying to keep my dinner inside myself.

I took all my queues from the guys in the band and from that day and for another couple of years those three guys taught me everything I needed to know to tackle the stage on my own for years to come. 

For years now, I’ve stepped on stages with only a small trace of the nerves I had that first year. Sure,  some shows are very important and I sweat attendance numbers or whether or not the hero of mine I’m opening for is going to like me. 

But most shows – I show up, we all plug in, we count to 4 and we all have the best time ever. I know all the words, I know who I am, I know what comes next, and I always know what to say. I feel at home on stage. No concerns. No thinking. Just strumming, and singing, and laughing.

Until…  I decided to do improv.

My origin story in terms of improvised comedy is not a romantic one. I was sitting on the toilet with my iPhone in my hand. A very funny friend of mine from the states, a comedian by the name of Rajan DharnI posted something about an improv class he took. He’s posted similar things the entire time I’ve known him, so I don’t know if it’s because I was being particularly reflective on the toilet that day, or if I find farts so funny that I was open to the idea of being a comedian. But whatever it was, on a whim, I asked Lord Google for guidance…

God bless Adam Kangas and his SEO skills, because the Improv Conspiracy drew me in immediately. “Chicago Style” that’s the bit that grabbed me. 

Because we all wish we were famous Americans right? Plus, I’m a Bulls fan, so the word Chicago just makes me think of wearing second hand Air Jordans in primary school and comparing the price of them with the shoes Marcus CarattI was wearing.

Thanks to The Improv Conspiracy I’ve spent 6 months now welcoming back those butterflies to my stomach. Realizing that I’m SO far from the fearless performer I thought I was and being so completely challenged each and every week by the over-powering and inspiring beast that is Improv.

All of a sudden I DON’T know all of the words, I DON’T know who I am (on Wednesday night I was a reluctant Unicorn Hunter named Charles or Clarence or something I can’t even remember). I DON’T know what comes next, and I am not sure what I’m going to say until I’m saying it. Just reacting, in the moment. Good or bad, it’s just me, my scene partner and that blissful terrifying moment.

I use ‘terrifying’ in about the most positive way one can. It’s an exhilarating scare. 

Staring into the eyes of your scene partner having NO clue what they are about to say.

I’ve realised I wasn’t as at home on stage as I thought I was. Now I consider my music career to be where I built my house and laid the floor, only now am I properly getting acquainted with all that lies inside that house. It’s a super fun discovery.

Thanks to those who have watched or helped or joined me in doing it up to this point.

I’m looking forward to learning for a long time yet.

See you at a Harold night.        

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I never asked James Blunt to tell me about his new single. This is why I’m annoyed that he has…

Okay, so I might be taking this a bit to seriously.

As nobody musicians and artists and designers and creative people with websites and products… We work hard and do all we can to convince our followers and fans to give us their email address.
It’s a slow process, and sometimes the only reward is your mail app telling you that 41% of your audience opened the email. (41% is a good amount by the way. The average for most mail blasts from most artists is much lower)

When you ask a new fan for their email address you are also asking them for their trust.
Trust that you’re only going to contact them about yourself and new things you have for them… And trust that you’re not running some sort of email selling racket.

Hell, some pompous music industry suits will ask you how big your mailing list is and judge you on the amount of addresses you’ve acquired over time. Almost as though your songs aren’t actually any good unless they are coupled with a few thousand built in fans.

I don’t have a few thousand email addresses. I have about a loyal 700. I’m happy with that loyal few, when you look at my twitter follower count and my Facebook count and my YouTube views/subscribers, you might assume I’d have more addresses, but email can be seen as quite personal and email is where busy people go first thing in the morning. Someone with a passing interest in my music videos probably doesn’t want me all up in their inbox every few weeks.
So I’m stoked having 700.

All of this is why I’m pretty damn mad I’ve received 3 emails from James Blunt and Atlantic records in the past 12 hours.
They hit me at 3 different addresses. And I can promise you I never signed up for the James Blunt mailing list. I’ve never listed to him beyond what was on the radio about 5 years ago.
I’m pretty sure the only artist on Atlantic Records I am subscribed to is Jason Mraz. And I wonder what he or his management would think about the fact that I’m unsubscribing from him now due to the misuse of my email address by his record label.

They have announced this was apparently a clerical error… “Yeah sorry guys… Whoops we accidentally made a huge portion of music fans all over the world aware of one of our artists new records… Whoopsie doodle”
I don’t buy it.

Surely your email system has a geographical filter? So you ‘accidentally’ emailed all of the UK… But that’s okay, you didn’t go ahead and ‘accidentally’ follow it up with Australia and Japan and the US etc etc…. Oh wait.. Yeah ya did.

The big boys get to break the rules. Apparently.
Adding someone to your mailing list without their permission is like the number one no no in mailing list etiquette. We little guys abide by this rule and then have to watch one of the big dogs at the top take advantage of their advantage.

Shame on Atlantic Records and James Blunt.
I won’t be listening to the new James Blunt single and I’ll be unsubscribing from their mailing lists.
I’ll also be going to any Atlantic Records contact page I can find and adding all the email addresses I find to my mail out.

Deal? Deal.

Okay I’ll get on with my day now.

Let me know if I’m being silly.

Love Broni

Amsterdam to Bruge. Train Journal.

Hey friends.

I'm currently on a train from Holland to Bruges. The train is fast. Like me in my grade three running race the moment my legionnaires hat blew off my head.

On Sunday I played my first European Living Room Concert.

LRCs are so cool. The attendees are 100% there to share in a musical experience and this makes them the best audiences you can find.

Rudi, Marieke and their daughter Emma were our hosts, and their hospitality was superb. Picking us up from the station, making us lunch, and taking us out to a delicious tapas dinner which they paid for. Emma even drew me a picture. She knew I liked dogs because of the photos I post with George so the picture is of me and a dog on the grass with a few daisies and birds thrown in. It's very cute.

My thanks to Marieke, Rudi, Emma, and all the wonderful people who shared in the day.

It was crazy to find out that one of the girls attending, was playing my last single at her desk at work last week and one of her colleagues said 'is that Broni?' Crazy that someone else at her work knew me as well. The Internet is the best… This is why I find it strange my friends still waste cash on print media in Melbourne, with such small reach that never converts into ticket sales. But that's a discussion for another time.

Side note: you may or may not recall, but I had to move out of the house that I shared with my favourite little bulldog George Bruce, but I was making a point to visit him as often as I could, and taking him to work with me when I could etc, however yesterday I got the very very sad news that he is moving to a new home. He's going where there are 3 young boys who will pamper him and wrestle him like I used to be able to on a regular basis, so I'm very happy for him. But I'm also extremely sad that I won't get to spend any more time with him. I'll admit, I cried for a moment about it. He truly was a best friend, and the family he is going to are extremely lucky. Peace and carrots Georgie Porgie korgie lorgie dorgie.

If you haven't noticed yet, I have just started to check in a little more often on my youtube channel with a new weekly video called 'this is Broni' I swear i'ma try to keep up with is one.

My thanks to Pat McKenna for once again going above and beyond the call of friendship and making the cool animation for the series.

You the man Paddy.

In a few weeks I'll be releasing my new music video for 'I care more than you do' I'm excited, I think we did a good job on the clip. We basically recreated the situation in which I wrote the song, when I was in a cafe, and privy to a very awkward conversation in which I knew the girl was going to break up with the guy, way before he realised it was happening. The clip makes me well up about half way through, and that's due to the great performance by our leading Actors Carina Waye and Jonathan Christopher MacMillan so I can't wait for you to see it.

Whilst in the Netherlands we stopped off in Utrecht on the way to the house show. My mum was born in Utrecht, so we walked for half an hour to find my mums old street. It was a little surreal, she left there 56 years ago, I was just imagining my Nanna wandering those streets back in the day. It was awesome. And a great way to pass the time, as it was a Sunday and Utrecht was pretty closed. Starbucks was open though, so I got my crappy coffee on, and I paid to poop… That was fun…. Gotta get the most out of my 50 cents 😉

Nearly in Belgium, friends, so time for me to sign off for now.

Hope you're smiling.

Broni.

 

Holidayte – A song a week challenge Week 4.

This song is part of the Song a Week Challenge i partake in with @robdeez and @kennyeng check out their entries.

The challenge is explained here – http://bit.ly/SongAWeek

This weeks topic was HOLIDAY

When I’m at work, I often catch myself daydreaming of what i could be doing instead of being there. I conjure up this fantastic day where i could fit in a million activities and have all the fun in the world. But you know how it goes, you actually get the day off and you don’t have nearly enough time for all that you were thinking about.
This song is about the idea that it would be possible to take the day off work, and have the best date ever.

Enjoy

 

http://soundcloud.com/bronimusic/holidayte 

 

 

Check out the other guys entries.
http://soundcloud.com/robdeez
http://soundcloud.com/kennyeng
http://soundcloud.com/sheblondeswede

A Song a Week Challenge with @robdeez and @kennyeng – Week 3 – Ambition/Wishing you were better at something

Whilst growing up, i was pretty decent at basketball, but pretty horrible at most other physical things.

Once, in grade 6, playing interschool football against St. Lukes, and wearing my long 90’s grunge locks (pretty cool for a 12 year old) tied back, I kicked the ball off the ground, which in this league, was against the rules.

As Glen Tucker from St. Lukes shouted and complained at the umpire/referee, i heard him say “calm down guys, let it go, it’s just a girl”

Yeah, that happened.

I’m still friends with a few ‘jocks’ – if you will. We often laugh and poke fun at our very obvious differences, i make fun of their bogan ‘change room’ blokey accents and they make fun of me for being just generally pretty weird. I like the juxtaposition in our friendship.
which is why, outside of the format of a 3 minute song, i could have written about 70 verses in this, because i observe sporty dudes every day.

However, i really got kick started on this song when i saw an instagram pic of 2 guys dressed exactly the same, tight shorts, way above the knee, tight singlets letting their pectorals pop, and shiny crucifixes around their neck. It made me laugh… that they seemed blistfully unaware of how exactly alike they look was amusing to me. But damn, they rocked those shorts pretty well.

So this song is a little tongue in cheek. It’s very silly, and it will probably never venture outside my soundcloud. But nevertheless, it’s my entry this week to the Song a Week Challenge.

Here it is:- http://soundcloud.com/bronimusic/i-wish-i-was-good-at-sports 

Check out the other guys entries.
RobDeez
kennyeng

A Song a Week challenge

I've been so content in one half of my music lately. I'm working with some amazing people on the current release and the next few releases. And my current single is racking up views on youtube faster than I expected – check it out

But underneath all that has been the knowledge that I hadn't taken a new song to completion in about 10 months. That song being 'I'm better than your boyfriend' and before that I can't even remember the last song.

I have many a voice memo of an idea I sung to my phone in the car, or a chord progression i was unmotivated to sing to.

And I started to wonder, have I recorded my last batch of songs?

Dramatic, I know. But I'm sure anyone who's gone through this knows what I'm talking about.

I know how to phone it in, and write a song on command, it's not the writing that's hard for me… It's liking what I write that I struggle with. So I've been reluctant to commit to anything and say, unequivocally 'I believe in this song and these lyrics' as I've been able to do with songs in the past.

So I've been searching for something to get me out of this rut. One of my best friends has really serious cancer, its an emotional goldmine of a muse. But I can't go there, it's too close to me right now, I can't step back and really express what it all means to me. Instead I find myself just singing things like “you have cancer, and that fuckin sucks” which we both know, from me, would be a weird song.

Alas, I've continued to struggle finding inspiration to write.

Then my dear friends Rob Deez and Kenny Eng were discussing a weekly songwriting challenge, and it piqued my interest immediately. Every Tuesday night a topic is chosen, by the next Wednesday it has to be completed and uploaded to soundcloud or you owe the other two a 6 pack of beer (stakes are even higher because they live in the US so I'd have to deliver the beer online)

This to me was a perfect way to get writing, and be held accountable for seeing even the crappiest ideas through to the end. The worst that will happen is ill get better at writing or ill owe them lots of beer. So I jumped on in. And the 3 of us are in week 2

The topid of week one was – Elevator/Crush on a Co-worker

Here are our entries

Me: Fries are Cooking

Rob: LF8R Music

Kenny: link coming soon

This weeks topic was – Soul/Giving up

Me: What you said made me sad

Kenny: link coming soon

Rob: Just Keep Swimming

So, now I'm even accountable to you, the audience, who will be aware each week of my failures or successes in the art of songwriting.

Wish me luck, and I hope you like at least 33 percent of the songs. Hot tip – I hate fries are cooking but I've gotta let you hear it, thems the rules.

Hope you're all smiling.

See you with next weeks song.

Love Broni