Tag Archive | artists

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.

 

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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

 

 

Free Music isn’t that crazy, friends.

Excuse me while i ramble. I don’t quite know my point yet. But i’m compelled to write.

I don’t like it when people ask my advice and then don’t take it.
In fact it’s one of my pet hates that I strangly get to pat often. Because as many of my friends have pointed out to me… i don’t talk about anything unless i know at least something about it.
For instance, I’m a horrible conversationalist if you wanna discuss finance, or politics, and unlike many polite people who will play along with the group and wax intellectual, I choose to stay out of it.
I don’t see it as rude, but there’s a reason my friends are my friends, we share a common ground. They talk to me about topics and I respond because I at least like to think I know some stuff.
Not EVERYTHING… s’not what i’m saying. But if the subject is Music, Relationships Or Computers and computer equipment and especially mixing those together. I know some stuff. I have an opinion. And not a manufactured opinion that i learnt from a man in a classroom (you can’t teach how to perform… it’s inate. You can teach the chords, but not the character. You can teach someone how to use a mixing desk, but not how to mix a live band, that depends on their ear and desire to hone their craft).
And I rarely argue with anyone, about anything. Because of one major factor. Either, I don’t know if i’m right, or It’s just an opinion i hold, and they are entitled to theirs.
You can bet if i’m arguing with you, i’m probably right… not because i’m arrogant, but because I know the answer.
My friend Sal hates when we argue, because if it’s gotten to the point where i’m contending so strongly then she’s probably wrong. Through no fault of hers. I just choose not to push my point unless i’m certain of it. Which is not all that often.

People not taking your advice is fine if you’re part of an advice committee eg. a band demoing for an album sending it to 15 of their trusted friends and fellow musicians… then your advice or idea can be taken on board or chucked away, and that is as it should be. Recently i offered a bunch of ideas to a band and i’m not sure they took any, but that’s okay they weren’t coming to me to make their decisions for them, they just wanted some things to think about. Then i make a radical suggestion to another band who are also currently working on an album. So radical that I suggested they basically halve the song. Told them exactly where to finish it, and what bits to cut out. And they tried it… and now thats the way the song goes. I absolutely can’t wait to hear the final product, because I’ve layed plenty of guest and group vocals on peoples albums before, but this time I get to listen and think “i’m part of the reason that this song rocks so damn hard”

Tangent: I still know stuff about rock and roll you know! Some think I don’t. Close friends know that I do. But many think my soft folk pop stuff is all i can muster up. But i’ll start a rock band tomorrow to prove them wrong, because I argue when i know something remember 😉 i’m spiteful when i know i’ve been judged or wronged. On my debut album I made the last song, which was originally a sweet little ballad, build up into a rocky big ending of the album all because ONE person said to me “have you gone solo because you can’t write any good rock songs anymore?” (he knew me from the old rock/punky band i was in) and I said “nah nah, this is just where my heart is” and he pushed “I bet it’s not… you just don’t have the right songs” So my rocky ending to the album was a big F YOU to him… See, Spiteful. But only positively spiteful. I hope.

But when advice giving and taking that REALLY grinds at me… is when you’re approached for advice on something, and you’re the only one they’ve asked. They’ve done no research for themselves. So you research for them. You have a good look around with their specific need in mind. You make the best judgement you possibly can make to assist them, and they go against you.
Classic example of this rather specific thing…. I was working with this old guy once, he was in the IT department, and I was in an offshoot of the IT department handling mainly the Media and Music areas… He came to me for advice on a good handheld camera for use at home. I asked what he wanted to do with it… Does he want to do extensive editting or just have the footage? or minimal editing in iMovie or Movie Maker etc? he said the latter.
So i gave him my best suggestion, with efficiency, ease of use and file compatibility in mind. I also particularly steered him away from a SONY because of their Proprietry formats and SD cards (nerd speak, sorry) He thanked me and went to the shops in search of the model i suggested.
The next day he looks at me excitedly “Broni, i’ve got a camera, let me show you. They did not have the one you suggested, but I bought this one because the man told me IT IS BETTER”
I looked on his desk… SONY.
Now a huge part of me doesn’t care. But the part of me that KNOWS this is going to cause him more effort than he wanted… irritates me to the point where i rudely said “don’t come to me when you can’t import your files”… I was so annoyed. I spent time finding something that would be perfect for him. And he trusted a salesman… The camera wasn’t BETTER it was IN STOCK.

All of this brings me to what I think is my main point. Free Music. I took a risk. I tried it out. Now i’m an advocate.

A Lady from a Local Newspaper who Misquoted me twice in her article referred to it as a “disastrous business model” when we spoke.
I contested strongly because… no, it isn’t. When John Smith stumbles upon my website via one of the many avenues… He’s not going to buy my music. Honestly. No matter how good it is. The general populous just don’t. It’s not the way the world works anymore. It’s not Johns fault that radio and TV is so repetitive that John doesn’t actually know what he likes until it’s fed to him.
The amount of trendsetting power that JJJ has is phenomenal… And that’s it… if John Smith is Australian, and I’m not on JJJ or Nova… I’m nobody, and he’s not going to buy my music. I don’t blame him. He doesn’t buy a suit without trying it on either. Sure, I could stream it for him. But then, he has to make the concerted effort to come back to my website to hear it again. Not something I expect is on his to do list.
BUT. Make it free. Tell him to have it. Go on with your bad self, chuck it on your iPod and you might stumble upon it later. and BAM you’ve got a potential customer.
One day when he’s on a relaxed stroll My song pops on. He digs it. and SOMETIMES the John Smiths dig it so much they come back and pay for it. Trust me, It’s happened many times. I see an email address has taken my whole album. A Week later they are back, they’ve downloaded the same album again just so they can throw some coin at me this time. That’s a double win for me. I just wanted them to have it.
The lady at the Newspaper was perplexed… “how do you make your money?”
“Via my music, and my merchandise and by being me” I responded… then I continued “but i know you’re asking how do i make ENOUGH money to live”
answer: I don’t. Not from my music. Not yet. But I NEVER will if i get hung up on squeezing ten dollars out of someone for something that is basically just a glorified advertisement for ME!

Some get hung up on, We spent x amount of money, time, sweat and tears on this album.. its WORTH x amount so we just can’t justify selling it for any less.
You know what happens? And I know, because that’s how I used to think… They sell a handful. Because that attitude is wrong. (If you’ve got a 7 track EP… don’t put a $17 price tag on it… That’s ludicrous.)

It’s about building a lasting fan base. Supporting those who support you. And building up your own lastability. Not about a quick buck that you don’t end up making anyway.

Those after a quick buck can often burn out quickly, they get fed up at the ‘industry’
But you know what? We’re all fed up at the ‘industry’. Consumers are… that’s why people torrent like crazy. I don’t particularly care about the “industries” perspective on what i’m doing. I don’t care that Someone at EMI doesn’t “get” what i’m doing. I care about John and Jane Smith, who just downloaded my album for free. I’m going to continue to try and give them what they want, Then Hopefully I can sell them a premium Single down the track (which by the way is a plan in the works, more on that later) or a private show.

Do it for your followers, not your wallet. You’ll feel better. You’ll care less about the suits who basically are losing all their power anyway.
The wallet replenishment will follow.

But i’ll reiterate something i’ve already said… I’ve already made more money off LESS copies of my new album Than I did from any of my previous releases. How? I stopped caring about the money.
Those who were going to pay… STILL PAY and many times more than i would have charged.(bless them. truly) Those who take it for free, were never going to buy it if I were charging, So now i’m just stoked they have it.

Why did I write this Blog?
Because This is what I have come to know this year. And not only just from the risk I took, but from hours and hours of study and reading. Articles and Ideas from innovators. Not tired old label wangs.
And because I’ve come to know it, I felt I should share my advice. But share it here rather than tell my friends directly and get all pissy when they ignore me.. 😉

Love you all.
Thanks for listening to my music. It’s FREE.. go get it.
http://www.bronimusic.com

Humorous life blog coming soon. Sorry this one is so serious