Every day feels like Christmas (sometimes) – my musical journey

Hi, my name is Brian Adams.  I’m 46 years old and run a small recording studio in Worthing, West Sussex called The Knightime Project.  I live there with my wife and two children and I procrastinate.  I’m the crowned prince, Lord and king of procrastination.  I’m sure when I checked the dictionary recently for the meaning of the word I saw a picture of myself grinning back at me.

Needless to say I’ve been meaning to document my musical journey for a while now but whenever I sat down to write there was always some excuse I’d find not to actually knuckle down and do it.

I’m doing it now – before I shoot myself in the foot (a phrase my kids will tell you I use with them – a lot – whilst simultaneously shooting myself in the foot!).  So let me begin…

Back in the 70s I lived in a four floor Victorian flat in Battersea, London (don’t let the four floors fool you – it was pretty small), with my two brothers and my parents.  Bedrooms were located on floor 4, the balcony facing the rear of the property on floor 3, the lounge and kitchen on floor 2 and the bathroom on floor 1.

To access our flat there was a small communal hall.  The lady who owned the single floor flat below us (you had to pass her door before reaching ours), had taken the liberty, many years before we had moved in, of placing a wooden piece of furniture with a single draw that was used to put letters/leaflets on that had been delivered.

Now if you stood at the top of our stairs, outside the bathroom, and the door to our flat was open, you could see the letter rack dresser in the hallway, just positioned on the wall to the left.

During our very early years my mother would, as many parents did, put any Christmas presents for us kids underneath the Christmas tree.  But as we got older she started using the dresser in the hallway as the place to put our Christmas presents.  Perhaps she did it once as a surprise (you know, ‘Father Christmas didn’t get you anything but there’s something for you in the hallway downstairs’), but I honestly can’t remember (I must ask her…).

Needless to say the anticipation and excitement of peering around the banister on Christmas morning to an open doorway, knowing there would be presents waiting in the hallway for us, always stayed with me.  Even to this day I still feel the same way I did as a kid, waaay back then, when I peer round the top of the stairs of my home in Worthing to see if the postman has popped anything through the letterbox (sad but true).

That’s how I’ve always felt about the music I create.  Whenever I think about either a project I’m working on or a project I’m about to start, that feeling of anticipation and excitement is palpable.  My youngest boys describes a similar sense he has when he is really excited about something as a ‘tingly feeling’, and I know exactly what he means.

I think that’s always been the driving force behind my creative work; why I’m so enthusiastic and passionate about music.  I just can’t wait to continue or start a project, either my own or those of a client.  Every project brings it’s own surprises; every project is a musical journey that’s so unique; every day, when I think of music, it just feels like Christmas!

But the music industry – the music industry *sigh*

I look at how the music industry was ‘back in the day’ and I shake my head.  I look at the music industry as it is now and I shake my head.  You’ve all heard the stories:

  • labels ripping off artists
  • band members ripping each other off
  • digital downloads killing CD sales
  • the same artists in the charts all the time (for the last 10-15 years at least)
  • no investment being made by labels in new talent

You get the picture.

It’s when I think of the industry, not me a a creative, that I feel like I want to bang my head against a brick wall.  If I, as a producer who’s been dabbling in music for more less 30 years and with a modicum of talent can feel that way, then I can’t imagine what the average musician who wants to make a career out of music must feel.  Hmmm, that last part – ‘…average…career out of music…’ – a discussion for another time methinks…

Having said all that I still feel excited about music.  Since 2014 I’ve made my studio open to the general public and I’ve met some fantastic local musicians here in Worthing.  Not only musicians though – I’ve been working with a young author recently who has written 14 children’s books (14 and growing!), who’s been coming in to record her own audiobooks to add to her portfolio.

I’m also in the process of reworking all of my back catalogue to reflect current ‘sounds’ and audio production that weren’t available to me back when I started to take things more seriously.  I’m also writing brand new material and looking at the music industry with a slightly different perspective.  It certainly is possible to make a career from your music.  Make no mistakes – it’s not easy but it certainly is possible!

That’s why I’ve started this blog.  Everyone has a story; everyone has a reason why they are where they are.  Your story is formed from every relationship you’ve n/ever had, from every person you’ve n/ever met, from every decision you’re n/ever made – all those experiences you’ve n/ever had have made you the person you are today.  How have you got to where you are now?

My journey is just beginning.  That might sound strange seeing as I’ve been ‘doing music’ for 30+ years but it’s true.  I’m learning more running the studio full time than I ever would have had I not been.  I’m making mistakes along the way, whilst at the same time making some great decisions (at least in my head they are!).  I’m making connections and forming relationships with people who I never would have thought possible.

So I’m documenting this journey, in the hope that some day it will help someone else on their journey, whether it be musical, creative or just in life.

In my next post I’ll be taking a brief look at my musical path.  How I got into music in the first place, who influenced me, that sort of thing.  It won’t be exhaustive, just some key moments, but as I said everyone has a story and it all starts somewhere…will you join me?