Happy New Year 2019

Today is the very last day of 2018 which means it’s also the very last day to finalise any goals I have for 2019.

For me, this time of year is an exciting one because it allows me to take stock of what has happened in the past 12 months and use that information to work out what the next 12 months (and beyond) is going to look like.

Today I’m focussing in on my live music projects and songwriting and what my goals and intentions are for them moving forward into 2019.


I’ve already declared in an earlier post that I’m now concentrating on pursuing, developing, nurturing and managing opportunities for my music/songs in a live performance setting. I’ve turned my back on the relative security of playing covers for a living to the absolute uncertainty of promoting my own music.

I also understand that I have been in CoverLand for so long now that I need to learn how to promote me and my music, network with others and unlearn all of the bad and lazy habits I had picked up over my 10+ years playing covers

2019 will be a year that I start rebuilding my tribe, my community and my fanbase. I know that even though I have a small amount of profile, I’m essentially starting over from the beginning.

I will also be making 2019 as the year I start putting together my second CD. Not sure whether I’ll be doing it totally from home courtesy of my home recording studio (SongMachine) or, teaming up with another recording studio.

I do have my eye on Wizard Tone Studios in Hendon. Jarrad Payne, I’ll be giving you a call pretty soon 🙂

As for my songwriting… Well, I’m always going to be writing and now recording my songs but starting from tomorrow, I’m going to be ramping my songwriting process up a notch.

I’m going to create my own songwriting challenge of a song a week for a whole year.

That’s right, I’m going to write, record and upload one song every week for the whole of 2019.

“Why?” I hear you ask. Well, I say “why not.”

I have the means, the equipment, the passion and the drive to want to do it and by the end of 2019 I’ll have at least another 52 songs that I can use for whatever purpose I desire.

Am I still going to participate in FAWM in February and come July, 50/90?

Probably, but whether I make it to the end of those songwriting challenges, I don’t know, the jury is out on that one. After all, I love the community of both FAWM and 50/90 far too much to not participate just because I have my own self imposed songwriting challenge to complete.

I want to be able to expand on my ability to collaborate with other songwriters and musicians however, before I do that I need to get up to date with the collaborators I currently have unfinished projects with.

I’m really sorry that I have neglected you all in over the past year and I make it my mission for 2019 to be a very productive year for all and yes I’m making this promise to the following…

  • Adrian Miller
  • Simon Betts
  • Steve Jones
  • Jeff Smith
  • Geoffrey Stapleton
  • Fiona Karamanlidis
  • Mick Standing
  • Ross Hood

(If I’ve missed anyone else out please let me know)

On the online side of things I’ll be finalising and finishing a series of websites/blogs covering all aspects of songwriting, the music business and home recording as well as this website.

It will all part of what I call the Corey Stewart Online Blogging Network (CSOBN) and it will be another way for me to share what I know with the world and to build my tribe, my community and my fanbase.

I’ve already started with my songwriting blog All About Songwriting and in the new year All About Music Business and All About Home Recording will be live.

Corey Stewart Online will also be revamped to be the umbrella for it all and when it’s all done my net will be cast.


Phew, okay… This is what I intend to do for 2019 and I’ll use this blog to document my journey through 2019. I really believe in transparency and accountability when setting goals and I think what I have written above is as transparent and accountable as I can get.

Maybe I’m being too ambitious. I do have a habit of setting unrealistic goals for myself however, I feel that even if I achieve most of what I have written in 2019 I’ll be a very happy man and my music/songwriting career will be much further down the road than where it is RIGHT NOW.

Who knows what 2019 is going to bring. I’m flexible and malleable to whatever life throws at me but what I do know is that I’m prepared to “do the work” and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Musicians don’t retire, they just change direction and get more picky and choosy about what they want to be doing plus…

They don’t give a fuck about what people think of them and their music anymore.

Right now, we’re past the halfway point of December, which means that we’re almost at the end of 2018, which means it’s almost Xmas time (in fact, as of today, there are 7 more sleeps until Xmas), which also means that two weeks after Xmas, it’s my birthday.

My 48th birthday.

The realisation that I’m about to embark on my 48th trip around the sun brings up a some important questions for me. Questions like:

  • Am I getting too old for this music caper?
  • What have/haven’t I achieved to date?
  • What am I going to do next with my music/life?

Now, to some, these questions are necessary because self reflection is an important part of growing as an individual but I reckon in my case, this line of self talk has been designed by my inner critic to derail and sabotage any attempt of me taking some sort of leap of faith in 2019.

This is of course cleverly done under the guise of “being realistic” which as we all know is the nemesis of all optimists like myself.

I’ve noticed that some musicians as they get older, turn to genres like Country, or Blues, (or Roots, or Folk, or Americana, or whatever the fad/flavour is for this year) as a means to “musically retire.”

While all of the genres mentioned above all have their place to fill inside the musical landscape, retiring to these genres would be for me the musical equivalent of putting on a dressing gown, slipping on some comfortable slippers and watching TV for the rest of my life.

No, I don’t think so, not for me…

If I was going to musically retire, I would be retiring by composing and performing ambient music, soundscapes and the like. I want to walk the path that sonic pioneers like Brian Eno has been walking on for decades.

That’s where I see myself in the later stages of my music career.

However, besides my impending birthday, I was also inspired to write this because of a YouTube video created by Bill Vencil from Chords Of Orion called “You Will Become An Old Musician (Bring It On)” a perfect response to a negative comment he received about how some musicians are supposedly TOO OLD for YouTube.

I had been following Chords Of Orion on and off for a while but it wasn’t until I saw the above video that I decided to really get into what the channel was about… Ambient Music and the creation of it.

Anyways, what I’ve gathered from all of this is that there is no such thing as musical retirement. Music (and the creation of it) transcends age and therefore it also transcends the self imposed limitations around age that I sometimes put myself through.

I am so glad I am the age I am, with the knowledge and experience that I have and the ability to create music with all of those tools at my disposal. I look towards 2019 (and my 48th year) with excitement knowing that there’s some wonderful music that’s yet to be created.

Robert Fripp said it best when he described music as the “…wine that fills the cup of silence.” I say that for me, the best is yet to come.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

PS: As I’m writing this I have Brian Eno’s “New Space Music” humming along in the background and I’m loving it. It’s so conducive to creation, I’m surprised I didn’t click onto this before.

Hi there…

I missed you guys terribly but I needed to go away for a while. I needed to be by myself, I needed to find my centre, my reason for doing things, my mojo so to speak.

For a long time I was fighting against myself. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to continue what I was doing whether it be creating content via the written word or the musical note.

I wasn’t very happy with my life and how I was living it. It wasn’t nourishing and sustaining me on a creative level.

My heart just wasn’t in it anymore, I was in a dark place under a black cloud at the bottom of a big hole and I needed to just sit there in it, embrace where I was at the time and allow these awkward feelings to pass.

Thankfully, it has eventually passed and now I am embarking on my slow recovery back towards a point in my life where everything has come full circle. I am slowly rediscovering what it means to be ME again.

The creative, the songwriter, the musician, the blogger and the artist.

Through this extended period of self reflection, it’s taken me until now to realise how much damage I have done to myself, my self confidence and my ability to create by putting what I really wanted to do (my own music) to one side whilst playing covers for a living.

I mistakenly thought that I was doing the right thing for my music career but at the same time, I was falling for the myth that I can always come back to my originals “at a later date.”

Just like tomorrow, “a later date” never comes.

I realised that being underappreciated at best and being overtly ignored at worst by audiences of angry drunks, narcissists, apathetics and the perpetually ignorant, took a real toll on my artistic vision to the point of being totally clueless as to what I was going to do next.

I’m sick and tired of second guessing myself, overthinking probabilities and just chasing the money with my work rather than fulfilling an artistic need.

Right now though, things are different…

Since the beginning of 2018, my return from the wilderness has be a very stop/start affair. I had become confused lost my way so much that I had found myself plunging head first into CoverLand again. I was starting to redefine my repertoire and mapping out what venues to target all because it seemed to be a path of less resistance in my journey back to live performance but luckily, I caught myself out.

I knew deep down through the magic of hindsight that I couldn’t do covers for a living anymore while at the same time, carve out a career as a performing songwriter. Deep down I didn’t really want to but somehow I arrogantly thought I could do a better job this time of living between these two opposite worlds.

So I just stopped… And by doing so, I dodged a very large bullet

Today, I am for the last time, saying goodbye to Corey the covers musician, the human jukebox who tried so, so hard (but ultimately in vain) to be all things to everybody and became miserable in the process and welcoming back into my life the songwriter, musician and full time creative being that I have always been but had stupidly ignored and put to one side for so many years.

It’s nice to finally come home.

Peace,

Corey 🙂