My initial steps into the world of music was inspired by classical childhood rivalry. Certainly not a glamorous beginning but a beginning it is. Learning very briefly from my friend / rival with additional self taught efforts, very shortly after I now had my choir master as my piano teacher. However this was a very short lived engagement later succeeded by my school's classical piano teacher. His belief that I was naturally gifted inspired him to go the extra mile in his efforts. Unfortunately a lack of correlation between ambition and efforts spelt the obvious. My indiscipline caused me to be unable to exploit the benefits at hand. This was also painfully true in my self taught efforts to play the piano. The issue being my indecisiveness. On one hand I was on an academic path with dreams of doing medicine or psychology. Also engaging was my desire to now be a jazz pianist whilst tolerating learning classical music. A conflict of interests and the inevitable...both aspirations suffered. Having emphatically failed my exams, again a legacy of dreams without sweat and tears, I romantically adopted the belief that music was my true destiny. This decided pathway was overshadowed with my ancient curses of procrastination and insecurity. And for many years these were the shadows that governed my life.
By now my life dynamics took another turn when I discovered the reality of the spiritual realm. Having found God in my new life as a born-again Christian my new circle of companions encouraged me to be committed to God. Within this encouragement was the sacrifice of giving my musical gifts for God's service only. And so my decision to abandon any musical persuasions outside of Christian worship music began.I destroyed my music collection which felt like a painful divorce. For many years I was now sitting at the piano with no music in front of me. Without my former musical jazz and classical foundation the associated technical challenges were no longer available. Pianistically my technical prowess depreciated. And thus was my new pathway. Certainly the profound peace I found in worshipping God with the piano was, to a degree, a compensation. However my longing to have my own musical identity / sound was also profound. During my times of worship I would have these musical ideas which I would incubate until my next music practice. From the late hours I would be practicing the piano through to the early hours of the morning exploiting those incubated ideas. I would push my imagination playing around with chords which mathematically didn't work yet was aurally pleasing. This new founded discipline was reaping fruits after many years.
Now at the stage where a new frustration was birthed...what do I do now. With the difficulties of getting a record contract and all the other associated ills I made the decision that I would reconcile my dreams with a reality. A bold, highly sacrificial decision to spend all of my life savings on recording my music was born. I had no experience or knowledge at all recording or producing music. I found myself in a low budget recording studio fully armed with my dream. From this point I was introduced to the brilliant sound engineer James Collins who was really pivotal to my achievement Upon meeting him immediately there was this deep connection. The respect he afforded me was pretty much the determining factor. Upon explaining my vision James gently tells me that this studio would not realise my dream. This sentence immediately and painfully doubled my budget. Now comfortably my savings was no longer enough...
It is now arranged for us to go to a studio in Wembley. Upon entering the studio it was so empowering to be sitting in this big comfortable chair which I christened the producer's chair. Just to buy into this experience alone was fulfilling. Despite the forthcoming sacrifices I just knew that fulfillment is the greater reward. My budget wasn't enough. I now shared my vision with one of my closest friend... Michael Kallides. When I explained to financial heights we had to climb he didn't even hesitate. It was as if he had already counted the costs before my mentioning. And so I now had a strength to get started.
There is a reward for those who love God and hence I now told myself it is time for the benefits to manifest. I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to bring to me the best musicians... he didn't disappoint. Whilst in a jazz club the brilliant saxophonist Andy McIntosh grabbed my attention. I approached him and simply told him about my recording project. I asked him what his fees were followed by what he could do for me. From here I approached the bassist and guitarist of the group with the same proposition and now I had 3 musicians. From these musicians I acquired more musicians who in turn provided musicians. In determining which musicians would play on each song I simply asked the Holy Spirit to show me. I recognise this is totally unconventional in light of the fact that I hadn't even heard them play. Incredibly they proved to be the perfect choices in terms of their musical sounds and personalities. However the musical foundation laid brutally exposed my music production inexperience. My ambition as a vocalist was cruelly exposed. This is later addressed with bringing in professional vocalists. The songs all felt and sounded anaemic. And so I left the foundation and spent several more years earning enough money to go back to my recordings to flesh out the shortcomings. By now I have learnt more about how studios work, how to orchestrate music etc. In my quest to achieve a rich sonic landscape I decided to employ more musicians, more sound engineers with additional recording studios. Within this story is the mention of all the difficulties I faced... points where I tasted the bitterness of madness and frustrations. The constant ridicules and lack of respect which was only overturned when people actually heard what I had produced. The initial rejections which humorously changed to an enthusiasm to be involved with my music. The constant financial challenges miraculously met in the most imaginative ways... success favours the determined.