2017 Thank Yous
2017 has been a tiring, challenging, frustrating, and at its best incredibly rewarding year for me.
As always, on this ridiculous journey I and many others have decided to take in our lives, there are many people without whom it wouldn’t be possible. Or at least nearly as pleasant.
I would like to dedicate this blog post to a number of individuals who have supported me with “the whole emzae thing” in 2017.
Me and my family share an extremely close bond. I don’t often mention them online, but their love gives me the power and strength I need to continue chasing my dreams when times are a little difficult.
Whether it’s gathering round the radio to hear my live session with Simon Waldram on Cambridge 105 or travelling around the east midlands to see my shows, they are the one constant in my life that remain as beautiful and annoying as ever. My dad even sat in the studio with a look of glee on his face during my BBC Introducing Interview. He was on strict instructions not to interject, DW.
Simon is, of course, an incredible musician in his own right with an extensive back catalogue and a growing fanbase. This is why I remain so thankful that he gives up his time to play live with me and offer advice on music things I have no clue about. Most of all, I am thankful that he is my friend. Although I joke we don’t have much in common, and I got a little annoyed that time our quest for a vegan-friendly eatery left me with a flat toastie that resembled squashed bread with cheese and something that tasted like ham but was nowhere to be seen inside, I enjoy the times we share. P.S. sorry my dad calls you “Sime”.
A huge thank you to the man I used to work with but never really spoke to in the workplace, who randomly became a valued friend when I left my job.
One of many random people in my life, Andrew is surely up there with the best. Thank you for listening to my rants, watching my youtube links, chatting politics with me of an evening and being the only person willing to come to “Only Fools and Three Courses” with me. (In case you’re wondering, it was a comedy dining experience where actors performed only fools-themed sketches as you ate, but alas we couldn’t fill a table and never went.)
Mainly though, I want to thank Andrew for giving me lifts to gigs. Especially the one he gave me to Nottingham. For Derby citizens, going there is like travelling to a different planet where suddenly the roads are twice as wide and the buildings twice as high. We may have got lost, but at least we got there.
Andrew is also a calming presence at my gigs and is always on hand with the camera or to chat to any random people who strike up a conversation with him. It’s been a pleasure hanging out with you, meeting your friends and building up our own ‘motley crew’ of gig goers.
Meg & The Team at Fearon Hall, Loughborough
Whenever we needed a rehearsal space, Meg and Fearon Hall opened their doors to us with a friendly smile. We also had the pleasure of giving something back this year with the fundraising concert we held in October which raised over £300. Yet again we were taken aback with the kindness and generosity of this wonderful venue and the people associated to it, who do so much to provide their local community with joy.
Thank you also for not chucking us out when Simon gave me a live performance during rehearsal of his song “Shitkicker”.
Dean Jackson & the BBC Introducing Team
He didn’t have to play the first lo-fi demo that I uploaded in 2014. Especially when there were millions of other more polished tracks sitting in the BBC Introducing inbox. Likewise, he didn’t have to invite me to play at BBC Introducing East Midlands’ monthly Faction event at Rough Trade. He’d never seen me live and had no guarantee that I wasn’t going to be completely shocking.
But he did, and I am beyond thankful for the opportunities Dean and the BBC Introducing team have given to me. Especially this year, where I have had an on-air interview and played my first gig for them.
Thank you Dean and the team for being so supportive. For being kind about my music, not forgetting about me even though I haven’t released an album since May 2016(!) and taking the time to catch up with me whenever we see each other in person. Next year I’ve got a huge backlog of tracks i’ve been working on to unleash on the world, so keep an eye on the BBC Introducing uploader!
Rezzonator, Many Elephants and Marbles, AKA Duncan, Lee and err… Marbles?
It has been a pleasure to make new friends this year and receive support from people within the East Midlands music scene, but three people in particular stand out from the rest. Rezzonator and Many Elephants are not only brilliant electronic musicians, but also avid supporters of local musicians. I collaborated with both of them this year, and hope to do so again in future. If I ever finish my album.
Marbles, on the other hand, has a certain air of mystery but is a huge follower of the East Midlands music scene. He also offers advice, support and promotion for local musicians and tunes in every week without fail to BBC Introducing East Midlands, always offering positive feedback on tracks.
Thank you all for championing what I do, and for doing what you do so well.
Jamie probably won’t expect to be on this list, but I wanted him to know that I am thankful for his kindness.
In November, I had a dodgy live performance that knocked my confidence and left me feeling embarrassed to ever show my face anywhere people call a “cob” a “cob” ever again. I tweeted about my humiliation, and Jamie took the time to send me an incredibly nice message even though we’d never previously spoken. It really helped to make me feel better and get back out on stage again.
All of the sound people
I have a rule — unless they’re really mean to you, always thank the sound person if you can. So err, that’s what i’m doing here. Thank you to all of the sound people that made me sound half decent in a live setting this year. Your work and time is always appreciated.
Thank you to the community radio stations that played my tracks this year. Particularly Cambridge 105 and In2Derby. Long live radio!
All of the venues, events and promoters
A huge thank you to anyone and everyone who booked me to play a gig this year. I am living the dream being able to perform live.
And finally, the listeners
Whether you came to see me play live, stumbled into a random bar where I happened to be and clapped politely, listened to my songs on the radio, streamed my album on spotify… the list goes on. All I want you to know is that without you lot, I might as well just sing my songs to myself in an enclosed space.
Next year is no doubt somehow going to be even busier and I may well be questioning my own sanity at times once again (it’s nothing new, don’t worry) but I can guarantee two things. Whatever I do, i’ll make sure to release new music and perform in at least a couple of places for the peeps.
Yes, I just ended my blog post on the word “peeps”. Youthquake alert.
I now feel weird inside.