Happy New Year! I’m really pleased to kick things off this year with a brand new weekly blog series called ‘A Song A Week.’
It really does exactly what it says on the tin. I’ll be writing, recording, producing and releasing AT LEAST a song a week every week throughout 2017 and hopefully beyond.
I’ve told many musician and non-musician pals of mine that I’ll be doing this and they’ve all said they think it’s mental. They know me, they know my tendencies to lean toward the perfectionist side of working and so they don’t think I’ll manage too well.
Well, I say bring it on!
As mentioned before, I’m a self proclaimed perfectionist, a sometimes procrastinator and all-consuming person and that absolutely crosses over into my songwriting/production habits.
Check out the ‘A Song A Week’ playlist on Spotify below. Be sure to follow Tom B. Cooper and the playlist to stay up to date with each new release as it comes.
Dealing With Tom B. Cooper The Perfectionist…
The amount of songs I have out in the ether to my name is quite frankly embarrassing. I’ve written with and for plenty of other people. I’ve got an AKA of Kuqi that I’ve released a few EP’s on. I’ve even used several AKA’s to write successfully for TV and film.
But for me as Tom B. Cooper I have a grand total of (drum roll please)…………….. two songs released. Two measly songs that I wrote and recorded in 2012 and only released in 2016.
To the outsider, that might seem that I just don’t work hard enough, but that’s just not true. I’ve got a whole heap of songs that I’ve just never done anything with since starting to write in the early 00’s. So, that tells me (my Mum would agree) that I’m a perfectionist and if it isn’t up to my standards, I lose interest.
One of my aims with a song a week is to not be so precious with my songs. What’s the point in writing them if I’m not going to share them?
Dealing With Tom B. Cooper The Procrastinator…
I wouldn’t call myself a procrastinator in the sense of ‘I’ll just re-organise my books into alphabetical order before I start this song’ but I’m more a ‘I’ll read this book on music production before I start this song.’
In my structured working day (which I’ve previously written about in this blog post) then I’m always doing something to do with my job. Always. But because I offer services of mixing and producing for others, then it’s very easy to not do things for myself. I’d call that a form of procrastination too.
I’ve decided to dedicate 2-3 days a week, every week to write for myself. I’ll treat myself exactly as I would a client. 8 hour days, deadlines and all the admin that goes with it.
So another aim of a song a week is to value my time as a songwriter far more than I do.
Dealing With Tom B. Cooper The All-Consuming…
Now, the all-consuming me is at times an unhealthy me. Fortunately it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it happens BIG TIME!
What do I mean by this? Well, I’m a bit obsessive. When I watch 24, I watch the whole damned thing in one. When I go for a run, I’ll run every day for 10 miles without listening to my body screaming at me to stop. When I download a new podcast, it’s all I’ll listen to for weeks.
In music production terms, it’s served me very well, because I’ve learnt and put into practise a huge amount of techniques that I’d have previously undiscovered, but as far as songwriting goes, I’ve come to realise that I’m far better working reactively and subsequently fast. Again, this hails back to the perfectionist me, if it’s not perfect straight away, I lose interest. The same can be said for being all-consuming – the longer a song takes the more I grow to dislike it.
So another aim of a song a week is to work quicker and not dwell on a song for long periods of time. I work better that way for other people, so why the hell not for myself?!
What To Expect From ‘A Song A Week’
I’m not going to be able to write a hit every week, that just won’t be possible, but the ongoing exercise will almost certainly yield some positive insights into songwriting and production techniques. I’ll be pushing for the songs to be heard as much as possible by as many people as possible, rather than what I’ve been previously doing of just not releasing anything at all!
At the end of a day, I might have written a song that personally I think I could’ve done better on, but it might really speak to someone else. I’m never going to release crap, but striving for perfection hasn’t been overly successful for me so far (I hark back to the pitiful amount of songs to my name as I write this!) so why not just release a song a week?
I’ve worked incredibly hard at my craft including being able to play several instruments, sing well, recording and production techniques and I even understand the mind-field that goes with the admin side of things, so I’m in a better place than many to continually do this exercise.
Thanks so much for reading, please share, comment and interact!
Happy music making!
P.S. Be sure to subscribe below so you never miss a post and all my ‘a song a week’ releases.