MY JOURNEY FROM ARTIST TO COACHING CONSULTANT

Working in the music industry can be challenging to an artists well-being. Many experience inadequate working conditions, the challenge of sustaining a living, anti-social working hours, exhaustion and the inability to plan, set goals and fulfil them.

There are two types of people in the world. Those who get their car regularly serviced and those who hear a funny noise in the engine and keep on driving until they’re car breakdowns. This is the same mindset many of us adopt when it comes to our well-being. Many of us only think about support once the effects are out of control. These effects could be alcohol, drugs, unhealthy approach to career even suicidal thoughts.

Instead of trying to get better once we’re suffering a major wellness episode, shouldn’t we be trying to stay in balance so we don’t get ill in the first place? Instead of focusing on the symptoms don’t we need to discover the source or root of the issue.

Extreme working hours and the pressures of having to maintain the public image you set for yourself can contribute to wellness issues as an artist. The music industry is a volatile and competitive environment where one minute you could be top of the world and the next minute your yesterday’s news.

Prevention is better than cure is a proverb which completely embodies us within the music industry and in our daily circles of life. It teaches us to take preventive measures always in our lives to raise awareness of our personal red flags, to recognise the warning signs and put things in place to avert the dangers. Preventive measures help us to save our health, effort, time and money.

For generations, the music industry has lost some of its brightest talent and highlights the continued need for support for musicians and those working in the industry. Late nights, drinking, lots of travelling, time away from friends and family, the constant struggle of ‘am I good enough?

Alot of art stems from painful experiences, and although the act of music making can often be a therapy for working through these it is by no means a straightforward process or a cure.

Life as an artist can often be very lonely, which can trigger some negative emotions and leave you vulnerable and in a position where it’s hard to find help. People often say artists shouldn’t complain as they are well rewarded for there craft. Forget about the low confidence, anxiety, panic attacks, the depression, financial insecurity, pressure, competition, drugs, alcohol, loneliness, prejudices in the industry against the young, the old, against some genders, against some cultures, but in truth you can’t forget.

As an artist it was both enriching and a fulfilling experience, one in which I can only describe as a journey of discovery. Yet the lack of recognition at times for my music, caused me discomfort at different points during my career. I realised for me there was a merging of music and identity. At times I struggled to balance career, family and finding my own space to develop myself.

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As a pioneering hip hop artist my relationship to my music was a key component to how i defined myself. From being uncertain of my identity as a young black man it gave me building blocks to forming my identity. I needed to believe in myself and my work, yet the unpredictable nature of the business managed to destabilise that belief. Every time I played my music to an industry mogul, they literally held my self worth in their palms. I had no way of navigating my way through the conflicting emotions I was experiencing. I remember heading back to the lab (studio) and becoming self-critical based of the constant negative critical feedback.

Discretion is the better part of valour.

Without understanding what made me happy or understanding my best self I agreed to a direction that was in total conflict to my heart as an artist. A career in music is often uncertain and unpredictable and without critical thought it is easier to except the carrots that are dangled. These decisions sounded the death knell to my fledgling career. Very few people cared that I struggled, most people ignored how I felt. Being young and black they just accused me of having a chip on my shoulder. When there is nowhere else to turn, I would write rhymes. Unfortunately sometimes writing a rhyme is not a cure just a temporary escape.

To maintain my career, I had several different jobs, it felt like I was working 24/7 with no breaks from 87 to 92. Writing new music, recording, developing my artist identity. Dealing with major labels and a manager focused on money more so than developing me as an artist. I struggled internally on my love for music

and the push to chase money. I was falling out of love with what I was in, fast. My environment was anti-social and unsympathetic. I was out of touch and out of reach. I was strapped inside the rollercoaster and it felt like I had to see the ride out. At that time it was hard for me to admit my insecurities because of the constant competition and industry demands.

‘Finding the Music Inside’ your inner algorithm to a more meaningful life by Reynolds. Available on Amazon.

As an artist you become aware of the significance of your age and appearance, and so, the passing of time can be a cause for anxiety. Will my audience still love me! I looked around for my family and it was then I realised that I allowed my family relationships to drift. Those that knew me best, the ones who would keep me grounded. Those who had my best interests at heart, were outside the loop. Inside I found only those who had their own interests at heart. If things started to go wrong, would they notice or even care?

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Some things need to change and others need a push.

For me it was a natural progression to focus on ‘Artist Welfare & Personal Development. Trust was key for me in who I would talk too, a qualification was not enough. Trust is one of the most powerful tools. It can either make or break a person, with the trust they have been given. Some people remain faithful to you, keep their word and win your trust. But, it is also a matter of fact that some people are deceptive. It seems within music the more talented you are the more at risk you will be. It is therefore imperative that you don’t trust everyone easily. Trust is a process that must be earned, a professional qualification is not enough. Who you are matters just as much as what you know. I needed to know that you could see through my lens, overstand life in my shoes. This is the reason I trained at the International Coaching Academy and graduated as a Master Coach. With that knowledge and industry experience I have developed my coaching approach for artists.

Would I have benefitted from a Personal Development Coach?

We all have meaning and a purpose, when that purpose is hidden it must be found. It reveals our “why” and sets us on the road to fulfillment. Reynolds

THE DILEMMA

What happens when you don’t see the results you anticipated, or your pathway to success is taking longer than you expected, some lose momentum and belief, while others find opportunity and thrive. What is the difference? Successful music creators & industry professionals don’t rise above the challenges alone.  In a world saturated with music, standing out as an authentic artist has become both a challenge and a necessity. The music industry is a vast landscape with countless creatives vying for attention. So, what does it take to be an authentic music artist and rise above the noise?

THE SOLUTION – REIMAGINE TALENT DEVELOPMENT

FINDING THE MUSIC INSIDE is a Development Consultancy where you acquire the skills to navigate your way through the complexities of a modern society and tackle personal challenges. Helping you stand out in a world filled with talent and make a meaningful contribution to music culture. I encourage all artists to take a look at themselves, their brand, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the things that interfere with their growth as an artist. I encourage them to critique themselves, to discover areas for developing and refining their brand. So, they can develop a strong and consistent image to enhance their marketing strategy, portfolio and product. This is achieved by devising and implementing a clear action plan for the future, which is a mainstay of the coaching philosophy.

WHAT I DO

I guide artists in discovering their creative identity, instilling the confidence needed to embrace authenticity. Create music that resonates with their true selves, connecting their audience through the power of their music. It focuses on the inner aspects of performance, the mental and emotional states that often determine an artist’s success. Feelings follow thoughts, so the way an artist thinks is fundamental to the success they achieve. This approach recognises that an artist’s mindset, self-belief, and ability to manage stress can be just as critical as their technical ability. It is structured on the belief that to achieve any goal or to deal with any issue an individual needs to go through introspection to create self-awareness to determine what our best looks like, and what will motivate us to achieve it. By providing an appropriate level of challenge, you can dismantle unhelpful belief structures, reducing the risk of self-sabotage.

In developing this program, I listened to feedback from my past and existing clients to understand the obstacles and blockages that they face in their music journey, and I have incorporated solutions to as many of these as possible into the program.

“When your inner music compliments your artistic performance, that is when we truly flow. Finding the Music Inside is when everything in our lives we value most is in alignment!” Reynolds