My Music Milestones of 2023: Growth, Creative Risk and Reward

As I do each year, it feels appropriate in the wake of 2023 to pause and reflect on the twists and turns of my musical journey over the last 12 months. It’s been a period filled with proud music milestones and new experiences, but also continual challenges, risks, and occasional self-doubt. However, such is the dichotomy of pursuing art while balancing life’s responsibilities.

A pic of me and Arty taken in November of 2023. We went to the model trains for his birthday. Hopefully you can read the joy on my face… That’s my 2023, in a nutshell.

Completing a Long-Delayed Project

While I first recorded The Year of the Rabbit in 2022, it was finishing the mixing and release preparations in 2023 that marked my true return to focusing on music after a hiatus. Completing this long-in-progress string quartet composition acted as a catalyst—prompting me to organise proper artwork, plan a release campaign, and ultimately kickstart further creative output.

Cover art for my single 'The Year of the Rabbit'

Stream The Year of the Rabbit
Download The Year of the Rabbit

Dabbling in New Sounds

In September, I built on that momentum with Tell Me That You Love Me – my first foray into incorporating synths, drum machines, layered vocals and modern production techniques. Blending these electronic and pop elements while still feeling authentic in the kind of art that I wanted to create provided rewarding challenges. I’m excited to see how my learnings from this track (and many others that will never see the light of day) might infiltrate other music that I release in the future.

Stream Tell Me That You Love Me
Download Tell Me That You Love Me

An Australian Referendum

Later in September, the referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition in Australia moved me to write Yes – my first politically driven song. Promoting it amidst animosity and misinformation online was disheartening and emotionally draining. Still, I’m proud I used my platform to advocate for reconciliation and social progress, despite the No result and missed opportunity for the country as a whole. If I had the chance to do it again, I would. This experience has strengthened my belief in the importance and power of art in bringing about positive change. Sometimes art speaks in a way that words are unable to express.

Stream Yes
Download Yes

Finding Inspiration Again

Recording I’m Coming Home offered comfortable familiarity – a return to my acoustic singer-songwriter roots. Having musician friends contribute instrumental embellishments elevated the song. Witnessing it resonate with almost 3000 Spotify listeners in its first month has been really validating. This track makes me think that I might be doing something right… Now I need to build on that.

I'm Coming Home cover

Stream I’m Coming Home
Download I’m Coming Home

Radio and Podcast Interview

Earlier this month, I had the honour of being a guest on Ross Fear’s Australian Spectrum show, which airs every Tuesday on Alive 90.5FM. As part of the show, a broad collection of the music that I’ve released over the years was interspersed with a rich discussion, where we spoke about my creative journey, musical influences, songwriting process, goals for the future and more. This was definitely my highlight for 2024 so far. I’m extremely grateful to Ross for having me on the show.

Listen to the full episode here.

Music Milestones and Goals for 2024

I’m not going to call this a ‘resolution’, as I don’t necessarily have anything that I want to resolve. 2024 is all about building upon the foundations that I laid out in 2023. My goals revolve around organisation, increased social media engagement, establishing real connections with fans, performing with a full band on a semi-regular basis, and producing more music – including potentially a new album. If I had to choose just one focus, setting up my socials in a way where I can focus on music creation will be a key priority this year.

In Summary

Overall, 2023 afforded valuable lessons in patience, perseverance and accepting the nonlinear creative process. There was trial and error, experimentation, and success. I learnt a lot. Importantly, I have come to believe that staying true to my own artistic vision will lead to the greatest amount of fulfilment in my music – regardless of genre and audience expectations.

Here’s to maintaining that mindset as my musical journey continues in 2024.

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