Changes… Some people hate changes and some are almost addicted to the feeling of newness. There’s a category of people who enjoy having a routine and even a slight deviation can shake their inner balance, and then there are people like me, who always jump at the opportunity to transform their lives and get incredibly bored doing the same thing! After critically evaluating my progress during the first few months in Bristol, I came to the conclusion that the current stage set up wasn’t going to take me any further than local coffee shops. I needed to introduce something new and make my performance bigger, so, as a true appreciator of changes, I eagerly sprung into action!

What was I lacking as an artist that prevented me from progressing further in the industry? Almost half a year passed, and regardless of the increased number of gigs and a small number of followers on my Facebook page, it still felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. Promoters kept repeating that the best way to make it in the industry was to form a band, record-labels kept ignoring my emails, and no managers had come knocking on my door. It was high time to make corrections to my plan but I was a long way away from figuring out what those corrections should be.

For a brief moment, I seriously considered joining a band and even got a few invitations to become a band member! However, it didn’t take long for me to realise that meeting the right bandmates was like meeting your one true love, and at times it felt like I had more chances to meet the love of my life than to form a reliable band full of like-minded musicians with similar goals and compatible egos.

Nevertheless, even if I was the luckiest girl on Earth, I knew that joining a band wouldn’t have solved my problems. If I wanted to make the band work, I would have needed to learn how to compromise and I wasn’t ready to do it with the material I already had. I was so passionate about my music and the creative vision I had for it that I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to turn into a dictator instead of a member. My alternative was to hire session musicians who would play exactly what I wanted them to without any confrontations but that would require a hefty budget, which I, as a starting out musician, didn’t really have.

It was obvious that I wasn’t ready to stop being a solo act but I refused to believe that only a band could help me become successful. I realised that I could alter my sound and make it bigger without anyone else’s help! I could already play the instruments by myself and all I really needed was to simply fill in the gaps while I was switching between the instruments and preparing for a new part. Basically, all I really needed was a loop station, to which I was introduced by a local musician called Mike Dennis.

Mike and I played the same local showcase and his slot was right after mine. He entered the stage with a violin in his hands and headed straight to his cajón and a bunch of pedals on the floor. His performance was one of the biggest musical surprises to date! Mike’s music was a quirky mix of classical melodies, beatboxing, percussion, rap, and a bunch of special effects arranged through his loop station. Mike’s performance absolutely blew my mind and raised a million questions in my head that I desperately needed to find the answers to! I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the internet and in local music shops trying to figure out what would work best for my new musical ideas! After weeks of interrogating the staff, researching the internet and testing different modules, I finally purchased a BOSS-RC 30 loop station. Soon after that, my whole live set changed!

After hours of rehearsals, never-ending experiments, a lot of embarrassing situations on stage where things just wouldn’t work and endless technical glitches, I finally found my new sound! For the first time, I could play my songs exactly how they sounded in my head! I added harmonies, percussion, included more instruments and properly got into sound layering! Once I got more or less comfortable with the loop station, I took it further and purchased a vocal processor, which introduced me to multiple vocal effects and helped bring variety to my vocal parts! A few months had passed before I got used to my new toys, got comfortable playing live and learned how to correct mistakes without stopping. My set had finally turned into an actual show and I could tell that the audience was enjoying it more!

In the end, all the hard work had paid off! People started coming up to me after gigs and asking where they could find my music. Promoters wanted to invite me to play at their events without me having to inquire with them first. I was even asked to play an encore once, which had never happened to me before and felt absolutely incredible! The feeling that the audience didn’t want to let me go was exhilarating and for the first time, I felt like my plan was really working out.