Laughing all the way to the bank? Not quite

Something strange happens when you write a song. While you’re in the middle of it, the world that song is talking about is the centre of your world. The feelings the song is conjuring up are your feelings at that moment. The burning issue, the desire or the little philosophy are what you are living and breathing at the time.

Then the song gets finished and in a way you give it away. you hand it over to others to listen to. You let them make their own stories, their own feelings, their own lives feed in – you give them ownership…and that’s great.

But sometimes your own song can come back to bite you in the arse.

I posted ‘Laugh out Loud’ a couple of weeks ago. I was in a hurry hustling to get a gig organised. Then today I thought ‘you know I haven’t really thought about that song since I wrote it’ and I sat with a cup of pretty horrible supposed-to-be-good-for-me tea I got suckered into buying online – and gave it a good listen.

Shit Eran, you need to start taking your own advice man! ….

I guess being human we don’t always practice what we preach & I for one tend to forget from time to time. It’s a part of life & the daily grind but when I do stop and think about it, I’m always happy and grateful for even being alive.

Here I am today, worrying if I’ll keep my job next year. We’re all really starting to feel the crunch & things are shaky here.  Raising funds for Deaf Children has never been a greater challenge, I actually hope things pick up for the children’s sake. It’s not really about my job though I would be lying if I said that wasn’t a part of what’s on my mind – but as they say today it’s those first world problems.

Apart from all that stuff something much more important has really been on my mind recently you know … all the unrest in Syria. It’s not the only place of devastation in the world of course but I couldn’t help but cry at work when I saw the pictures on the office TV – 4 young and innocent Syrian girls murdered, left in white sheets & tied in pink bows! What the fuck! How dare anyone do that to anyone for any reason whatever? Absolutely unforgivable. No excuse. No mitigation. No just cause. Monsters.

I’m angry my heartache’s every day.  Like a lot of us, I suspect, I don’t quite understand what’s really going on in Syria it’s complicated, but like many I’m left feeling helpless & wondering how I can help?

I heard just the other day a young Aussie bloke was caught in the cross fire doing aid work in Syria, it’s all so very sad and upsetting. I really hope there is a way out of all this tragedy in the world, one day … what a ridiculous childish naïve fantasy that statement looks when I read it back … and what does that say about the human condition?

I’ve taken on some extra baggage the last few months, it’s family. My older brother recently pulled through a whole heap of trouble. I really do worry for him.  Jeez we make some pretty stupid choices  at times … but he really is a great guy & I love him dearly. I keep telling him how lucky he is to have a second chance & start all over. So I’ve been around more often, trying to support and encourage him to make better choices this time. I’ve been stressed just thinking about it all, I know it’s his own life but I hope he doesn’t ever go back down that particular path again.

But back to ‘Laugh out Loud’ Eran and enough of this looking at your feet man! I’ve had a really fun time gigging this year & I’m grateful to every single person who has turned up to my shows & made it special. You are the best … and believe me it’s unbelievable when people come and listen and tell me how much they love it – and that’s another thing which sounds shyt when I read it back by the way! Trying not to sound phoney is even more difficult than sounding phoney … oh shut up Eran.

It’s really amazing to think…  almost this time last year I was touring with Elton, seriously where has this year flown off to? Crazy I know, but I’ve been feeling a little flat as the year is almost closing in, the summer is almost here but my plans haven’t been quite as successful as I first painted in my own mind [dangerous stuff. Listen to the song mate….] . I really wanted to play a whole load of festivals this summer, but it turns out I was a little late for some submissions or promoters were simply too hard to reach. I guess it’s one of the many things I’m wising up to more about being an independent artist. Like for instance I’m finding it really difficult to get some business folks’ attention sure I’ve got some great people around me but I’m trying to gain traction in other areas & get the ball rolling. Sheesh’ I’d  better finish writing my Turkish Gangnam Style track, that’s what my friends keep telling me! Seriously I think it’s probably harder to come from being a teenage pop singer to being an adult singer songwriter than it is coming from absolutely nowhere. I really believe that ‘the industry’ would probably already have made its mind up about what it thinks Eran James is and what he’s capable of. Of course in a way I was reborn. I started again. I learned my craft and now  i’m rebuilding – or building again – from the ground up, or maybe actually from a little below ground.
No problem with music lovers, fans, friends. When they hear it they get it.

But agents, promoters, managers? I’m invisible. I’m wearing a cloak of invisibility. I don’t exist…I’m in a parallel universe where Adele and Mumfords are the biggest selling artists in the world – credible, no beats, no pop gimmicks. They are selling more than Justin Bieber but the industry isn’t listening. Isn’t noticing. I’ve gone where things are going and they are stuck in the past clinging on to where things were. I’m connecting with real people about real things, they are watching the X factor and thinking that’s where music begins and ends…..oh bollocks, .

Take a line from yourself and Laugh out Loud Eran! It’s all industry standard, from what I hear, but like many of us I’m sure we get tired of playing the waiting game?
Oh shit, I’m a musician.  That very very clever American bloke William Buckley said ‘central to every good musician’s life is disappointment’. How did he know that? He wasn’t even a musician … but he was pretty spot on. Patience Eran patience!

Reasons to be cheerful?  Well I guess I could say I’m already gearing up for next year & I’m excited to see what it all brings.
Nabila & I just celebrated our third anniversary together two weeks ago; I’m really grateful to have her in my life. I love her to bits & she really is the best thing ever. She keeps me humble & pulls me through. By the way she makes some killer curries to. Yumm!

Nabila surprised me with a gift to celebrate, she bought me the Neil Young & Crazy Horse ‘Psychedelic Pill’ record & Neil’s book “Waging Heavy Peace”. I’ve got the album on high rotation on my car stereo every morning to work, best gift ever.

And by the way….Go Mr President & well-done America. One huge sigh of relief this week after hearing President Obama was keeping office for four more years. I never tread deep into politics, but I think it’s fantastic news for all. Honestly you don’t see many kids’s screaming Mitt-Romney & what really pulls at me is the enthusiasm youth of America & the world have for Obama. The Generation & the voices of tomorrow love the guy; I think that’s saying something. Or it may just be the presidents-taste in music, who knows? I think the mans all right.

So I’ll shut up now …. off to read some Mr Young, until next time Salaam Namaste. (well that’s if you haven’t tuned off already)

Love to all, I’m always yours and you’d better believe it! I know I always send gushy tweets thanking everyone for coming to every gig but if you want me to be the sulky tosser instead and thank no-one for anything I’m sure I can do that one too! Just let me know…and if you’re the person who wrote to me saying you were going to tattoo some lines from Laugh Out Loud somewhere on your body? Very nice flattering tribute mate … but maybe avoid the line “What am I living for, What am I living for”?

Or maybe not?

Eran James