Back in Melbourne after two and a half amazing years of highs and lows. I’m sitting on my sister Leyla’s old bed with my back against the wall. Surrounded by stuffed toys and purple linen, my trusty Yamaha guitar never far away, I’m writing my first ever blog.
Today is a good day, my website is finally online & with nothing to do I’m trying to figure it out…thanks Angelo you’ve been a real star and a real friend.
So while I’m here I’ll do my best to give you a little insight, into what’s been going on over the last thirty months or so & what’s to come.
After an amazing tour of Aus in 2007/8 with Elton John I embarked on a journey that would change my life in many ways.
Elton suggested I relocate to London and use his management company to help my music career. Just like that! So early in 2008 I packed my bags for England & headed into the unknown. I was scared shitless, but riding on the thought that Elton & his team had offered to help me was an offer I couldn’t turn down
It was the first time I had ever completely moved out of home despite 6 years of travelling, touring and gigging ‘working for the man’ with my pop career.
When I first arrived in London I was completely out of my comfort zone. I had very little money & I didn’t know anybody. People assume that when you’re given the helping hand of a superstar it’s all going to be handed to you on a golden plate. It’s the complete opposite; you’ve got to work for it.
For the first little while I was living out of a crappy hotel as I had no where else to stay. Before embarking on what I thought I had come here to do -music – I had to find some where to live & find away of supporting myself.
Eventually I found a bedsit in Earls Court no bigger than a bathroom & I moved in. I was really just living for a while in London, finding my feet & trying to get familiar with my surroundings.
I’d never worked a normal 9 to 5 job my entire teenage life & I was running out of money.
So I hustled some work doing a few odd jobs, running work for a film company, working at the markets & for most of the time working at a call centre. It pulled me through enough to pay the rent, buy some food & occasionally go out.
All of this was a very realising situation. This was what a “normal person” does every day & honestly I didn’t know if I would last. I had made a few friends & started to find a small social life but for at least 6 months I spent most of the time [when I wasn’t working] in my Bedsit. I went through a very emotional period taking time to think about everything, contemplating, writing songs, missing home & trying to remember my mother who passed away in mid 2006.
Of course during all of this I had been to several meetings with Elton’s team in London, I was being looked after by a man call Clive Banks who was Elton’s manager. Things were a little uncertain; Clive loved my voice but he really didn’t know what the next move should be. I had always felt there was a greater purpose for me being here & that writing songs for the sake of writing wasn’t my purpose.
I didn’t know what that was until I was put in a room with Robin Millar. At the time I had no idea who the man was. I later found out he was one of the world’s most successful producers & behind some of the biggest songs of our time. Google the man, if you don’t believe me.
I met Robin through Clive Banks, you see Clive used to manage Robin as a young producer way back.
The very first time I met Robin, he had already listened to some previous work of mine through Clive. The idea of meeting Robin was really to hang out with someone musical nothing else.
During one of my first conversations with Robin he immediately touched his chest and sort of cringed saying “There is something in there mate, it’s like your holding back you need to get it out”.
This is coming from a man who has been blind for the last 20 years; he was a human being in touch with something greater then just music.
Before I knew it I was sent off back to Australia to tour with Elton John for a second time.
After the second tour had finished I was sent to the Tuscany country side in Italy for about 1 week to work on one of those song-writing workshops set up by Chris Difford from Squeeze.
I was writing, singing & playing with some of the biggest names in the industry. Good time on one level I must say…but
When I got back to London I started working with a few other musicians who I had met in Italy. However something wasn’t feeling right, there was a lack of truth & heart about what I was writing with those people. No disrespect they were all very talented people but it just didn’t seem to relate to me – like writing as a career move not as something you have to do..
It was straight after that I received an email from Robin saying we should catch up for lunch. So we did.
Robin & I briefly talked about music, but I was doing all the talking…talking about my self, who I was as a person & what I felt deeply about. This was very unlike me. Robin had unlocked all the things I was holding deep with in me.
From then on – I can’t really remember how & when – Robin & I began writing music together.
We weren’t writing for the record labels, we weren’t writing to create hits we were simply writing because it was a natural process that was unforced.
Robin was very similar to me in many ways; with a shared story.
Robin started out just as I had, as a young singer-song writer, son of an immigrant dad, from the outer suburbs of town except he was from London.
Even back then Robin was confronted with the same hardships and battles with in the industry and fought for what he believed in.
Robin had come to a point where he had given in and turned to production instead.
So although the process of us working together happened naturally, Robin was still a young singer-songwriter, we could relate together and the friendship came out of a shared vision. To give your best and truest account of your life & feelings through songs. We did a lot of laughing, a lot of crying and a real lot of hard work.
For the first time I was actually writing about my life, my journey & what I felt deeply about.
I had found my voice as a musician & a song writer; little did I know I had so much to say through my music!
These new songs are not just songs; they are an extension of me as an individual. They reflect the struggle of a singer trying to make it, in an industry which wants to tell you what to do all the time and water down your music to the lowest pop level. These songs talk about the hurt of my mother passing. They talk about my family dramas & how being the son of an immigrant in Australia, can sometimes make you feel like an outsider when this is my home.
They talk about my hopes and fears for the world’s most vulnerable people, they talk about my deepest feelings of love and loss and they tell stories about people and places you dream about. Most of all I hope they are songs which will touch ordinary people like me.
I remember how fulfilling it was when I was sending in demos to Clive. Then receiving a call at work from Elton saying how much he loved what I was doing.
The process of writing them all was done in a one bedroom flat in south west London. All recorded with one old ass laptop which we named Abbey Road as an ironic tribute, , a simple microphone & some inspiring real instruments. That’s what you will hear on this website.
Like anything worthwhile in life, this didn’t happen over night Robin and I were writing and hanging out together every moment we could for the best part of two years. In that period we wrote over 40 songs.
Then things took a swift change during the end of last year 2009.
Elton’s team had a major re-shuffle; I woke up one morning to find that Clive Banks, the man who introduced me to Robin and persuaded me to come to London, was no longer at the company – so what’s new in the music industry?
It left me in a very vulnerable situation, not knowing what to do & where I stood.
I was temporarily reassured by a phone call I received from Elton.
“Eran don’t worry your in good hands” well it was good to know I still had Elton’s support
But I was sceptical that things would change when they appointed someone else with in the company to look after my musical interests.
I was right, before I knew it I was in the hands of some one who meant well but really didn’t get what I was trying to do or say. It was someone who had a completely different mind frame to Clive and who had no strong experience of working with ‘real artists’..
After sticking it out for a bit, I was feeling very uncomfortable & put in my place – déjà vu to when I was thirteen and being told what to sing, how to dress, how to act.
Now I had people telling me I needed to work with pop writers in Nashville & work with all the people I dreaded!
I was falling into the old traps of the mainstream business.
After two years of finding my self as a person & working so hard musically I wasn’t going to give in to that stuff again.
You may ask where Elton gets a say in all this.
Well Elton is a great man, always supportive & enthused with what I had and have become.
Unfortunately it’s not Elton you deal with on a day to day basis, it’s the people below.
I took some time to think about my situation and where everything was leading. I thought about home and what really meant most to me. I thought about my loyal group of fans who have always supported & stood by me.
So I kept my ties with London open without closing any doors behind me and in April of this year I was on my way back to Melbourne with my guitar & my music.
If you are someone who has grown up with me and my music so far and you’re reading this…. Then you have grown into an adult as I have.
I’m hoping that my biggest fans & supporters will continue to grow with me and get something out of this completely new adventure…journey with me away from the pop sensations & into the real world of love. Loss, hope & despair.
My time spent in London is something I will remember forever. My experiences there have allowed me to grow as a human being. I’m glad to say I am now in control of my career for the very first time. It’s a good feeling.
Next year is around the corner & I will be back out there performing very soon. Thanks so much to those who have been patient.
Now, through this website and gigs wherever and whenever I can get them, I will be able to share my music & my journey with others.