A Moment Not Enjoyed Is a Moment Wasted

This morning, I was reading ‘Our Women on the Ground’, a book with essays by Arab women reporting on the Arab world. Curled up under two huge blankets that were swallowing me whole, with hot tea on the cardboard box I use as a bedside table, I was reading about unimaginable horrors and daily tribulationsContinue reading “A Moment Not Enjoyed Is a Moment Wasted”

How to Keep Making Music When You’re Exhausted from Your Day Job

I have been talking about going for a music career, like really going for a music career for a very long time now. I am making to-do lists and practising, visiting open mics, and socialising with other musicians, but there is just one problem with the whole setup. I’m not making any money apart fromContinue reading “How to Keep Making Music When You’re Exhausted from Your Day Job”

Corona Depression and Lack of Motivation

I hadn’t written anything in weeks – no songs, no stories, no morning pages. I was struggling to get up to do yoga in the morning (so, I didn’t). I stopped playing music. But today I had a date with a friend – we were going to meet in a coffee shop and write. BothContinue reading “Corona Depression and Lack of Motivation”

What Kind of Person Does It Take?

I went to law school. For one day. Two lectures! But only one day. I enrolled because I wanted to do something good in the world, to do something meaningful that would also pay for my parents’ retirement. I also enrolled because I had just spent four months living in a hostel in London andContinue reading “What Kind of Person Does It Take?”

How Independent Are DIY Musicians Really?

When I was a teenager, my dad sent me a Youtube video where Patti Smith gave advice to aspiring musicians. She said: “Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned about doing good work and protect your work.” Patti Smith Interview: Advice toContinue reading “How Independent Are DIY Musicians Really?”

On Losing Focus and Picking Up What You Should Be Putting Down

I’ve just had one of those weeks when you question everything, are too exhausted to do anything, and end up watching ‘Jane the Virgin’ and eating pizza instead of doing what you probably should be. I don’t know why I have these weeks, and they don’t come often. This time, I blame it on theContinue reading “On Losing Focus and Picking Up What You Should Be Putting Down”

Should We Fight the Single-by-Single Release Culture?

In October 2020, I planned my release calendar for 2021. I was going to release four singles throughout the year – nothing more, nothing less. “The release cycle of a song is three months,” my tutor said at uni, and that served as my guiding principle. The only flaw in my plan was that theContinue reading “Should We Fight the Single-by-Single Release Culture?”

Do I Trust My Own Artistic Judgement Now? When Did That Happen?

I was walking down the street in late autumn and sobbing on the phone. “I don’t understand why my dad hates my new songs,” I said. “I thought they were the best songs I’d ever written.” The day before, I had enthusiastically sent my parents demos of some new stuff, songs that I thought wouldContinue reading “Do I Trust My Own Artistic Judgement Now? When Did That Happen?”

Songwriting Habits I’ve Developed Over the Years

My dad was one of the first people to start a blog. I think he started it in the early noughties, and it was called ‘Me and My Lada’ because we lived in Russia, and he owned a Lada. He wrote in it regularly, posting once or twice a week, but sometime after our moveContinue reading “Songwriting Habits I’ve Developed Over the Years”

How My Favourite Poets Taught Me to Write

The first poem I liked was Bukowski‘s ‘An Almost Made Up Poem’, about a heartbreaking love for a woman that took her own life. I had read poetry before that – I had read and liked Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Kipling (not knowing the implications of that at the time), but they hadn’t grabbed meContinue reading “How My Favourite Poets Taught Me to Write”