Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Keep your feet on the ground", they said...

Over the last couple of days, I coincidentally got a series of messages and comments from my friends and colleagues, gently reminding me to always keep my feet on the ground. Not that it had been provoked by a newly acquired attitude of any kind - surely nothing major has gone into my head over the past 48 hours! Yet, I did take a mental note of the friendly reminder and even gave it some thought afterwards...

When you're young and new to the alluring glitz and glimmer of the entertainment world, you are bound to get a bit dizzy at first - it's next to inevitable, no matter what anyone says. I can vividly remember myself at the age of 16, the very first time I witnessed some of this "magic" in action. Without even noticing how it had come about, I realized one day (or rather, my parents did) that I was taking a lot of this for granted: working with those whose names I had only read about in books, album sleeves of my idols and major music TV show credits; being featured and interviewed for major TV and radio stations in the UK; recording in some of the best studios on both sides of the Atlantic - and all of that without bribing anyone (well, you see, where I come from, bribery is a general "middle name"!)

So imagine not feeling hung-over (metaphorically, of course!) the morning after every adventure like that? I admit I felt a bit like that, and even more so, I started to wonder whether I really had to work THAT hard for all of this at the tender age of 16...?

I think there are two main categories of artists: those who hit the jackpot quite easily (again, nothing's too easy, not in our society, and definitely not in the showbiz, but comparatively speaking...) that is, the opportunity practically falls on their lap, and also those who have to strive and fight for every inch of success every step of the way until they eventually "make it".

The former usually results in a series of one-hit wonders (once again, NOT always) whereas the latter category is more often than not a preface to a real, long-term career. Why? Maybe because we are more likely to appreciate our success as a result of hard work, genuine effort, the ups and downs that go with it, and the notion of self-worth when it comes to knowing deep down that at the end of the day, it was YOU who made it happen. Clearly, there are certain personalities in everyone's career who are truly vital to the "making of" an artist. And that does require a huge amount of luck, as well. But ultimately, I strongly believe that, first and foremost, I can only really rely 100% on one person 24/7 - myself. Is that not so?

I guess the bottom line is, that with a bit of luck, hard work and genuine effort (unfortunately, talent is not always at the top of the list these days) there's practically nothing a human being is not capable of. Oh, I almost forgot - PATIENCE, the magic word - easier said than done, true, but it doesn't alter the fact that patience is a huge factor in all of this.

So whenever my friends remind me not to forget to keep my feet on the ground, I smile and think of all the good times and bad times, ups and downs along the way... And guess what, it ain't over yet! But what matters the most to me is that now, more than ever, I know who I am and who I want to be more clearly than ever before. There's a moment in time somewhere along the way when you realize that you have arrived at who you are not only as an artist, but most importantly, as an individual.

And so, when you weigh all the pros and cons, and you still find yourself on that long tedious but a truly adventurous road to your very own destination, you know it has not been in vain - nothing's easier than giving up and going back to square one. Anyone can do that. But a bit of persistence and perseverance can do wonders - I used to think this was a huge cliché, but it isn't. Honestly. And yes, knowing deep down that through thick and thin, through nightmare and dreams come true, it really is you who made it all happen can SO keep your feet on the ground!!

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