Delving under my bed I fetch out an old cardboard box. As I take it downstairs I start to reminisce over the hours, days, weeks, months even years spent making the contents of this box. All that hard work, heart ache, joy, frustration, amazement, collaboration, pride and love all encapsulated in this box… Even less than that, in one tiny round disc within the box.
What an amazing adventure it was. We started out writing songs in my bedroom just me and one other and then ended up recording with a full band in none other than Abbey Road Studios!
My debut EP ‘Leap Year’ was released just over 2+1/2 years ago. The title was chosen for many reasons; firstly that I am born on a leap year. Secondly, I had been writing the songs for the EP for such a long time, working on them with a band and with my co writer Rhys Williams. We had recorded some of the tracks already but were not content. It had been over a year from when I had started and I found it apt that the year we were finally due to complete it was in fact a Leap Year. Thirdly, I decided to release the EP on the 29th of February (my birthday) as what better present to myself. The fourth and final reason is of course that I had hoped this would be the year that my music career took a mighty LEAP into success…
“You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love” – Jim Carey
There are many reasons that this was not the case and I think the main one was direction. As a singer/songwriter you write music you love and whether you love it for the lyrics, the melody, the beat the bass line or whatever, you write it because it is part of you and part of your journey. Well these 6 songs (and many others) were written over 4 years of my life. And as I grew and evolved so did my songs. From Motown/Soul to Acoustic to Pop to Rock I was into it all and I had no idea which of those genres was truly me. I loved them all, why could I not just sing/write them all? Unfortunately this is a business and I am selling a product, once you have gone through the organic part where you create and feel your way through then you are left with a product that you must sell. Every product has a market and each market has its place; You wouldn’t see Dolly Parton supporting Metalica now would you? (well unless you are at Glastonbury of course!). So I was learning and growing, and as much as I wanted to be ready to be an ‘artist’ to make my music and perform it to millions, I was not ready. I had no idea who I, ‘Sian Cross’ was in terms of music. I had trained in musical theatre for many years and during my training I loved taking on the characters and really getting into a role as I would get to sob, laugh even dance my way through a song. And while this training has really helped me to understand what it is to perform and is undoubtedly the reason why I love the tell a story through my music, having spent so much of my youth pretending to be someone else when I sing I had never really figured out what sort of singer I was. So I decided to spend the year focusing on that instead of going out into the world with no clue what I wanted. Because, what if somebody challenged me? I wouldn’t even know what I stood for.
“It’s hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but its harder to give up when you know its everything you want.”
Having said all that, who am I to say that it was not a success? How do we really define our success? I wrote and recorded a 6 track EP at Abbey Road Studios with some amazing musicians and friends, we had an brilliant time and I learnt a lot… All self funded as I juggled 3-4 day jobs just to afford it. I have a copy of it in my hand now. It is mine. I made it. And while there are so many things I would change with hindsight, it is all part of the journey of my music and it represents a moment in my wonderful life.
“Open the door in your head and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it”- Jim Carey
So here I am now 2 years on about to record my debut album. Signing my EP’s and sending them out to all the wonderful people who pledged for them in a bid to help me fund my dream. I have worked on my voice, work on my sound and I know exactly what I want to create. I just hope you love it! But for now, here is a piece of my history. It is who I once was, it is many of my life experiences put into song and it is of course in part the inspiration for who I am now and the album I that you have so kindly and faithfully pre-ordered. Your faith and support in my music is what keeps me going. So I have and will continue to succeed in life!
“Let the universe know what you want and continue to work for it while letting go of how it comes to pass” – Jim Carey