“. . . A tune-smith of the highest order” BBC Radio 1
Great quote that isn’t? Yeah, it always graces the CV, really adds some zing to proceedings don’t you think?
Well, truth be told, it’s a little old. You see, I’ve been doing this song-writing thing for quite some time now. . .
It’s the late 90’s, all Britpop, indie rock, boot cut jeans and Clarks Wallabees. We have HMV, CD’s, Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene. Myspace is the place to be and I’m in a band called “The Minority”.
My weapon of choice is a cheap as chips Fender Stratocaster copy and to be honest, we’re not a lot to get excited about. “We’ll have to forget the piano part cos we ain’t got a keys player lads” yep, that about sums up the early stages of my musical career.
Let’s move things along a smidge. A couple of line-up and name changes later and we’re in to the new millennium . . .
“The Call” is born (we later find out an American outfit have the same name so the writing was probably already on the wall) but it turns out that we’re not bad.
We’ve written some tunes, sold some records and people are turning up to the live shows.
We are play-listed on BBC Radio 2, share the bill with The Who at the 02 Wireless festival and during a BBC Radio 1 fans poll we are described by THAT quote above. Good times!
So, we didn’t quite achieve worldwide acclaim and eventually the wheels started to fall off.
Life just gets in the way sometimes, so due to nothing in particular and after a whole decade of grafting we decided to split. We play our final farewell sell out show in our local town of Ripon and I go back to the drawing board.
So, give up? Forget it? Sell the guitars? Erm no, not really. It still stands – I’m a tune smith and I reckon I’m not bad at this.
Finding my feet as a solo artist saw the release of an EP and an experimental recording session in LA with esteemed producer Jeff Blue. All great experiences, but not where I wanted to go musically.
Up to press I’ve written hundreds of songs (some great, some terrible), played as many shows, recorded both sides of the Atlantic, been in bands, slept in vans, worked part-time jobs, left Yorkshire for London, won some and lost some.
I’ve been offered deals, I’ve been turned down LOADS, nearly quit, didn’t quit, worked hard, met some great people and realised that music is something I’ve got to do.
So, instead of asking you to believe sliced up quotes in the press or read reviews from a lifetime ago I’ll let you be the judge of what I’m up to.
From this point onward, EJ Mann is going to do things differently – I’ll be documenting everything and sharing the process.
No more chasing A&R guys, pitching to labels and hoping for radio play. I’m not interested in “who you know”, industry showcases or waiting for someone else to tell me what to do next.
In simple terms, I’m going to make good art and share it with you.
Which brings us all here – right here, right now. It’s taken a lifetime. . . and where exactly are we?
Well, in the grand scheme of things – This Is Nowhere.
EJ Mann x