FEATURE: Self-Service Checkouts Will Destroy the World: Overcoming the Fear and Setting Sights High



Self-Service Checkouts Will Destroy the World


ALL PHOTOS (unless otherwise credited): Unsplash 

Overcoming the Fear and Setting Sights High




I will look at a few different things when it comes to features. Among them are (pieces about) design and cool new fashions in music; maybe there will be a look at Meltdown festival and, if there is time, a great new act to watch closely. This is a semi-personal feature that I can spread to the larger music world and, hopefully, compel others. I am looking around and there are a lot of musical people holding back and not taking charge. They have ambitions and lofty dreams but, after a bit of pushing and excitement; that seems to wane and they retreat back to their routine. I have seen many think big regarding album concepts and where they want to tour; others who are determined to gig in countries around the world and many others who want more than what they have. It is natural and understandable we would get into this mindset. Music is an industry that promises much and seems like a golden ticket to artists and those with creative ambitions. I got into journalism as a starting-point to other ventures. I have been doing this for years and, as the time elapses, I am getting more and more restless. It is a vague assertion but I love what I do but there is that hunger to do more.


IN THIS PHOTO: IDLES/PHOTO CREDIT: Adela Loconte/Rex/Shutterstock

I have written about dreams and desire in music but, to me, I should be taking my own advice. I have recently pitched a music T.V. show to a production company in Manchester and have set my visions on something huge. In years past, I have held back and not had the confidence to actually do anything about things. Rather than go for broke and really put my all into everything; fear has come through and I have retreated back to something safe and familiar. I am not sure how far my T.V. show idea will go this time around but, even if the company says ‘no’; I will push it to someone else and keep the ball rolling. I have started ventures before and submitted the first time a rejection came my way. I am also, very soon, moving to Manchester and going somewhere that is new and very different. My thought process revolves around ambition and finding a city that offers a lot more chances and music than where I am right now. I am a big fan of what is happening in new music and there are artists I really want to interview and follow. I do not feel like I have the clout and substance, where I am, to approach these acts and make a bid. Among my target demographic are IDLES and Kate Nash. They are very different artists but both producing music that is getting under my skin; saying something important and determined to make some changes in the world.


IN THIS PHOTO: Kate Nash/PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Patmore

Although I have a little bit of money behind me; a lot of my new objectives and strength comes from a sense of frustration and fatigue. I have battled long to elevate myself to a different platform and get my work to a new audience. You have all seen my write about music T.V. goals – so I shall not expand here – but you have to keep strong and focused when you really want something. Whether it is something as simple as a girlfriend/boyfriend or a new job – giving in and thinking you are worth less than anyone else is not the way to approach things. Every new year of music brings fresh challenges and hardships. More and more acts are coming through; stress and anxiety are on shoulders and it seems harder to actually survive – let alone do something extraordinary and expand. I will nod to fashion and music tomorrow but I have seen people talk about designing their own T-shirts/boots and subsidising themselves that way. They have the talent and tenacity to make it happen but stumble when it comes to consistent energy and financial impetus. The market, in any corner of music, is competitive and people can get down and resigned when they think of the impossibility of big success. It may sound rather unconstructive and easy for me to say you need to have strength and abandon the fear: I am not in the same position and can make any statement I want.


The music industry, now more than ever, is looking for innovators and those willing to take a stand. From fighting against injustices and imbalance to creating businesses and setting up cool record labels; there is that market and opportunity ahead. I read interviews form artists who talk about their start and how they had to struggle to make it where they are. Whilst people said they couldn’t do it and there was a poverty of expectation around them; they battled and defied all the odds and keep that dream healthy and shining. There will always be challenges and bad days – but the only way you will be able to achieve what you set out to do is by being resolute and believing in yourself. Morale and personal happiness is decreasing and we are acutely aware of musicians struggling when it comes to their health. Maybe our horizons are narrow and flickering because of music itself. You look at genres like Rock and wonder where the big acts are. Where are those ground-breaking and epoch-defining artists that we saw decades ago?! We are witnessing great musicians come through but one wonders whether music is as compelling and exciting as it was back then. There are little boutique labels and interesting projects happening in music but few of them get proper oxygen and attention.


If you want to do something musically original and unexpected then you should get out there and do it. I feel we are all aware of people’s expectations and what negative comments and stuffiness will do to our psychological composition. Every bold soul has had to endure negativity and those dismissing their ideas. If you want to create music-based fashion and try something new then it is not up to anyone else to dissuade you and think it is a bad idea. Going back to my music T.V. show pitch and you wonder why nobody else has come up with a new format. Maybe there is this culture to suggest music T.V. is a spent force or it is a thing of the past. There are those who know this is false and feel there is a gaping vacuum that needs filling. There is a lot of dissent in the industry and people that will shoot down any ideas (and things like music T.V. shows). Putting a format onto the air takes money and being rejected quite a bit! I am prepared for some refusals and will have to contact every production company I can to get the idea lit. What I am finding it other, similar-minded people are hesitant to take the first step. It seems, when it comes to those big ideas and breakthroughs; it is down to the big names and famous artists to get things done.


Whether it is streaming services or record labels; technology inventions or anything else – all we see if the elite artists pushing these forward. Maybe that is denting confidence and creating this feeling: I need to be in their position before I can make any changes and do anything great. Even if you want to make music that goes beyond the normal or you have desires to set up your own business – it is possible to do and it will take its time! Maybe you will need to get a business loan or start quite modestly at the start. Fear seems to dictate everything we do and we often wait too long before we try and realise dreams and do what we always wanted. By then, it might be a bit late or other people have stolen our spotlight. Never assume things cannot happen and you have to be an established artist to be taken seriously. I am clear-sighted and realistic when it comes to my endeavours and will not get too carried away. It will happen one day and I am not going to quit when a few people slam the door in my face. It has come to a moment where I cannot hold off and need to grab the chance to do something big. Others are telling me about their hopes and keep revealing hesitations and doubts. We need to break out of this assumption that things cannot happen and the music industry is only willing to accommodate the big and famous. The business needs the brave and striking to shake things up and add their colours into the mix. I will keep my dream intact and not submit upon the first sign of resistance. It is all very well for me to say we need to shake off this negativity and modesty but I think, once we assume we can achieve anything and our voice is needed; that will start a revolution that will…


LEAD to incredible changes and breakthroughs.