What does it take to be number 1?
Updated: Oct 28, 2022
This week we have another guest blogger, one of my [Jaclyn] favourite artists and favourite people to talk to… Mr Ben Selleck!
What does it take to be no.1?!
Now that I have your attention, I might start this blog with a deep confession… I have no f**king idea how to get a number one record! This blog is ACTUALLY about balancing real life with music & it may interest you if you’re a mid-thirties, parent of two that still harbours dreams of writing, recording & releasing the best music you can make, whilst still maintaining one, two or maybe three jobs and keeping a happy family life.
Back in April I released my debut single, “Different Sides”. Following a calendar packed week of great promo to support the single, surprisingly enough to me, on the evening of release it made it to no.1 in the UK iTunes Country Chart for a few glorious hours. I want to tell you why, on that Friday afternoon, I sat in the corner of a darkened room and sobbed my little heart out.
It wasn't that I was sad. Of course not, it was my debut single and I was proud as i’d ever been of my work. Equally it wasn’t tears of excitement as I prepared to order my first Ferarri with the royalty cheques. The tears were a mix of absolute exhaustion and gratitude, at the start of a journey 20 years already in the making - playing the originals scene in a local band, dreaming big and falling short.
The tears were the moving onto the Wedding and corporate shows, and finally with the modern trend being part of tribute bands and earning from shows that were selling well. The tears were for playing other people's music in front of 10,000 fans. The tears were equally for every pub I’d played to 4 punters. The tears were all the time juggling the musical life, my job as a music teacher and the most important part of my life, a Dad and husband. The tears were all the birthdays I’d missed because I had a show. All the friends' weddings I couldn’t make because I’d been hired by a stranger for theirs. The tears were for all the early mornings up with my kids after arriving home from a gig at 4am. For all the evenings my Fiancé spent alone looking after our two girls whilst I was at rehearsal. The tears were for all the date nights she had to sacrifice for falling in love with a musician. The tears were for all the income we’d lost in lockdown. The tears were for all the songs that sprang to life and I’d written in that time too. The tears were for every rewrite, every mix, every photo, every videoshoot, every social media post. The tears were knowing that 20 years has been a real bumpy road and that this was a particular moment to savour… for ME… NO.1.
It may all sound very selfish, and it could be said that being a musician makes you a selfish person. However, I do believe that you need to put your own needs at least in line with the needs of others close to you & to make sure your mind is healthy enough to cope with all the rigours of life. For me, music is as important as oxygen whereas for others that may be cooking, art or sport. To keep my mind healthy and fit and ready to be the best I can be for family, work and music.
So many people in their 30’s and above wish to pursue songwriting or music and I would absolutely say to them “go for it! give it as much as you and your circumstances can give”. Whilst I may never know exactly how to get a No. 1,I do know that it all starts with No.1. With a healthy mind, a lifetime of experience, and a whole heap of effort and luck… the tears will all be worth it in the end.