As the year that is 2018 comes to a close, I personally have a lot to reflect on. From starting a new chapter in a different environment, to continuing on a musical path that was set 2 years prior, it has been an action packed year to say the least. Like any other year, it had its highs, lows, ups, downs, and everything in between. I can safely say that I have learned a lot, over the last 12 months, that I will be implementing in both my personal and professional life moving forward. Most importantly, though, I am grateful to have another solid 12 months in the bag and I’m extremely hopeful when looking forward to the next 365 day block that is twenty nineteen. In this post, I will look back at the year gone by and identify some key moments that helped shape the journey. I will also highlight some key learnings that can be taken away and applied in many other scenarios. Before I press on, I would like to acknowledge the few people that actually engage with this blog, I can’t express how much I appreciate you taking the time to read my musings. And to the very few that have gone the extra mile by giving me feedback and providing assistance when needed, you are the absolute best. I can literally go on, but I must proceed with the task on hand.
Fast Start – Setting the Pace
This year (2018) started off with a hiss and a roar for the Shottaz. We quite literally hit the ground running, getting active on the Melbourne scene from the moment I arrived. I have to credit Hlats, who moved this side a year prior to me making the leap, for planting the necessary seeds to ensure we had a great starting point. Our first Melbourne gig as the Shottaz was only a week after I arrived, and it was a big one. Another element that contributed to the great opening stanza of 2018 was the release of our debut single. Working with a superbly talented production crew for the music video, we were able to start creating a solid foundation in our adopted home. At this point I feel I should point out that we had a completely different plan for the first quarter of this year, though we missed the mark rather spectacularly. In deviating from the plan, we ended up in a better position because we were forced to take a step back and properly analyse a lot of things before acting. This resulted in us planting much stronger roots, though only time will attest to their true strength, which should prove to be beneficial to us further down the road.
Making Gains – Growth Can Be Strenuous
As we navigate our new environment, we have been confronted with a few uncomfortable truths. One of these so called truths is the fact that when you change your scene like we did, it is important to remember that you are starting from square one. I came to Melbourne with a chip on my shoulder having experienced a great 2017 in Auckland. Add that to the fact that we as the Shottaz have been doing what we do for over a decade now, I thought we would easily navigate through the scene this side. What I was quickly reminded is that people don’t care about your past achievements when getting acquainted to what you do. In a new environment, you have to win every ear, which is quite a challenging proposition. This realisation forced me to reevaluate my approach when spreading the Shottaz gospel, making me more effective when selling our brand. On the bright side, the connections that were made in 2018 alone have doubled our network, which leaves us in a great position. We’ve been able to meet a few “champions”, who have been consistently working to put us on great platforms. This has allowed us to access certain avenues that would normally be closed to us. Apart from the aforementioned reality check and network growth, this year has been great for us on the musical front. We have been able to polish our sound and find another creative gear in the process. I can guarantee that the music will be flowing hard and fast in twenty nineteen as a result, exciting times ahead.
Without an ounce of doubt, I can proclaim this year gone as a raging success. From a musical perspective, we have made some great strides towards our ultimate goals. We managed to release 3 official singles, and 4 music videos. We’ve connected with more amazing professionals the world over, increasing our confidence as we proceed down our path. Can’t forget playing on some amazing stages and platforms that belie our newcomer status on the Melbourne scene. Most importantly though, we have thoroughly enjoyed the process. In the learnings box, we now know that at times we need to exercise a higher level of restraint than we are accustomed to. We have also been reminded about the importance of tapping into our network when possible, I discussed this to an extent in my last post. Above all, we have seen the importance on having a solid plan and sticking to it as much as possible. I have to say, there was much more to the year that has been twenty eighteen, but I have to leave it here.
Even though there will be one more post before the new year, I would like to wish you all a blessed holiday season. Stay safe out there, and please make sure you have a blast.