Saturday, November 28, 2009
Mind you, I did have a great gig this past Monday night (got the crowd rocking) and I did go out partying with a friend last night, so maybe when my work is done I can have a life. Truth is, I'm sociable but I don't need to be at a party every week to have fun. We age, we sage... Go figure...
Well, Moto has inadvertently worked his way into The Purr Factory, that musical I co-wrote which debuts at the UJ Arts Centre next year. He's such a lovable brat!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This past weekend my sister's car got broken into, and they stole the master CD of my Christmas album out of the car. Initially I thought, "How strange!" But then I realised that music does actually have VALUE! As a musician, I sometimes forget that music is emotional currency and that people desire it. Now of course, it depends on whether or not the thief/thieves are part of my target market or not. If they're not, they will listen to the intro of the first song and chuck the CD away. If they are, they might well listen to the first track and be overcome with remorse and mend their ways - since the first track is O Holy Night!
Sometimes ya just gotta laugh at life...
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Just found out a few weeks ago that not only was I the first person in the world to do my LRSL in singing through Rockschool (the world's only accredited pop and rock music examinations board), but I also passed with distinction! Happiness!!!!!!!
Thank you so much to Sonja Raymond of Trinity in Johannesburg and Nick from Rockschool in London for their phenomenal assistance - and to my examiner, Ed Walker. What a nice guy (and I'm not just saying that because he gave me a distinction)!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thanks again to Moira Schafer, who was the first teacher to congratulate me - what a treasure she is. My life is the richer for her having been in it.
Musica, grata Deo.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I am the richer for having met her - and I am a total fan!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Ina reminded me that you have to think as you sing - that you can't play your mind forward or backward when you're busy with a song - otherwise it loses its meaning. As someone who is often guilty of living in the past or in the future, I'm so glad she told me this. We often say, "I can't wait for this or that," and then when we get to the end of our lives we regret that it all went so fast...
I like what John Demartini says: living in the past is linked to regret, living in the future is linked to fear, living in the present is a state of gratitude, which is love and light. Great advice!
I will strive to live in the present in all I do - including singing...
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It's been amazing fun, it's been incredibly hard work. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a great big precipice, overlooking all the treasures of the earth - kinda like God's Window, that awesomely beautiful spot in Mpumalanga where you can see for miles and miles.
Most of the people I work with, from my Mom to my colleague Ina Wiegand to my business partner Corinne Farber believe that I'll do a great job tomorrow. I just wanna go have some fun! Yeah, I guess I'm a little nervous and I really want to pass, but as Ina said to me, whatever the outcome, I cannot lose because I have learnt so much. She's right. In the last 4 months that we've been working together, sometimes three times a week (what a schlep to Pretoria!), I really have grown as an artist and a performer.
Of course, Cor is a huge fan. We've had so much fun doing The Purr Factory together, and I'm thrilled to be performing two songs tomorrow from my own musical. Narcissus, thy name be Rob!
Ah, my Mom! I love my Mom! I recently tried looking for a day job again so I changed my second cell number's message to a bland corporate message. My Mom phoned me to leave a message and said it sounded so sad, like I was unhappy... I have subsequently changed it back to something far more exciting and musical. I'm now doing music full-time. I have never been poorer. I have never been happier.
As Jayson, a colleague of mine at Soul Candi said, we do not choose music, it chooses us. I'm so glad music chose me. It is my life's work, my undying eternal purpose.
Musica, grata Deo.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
My music teacher, the wonderful Moira Schäfer, reminded me of our final assembly at school (St. Stithians), where I sang The Holy City in the chapel in front of 500 boys. I didn't remember this (probably too nervous), but she said that after I had finished, the entire chapel stood up to give me a standing ovation, and what a victorious moment it had been for me (my school years can best be described as "difficult"). Tonight I sang The Holy City again, probably the first time since I sang it at my dad's funeral 11 years ago. What a beautiful piece of music.
Thank you Moira, for being such an inspiration all these years. I'm glad I followed in your footsteps and decided to do music as a career. I have never been happier.
Was also great to see all the old boys (never thought I'd say that...): Mike Aitken, Stuart Miller, Richard Kyte, Murray Masterson. We actually had a proper reunion a few months ago - this was just another catch-up. Thanks for organising, Mike! Great fun as always.
Musica, grata Deo.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Went in and met the judge - Duncan Irvine - I know him, although he doesn't remember me (just as well). "Rob Rodell?" he said. "Sounds like a very well-known name in the industry." Great. I chose my brand name well, and my brand is growing. I love it.
My chances: I reckon about 5000:1. It's not that most people that I heard there didn't deserve to go through, it's just that there's so much clutter... How do you choose 1o people from 50,000 auditions? The judges can hardly remember 50 faces, let alone 50,000.
Still, I learned a lot: I want to have more presence when I perform for total strangers... I want to be unique and different more than wanting to blend in... That's what made Susan Boyle stand out.
Chalk it up to good experience, and move on.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I know I need to get my music more out there, so I'll be striving to do a lot more gigs in the near future. I guess paying your dues is just something you gotta keep doing, although when you love it it should not feel like work. I have to admit: sometimes it does! Does that mean I just don't love the music enough? God I hope not! That would be tragic.
Does Beyonce still pay dues? Not sure - maybe, in her own way...
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
After final production and mastering, very excited that the CD is being launched at the Mint in Los Angeles on Wed 26 Aug 2009 - the day after my birthday. Sorry I can't be there, but I am there in spirit!
Also recently learned that the double CD has 35 tracks that were chosen out of 700 entries, which is so encouraging to me! Yay - it means that I'm one of the top 5%, and it is such a confidence booster...
Listened to a John Demartini talk last night here in Jo'burg - with music I know I have truly found my passion and my love. It's a joyous, liberating feeling...
For more on Art of Men please click this link: http://gilli.net/wgm/artofmen/index.htm.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The scholarship has been set up by singer-songwriter Rob Rodell to help a formerly disadvantaged student to learn how to sing.
Rodell set the scholarship up as a tribute to Ina Wiegand, the owner of the Respiro Vocal Studio in Pretoria. “Ina really helped me a lot by offering me free lessons in preparation for my Licentiate in singing,” says Rodell. “This is my way of paying it forward – by extending the same courtesy to someone who is really desperate to learn how to sing properly. I will always be grateful to Ina for her help. When I thanked her, she encouraged me to do the same for someone else.”
The singing scholarship will afford one student the opportunity of working with Rodell for one year. The incumbent would need to make their own way to the venue for the lesson, but that is the only cost. After that, the winning student will enjoy a one-hour lesson with Rodell for a year, which includes holidays by mutual agreement, and missed lessons. The full value of the scholarship is over R10,000. “There is no doubt in my mind that if a student comes to me for a year and regularly rehearses and works hard, that by the end of that year s/he will be a much better singer,” says Rodell.
There is no age or race limitation for the scholarship. The student needs to write a motivational letter to prove his/her eligibility and a background check will be performed to ensure that the scholarship does indeed go to someone with limited means. Rodell explains that he’s not even necessarily looking for someone with talent – just great desire – since learning to sing correctly is simply a matter of good technique and plain old-fashioned hard work.
The process of finding a suitable candidate for the scholarship will be undertaken by Addi Lang of the Return 2 Roots Foundation and Caitlin’s Castings, non-profit organisations aimed at assisting abused women and children. To apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for the 2009/10 scholarship is 31 July. The chosen student will begin training in September 2009.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It's like my friend Corinne said after she tried to quit writing: giving it up was like trying to give up breathing - it's impossible.
So there you go - kick me world, I don't care. I am always gonna fight for what I love, no matter how long it takes to get there...
Musica, grata Deo.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Seth Godin will tell you that playing it safe is risky, and that if you want to dominate your niche you have to anny some people. Seth my hero...
Time will tell. Meanwhile, just havin' fun with the album!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So excited! John, one of my best friends, sent me the link of Susan Boyle at Britain's Got Talent. You go, Paula Potts! I love Paul Potts too.
Yeah, it's been a great day. Another brilliant friend reminded me today of my strengths as an artist, which solidified my resolve to do what I love with passion: music and singing. Life is truly blessed when you live & follow your dream with all your heart. I am happier & more grateful than I have ever been.
Musica, grata Deo.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Possible future album title? Which part? I like it...
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
It's liberating singing your own song in front of camera people, extras, make-up artists as they cheer you on. To misquote someone: it's the most fun you can have changing your clothes (we had three wardrobe changes!).
Saturday, March 28, 2009
We were chatting about music and entrepreneurship, and he said a couple of things which really stuck with me:
- I am a free spirit, which means I hate working for a boss. Much rather do my own thing.
- I don't wanna make someone else rich by working for them.
I couldn't agree more. I guess my fear is that I'll become a businessman instead of an artist. But why do they need to be mutually exclusive?
Well, off to shoot our first music video tomorrow. Exciting stuff!
- This one, which will track my development as an artist...
- The singing advice one, for tips on how to be a better singer (www.sing108.wordpress.com)
- The music business advice one, for tips on how to steer through the murky waters of the music industry (www.brainymusic.blogger.com)
I still feel I wanna share my story with the world (hey, who doesn't???). Anyway, Brainy Music is to help people use their BRAIN when they decide to follow music as more than just a Friday-night karaoke.
Monday, March 23, 2009
- Singers Inc. evolved into an indie label that I use to release my own stuff. It's also a music hub, and I use it as a vehicle to teach vocals - have done since 2005 (http://www.singers.co.za/).
- I have released my first album, an Afro-Pop effort (http://www.platoon.co.za/).
- I am busy working on my debut solo album (http://www.robrodell.com/).
- I am a co-founder of the Music Business Academy, a school that aims to address the skills shortage in the music industry in Africa (http://www.mbac.co.za/). Africa is the cradle of music and yet the people here are the least music business savvy. That has to change.
- I teach performing arts workshops to high school students who want to break into the industry.
- I'm busy co-writing a musical or three.
- I'm busy doing my PhD on trends in music marketing and music branding, and if all goes according to plan, I'll become one of the very first people in Africa to successfully complete my Licentiate in Singing (Performance) through Rockschool. Hope I pass!!!!
As a result of all of these things, I am, for the first time in my life, able to do music as a day job, full-time, and make enough money from it to thrive. I am so happy as a result!
Why would you care? First, I just had to tell the world. As http://www.trendwatching.com/ points out, it's Generation C - the content creator is me. Second, as I have been inspired, so I hope to inspire. People ask me all the time how to quit their lousy day jobs. Let's see if I can help - with advice and coaching online. Thanks for reading.