It feels a bit alien and somewhat self-indulgent for my first ever “opinion” article on The Soundcheck to coincide with my 1000th published article for the site. But while I’ve tried to keep only a mild sense of my own personality in a lot of The Soundcheck's articles over the years, inevitably my personal tastes and love for thinly-veiled dad jokes and/or adjectives have found themselves lurking in many of my published works (and on firm display in my Podcast). And in that vein, I felt it fitting to commemorate this girthy milestone with something a tad different for a moment.
Why is this 1000th article not a review, interview or news article? To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure. Fittingly, the theme of not entirely knowing "why" is what led to The Soundcheck even coming into existence. I won’t bore you with the lengthy backstory that led to this website coming to life. Let’s just say, a lifetime of loving music, writing and stubbornly wanting to defy the odds has culminated in just under 4 years of solely establishing and maintaining a digital music outlet that has exceeded my own wildest expectations. I still can’t recall the moment precisely when I committed to go lock, stock and barrel into this adventure. And somehow, I also don’t concretely remember when I firmly settled on calling it “The Soundcheck”. It’s a happy coincidence my site’s initials reflect my own personal initials, and I’m glad past Tiana (maybe?!) thought of that when she settled on that name and bought the domain for alliteration's sake. But while the collision of a huge personal reset, a foot injury and a desperation to follow my passions was too strong to resist back in 2017 when I finally hit publish on this website that sits before you - there was no way in hell I could’ve predicted what was to come.
I suppose some of the purpose of this article is to pay broad homage to the people who have fostered and supported me in this venture, and to encourage others who think chasing your dreams is an unattainable fantasy. The music industry is not entirely without its cutthroat game-playing and invisible roadblocks, and it was these realities that initially led me to starting a venture entirely on my own. It’s, in all honesty, a harrowing balance to churn out content, throw up some casual social media engagement for appearance's sake and maintain a completely separate full time day job at the same time on my lonesome. For those who don’t understand the insatiable journey of chasing your dreams, particularly in the fickle creative fields, they may look on me with pity, toiling away in front of my laptop and sacrificing random nights out to edit countless interviews or pump out reviews. But for those who have tasted that sense of relief and purpose that comes with finding your true path in life: I tip my hat and/or glasses to you. But more importantly, I also want you to know: your sacrifice is not in vain.
I won’t pretend I’m a millionaire diving Scrooge McDuck-style into a sea of money in my mansion. I won’t pretend I haven’t sat up til ungodly hours tearing my hair out, wondering why I had committed myself to such a demanding schedule. I won’t pretend every door is wide open for me, or that every single person in the industry sees my worth or makes me feel welcome.
But I will attest to this: never in my entire life have I felt more seen, understood, appreciated, challenged, inspired or just downright OK with life than I have in the last 3 and a bit years of The Soundcheck’s existence. The genuine joy of connecting with passionate artists and industry folk. The implausible camaraderie and finding people genuinely wanting to see you succeed amongst the naysayers. The increased ability to provide a modest platform for bands and artists in an age where it’s so easy to be drowned out by everyone else around you. The little thrill of seeing your own words quoted in the big, bad world, and the accompanying terror and excitement that people are actually reading what you write in your bedroom late at night while draped in track pants and ennui.
The Soundcheck is by no means a definitive example of music journalism. If I could channel the efforts of an army of people, I could give social media the attention it demands, cover every single artist who approaches me, or grow this into an entity hell-bent on world domination. Instead for the time being, what I hope to offer is a dedicated home that continually takes you beyond the press release (which will perhaps explain why I can only commit to one article per day), and also offer a space driven purely by one person’s inescapable desire to share stories and consume music with anyone else who feels the same.
Thank you to every single incredible person who has given me the ridiculous opportunities to make this passion project a reality, from the first publicists to ever take notice of me, to the bands who have become family, and the army of incredible allies I’ve cultivated along the way. But most importantly I also want to thank you, whoever you are reading this (particularly if you've made it this far through this article).
Thank you for The Stories. Thank you for The Support. Thank you from The Soundcheck.
Much love, and here’s to another 1000 articles (but not too soon, yeah?).
Yours very sincerely,