Hey, it's been a while hasn't it? I just wanted to touch base with you and check in. I hope you're all well.
I know it's been a good year or so since I put out any new music or any other content for that matter. Honestly, I couldn't tell you exactly why. I know there are myriad reasons that require no explanation whatsoever - but I can't quite put my finger on why it is.
All I can tell you is that the urge to create and share my story has come back - I know that for sure.
'So, what's new with you, Geoff?'You, presumably reading this in 2021
Well, the first big change for me is that I've been working with the incredible XP Schools Trust. You may remember back in 2019 that I was working with the students at XP/XP East in Doncaster on a documentary called 'Should I Stay or Should I Go?'. In fact, you can watch it here...
Since then, I've been working full time with all of their amazing schools as part of the Comms Crew - a group of awesome people who work as the conduit between the beautiful work the students produce and the communities that the schools have built around them.
It really is the best job in the world. It's such a privilege to work with schools and students who put compassion, activism and equity at the heart of all the work they do. I've even started teaching a bit of music at XP, too. It's ace.
If you don't know about XP, I strongly recommend you read this book.
So, I've got my own place. I moved out of my parents' house in 2021 and am just about settled in. I've set up a studio space and there's a piano in the living room - I've got everything I could possibly need.
It's very strange not to be writing and working in the room there anymore. Everything you've ever heard from me was produced in that room and it was very sad to leave it behind. That said, I'm ready to make new music in a new space - it's exciting.
'That's great! So, what now?'You, presumably reading this in 2021 slightly later than earlier.
I'm glad you asked. The short answer is I'm going to start making music again.
Over the last 18 months, I haven't really looked music in the eye. When I have it hasn't been for very long. This has actually taught me more about how I want to progress and what I'm going to do differently going forward.
I'm going to keep things simple.
I'm distilling my music down to what's most important to allow me to express myself without any resistance. This to me means more raw, unpolished and ultimately less perfect work. I want to be able to create without judgement and share the story of how I created the work.
I'm still working out what this is going to look like, but I can assure you you'll be on this journey with me every step of the way.
You're a part of the community I've built around my art. I can't do this without you!
Which leads me on to the next part of this new chapter...
You may or may not know that I have a Record Label - The Recordsmiths. I started it in 2017 built on the premise of supporting and nurturing independent and authentic musicians with an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.
This is our website - https://therecordsmiths.co.uk
We released our first album in August 2017 - 'Here, of all Places' by the Usual Ones (a band I'm a member of).
The album was a truly collaborative effort. Musicians, designers and marketers worked together to make an album that we're all exceptionally proud of to this day.
Since then, The Recordsmiths has been the vehicle for all of my releases as a solo artist (#ASongInSevenDays, Taking My Time etc.) and I've also been working with the incredible Heather Young on producing her own songs and she is set to be the third official artist with us.
But aside from Heather, I've mostly produced these works on my own with help from Alex Byard-Cooke - the greatest drummer in the universe.
We set out with the vision to create authentic work collaboratively - but for all kinds of reasons this hasn't happened in a while.
It's my goal for the next year to build back this community around The Recordsmiths and make it grow even further!
In the coming weeks, I'll talk about this some more and how you can get involved in this - I just wanted to share where we are right now.
In the meantime, shall we put the kettle on?
I fancy a cuppa.