How do you define Failure?


Being an Artist I am always living with the fear of failure. Having people not understand my music or where I am going with it can be very hard because everyone is always living for the moment or more than not living in the past.
By the time you hear the music I have made, I am already on something totally different and so when a song becomes really big and people are expecting something similar I know I am always going to disappoint or at least create that sense of being judged negatively for not following others expectations. 

‘WTF is this it’s nothing like that big tune he did’

This is something all artists experience as they try new styles and ides in order to push their own creativity so failure is always a shadow waiting to encompass us and make us feel low.

But what is failure, is it not getting approval from fans, or maybe not selling any music or charting?

I look back on my successes and know I have achieved a lot in many styles of music from commercial top40 right down to huge underground and unknown artist tracks. but my biggest failure has been the last 8 years I invested in what I thought would be something new and special and I realise that my failure was based on a false trust.

All my life I have done things on my own with just a few friends that were satellites to my centre but when the digital age came about I realised that the Album format was being hacked into tiny pieces and the Artistic journey that any album brings was being raped, Thanks to Apple bringing in the axe to how it sold songs, Chopping albums in to tracks that were out of context to the whole. Yes, they did force an album to be sold as pieces which was never the concept for an artist.

Anyway, they are (after careful re consideration) the demon in disguise just another corporate shill looking for the best way to profit from Artists. I felt they knew killing the album journey was a bad decision for creatives of the musical art form.  I thought they wanted to put back the album after they had chopped it up in to sellable pieces. All the creative works of artists albums, the true journey as the Artist intended. I actually believed that they were trying to fix it by creating a new album format called the iTunes Lp.

I was instantly sold on this concept as I felt it was the only true way to experience the artist journey and also enhance it to something even more creative. I decided to focus solely on a project using the iTunes LP format and I expected it to take about 2 years to complete, it actually took over 8 years.


The problem with iTunes Lp was the cost to create the media and the technical expertise that was required to program them. In the beginning, it was estimated that each album creation would cost at least 10 thousand pounds to produce (£10,000) and that was not wide of the mark if you wanted to produce a good iTunes LP.

There were hardly any developers with the skills and those that did have them were working for big companies being over worked or charging huge sums for their work.

I learnt that I could but was constantly let down of push back in the line of importance when I needed someone’s help to get the skills I lacked.

Over 8 years I kept going. This was a mammoth project that was originally just 4 albums in a series but as I learnt more about how to create them I realised that everything has to be in the system so the project grew to over 10 albums as I worked of different parts of different albums pretty much on my own except for a few artists who would do drawing I needed. it was a real complex mess of spaghetti to ever one I knew , kind of like have 10 different cars all in bits to build and I was always moving between working on each.

by the time I started to deliver them I was really excited with the whole end result they were really good and immersive but the world had been moving on, where the music was previously being either bought in pieces or stolen now it was being directed even more with the new streaming which was just another way to only pay the smallest amount for an artist work and only for the amount of seconds it is played.

All of a sudden I was finding it near on impossible to deliver my iTunes LPs to Apple, All the delivery companies said they were no longer putting resources into delivery even though they continued to promote that they were the chosen company to do so. Apple kept telling me to go to different authorised companies and I was sent from miller to post.

Eventually (with Apples help) I got someone to deliver my albums but it was expensive and slow. I managed to get about 4 up before they told me they were no longer delivering any more as they had moved all their resources to other areas.

so there I was with 10 iTunes ops and only 4 delivered after over 8 years of hard work.
Everything grinder to a halt due only to not being able to deliver the albums using Apples chosen agents. I realised only at this time that Apple was no interested in pursuing the format anymore and so I was stuck with a few albums on iTunes and no reason to push them as I knew Apple was (without actually saying it) no going to support it anymore.

That feeling of failure is not something you can easily explain. I don’t think I failed in the creating of my iTunes ops as they are stunning but I think I failed in trusting Apple with over 8 years of my life. I never though Apple would just move to what ever made them more money. I have been sucked into the magical world of Apple really loves the Artist and the Album.

I should have known really. I was already pissed that it was Apple that killed the Album by forcing the sales of pieces of an album on their store.

Yes I know people (Apple included) will say that we don’t have to use the iTunes Store or formula but only a fool would not know that a monopoly should not dictate everything and dictating how an album is sold (chip it up to make the most money for themselves) has never sat well with me as an artist.

so there you have it the question of my failure of success is defined by what, over 8 years on a dead project or not?

I suppose no one will ever know as the format has not been officially retired by Apple.
You can see my blogs about how cool the format was but its failure was always down to Apples rigorous programming requirement and the lack of skill full programmers to service the needs of the artist at a price that was affordable.

Maybe something will happen to get my total project realised in the future as for me the project is great the music is great and the whole journey is unique and creative, did I fail? no not in my creativity, only in my blind trust that Apple actually cared about creating and supporting the real musical creation that is an artist’s Album.

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