Updated: Jan 29
They say whatever you seek in life is seeking you. I speak from experience when I say this is true. Knowing what we want is one thing, but the science behind attainment is something we may never understand. All we need to know, is that opportunities appear when intention fuses with action.
In 2001-2, and also known as J.C, I was delighted to receive an invitation to perform at the Melas in Manchester, Huddersfield, Bradford, and Leeds. At the time, I did not have enough of my own material to release, but I saw this as a valuable learning opportunity. I arrived early and took advantage of the opportunity to network with other artists and musicians backstage while I waited to perform. I had been actively pursuing a full-time career in music since 2000, with the goal of having the freedom to work in the industry on my own terms and not be tied to a traditional job. To me, the ability to have control over my own time has been the most rewarding aspect of my career.
My phonebook was steadily collecting numbers during this time, I was extremely contagious and hungry for success, full of ideas and innovation, attracting those at the top of their field. I even had two mobiles on two different networks at the time. The reason? to never miss a call. Eager beaver me!
After my performance, I walked off stage and found myself greeted by a crowd of cheerful music industry professionals. One of the conversations with a label owner lead to an exchange of phone numbers. He told me of a new single about to drop, and was looking for potential remix collaborations. I offered, he said sure, definitely, unaware of my lack in expertise with remixing.
I already had an interest in remixing but I lacked knowledge. I didn't even have a music PC. I did however pre-purchase copies of Reason and Cubase hoping to learn. On the positive side, the label owner told me to expect the vocals in the mail. This gave me some time to prepare.
On the way back to Oxford on a train, the idea hit me. I had access to a friend's Intel Pentium 450Mhz PC. I merged all the kit together and hoped for the best. Having a week or two for preparation, I learnt everything I could about Reason software and music production. I even called PMT and other music stores, asking where I should start. They suggested I read music magazines such as Music Tech, Sound on Sound and Future Music.
When the vocals arrived, I was ecstatic, knowing that I would create something special. My confidence wasn't in my skills but in my inspiration and passion for music. I was sure that it would be amazing! I imported the vocals and experimented with them for many hours. I let the ideas develop in my mind and spent the rest of the week immersing myself in the creative process.
After multiple feels, I finally found the right vibe. It stuck and I loved it. The question is, would they!? I called the label and told them it was ready. Was it mixed and mastered? Nope. I called them anyway. I posted the CD and hoped for the best. Within 24 hours I received the call. What was the response? They all loved it. He did however request the stems. This would allow them to mix and master the song for consistency with the rest of the album. (See what happened there!?)
I moved on to new opportunities, leaving the completed ones behind like a trail of breadcrumbs. I always kept an eye out for new gigs and took every opportunity that came my way. But, I heard that our release was making quite a buzz in the industry, it was called 'Akhiyan' by Bobby and MC Intensity.
I remember receiving a copy of the CD album in the mail, and everything sounded great. However, I didn't realize that I had forgotten to check if I was credited for the remix. In retrospect, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. If I had checked, I would have never discovered Desitunes4U.
Fast forward a period of time, a Google search lead me to a review of 'Akhiyan' by Desitunes4U. I made an inquiry, asking if I had been credited for the remix. The answer from Irfan was yes. Not only that, he asked me for more information. Well, I had just finished my own E.P 'The Prophecy'. He asked me to send a copy over to him, and within two weeks the songs were being played on BBC Asian Network, BBC 1Xtra and many others.
It is impossible to predict which path will lead to our desired goals. Our duty is to seize opportunities when they arise, understanding that the subsequent chain of events serves to prepare us for more significant challenges. Failure to do so can be costly. Saying no to life's opportunities can result in life saying no to you. When you know what you want and an opportunity presents itself, take it. A way will be opened for you.