careers in music

Careers in Music – Dealing with Failure

As an Irish musician living and performing overseas, I was expecting a bumper week with gigs galore and impossible schedules to fill. The expectation that I would be bouncing all over South Africa performing my unique and authentic blend of Irish music and milking the utmost out of Saint Patrick’s Day (17th March) in South Africa. Hell, if you asked me a month ago, how my Paddy’s week was looking, I was very happy with my burgeoning calendar. Read what happens next!

 

For those of us who strive to maintain careers in music, you know that things can fall apart at any stage. And more often than not, it is due to circumstances that are entirely out of our control. Long story short, boy did Saint Patrick’s weekend wind up being a monumental failure for me! Cancellation nation, to be precise! Failure is an element that those with careers in music are forced to deal with, more than any other profession. It’s how you act upon it, that minimizes the risk of it becoming a recurring trend down the road. Here are a few factors to consider, that gives you some ammunition in growing your career, and not letting failures destroy your talent and passion for what you do.

 

Be the Co-Manager and Promoter of your Product

Remember that awesome muso you heard at that market three years ago? Wondering why they’re still playing that same gig and never really seized the opportunity while they were the flavor of the month? I’ve devoted much of my reasoning for this in my previous Blog. To put it bluntly, you can’t depend on that market events manager alone, to propel your career. He or she has a family, other work, bills, and mental and physical health to deal with. Set out clear goals – call it a 2-year plan, if you want. Set out realistic objectives and figure out what you can do by yourself and what you need help with. And in the process, you might just find out who your real fans truly are!

 

Look at Careers in Music outside your comfort zone

This doesn’t refer to changing your style of music or taking up a particular instrument because that’s what’s hot right now. It means getting on a bus, a train, a plane, whatever it takes, to take your music to new audiences. You know what, you’re probably going to be judged and vilified by people who know no better. South Africa isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of the music industry. If you pursue or are offered an opportunity overseas, take it! To hell with the begrudgers. Your value has been recognized, and you will flourish wherever you take your god given talent.

 

Careers in Music need a little helping hand from the WWW

Back in “good old days” musicians succeeded through strong record/CD sales, consistently touring and generous tv and radio exposure. That has all changed, and the sooner you accept it, the quicker you can adapt to avoid failure. While technology and the internet have allowed the big labels to flex their muscles and bully smaller players into submission, it has also opened up a raft of creative tools to advance the careers of emerging artists. Get a proper website up, do some SEO in order to be found on Google and other search engines. And finally, implement a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social to post all your social media updates simultaneously.

 

Picking yourself up after a crippling failure

There are countless hazards to careers in music. So much so, that it takes special character to bounce back from a catastrophic setback and rebuild your brand and quickly get back on track. There’s scarcely a professional musician out there who hasn’t either;

  • Had all their gear stolen
  • Been dumped from their record label before their music was released
  • Teetered on the brink of alcoholism/ drug addiction from the pressures of careers in music
  • Had a major tour canceled at the last minute
  • Had relationships and marriages fall apart as a result of their unyielding passion.
  • Etc. etc.

It might be scant consolation, but any one of these setbacks will teach you a harsh lesson and the proverbial kick up the backside. It toughens you up and gives you a piercing life lesson from which you can only improve. You will stop blaming external factors for your demise and understand that only YOU operate the driving seat to your destiny and a blossoming career in the industry. You will make that breakthrough when you create the mindset that you WILL become successful no matter what, and never limit yourself to local bars, politics and uninvited opinions.

careers in music

What next for me, when St. Patrick is sentenced to Murphy’s Law?

After my initial rage and frustration has subsided, I’ve had time to reflect on how good I actually have it. I still have two gigs this weekend. There are organisers out there who appreciate my band’s talent and investing good money in me and my colleague to perform as their headline act this weekend. What I’ve learned from this whole experience, is that I shouldn’t allow myself to be pigeonholed into the niche of being just the token Irish musician in SA. There are better benchmarks to set than chasing 100 gigs in a year or 4 gigs a day across Paddy’s weekend.

And best of all, I have substantially more precious time to spend our national holiday with my wife and son, something I haven’t done in… possibly forever!

 

David Delaney – Irish Musician

Juggling a life between digital marketing specialist and professional musician, I’m probably not the guru to guide you towards careers in music. The violinist in me, however, makes me a perfectionist in what I seek to accomplish. I’ve had my share of failures but I’m eternally grateful for the successes that have outweighed the former. I’m a violinist, flute player and folk singer and you can find out more about me by exploring my website today.

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wedding music

Wedding Musician by Weekend – Five things you didn’t know about Me

While being a wedding musician is one of my forte’s, I’m quite a private person off the stage, yet busy with many other aspects of life apart from being that “Irish fiddler in the band”. 

Most of you probably know me with a violin in my hand, making strange noises on the Irish low whistle, and singing along ad-hoc with Beukes and Delaney or at a solo gig. I’ve often been generalized as the “Irish wedding musician in Joburg” – and while it has its perks, there are a lot more strings to my bow! Read on, and get to know a little more about me, the David Delaney ‘off the stage’.

  • I have a 2-year-old son named Morena.

The highlight of my life, and the primary motivation for succeeding where I can. Morena means “King” in Sesotho. My mother’s maiden name is also King. He’s slowly and affectionately stepping into his noble roots.

  • I have traveled to over 40 countries

While I haven’t engaged my services as a wedding musician in all of them, I spent much of my twenties backpacking and travelling as much of the world as I could. Before settling in South Africa, I spent almost 18 months working and touring throughout Australia and New Zealand. It’s difficult to choose a favourite country, but Mexico was a particular highlight, with fond memories often recalled of Slovenia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Might explain a little about my very strange accent!

  • I hold a Degree in Marketing and an M.Sc in Interactive Media

The path to being a wedding musician in South Africa was never the initial plan. I studied between 2001-2007 and graduated twice from the University of Limerick. Truth be told, I was probably better known to play traditional music sessions in the pubs and homes of- Limerick, and widely presumed to be a student on the BA Traditional Irish Music course.

  • Before being a Wedding Musician, I spent a Semester studying abroad in Austria.

Ich habe auch Deutsch, in der Üniversität studiert. Ich hab, in 2003 die Gelegenheit genutzt, ein Semester in JKU, Linz, Osterreich zu studieren. An eye-opening experience – came home with an Austrian accent and have never lived it down from my life-long German friends in Bochum.

  • I work as a Content and Social Media Manager

Truth be told, a wedding musician and entertainer does not yield a steady income throughout the year. I can’t write a lyric but I’m passionate about writing, grammar and marketing. I love my day job – it’s not a fall back from music, but a skillset I’m avid about learning and moving forward in. I work for a fantastic digital agency called Prebo Digital and proud of the role our team plays in growing small and medium businesses through digital strategies. Check out all the online activities we do!

prebo digital

 

 

David Delaney

Maybe it’s the first time you’ve stumbled upon my page, or you’ve now familiarized yourself with the “other” side of me. Either way, you’re very welcome to my page. I am a wedding musician and event entertainer for any occasion you can imagine. Should you be getting married soon, or holding an awesome party, feel free to contact me on how we can make it an unforgettable occasion. Have a memorable weekend, and look out for my gigs and events happening near you soon.

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wedding music

Wedding Violinist – Making the Right Choice

Congratulations on your Engagement. Now that your wedding planning is in full swing, you are probably sorting through the myriad of entertainment options to keep everybody in the party mood as you celebrate the most special day of your life. A wedding violinist offers the best opportunity to capture the mood and the romance of this significant moment.

Whether your heart is set on adding classical music and instrumental airs to the occasion, or hiring a fiddle player to get your guests in the party mood as the sun sets, a musician is an integral part to an unforgettable union that brings two families together as you officially celebrate the start of your union of marriage.

 

Finding a Wedding Violinist that hits the right notes with your guests

There are many options on the table when it comes to carefully select a professional musician who will add to your big day. Do bear in mind before you choose your violinist;

  • What is the Age demographic?
  • Would your guests prefer sing-along and folk music, as opposed to classical violin
  • Would a large venue require more than a single wedding violinist – perhaps a group?
  • Are musicians available near your wedding location or would a violinist need to travel?

Versatility is Key when leaving the party in the hands of the musician

There is nothing more romantic than a wedding violinist to lead you into your wedding ceremony as you prepare to exchange your vows with your partner for life. Once the official part of the day has concluded, you will be swept away to capture professional photos on your wedding day. Essentially, you will be handing over the reigns to the musician to keep your guests entertained, and build up the afternoon towards the evening’s festivities. A wedding musician can strike a chord with your closest friends and family. Pay close attention to the repertoire that a musician can perform. Ideally, your wedding musician can perform a variety of repertoire that will be enjoyed by both young and old alike.

The older folk at the wedding are likely to be your families longest and closest friends. Never neglect this faithful group – by considering a fiddle player as opposed to a classical wedding violinist, he or she will boast a vast repertoire, and the uncanny ability to honor that unusual musical request from your Aunt. As a performing wedding violinist, I have been able to switch my repertoire to accommodate requests from artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, and The Water Boys.

 

Can your Wedding Musician also Sing?

One of the earliest debates in the early planning stages of your wedding hinges on whether to book an instrumentalist or a singer for the reception. The truth is, you should not have to choose – there are multi-talented musicians in South Africa who can both perform instruments and sing, thus providing all round top class entertainment on your big day. While my main focus is a wedding violinist, I also sing, perform the Irish Flute and accompany my songs on guitar. Every bride and groom deserves unforgettable wedding music – I endeavor to provide this, in one affordable package.

 

David Delaney – Irish Wedding Musician

Performing for over 7 years throughout South Africa, I pride myself in arranging and playing wedding ceremonies that strike a personal chord with the special couple that I am honored to perform for. Each wedding ceremony and reception is as unique as the couple that brings it together. Not only do I perform as a solo wedding musician, I also offer my musical expertise with my successful band Beukes and Delaney, available either as a duo, or a full band with a bassist and drummer. If you require a local, classical string quartet, I do highly recommend the Vienna String Quartet. While you enjoy some samples of my music, be assured that I offer as standard, personalized requests for your bridal entrance. Feel free to contact me today to request a quote on musical entertainment for your wedding day.

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