I’d been playing flute, teaching myself guitar and singing in choirs since school but then, in the early days of Sky TV, I discovered country music - CMT. I connected to it in a way I can’t even explain. It was the look, the sound, the wailing pedal steel, but most of all it was the storytelling; the way the songs could immerse you in some kind of dream state. Most importantly, it made me feel part of something in a world I never felt I fitted into.
Those songs provided the soundtrack to my life and inspired the hundreds of songs I went on the write, and sometimes, reluctantly perform.
Fast forward 20 years and my kids asked me if I could actually play that old guitar, gathering dust in the corner. I hadn’t picked it up for so long. I’d forgotten that music hadn’t just been something I did, it was who I was, and my heart broke as I realised how much I missed it.
So I started writing again. I felt that old familiar feeling, like a rekindled romance. The frustration when the perfect rhyme comes to you in the middle of the night or a song idea runs on a loop in your head when you’re stuck in traffic and can’t write it down. I loved it all. I felt alive. I felt like me.
The decision to start recording and performing and sharing my music, aged 40, was nothing short of terrifying, but the idea that I might never do it, that another 20 years could go by, that one day it actually would be too late, was worse, in fact it was unbearable.
And so began the emotional journey back to my true self, reconnecting with the things that inspire me, move me, and make me want to be a better version of myself. It's a journey without a final destination and I'm ok with that, because I finally feel like I've given myself permission to be happy.
The songs I feel inspired to write these days reflect on life and love, written in my favourite places in the countryside and at the coast. They are dedicated to that shy, teenage, sad song-obsessed dreamer that I lost somewhere along the way, and to anyone else who feels they don’t quite fit in.
Hold on. You’ll find your own song.