Time is a fickle, fleeting concept, yet I still remember everything that happened on the 13th April 2013.
The Soundshark began life as a blog I started at university on this very day, as a space just to write a few words about songs, bands, artists, and musicians that I enjoyed at the time that I believed were underappreciated, and that I could share that passion with others. Those words evolved from a couple of sentences, to tens to hundreds of sentences over time, and what started as a pass-time, became a device to express a passion. In essence, that has never changed, but I have.
I have given more than I can truly fathom the words to describe, to this site, and over time, it has given more to me than just being an outlet. Sure, the work here has become more of a portfolio, especially as the written output has slowed down a lot over the years, through some fault of my own. But this creative platform has become a way of life. It’s become my life. My identity.
What was a ‘brand’ if you can even call it that, is now me. I am The Soundshark.
I’ve had a lot of highlights over ten years, on and off the website. Opening for Feeder. DJing afterparties for Kids In Glass Houses and Harbinger. Having an article on the front page of Google. Having popular viral articles. Press acknowledgments from artists. Joining TotalRock. Becoming a resident DJ for Schism. Hosting the takeover show for ArcTanGent festival. Being press for festivals. Interviewing some of my favourite artists. Having a bursting PR email folder that still grows everyday. This has all been made possible off of continuous hard work, and bar a couple of opportunities, I have made so much of this happen independently, alone.
While I feel the journey is not yet complete, I have come a long way since. The next chapter feels on the cusp of starting, but I have to keep pushing.
In contrast to the soaring highs I have experienced, I would be remiss to not talk about the lows too, of which there have been plenty. There have been many times where this was all about to come crashing down, and this site would be no more. Many a night has been spent wallowing, crying, stressing about the sacrifices made, and doubting my ability and talent, so much to the point where I still could walk away at any time, with head held high about my accomplishments, yet bitterly disappointed about what could’ve been.
An archive of my work, as well as a space for music from artists that may fade away from public access, that has in a sense has and is already happening, is quite an achievement. But I am nothing but driven.
A decade’s worth of work, while would never be thrown away, feels like I would be stopping too soon. After all, I own this domain name. Do I wish I were where I want to be by now? Of course I do. Life is nothing without struggle, and there has been plenty of struggle with all aspects of wanting to stay as a creative, as a writer, and as a human being. I feel my limitations as such have gotten in the way of getting where I want to quicker. Where I have come from however, is what should be celebrated.
Nobody, except my friends and family, knew who I was a decade ago.
The matter of legacy is an important one to me. I do what I do because I want to be remembered as a difference maker. I have spent literally thousands over the years supporting underground and independent artists over the years, because I believe in their art, and I want the wider world to hear about that art too. Whether that’s through my writing, DJing, or radio, the format is irrelevant. Music changed my life, and it can change others too. While my emphasis has shifted away more from writing over the years, only because the investment/engagement cycle always feels heavily skewed, my passion has never waned from what I love to do.
While I can retrospectively praise myself for never giving up and continuing to work hard through all of the hardships, I of course would not be here if I didn’t have anybody willing to read anything I’d done, or listen to anything I had to say, or any bands I wanted to talk about. I would be nowhere ultimately if I didn’t have supporters, whether they be friends, family, or complete strangers from all over the world. You have helped in more ways imaginable make this awesome adventure I’ve been on possible. If you’re reading this right now, you have my undying gratitude, and I hope you’ll continue to support these endeavours as I hopefully move to the next step, and go from strength to strength.
I have never been more optimistic for the future and the journey I’m on, and I hope you too, are willing to keep following me on this expedition. There’s so much I could say and talk about, but I think you get the message. I can only thank you all so much.
Ten years ago, if I could look ahead to myself now and tell future Soundshark that I would be proud of him, I would scarcely believe it. I deserve to be. If you ever needed motivation on what you can individually achieve if you want something bad enough, I hope my example can spur you on. Anything is possible if you’re passionate enough. And I’m not done yet.
I just wrote some words ten years ago. What will I have to say in another ten years?
The Soundshark xx