… and why I can’t get left behind.

I’ll be honest. This blog post is something I’ve been wanting to keep close to my chest, and with hindsight, I actually have no idea why. Showing emotion and sharing thoughts can actually bring supporters/fans/clients etc closer to your brand or product and my hesitancy to share my fear of live streaming was something I didn’t particularly want to broadcast (no pun intended) with you because I saw it as some kind of weakness.

I now see things slightly differently.

Following THIS Facebook LIVE stream video not even two weeks ago at the top of a hill just outside of Durham, I said that nobody has time to watch forty or fifty minute live streams [like that time I live streamed from BBC Newcastle], and just this week, I decided to live stream from my first rehearsal for a forthcoming gig in August where I again thought that I’d test my theory and continue with trialing shorter live stream videos. Granted, it was a different style of live stream where I was performing a track instead of talking directly to the camera, but the results were very similar to the one I did at the top of the hill. Barely any interaction and not as many people seeing it.

*scratches chin… “mmm. Interesting”. more scratching of the chin*

On both the shorter live streams, I did it completely out of the blue, more or less, which meant people weren’t expecting it plus I hadn’t put the word out beforehand through my other social media accounts.

“I’m a perfectionist and a TOTAL control freak…”

The benefit, therefore, of a longer live stream is that some live streams don’t actually properly begin until maybe after ten minutes of hitting the button in an attempt to build an audience before properly getting into the stream itself. I’m seeing a large number of people on Facebook sitting in front of the camera with no real plan of what’s going to happen get a solid amount of views and interaction and it’s this which I’m struggling to understand. There are some variables though which I’m still very much experimenting with as I mentioned on my Snapchat story yesterday: the time you decide to go live (and how that works with different time zones across the world), the length of the stream itself, the subject(s) I live stream about, as well as how much notice you give people via your other social media accounts that you’ll be going live.

Now, all things considered, that’s a lot for me to plan, as well as working out when to live stream and when just a normal video is sufficient, but let’s get into the nitty gritty of why I still have… the FEAR.

With platforms such as Snapchat, if you mess up your snap, you can re-do it, get rid of it, pretend it never happened, and send a perfect snap to your story. With going live, you must accept that if you make mistakes, there’s no going back. This is why I get so nervous when I do live radio. Plus, when I get nervous, I do either (or both) of these things: 1) I talk very quickly, and 2) I ramble. You can now see why doing things live stresses me out and I’ve actually found out why. I’m a perfectionist and a TOTAL control freak. There you go. I said it. It’s out there. Everything must be meticulously planned and rehearsed to the point where one mistake can completely throw me. I also want to come across as being capable and that it looks like I’ve done this a million times before, except to get to that stage, it requires practice (and it’s the practice element which scares me too, except what you have to keep telling yourself is that people, over time, will see the development and growth of confidence, hence, growing with you on your journey). The thing is, no matter how confident I look on Snapchat or in my music videos for example, the fear of going live will seemingly remain because there’s no UNDO button.

That’s the same for everyone though so investing some time in YouTube tutorials is definitely the next step; taking that confidence from my other online activity and translating it into going live. I think the key is to not overthink it. Note to self. Just press the button.

What are your main tips for helping overcome the fear of going live? Have you gone live yet? If not, what has stopped you, and if you have, how is it working out for you? Get in touch via the comments and let’s talk about live streaming!

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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Photo by Martin Sharman

What’s the deal?

This topic has long been something I’ve wanted to address and I’ve been careful not to jump into this too soon for worry that I might miss something obvious (I still might) plus it’s given me a few weeks to really analyse this feature of the Snapchat app, to watch how people are using it and what people think that they can get out of it.

Snapchat, at the best of times, is extremely fast paced, and not only that, people are craving our attention more than ever before, but the new Snapchat groups facility has sent some users into total meltdown where the obsession to be seen and heard has reached new limits. …


The world has changed but my focus has never waned.

15/06/17

I’m sat on a train heading to the capital at this present moment, as tomorrow, I’m attending Social Day UK, a social media event in north London, however, under normal circumstances, I’d usually relish this opportunity. Getting in peoples’ faces with my random snapchats and networking. Shaking hands and killing it with the awkward small talk (I can be very awkward), however, as I type this, there are lots of uncertainties flowing through my brain. I feel unsure about a lot of things. As if the next six months could shape the rest of my life. I do this. I put an insurmountable level of pressure on my shoulders which is causing my anxiety to rear it’s ugly head more so than usual. Life’s a bitch sometimes.

On the flip side, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I mean, A LOT.

The weekend just passed saw my BBC Introducing live session get aired on BBC Newcastle and my Facebook Live stream from the BBC Newcastle building (as the session was broadcast) received waaaaay more interaction, shares and overall positive vibes than I could have ever imagined. I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t expecting this and I was completely overwhelmed. It’s taken me a minute to step out of the bubble but it’s been an amazing reintroduction to any kind of meaningful music activity. Within the Facebook event page which I’d created, I uploaded a new video update every day in the week leading up to the live session and this was the catalyst. I wanted to prove that I wasn’t treating this as just ‘another’ occasion. Nick Roberts (presenter of the BBC Introducing show on BBC Newcastle) had kindly delayed the broadcast in order to accommodate my social media plans and this enabled me to get the word out and do something which had rarely been suggested nevermind undertaken.

This experience. This reintroduction. This attention. This is what it must feel like to come out of retirement (even though I’d never retired). Let’s call it an accident sabbatical. Whatever you want to call it, it feels like I’ve been away from releasing music for far too long.

Since my last official release, the world has changed. The landscape for artists has changed, the means by which we consume music has changed. Everything, pretty much, has changed. It’s now as easy as it’s ever been to stream and download music with a plethora of services to choose from; all of which are accessible from within our pockets. This means that music which I’ll be releasing this year will be available on these platforms and I’m really looking forward to mixing it up in amongst some big artists and really getting out there. Although the stresses of releasing my music are inevitable, at some point, I need to let my music go and to maybe not be so protective over it. I’ve been like this for too long. It deserves to be heard.

This experience. This reintroduction. This attention. This is what it must feel like to come out of retirement…

I’ve explained in videos and in interviews about how I’ve managed to ‘stay relevant without being relevant’ and I’m so glad that I persevered with social media. Lots of artists and bands only use it when they’ve got something to shout about but there’s a lot to be said for consistency and patience. I’ve managed to maintain a presence during this period of downtime/music inactivity in order to keep as many doors open as possible, to keep my name and the Pull That Face And Die brand active. I feel like I’m ready to go again but this time as ABSORB 2.0.

I’m on the cusp of reintroducing myself to the world. For people to embrace my new found confidence and my ability to brush off any negativity. I feel much stronger mentally. It’s been a journey but I’ve learnt a lot about myself and a lot about other people. If you’ve got a good heart, good people will gravitate towards you.

Look out world. I’m coming. This is only the beginning (again).

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

Image for post
photo by Jay Dawson

Part 1 of ? / Evaluate. Destroy. Rebuild.

Back in January when Zero One, my first blog, went live on Medium, I decided to drop a new blog (more or less) every two weeks, and at that time (when I’d committed myself to doing these blogs), I had a fair idea of what made me happy. I was fresh into the New Year, I knew what my goals were for 2017, I knew what I wanted to achieve by January 2018, but maybe most of all, I knew what I wanted to change in my life to become happier, whether it be music-related or otherwise.

The terrible events in Manchester this week have forced me to reconsider a number of things, and even though I’ve been told on numerous occasions that life is short, as I get older, and as the world becomes much more of an unpredictable place, I’ve accepted that I’m no longer immune from danger and that everything can change in a second. No warning. No second chances.

I’ve spoken about legacy a number of times across my social media platforms; about how important it is to leave behind some truly epic sh!& and how striving for greatness at every given opportunity is how I go about my daily business.

Sometimes I use a smile to disguise how I REALLY feel, which I’m now aware, more than ever, isn’t fair on me and it isn’t fair on other people…

The thing is, when striving for this greatness, at what cost does it come? Sleeping four, five, six hours a day, always trying to create opportunities, the mood swings, the bad days, the writers block, being strapped for cash etc etc etc, all whilst juggling a day job. Believe me, I’m not complaining. People tell me that in order to reach my goals, “you must enjoy the journey”, the process of reaching your intended destination, and for the most part, I do, but this week’s events have posed a number of questions which I must ask myself. Are there parts of the journey which I can change, perhaps tweak or get rid of altogether? Always.

The thing is; no-one knows how long we have. No-one knows what the future holds unless we create it ourselves. To some, being happy is the ultimate goal, and I speak from experience here in that I deliberately use humour and sarcasm to make it seem like I’m happy. To mask things which are bothering me. Sometimes I use a smile to disguise how I REALLY feel, which I’m now aware (more than ever) isn’t fair on me and it isn’t fair on those around me. A problem shared and all that…

This blog post is neither a self help guide nor is it an instruction to be happy. Why would I do that? It’s your life, but constant evaluation means that you’re less likely to get stuck in a rut and be trapped by something you feel you can no longer change. What actions you take from this point forward is completely up to you, but yet again something horrific, something tragic, has made me think twice about exactly what I want, and more importantly, how I go about getting it. I can no longer spend time on things which make me unhappy and all I can suggest is that you do the same.

Love. Live. Life.

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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photo by Jay Dawson


It’s simple when you think about it…

Picture the scene. It’s an overcast Friday afternoon in May here in the UK. Traffic is starting to get heavy and the warm spring air lets me know that summer isn’t too far away. I’ve just come from a work work meeting and I’m sat here in KFC munching away (it’s all about the Fillet Tower burger, mate. Get to know!) just casually watching the world go by with a blank canvas in front of me. This got me thinking. We all love to root for the underdog. It’s in our nature. We want the non-league team to cause an upset against a Premier League club in the FA Cup. Of course we do. Sometimes though, in whatever industry you’re in, backing the winner can in turn help you.

Let me explain.

My accent, not something which you’d typically hear in my native north-east, has always been an issue for other local artists. I wasn’t born here but that didn’t seem to stop the tirades of abuse for not sounding “local”. Not only that, but I’ve never sat on the fence with my music. When you’re in the business of creating, you want people to have a (strong) opinion either way. In my opinion, provoking a reaction means that you’ve done your job. Too many fence sitters tells me that you’ve played it safe, and who’s going to remember you in years to come for that? I’ve come to realise over the years that doing something bold, doing something out of your comfort zone and ultimately doing something different is what will set you apart (remember my sign?). I think it’s also a great opportunity to roll out a phrase which I heard during the recent Joshua VS Klitschko build up; “with great risk comes great reward” and I have to say that this is true of basically anything you do. If you’ve got the bottle to stand up and be counted, to go against the grain and stand alone with your own thoughts and ideas (irrespective of what everyone else says or does), the rewards could be huge.

As a side note; at first, they’ll mock. Then they see what you’re doing is working, then they copy. Sound familiar? History is littered with examples.

So what has this got to do with backing the winners exactly?

Well, where I am in the world, there’s a lot of negativity towards people who want to upset the apple cart and I hasten to add (as I’m sure you’ll be aware) that with success comes hate and jealousy. This song immediately comes to mind. This is where it gets interesting. Being jealous is a totally outdated way of thinking. It’s a reaction which suggests that you’re not comfortable within yourself and one which tells me that you probably doubt your own ability.

“…with great risk comes great reward.”

As mentioned on my Snapchat this week, backing those who are successful makes a lot of sense. When it comes to music specifically, when one door opens for an artist or band, it opens the door for everyone with a similar style or sound. I still read and hear…

“how come they’re getting attention and I’m not?”

1) If you’re working hard, making great music and you’re putting yourself out there, you must have faith that your time will come, and 2) by contacting people who have shown support to others in your field, how can this be a bad thing for you? You could be next in line and jumping on such an opportunity could be the break you’ve been looking for. Mate. Seriously. Get on it.

If your glass is half full, you’ll have that predatory instinct and you’ll try to capitalise on what’s going on around you. With your glass half empty, you’ll sulk and whinge that these great things aren’t happening to you and this amazing opportunity which is staring you in the face will pass before your eyes.

In conclusion, what I’m saying is support the winners because not only will doors open for them, but in turn, they’ll open for you.

Positive vibes only. Please. Thanks.

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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photo by Idene Roozbayani


What you hear and what’s actually happening are often two different things.

As you may have seen this week on my Snapchat (add me, hello), I spoke about what I thought my next blog post was going to be about, and, when in doubt, I always turn to something which is very close to my heart.

The music industry can be a total mind fxxk. Artists get hype. Artists get signed. Artists don’t sell as many records as was initially predicted. Artists get dropped. Artists disappear. Artists return. This journey can have a profound effect (and indeed a profound impact) on your brain. I can’t say that I know what this journey feels like in its entirety BUT what I can say is that as an unsigned artist, the work to generate hype is like a full time job in itself; networking, lyric writing, recording, social media (having things to talk about ALL OF THE TIME) plus holding down a job so I can actually live. At the time of writing, I’m suuuuuuuuuuper stressing that I haven’t touched my Twitter account in over 36 hours. People will think I’m dead. No, seriously, actually dead.

After a period of time when you find that progress is hard to come by, you start doubting everything. You doubt your ability. The people in your inner circle. Your instinct. Your choices. You feel like everyone is conspiring against you. You feel like the world doesn’t want you to win. You become uninspired. You want to give up. You feel like your warm cosy bed is where you want to stay forever and ever to avoid confronting a problem which can only get worse if you don’t do anything about it.

Sitting on social media isn’t “making it happen” because those are just words. That’s just what you’re telling people. It doesn’t actually mean that you’re doing anything.

The thing is, my fear of FOMO is STILL very real. Spending time on social media is all well and good but to what end? As an artist, it’s my job to create the best music I can. Am I creating music whilst sat on social media? No. In a complete turnaround, my lack of Twitter activity in the last day or so shouldn’t be causing me so much panic (note to self) because let’s face it, when you’re quiet, it often means that you’re up to something. It means that something behind-the-scenes is brewing. You can often get away with this if you’re an established name but the temptation of the distractions (namely social media) means that you can be dragged further and further away from the music which is exactly what happened to me. You end up forgetting that your sole purpose is to create. Sitting on social media isn’t “making it happen” because those are just words. That’s just what you’re telling people. It doesn’t actually mean that you’re doing anything.

What you hear and what’s actually happening can be two different things because I was telling people for nearly two years that I was making an EP and that it’d be ready “soon” but the fact is “soon” was actually never. I’d lost my mojo. I’d hit the biggest wall I could imagine and there were no lyrics for a very long time. If progress feels like it’s further away than it’s ever been before, there are three things which I’d suggest you do…

1) Believe in yourself
2) Believe in yourself
3) Believe in yourself

If it’s what you want more than anything, you’ll do whatever it takes, and THIS is the definition of making it happen. More doing. Less talking. In my case, I had to start writing again even if it was terrible (and it WAS terrible). Putting plans into action. Sending those emails. Making those calls. In turn, this will then give you things to shout about. When it’s going well, it’s the best thing ever. When it’s bad, it feels like a very lonely place, but in those dark times, believing in yourself is crucial. Your hard work and perseverance will be rewarded. Like Dizzee said, “…pull up your socks and stand up tall.”

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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photo by Jay Dawson


My very first Snapchat takeover. This is what went down!

I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted to do a Snapchat takeover but I didn’t really know where to start. Who do you approach? Has the person had takeovers before? More to the point, when you do a takeover, what do you actually say or do? Are there guidelines? So many questions.

Completely out of the blue last week I was approached by Mark, from St. Louis, Missouri, and he asked whether I’d like to take over his Snapchat that very day. Luckily, I was busy, BUT, here’s why. Being super busy bought me some time to really think about the questions mentioned at the top of this blog. I mean, where do you start? I tried to get a brief of what he was looking for and for how long he wanted me to takeover for (in terms of overall minutes or number of snaps) so I at least had a framework or some kind of structure to work with.

I was quietly bricking it (‘shitting it’ is actually how I felt but let’s try and keep this family friendly shall we?) and lo and behold, Mark was awake at 7am (CDT) to send me a message with his log in details. Picture the scene; I had his log in info with a free reign to do pretty much whatever I’d wanted. I am 100% NOT this trusting although I can definitely see the value in what a takeover can bring to your account.

Here’s the thing. All I had to go on was his current Snapchat story and what I could remember of what he usually talks about from previous stories I’d seen, but let’s face it, if you know me, my memory isn’t all that, so for safety purposes, let’s just use his latest story as actual proof of his overall vibe and the type of content you might typically expect from him, which, on reflection, was very helpful and also a major hindrance.

Anyway, let’s rewind for a second. Knowing that a takeover was on the cards (using the premise that nothing is ever set in stone until it’s actually happening; the best way I find), I’d used my morning dog walk to provide some insight [on my snapchat story] as to effective ways to build an online community. Why? Because if my Snapchat takeover was a hit, people coming to check me out from my takeover on his account would see that I often bring value and not just awkwardness, weirdness or just plain randomness. Effectively, by starting at the end and working backwards, I felt it was important to give people a reason to keep coming back and checking out my story. With that in the bag, I opened his message which told me that I could log in and I set about my takeover.

It was happening. It was real. He’d bigged me up to his snapchat community, provided them with my snapcode, and now it was all on me. I’d had the previous evening and that morning to really concoct (and then cement) a plan. The idea was to use my randomness to my advantage but to also bring as much value to Mark as possible. The temptation was for me to make my takeover all about me, but why do that? Bombarding his community with links to my music etc made absolutely no sense to me. If someone had done that to me by using my account as their platform for self promotion, I’d be fuming, so I had to make this work for both of us.

It was happening. It was real. He’d bigged me up to his snapchat community, provided them with my snapcode, and now it was all on me…

He’d allowed me to mention my snapcode and any additional links etc, so with that in mind, I chose to firstly to introduce myself and what I do, and then set about asking his community to either 1) tell Mark (for when he next logged back in) why they love watching his Snapchat stories, or 2) tell Mark why they think he’s awesome.

Here’s my reasoning: sometimes we have bad days, this is life, but I thought it’d be nice for him to see some positivity from his community. I concluded my takeover by giving my snapcode and website address in the same snap as well as my hashtag to let people know how they can find me online.

This was such an amazing experience and I’m really thankful to Mark for getting in touch and asking me to get involved. There are lots of people who dislike social media, and I understand why. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Facebook, for all of its privacy issues and general moaning/negativity from its users (or maybe I just need new friends), but platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat really bring people together. Snapchat in particular, for all of its flaws about not being able to discover people (although I understand that this could be changing worldwide very soon) actually feels special. I think it’s the capability of snapping and interacting with people visually and not just in text form which gives the platform its edge. Yes, Twitter can do this too, but in my opinion, nowhere near as successfully.

Some people say that the people you meet via social media aren’t your real friends, especially if a face to face meeting hasn’t taken place, but I disagree. If you interact with people often enough, acquaintances become friends; there’s no two ways about it. We live in an age now where Snapping is just like Skyping. You get to see that person with your own eyes using mutual interests as the foundation of your conversation. You can laugh and share experiences with each other etc so how then can this behaviour not be deemed or interpreted as real? It’s an experience like my takeover which not only affirms why social media can be great but Mark could be someone I keep in touch with for years and years to come (across different platforms) simply because of this chance encounter and the opportunity he kindly gave me. When it’s time to takeover, it’s time to takeover.

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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A screenshot from my Snapchat takeover


Let me tell you why it’s all about perception.

In my journey so far as a music artist, I’ve encountered numerous people, either in person or online, where it’s evident that the fear of failure had crippled them. They’d blocked out what it would do to them mentally, and instead, brought how people would perceive their failures to the forefront. I’ll be honest. I was once that person. I was so intent on trying to please everyone else, and trying to pander my music to specific demographics, that I was actually losing sight of why I started this in the first place. I was inadvertently hurting my own brand in the quest to be accepted and to be embraced by artists, producers and managers.

It’s taken me years (and I mean years) to accept who I really am and be comfortable with the music I’m making. I was asked in a recent radio interview with Shahlaa Tahira, “…knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself back in 2011?” I said, with no hesitation, “don’t be afraid”, because for a very long time, I was. I decided to grow as an artist behind-the-scenes instead of in front of everyone (in public) which is very much the norm nowadays. People love to see and feel the progression and they want to closely follow an artist’s journey. This is how people connect with you.

Large periods of release inactivity could be deemed a mistake on my part but I don’t regret it in any way. The only thing I wished was around a lot more, even two or three years ago, was the conversation surrounding failure. I’ve been talking to Joe Wilson from L.A. (a former stand up comedian turned story teller, writer, director) via Snapchat this week and I think we’ve both reached the conclusion that failure is all about perception.

“I said, with no hesitation, “don’t be afraid”, because for a very long time, I was.”

Going back to what I mentioned earlier, I was ridiculously scared of failure, to the point where I’d take each setback personally, even if the reasons for something not succeeding was totally out of my hands. If PRs wouldn’t take on my latest track, if DJs didn’t want to play my music, if a Facebook blog post didn’t get the reaction I was hoping for etc, I would see all of this as being my fault. Here’s the thing. Sometimes, a ‘no’ isn’t a no. Sometimes a no is a ‘not now’, or a ‘come back to me with something stronger and we’ll talk’. I used to see a ‘no’ as a very firm door slam and a reason to beat myself up. I see a ‘no’ as a challenge these days. A reason to step my game up yet again. A chance to prove to the naysayers that actually I really DO want this and an opportunity to prove people wrong. It’s not only how you perceive it, but how you’re going to dust yourself off and go again. That’s the real conversation. It’s all in the mind.

As an example, the Dragons on Dragon’s Den will have endured some huge losses and sailed their ships through some pretty turbulent and unpredictable waters at one time or another and yet very few people are open and honest enough to really get in to the nitty gritty and talk about how these losses have shaped their careers. If we talked about these things more, people’s fear of failure wouldn’t necessarily disappear but it would certainly make setbacks a little easier to take.

In my line of work, I don’t refer to things which don’t go my way as “losses”. Calling something a loss seems so clinical. So set in stone. An ‘L’ which sticks out like sore thumb on your win record. I’m always experimenting. Testing the water. Seeing what works and what doesn’t. If a track of mine isn’t getting the reception I’d hoped for, I no longer refer to it as a setback. I’m experimenting. I go back to the drawing board and start again. Finding a winning formula (in any industry) isn’t always easy because of things like market conditions and current trends. There often isn’t a blueprint to follow, especially when success is based so much on opinion rather than fact, so constant re-evaluation of what’s going on around you is so important.

In conclusion, the good stuff always takes time to really catch on so having faith in your own ability as well as having boat loads of patience are crucial ingredients to success. Whenever I have any doubts, I always look to my favourite artists and business people. The people who aren’t afraid to take risks. The people who refuse to play it safe. The thing is, if you’re determined enough to succeed no matter what, you’ll get up and keep fighting no matter what’s put in front of you. Forget what anyone else thinks and forget about the fear of failure. In essence, if you can learn from setbacks, they can never be counted as losses. Only wins.

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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photo by Idene.co.uk

An unpublished blog post which I found from 2014. If I’m describing you in this blog, I wholeheartedly don’t apologise. Just saying. Jog on (but just don’t take a photo. That’s all I ask).

Ok, it’s important to take a deep breath at this stage in case I’m about to talk about something which you do yourself. I won’t put it off any longer. The gym. The freaking gym. The sweaty, look-at-me selfies (which you obviously need to share across ALL of your social network pages) whereby your face expresses a Lil Jon-esque “YEAAAAAH!!!” at having just completed a personal best on the weights machine you’re stood next to. Wow, presumably you’ll be going INNNNNNNN on your Twitter page for the rest of the day with this information? Unfollows and waves goodbye. Those photos whereby you’re blatantly rubbing it in my face whilst I’m at home gorging on a particularly unhealthy sandwich and scrolling down my news feeds. Well, I’ve got news for you. The only people clicking LIKE on those photos are gym regulars who are 1) heading to the gym, 2) already at the gym, or 3) back from the gym, and at this moment in time, I’m not 1), 2) or 3) for your information.

By all means, go, or to those bootcamps which start at like 6am; do your thing, drink your protein shakes, but it’s the fact that you then see the need to pull out your mobile phone and force your disgustingly sweaty face into my life in an almost, “hey, look at me, I’m a better person than you” type of manner. Even Instagram videos are out there now with people panting whilst they’re on the bikes, talking to the camera and recording themselves whilst they’re cycling for their lives. Why? Why is this necessary?

My gym face is not sexy. My gym face is that which insinuates a brutal concoction of confusion and pain.

A question which has often occurred to me is how, in your entire life, does anything ever get done when all you seem to do is go to the gym? How do bills get paid? How does work get done? How does anything seem to happen when you’re there ALL THE TIME?! I run, I play sport, but I never talk about it unless I feel the treadmill has decided it has some new found vendetta against me. It’s said in good humour and I’ll dedicate one tweet to it, that’s it, and definitely no photos or videos during any session. My gym face is not sexy. My gym face is that which insinuates a brutal concoction of confusion and pain. Women don’t want to see that. Even I don’t want to see that. I mean, who is going to the gym to try and pull? Do you think the girl of your dreams will somehow be impressed if you look like you’re trying to break the four minute mile as you collapse on the floor in a big pile of sweaty mess? It’s not happening mate.

I get it. I do. The gym is an escape. If you’re in the media, there can be pressure on you to look good all of the time. Singers, rappers, actors etc all want to look good for the camera; whether it be in a music video, for a film for example but I just don’t need to see the process, otherwise surely I’d tweet you and ask if I can come with you to the gym and watch, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want that. That’s all kinds of weird. I’m not trying to ban you from going to the gym. Go. Have fun. Sweat it out. Just leave your phone in the locker, along with your #GymLife hashtags. Then we can be friends again. Ok?

[ #PTFAD ]

You can find me elsewhere across the internet via my website. Click HERE to find out more (or search: thisisABSORB in your favourite social media platform)

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live your life and take control. seriously!

FOMO: a term which has only really been part of my psyche over the last twelve months or so. I was very much aware that it existed but I hadn’t realised that there was an actual term or acronym for it. If FOMO is a new term to you, it stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and I get this in abundance.

Since using Twitter quite early on to network with DJs, artists, producers, managers, bloggers etc, I’ve found that my FOMO ‘addiction’ is most evident when scrolling through tweets. I must begin at the very bottom of my timeline and scroll all the way up, pressing ‘show more tweets’ countless times along the way until I can see everything.

What my brain hasn’t quite worked out yet is that if I start checking Twitter at around midnight, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of tweets that I can’t see (and will never be able to see) that have been posted throughout the day because my Twitter app only usually displays tweets from the last four or five hours, so instead of worrying about those, my brain insists on making sure that I skim read everything from that four or five hour window which can take two to three hours sometimes (taking into account replying to my mentions and striking up conversations), which to some could be considered a huge waste of time.

“Twitter has proved to be the one platform which has allowed me to grow my brand more than any other.”

The thing is though, this ridiculously thorough (obsessive) way of checking tweets stems from my OCD (which you can read more about here) which has been part of my life for many years, but in some respects, this behavior can lead to some great opportunities.

Allow me to explain.

Twitter has proved to be the one platform which has allowed me to grow my brand more than any other. As mentioned in Zero Two, people will find any way they can to stop themselves from (cue a phrase I hate with a passion) “putting in the work” (that’s right, I went there) because in order to get the most out of the platform, you need to be dedicated, you need to be patient, you need to be interested in what other people are doing, (if you’re a brand) you need to know when a piece of content could be relevant to your followers and then share it, you need to ask questions in order to build conversations/relationships, and maybe most of all, you need to have your own style, your own identity, your own cadence if you will, which can take time to craft and nurture.

Having built relationships online with some key individuals, my fear of missing out stems from not wanting to be forgotten. In the time when I’ve been inactive release-wise, I’ve managed to perfect the art of staying relevant without being relevant, and despite the lack of new music, I’m still there networking; still in peoples’ mentions, and ultimately, still being seen.

What I haven’t yet allured to is that the fear of missing out has some serious side effects and consequences. Lots of people in business often talk about the work/life balance and discuss the importance of getting it right in order to maintain a happy and healthy life. I work six or seven days a week and I have great anxiety and guilt when I’m not working because I feel like I should be out there with my elbows out and creating opportunities (often at the expense of those closest to me). The fear of missing out, as I’m finding myself, means that my brain is always ticking, I’m always thinking and it’s very difficult to turn off my phone and simply switch off from the world. Being in what feels like a twenty four hour day job where people expect answers to their queries in a matter of minutes (rather than hours or days) isn’t exactly helping but building one day into my schedule a week when I just won’t do any work will surely help.

The idea now is for FOMO to gradually disappear from my life altogether. It’s something I can’t control and I can’t see every single tweet ever posted, so ABSORB mate, deal with it. Let it go. Create more and talk less. Note to self: legacy is the key and your music will be your legacy [and not what you can fit into one hundred and forty characters]. Stay focused. The new EP is coming. Handle your business.

[ #PTFAD ]

You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).

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photo by Jay Dawson

About

ABSORB Online

Hi. I'm ABSORB, a grime artist from the UK, and I write about what it's like being an unsigned music artist as well as social media and how it's used by others.

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