I never dreamed of being a singer. In fact I suffered from stage fright growing up, but on my 20th birthday, out of nowhere I started writing lyrics. With them came a dream that I might one day get on stage on sing.
It took me 7 years to overcome my fear and start pursuing my dream of sharing my music with the world. In 2005 I dared to push the boundaries in the music industry by inviting fans to buy my debut album BEFORE I recorded it. At the time, I had no idea I was about to become one of the world's first crowd-funders.
2000 people in 25 countries believed in me pre-bought an album by an unheard of artist. I was able to release 'Journey' at the end of 2008 having donated R30,000 to two charities in the process.
Instead of making me famous for singing, my crazy idea catapulted me into the world of innovation and inspiration. Suddenly I was being invited to share my story around the world, and I discovered that I had an equal passion for helping people overcome their obstacles.
I love that I still get to perform my songs at the end of my keynotes, and am always happy to hear from people who find inspiration in my music.
In 2005 I was crazy enough to invite people to 'buy an album that didn't exist'. I didnt' have the R300k needed to record and wanted to see if it was possible to do something new and different. To make it meaningful, I decided to donate 10.6% of every album sold to two charities – POWA (People Opposing Woman Abuse) & my own Live Your Dreams Foundation (helping developing artists get started).
Against all odds I sold over 2000 copies in 25 countries before going into studio, and was able pay over R30,000 to the charities. The album, named “Journey” by my fans, was recorded by award winning producers Paul McIver & Brian O'Shea. Journey was released by Musketeer Records in July 2008 having proved that there was another way for artists to fund their music. (This was long before 'crowdfunding' was a buzz word). My crazy venture was shared on Carte Blanche, Journey to the Core and The Power Within and written about all over the world.
I was suddenly in demand to speak on innovation and eventually asked to train people in Edward De Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats' method of 'out the box thinking'. It was an experience that also led some extraordinary miracles, not the least of which was that I was made an ambassador of education of INTEC and had the opportunity to give away 30 bursaries to deserving South Africans. My album funding model is now a WITS Business School case study on viral marketing, and has also been featured in a HSBC booklet on "100 Great Business Ideas" in the UK.
All in all, 'Journey' proved to me that anything is possible when you give yourself permission to try something you believe in. It wasn't always easy, but it changed my life and has taught me the importance of daring to be different in the face of adversity.
In the times when I feel like I haven't achieved enough in my life, I just have to look back at the wild ride my first album took me on, and I know without a doubt that I have nothing to regret!A dream is merely a dream until others help you make it a reality. My eternal thanks goes to the over 2000 people who made the album possible! Thank you al.l.
One of the first songs I ever wrote! Produced by Theo Crous and funded by Alistair King - it was incredible to have this song come to life. A huge thanks to Dale Rodkin for shooting this little video with me back in 2005.