Some of you reading that six years is just over a quarter of my life will likely recoil in horror at that sentence, knowing that I’m not even midway through my 20s, yet have been sharing music with you for six years. Others already know this and were shocked to find out I’m not actually in my 30’s which I take as a compliment of sorts. So, six years on, a quarter of my life later and here I am.
Bored of scouring through the back catalogue of NME Radar posts and generally being too unprepared for the going to gigs alone phase, I stumbled across Drowned In Sound, a site where finding music and sharing this, was their #1 priority, with their forums absolutely bursting with amazing recommendations. Sean Adams, the creator of Drowned In Sound is a huge inspiration to me, turning a blog into one of the most credible sources for new music online, so it’s thanks to him that Velvet really got started.
Velvet started out as me just writing about bands I liked, waiting for new music to come out or scrawling through Soundcloud and Bandcamp for anything that picked my ear. There are tracks from back in 2013 that I hated, which now I’d go running to, so it’s always interesting to scour back through Velvet and see how my tastes changed and when I stopped allowing my taste from blocking good music being heard. It’s only over the past couple of years that my ‘critic-head’ has emerged, which really is just being able to tell when there’s good music right in front of you, even if you’re not a fan of the song or genre yourself. Heavier, metal genres are currently some of those that I’m focusing in on when they get sent my way, learning to appreciate the work and skill it takes to make death-screams sound like ancient poetry.
Arguably, the biggest change on Velvet over the past six years has been the introduction of “What’s Good”, inspired by my earlier “Bandcamp Presents” feature. The latter began as a way to find artists who didn’t have the resources to be pushing their music to every blog on the internet, although this is when my ‘critic-head’ was only just emerging, and why “Bandcamp Presents” didn’t last, as my personal tastes were blocking the artists who I’d sort to help elevate.
So, “What’s Good” keeps to this claim of elevating new artists, although occasionally personal favourites do sneak in, however, that’s not something I’ll be feeling guilty about any time soon. “What’s Good” has been a saving grace for Velvet, as many times over the past two years I’ve thought about packing it in and closing Velvet down. Generally due to working over forty hours a week, suffering from mental health episodes that can be as minor as a down day, to a month or so where I can’t find the motivation to write, and then my life just getting in the way. Velvet has been on the back foot for a while now, although the love from artists I share and people reaching out to me, alongside friends and family helping to motivate is 90% the reason why Velvet is still going.
The other 10% is because Velvet is my baby. I’ve helped her grow into a somewhat noteworthy blog, sharing artists from their day 1 who now, are touring all over the world, and finding new artists that I’m already mapping out illustrious future careers for. Velvet has helped me grow and kept my artistic juices flowing over the years, helping me to help others, which is what I set out to do when Velvet began in 2013.
Now six years later, Velvet isn’t where I had planned for it to be, but nonetheless, I’m immensely proud of this site and plan on keeping this going for at least six more.