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  • Joe Dolman

Safe Haven

I always knew it was complex, ever since I started writing and releasing music there has been times where it has felt impossible for me to keep my eye on the target. “What’s the point?” can be an extremely difficult question to answer when presented with a million different choices to pick from, both answers of your own conjuring as well as external influences, all clouding one another. Over the last 6 years of creating music both within my artist project as well as a part of others, I have been constantly reminded of the importance of answering that question correctly.


I’ll go into more detail about wearing different hats in a later post, as there’s lots I’d like to explore in that thread, including the impact (both positive & negative) that it has had on me being involved in so many different projects, with differing agendas in each one. For now though, now you’re here and I’m doing this, I felt it was important for me to give some explanation as to why I am actually doing this blog, or indeed Patreon at all.

Getting straight to the point never was my strongest trait, especially when there’s a risk of miscommunication if details are spared. In many cases they are spared, and often for the sake of not wasting time. However, I think it’s important to keep people in the loop where possible, and give everyone a fair chance to make their own choices. How can you expect people to be understanding if you don’t show them the complete picture? It’s scary to be open with people. Vulnerability has to happen on your own terms and you build up confidence to share more at your own pace.

That’s what I’m doing here.

I’ve always tried to be as transparent and honest as possible, and sometimes that means I take a more difficult or longer path to a result than some may have; however I would argue that looking back on the experiences i’ve had, I’ve always learnt more from getting things wrong than I have from getting them right.

It’s so hard in the current climate of music to not feel entirely defined by the “success” of your latest release, perhaps more than ever before. There is an unbelievable amount of pressure on new artists to be at their peak from day one - a fully developed, perfect package ready to be catapulted to the top the second they are released into the world on that relentless, record shattering, globe dominating debut album campaign. Of course, debut albums and first releases are important and they always will be, however I can’t help but feel that pressure is stifling sometimes.

The reason I’m telling you these things isn’t to be ranting about the music industry. I am saying it to tell you that I find releasing music scary. My latest EP Honesty & Apologies is (no surprise, given the title) my most honest music yet. It leaves me open and vulnerable to whoever listens to it, there is nothing but personal truth in all 5 of those songs. I am extremely proud of it and knew despite that fear of being vulnerable; it is a solid landmark in my progress as an artist/writer/producer and was my absolute best work yet.

Nothing left in the tank.

In the time between that release, my previous ones before that (Something Beautiful/Close To Home etc.) and since the H&A EP, I’ve written hundreds of songs. Dozens of which I love, and want to share. I feel that even though not all of them have made me feel compelled to fully finish and officially release for one reason or another, there are songs which are especially important in my development and don’t want to let fall to the wayside forever as they are a part of that previously mentioned complete picture of mine as an artist.

That’s the real reason for any of this.

Yes of course, the financial support you give goes an incredibly long way for me as an independent artist, more than you probably realise; that I am grateful beyond words for and I’ll never stop being thankful for that, truly. However, the thing that is worth more to me than money is having you in this community, where I can share anything I want and feel like I’m not at risk of being misunderstood or judged for not being at my peak. I feel it’s important for me to be able to not only document my own progress but to also be able to share it when I want to. Nobody is perfect and especially not from day 1, I am testament to that. We’re all still figuring it out as we go and I don’t want to pretend like it’s any different for me. The way I see it, artistic licence isn’t just an idiom that grants me freedom to express myself in my music however I like. It’s also crucially what allows me to choose not to express or not to share, which I think is equally important for artists as they continue to dig deeper for what it is they’re searching for. You being here and wanting more than just the highlights is as much of a crutch for me as an artist as your money is. These things combined; the Safe Haven you create for me is invaluable, and I truly hope you feel as valued by me as you are. Everything I share with you comes from a place of real love, passion and honesty; I am excited to be more open with you than I’ve ever been and I hope that it’s as enjoyable for you as it is for me.

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© 2017 by JOE DOLMAN