A Lesson in Perseverance

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Stories, Studio Advice, Thoughts | Comments Off

Let’s be perfectly frank here; the music business is rough. It is an industry filled with ego, pride, passion, and little patience. Add to all that, most music/artistic types have NO IDEA what it means to “do business,” so frustration and negativity fill every music “scene” in every city. Expectations are high but commitment is low. Resentment grows towards others who have a modicum of success. All in all, this laundry basket needs some fresh air!

Success in the music business is defined in many different ways. Today, I’d like to define success as “Never Giving Up,” and I’d like to show you why.


Shaun Bosch – Garden (feat. Emily Coulston)

Produced by James Seabrook & Shaun Bosch
Engineered by James Seabrook & Shaun Bosch
Mixed & Mastered by James Seabrook

Garden (feat. Emily Coulston)


Starting, Falling, Re-Starting.

In the summer of 2011, I started talking with local singer/songwriter Shaun Bosch, about recording his music at my studio. He had just finished his first record at home, and released it to iTunes so wasn’t specifically interested. None the less, we had connected and stayed in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Right after his first record, “Falling,” was release on iTunes, Shaun got really sick. Details don’t matter, but if I understand it correctly, he didn’t even touch his guitar for months after the release. He went from playing regularly around town to releasing a first album to nothing. He didn’t give up though, and this is the key to everything.

He could have given up. He was 31. He had a family and a young son. Putting in the effort and spending the money on music was certainly taking away from his “life.” Now add a major health complication. Easy to give up and focus on what really matters, right? That’s not how Shaun approached it.

In the spring of 2012, we started talking about recording his new record. We discussed different options to financing it, different plans to save money, three songs vs seven songs vs 10 songs, and so on… Finally Shaun decided to move forward with a 10 song record and to pursue a grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. All summer long we went back and forth getting the grant ready, and finally submitted it at the start of September.

Then the waiting began…

… and more waiting took place.

Then, in November of 2012, the answer came back “No.”

He could have given up again at this point as so many would have. Instead, we had this conversation.

James: What’s the plan, then?
Shaun: We’re still going to record eight songs. How can we make it work in my budget?
James: blah blah blah… (yes, I talk a lot). We’ll make it work.


The Silence of Positivity.

That same month, Shaun released his first video for the song “Falling” and we started planning his second record. He wasn’t going to let anything behind him prevent him from doing what he loved most, creating his music. And so, March 10, 2013, we started recording drums.

Shaun’s budget was limited and so our schedule was spread out over 3 months for recording, and 2 months for mixing and mastering. We had to be creative, and many things didn’t work the way we hoped (some sessions from out of town weren’t very good), yet through all the obstacles we faced, Shaun remained positive and focused on completing the record.

Not only was he focused on finishing the record, he dived head first into everything else he needed to get ready for a November 1st release date (Sept 01 iTunes/Radio). CD Design. Website. Merch. Venue. Band. Fans. All the while, Shaun was the positive, supportive, helpful person that he has always been.

I know none of this sounds all that different from the rest of us. He’s struggled to sell CDs and merch since the CD came out, like the rest of us. He doesn’t always have time to pay attention to social media, like the rest of us. He doesn’t always play to big crowds, like the rest of us.

HOWEVER… Because he didn’t let negativity get in the way, good things have been happening to him. Over the winter, Shaun hit #1 on CFRC in Kingston and #6 the Earshot Campus & Community Charts in October 2013, with his song “Garden.” A fan in the states wrote a video song about her love of him and his music to support his entry to the CBC music search this spring. Just recently, a Canadian film director, Han Siu, reached out to Shaun wanting to make a video for “Garden” and as you can see above, it looks amazing.

My point to this whole ramble is that Shaun is finally starting to see great things happen for him and his music, and I firmly believe it is the positivity in everything he does that’s going to make it happen for him. He is constantly supportive of the musicians he interacts with. He supports the local music scene endlessly and treats every fan as though he needs to earn their respect. So really I could have just written this paragraph and call it done. But I think Shaun’s story is important to show the obstacles he’s overcome. His positivity, not succumbing to the negativity that surrounds many in this business, has brought him success. He didn’t give up.