Uncategorized Oct 19, 2023

I don't really like to tell this story,

because I don't like to be thought of as a victim and I certainly don't want people to treat me differently. 

This is something that even my best friends didn't know about until about two weeks ago, and these people have known me for years, yet they didn't know this thing about me. 

When I was younger, I went to school and everybody was making fun of me. They would make jokes about me because I talked too loud. Then they would whisper things and I couldn't hear them.


They were picking on me.

I would go home and I just was miserable. and I remember laying on the end of my bed and talking to my mum and I told her “Mum. I don't want to go to school anymore.”  

She asked me “why do you want to go to school?” I had to tell her that nobody likes me, I didn't have any friends, and I was so sad to have to do this. 


Just imagine telling your mother this. I don't have any...

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Ridley Academy - The Life of an artist.

Uncategorized Sep 19, 2023

LIFE is something that either happens to you or happens because of you.

It is everybody's masterpiece. it is your creation.

Some people write a beautiful novel and some people finish their life with an empty book they didn't even pick up the pen. That's life. 

There's three moments, and they came very close together and that's when I realized I wanted to be a musician the first time.


The first time was when I was less than two years old.
It was seeing my father, who was quite an aggressive and serious guy, But when he listened to Elvis he became soft. He became Elvis.

I thought whoa what is that? What is that power like the power to change even a man as strong as my dad? I want that power.


The second big moment for me was inspired by a quote from Woody Allen.

He says that the job of the artist is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. and I realize in this moment existence doesn't have to be so empty.

When I would...

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Make Money Doing What You Love.

Uncategorized Sep 04, 2023

I hated being a kid. 

I know, that's a weird thing to say. 

Needing the permission of people, not being able to do what you want to do, to buy what you want to buy, to be able to be yourself, and the way you want to live your life. 

I've spent my life looking at who was right, who knew what they were doing, and I was too scared to try and do what I wanted. 

What was the result? Working in a job I hated. Oh yeah, I had the money, the status, the car, the penthouse. 

But none of it was my idea. none of it was my decision.

When I quit the bank, I quit that life. I changed everything.

In an instant, I snapped, and ended 20 years of begging for permission and approval. And I had no idea what I was going to do next. And you know what? it was the best choice of my life. 

Everything is aligned. I get to travel the world doing what I love. Creating. Sometimes, it's quite overwhelming. 

The first 20 years of my life I just took and took and took. and...

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Ridley Academy - A night to remember...

Uncategorized Aug 31, 2023

I’d never heard of Uzbekistan before.

I didn’t even know what I was doing when I got there.

But I arrived on an airplane with just 3 people on it at about 4:00 in the morning, completely exhausted. But when I had stepped off the airplane there were about 40 people there waiting for me. including the Minister of Culture.

I was under a lot of pressure because I was worried no one would show up. 

The day of the show in the middle of the day I was getting ready and doing a sound check, It was in the center square of the city, and a few people were showing up watching my play. 
10 people turned into 20. 

20 turned into 100. 

100 turned into 400.

When I was finished, I noticed they all had their phones out, recording me.

Then my phone started blowing up. I was being tagged hundreds of times, mentioned in stories on instagram, tiktok, facebook, everywhere. and it didn’t stop all night. 

When I was in the building getting ready and...

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Ridley Academy - The night I met Johnny Cash.

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2023

This is kind of a crazy story.

Back when I was 15, my father brought us to Nashville. He was a cowboy at heart. and we went all over Tennessee. 

Coming from the the UK, The Social Vanir was VERY heavy, and coming the American city of Memphis, this was absolutely a different universe.

I'm used to a conversation with people that go like: "How do you do?" "I'm fine." when their house is burning down.

Nah, not in Memphis. People were REAL. The BLUES were real. 

So I'm playing in a bar in Nashville, on an old upright piano, and a big man walks up behind me. 

"Well hello there"

I have never loved being interrupted while playing. especially when drunk dudes jump in mid-song.

even though I gave him back a "hey." I really was not that into starting up a conversation

"Do you know what song you're playing?" He said.

"Yeah, I'm playing Johnny Cash." 

"That's good. Do you know who I am?"

I sat back thinking, yeah man, I know who you...

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The Story of Piano

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2023

This is the story of the birth and rise of the most popular instrument in our planet's history; the piano.

Back in the late 1600's, people were growing desperate for a new sound that would stir their souls, a tool to help them express the otherwise inexpressible. For centuries only 2 instrument's had been around; a harpsichord, and an organ. Both of these instruments are incredibly limited in terms of artistic expression; each key only played one tone (tone = the quality and strength of a sound), meaning that there was no variety whatsoever. It is from this that we get the word 'monotonous' (mono = one, tonus = tone/sound), and means BORING! Imagine a painting with just one colour, one paint, and one brush stroke. The world lacked expression!

One man, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731), felt this longing deeply. He was a harpsichord maker in the city of Florence, Italy, and he had been experimenting with ways to improve the instrument for years. He was...

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Are Piano and Keyboard the same thing?

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2023

If you're interested in playing music, you might be wondering whether a piano and a keyboard are the same thing. It's a common question, and the answer is not as straightforward as you might think.

Pianos and keyboards might look alike and sound somewhat similar, but they're not the same instrument. Let me break it down in simple terms for you.

Firstly, let's talk about what a piano is. A piano is an acoustic instrument, meaning that it produces sound through physical vibrations. It works like this: when you press down a key on a piano, a hammer inside the instrument strikes a steel string, causing it to vibrate and produce sound. The sound then resonates through the wooden soundboard and out of the piano.

Now, a keyboard, on the other hand, is an electronic instrument. Instead of physical strings, a keyboard uses digital sound samples to produce sound. A 'sample' is a pre-recorded digital sound of an instrument or sound effect that is stored in the keyboard's...

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How a Piano Works - A Simple Explanation

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2023

The piano is an incredible instrument that produces beautiful music, and understanding how it works can deepen your appreciation of its unique qualities. In this article, I want to give a very simple overview..

The piano works by pressing down on the keys with your fingers. Each key on the piano makes a different sound when you press it, and the sound is produced by small hammers inside the piano striking strings. 

Each note on the piano has multiple strings, which work together to create a full, rich sound. When you press a key, the hammer hits all of the strings for that note at the same time, creating a beautiful and complex sound.

The strings are made of steel and are stretched tightly across the inside of the piano. When a key is pressed, a small hammer moves towards the strings for that note, and hits them, causing it to vibrate and produce a sound.

The piano has pedals that you can use to control the sound of the instrument. The sustain pedal, located on the right,...

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Are Piano Keys Made of Ivory?

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2023

Short answer; it depends how old the piano is!

During the early days of the piano's development in the 18th century, all piano keys were made from Ivory, which was valued for its durability and ability to produce a clear, bright sound. Piano makers would handpick the best ivory from elephant tusks to create keys for their pianos.

As the popularity of the piano grew in the 19th century, the demand for ivory increased dramatically, leading to an alarming decrease in elephant populations. by the  20th century, international efforts were made to protect endangered species, and the use of ivory for piano keys became controversial.

Nowadays, ivory is illegal to trade in many countries, which has prompted a search for alternative materials to create piano keys. Today, modern piano makers create keys using materials like Ivorine, a synthetic substance that mimics the look and feel of ivory, whilst being a more a long-lasting and durable material. It...

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What Is the Ideal Practice Time for Learning Piano?

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2023

Learning piano requires dedication and practice. But what is the ideal amount of time to practice in order to achieve the best results? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. While many pianists and music teachers may recommend long practice sessions, the science suggests that shorter, spaced-out practice sessions may actually be more beneficial for learning and retention of musical skills.

  1. Avoiding Fatigue

One of the key benefits of shorter practice sessions is that they can help prevent mental and physical fatigue. Studies have shown that fatigue can interfere with learning and performance, and long practice sessions can lead to fatigue. By taking regular breaks and practicing in shorter sessions, individuals can give full-focus during practise, maximising the efficiency of practise time, and avoiding the effects of fatigue, allowing for more focused and effective practice.

  1. Better Consolidation of Learning

Now for some cool science. The process of learning...

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