I have never sold a guitar before.
I don’t know why. I guess I see each instrument as a part of my musical and creative history which I want to preserve.
When I finally bought my lady Gibson J-185 EC in 2009, I named her after my Mum. I called her Carol because my Mum had recently passed away and I was only able to afford the instrument because of the small inheritance she had left me.
Sadly, the time has come for Carol and I to say farewell in order to help me cover some of the costs of producing ‘Caught in the light’ and to enable me to promote the album properly.
“The legacy of Gibson’s line of celebrated Jumbos is not lost in the J-185 EC. This eye-catching model builds on the traditional foundation of Gibson’s Jumbo body style, and moves into the present vanguard with a cutaway design for easier playability, along with several elegant, modern appointments for increased aesthetic appeal. The sound is everything you expect from a Gibson Jumbo: warm, huge low end with ringing, harmonically rich treble response, capable of achieving a pure dynamic contrast, which makes it the perfect acoustic for just about any musical genre.”
My favourite thing about this guitar is her sound, acoustically and when plugged in. The Fishman Aura Pro pickup is amazing and really helps to get a fantastic warm sound, even when you’re working with inferior PA systems. Oh, and her gorgeous caramel colour. She’s a pretty one!
Technically, I think she could do with a trip to a good luthier to soften her action and sharpen her intonation, which is why I am prepared to sell her for less than the current market value. These guitars are retailing for £2,300.
This is what Jacob Zuma is quoted as saying about trying to steer South Africa’s “unwieldy government” in Andrew Harding’s article "Zuma’s missed opportunity to sell South Africa"
I haven’t lived in South Africa for 11 years now, although I visit my family, who live in Cape Town and Durban, almost every year. I don’t feel like I have a right to comment, let alone criticise anything about the state of the nation, for fear of being branded as one of those foreigners who believe all the propaganda and don’t know what they’re talking about.
And yet, there is something in this article that resonates with me. I think its the question of leadership.
I am struck every day reading updates from my friends and family living in South Africa, about how resilient they are and steadfast in their belief and love for their country. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel guilty about leaving. Am I a coward? Or just simply selfish, wanting a different life for me, and forgetting about the collective cause and benefits of staying in the country of my birth and building a new South Africa?
I do believe that South Africa needs someone to inspire all South Africans to “dream more, learn more, do more and become more” (United States President John Quincy Adams). Nelson Mandela led a fractured nation towards unity and equality, by doing all of those things.
I know it’s a tough act to follow, but Mbeki and Zuma are just not even close to being the leaders that South Africa needs. And don’t get me started on Malema.
The discretionary effort that the South African economy has benefited from is dwindling. The purpose that the population was welded to with Madiba’s leadership is corroding and the connection is becoming more brittle and fragile with each new crisis.
I don’t have the answer. I don’t believe I even have the right to suggest one.
As Andrew says in his article “South Africa remains an extraordinary country with huge mineral reserves, a history of proving sceptics wrong, plenty of achievements to boast of, and the potential to transform itself.”
I’ll continue to search for ways to participate in that transformation, in any way I can.
Producing a high quality range of merchandise for the new album is very important to me.
Shopping around to find printers who could work with the album graphic was tricky to start with (a photo on a black t-shirt is more difficult to print than you might imagine!) and when I started getting quotes from the handful of companies that could, I nearly gave up.
You see, when I asked my networks how much they would be prepared to spend on a t-shirt, the answer was virtually unanimous. £10 as a rule, £15 at a push. The prices I was getting back would mean the t-shirts would be sold at worse a loss, at best a profit of a pound or so. Not to mention the risk of spending over £1,000 and risk being left with a lot of stock.
Now, if I had loads of cash and could order 1,000 items, then the prices start coming down. But I don’t. I was looking to buy 50-100 t-shirts and so I had to come up with a different approach.
So, I have spoken with my printer and he knows that I am going to be taking pre-orders for t-shirts over the next month, and once I have received 50 orders I will then pay for the print job and get the merchandise out to my fans within 3 weeks.
Obviously it means that you could wait nearly two months for a t-shirt, and at this stage I don’t see any other way of producing high quality merchandise that I would be proud to sell, at a fair price.
I’ve learnt a lot through this process. I’d be interested to hear from other artists and music fans on the topic.
"Do you remember?" is the first single off my upcoming album "Caught in the light".
The single and the album will be released on the 29th October 2012 and will be available on all good digital distribution channels. CDs can be pre-ordered from the website - www.samanthahorwill.com - and the album will be performed in full at the launch party being held at The Brunswick, Hove on the 31st October 2012.
The video of the single will also have its debut screening at the party on the 31st October 2012, and look out for sneak previews of this during October.
Ahead of the final mix and mastered version, I have decided to make this early preview available so that you can start to get a sense of the direction and sound of the album.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it.