Excited for the creative new year!

Swithland Wood recording

Birdsong Project. Photo from Swithland Woods. Credit B Newsinger

2014 was a magical year having got many projects off the ground, working with some fabulous artists/individuals and being able to learn and develop myself. I feel that the momentum is with me going into 2015.

The variety of projects I was involved in last year was astonishing when I look back. YoTabla really took off with the photo-shoot, t-shirts, workshops, performances by students, easter retreat and socials.

Artistically, I was involved in Lucy Stevens ‘Birdsong’ project which opened up my thinking towards improvisation and connecting with nature. Also, spending time and learning from my tabla hero Ustad Zakir Hussain in San Francisco. Performing and doing a workshop in California there was phenomenal and very special.

The big one was the Melodies on the Brink project having secured Arts Council Funding and producing a show from scratch. It was a new experience managing and producing the show. It was one of the most challenging aspects I have faced in my career to date. I got a lot out of it and learned many lessons. We had a sell out show which was a testament to everyone involved.

With regard to professional development, I attended many courses relating to marketing, goal setting, intellectual property, music education and so on. These courses definitely played a huge role in my creative career, although I was not aware of it at the time I was sitting in those workshops! Setting up CEMENT with my good friends from the creative sector Bob Christer and John Kirby was a massive achievement as we really wanted to bring Leicester’s creative community together and make stuff happen(our motto)!

The mentoring qualification was fantastic and I got a lot out of it. I am very thankful to Pedestrian Charity, Leicester for providing this training. I feel that I am in a much better position now to guide young creatives, having done some mentoring last year and seeing results of the individuals I worked with. It is something I definitely want to do more of in 2015.

I have already set my goals for the year. I cannot stress enough the importance of self reflection and being honest with yourself. I love reading personal development books and have a thirst for constantly improving. I noticed when I applied even a minuscule of the many principals learnt in these books, the impact was HUGE!   For example, the above milestones reached was only possible because I had the DESIRE and VISION to be a collaborative artist, manage my own projects and positively impact the individuals I come across. This is just one aspect of manifestation. The rest is all about strategy, surrounding yourself with successful individuals and having the flexibility to constantly tweak your approach so that you achieve a positive result. I will talk more about this in future posts.

One of the projects I am currently working on this year is a unique collaboration of YoTabla! with ADAA (Aarti’s Dance and Arts Academy). AADA was recently set up by my good friend and exceptional dancer Aarti Lodhia. Both of our sets of students are going to collaborate for a performance in November. We both strongly believe in supporting young people who have a passion for Indian classical music and dance. This is the first time we are doing something like this, so we will definitely keep you updated on our progress throughout the year.

Have a blessed 2015 and I look forward to sharing more tips with you over the next 12 months.

God Bless

Rishii

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