"Nothing's really over until you stop trying".....
I was sent a You Tube video a few weeks ago that not only made me laugh but also renewed my faith in seeking out unsigned indie music. It was self-made by Graham Marshall who three years ago tried to make a living in music but had to do the unthinkable – go back to a 'real job' as a truck driver for ASDA. Almost giving up hope of a musical career he now boasts a trophy awarded by the panel of the Barcelona International Film Festival and a newly released EP.
Graham, currently living in Sunderland, had been a struggling singer/songwriter for over 15 years; success always eluding him. Three and a half years ago, he took matters into his own hands when he self-financed his first EP, a collection of five acoustic guitar driven songs he appropriately titled, 'Ten Years Stuck in Traffic'. Without much fanfare, Graham took to the road, something he knew a little about, to celebrate his self-released collection of music. He vowed to perform his way from John O'Groats to Land's End, busking his way through 18 cities in just 7 days.
Graham Marshall not only achieved his goal, but with the help of his wife, Helen, documented the entire experience on a camcorder and despite never having used any form of editing software cut his teeth and his film on Windows Moviemaker. He admits, "I had no clue what I was doing or what I was going to do with it when I finished it!". Inspired by the reality of unfulfilled years attempting to unsuccessfully break into the music industry, he titled his film, Out In The Cold.
Graham submitted his home-cut film to various film festivals and essentially forgot about it. That is, until recently when he received the unexpected news that he'd actually won at Barcelona. Ironically, after his film submission, he received attention from Forward Motion Records, a small independent record label in LA, who opted to produce and release a full arrangement of 'Makin' It On My Own', a track from Graham's 5-song acoustic EP.
Upon learning of his film award, Marshall, in the midst of an all-night driving shift, immediately sent a text to BBC Radio 2's Janice Long with the news. Janice, clearly touched by Graham’s good news, decided to call him immediately for a live on-air interview. So impressed was Janice by Graham’s story that she asked him to send her his debut single. Two nights later, she played the track to a UK-wide audience which received rave reviews from the public.
Graham has been receiving an outpouring of support on his film, his Castell Award, as well as his new single, 'Makin’ It On My Own. ASDA, the company for whom he trucks, are in full support of Graham’s upward momentum and discussing ways in which they can help Graham Marshall fulfill his musical journey.
His music ranges from the introspective and insightful 'Makin' It On My Own' to the original and humourous 'Mr Complicated', all in his gravel voiced Dylan-esque style. His film is an endearing, sometimes emotional - always fascinating insight into the man and his music during difficult times. The one constant on his journey is he (mostly) never looses his sense of humour, determination or Helen - his long suffering wife - with whom I'm certain he will end up doing it all over again with in America, but the kids'll have to come too!