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Making a mid-life crisis a career choice

Why hello there! Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Caragh, a Scottish, female singer-songwriter who's mid-life crisis became a career choice. I think it's fair to say you are new to my wee corner of the internet and won't really know much about me or what I do so I thought I'd fill you in.

Caragh sitting at a keyboard, singing into a microphone
Playing The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh April 2023

I'm an independent music artist from Scotland and after a false start in the music industry in my twenties, I came back to it in my thirties after having my kids. Seems mad to kick-start a career in a tough, creative industry when I don't have a lot of time, energy or resources but I couldn't shake the urge to write music. So in the middle of a house move and renovation, a toddler in tow and a snow storm that earned the nickname 'Beast from the East', I made a decision to carve out a bit of time and enrolled on an evening songwriting course. Every week for two months, I spent two hours as Caragh the songwriter and gloriously packed my other labels; mother, wife, daughter, sister, auntie, friend and colleague into a locker. What came out surprised me more than I ever thought possible. The fire was burning, the juices were flowing, the time had come to shine the light and stop hiding.

A young woman with a guitar, looking to her left while a young man sits behind her at a drumkit
Me in my twenties, Barfly, Glasgow early noughties

The problem was, I didn't know where to start. It had been the best part of a decade since I had been part of any scene. Everyone I knew had moved on and venues had closed down. On a personal note, I was older, had kids and more or less lost myself in the process. I definitely didn't feel cool enough to be in the music industry. At that point I also didn't have anything recorded nor did I have much of a social media following. It wasn't very long before the imposter syndrome smacked me in the face and made me think I was crazy for even thinking I could have another go. But you know what, the positive side of careering towards forty brings with it a mindset where you genuinely don't give a rats arse about what others think. If I wanted to try and have a successful music career, all I had to do was try and work at it (perhaps buy some new clothes and invest in some makeup, you know, make an effort). So that's what I did.

A middle aged woman, sitting looking optimistic and content
Mid-life but just getting started

That was back in 2018 and since then I have entered a song into a songwriting competition and made it to the top ten finalists, independently released an EP, secured worldwide radio play from BBC Scotland to podcasts in South Africa and internet shows in Australia. I successfully bid for arts council funding to write, co-produce and release an album of which I have already unleashed four singles and a couple of music videos. I've played live again and even managed to secure a festival appearance down in Somerset this summer and of course, the cherry on top is my album which will be out later this year. That's not too shabby, I'd say.

So if you're reading this, feeling wobbly about doing that thing that sets your inner light ablaze, don't worry. Slap on a bit of lipstick, straighten up those shoulders, and put yourself out there. You never know what could come of it.


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