The concept of podcasting has been something I’ve had an interest in for a long time, even before it became one of the trendy modes of delivering content that it is today.

It all started back in 2008 when I discovered Leo Leporte and his TWiT (This Week In Tech) podcast network through a friend and after the first listen, I was hooked. 

Soon after that I discovered other podcasts such as the CD Baby DIY Podcast and my life changed completely.

Now, when I’m in the car on a long trip, instead of listening to the radio, I could listen to a podcast instead which for me is a better use of my time, so thanks to iTunes I subscribed to as many podcasts as I could and started to incorporate them into my day to day life.

Also at that time, I started to wonder if I should create my own podcast but I didn’t have the necessary tools (such as a home recording setup) at my disposal but fast forward to today and with my desire to create (or be involved with) a podcast rekindled, I’m now able to satisfy that desire thanks to my dear friend Simon James Betts aka Soul Trader.

So now I introduce to you (drum roll please)…The Soul Trader Podcast.

Simon and I host this podcast which has the tagline Music, Creativity and Other Plans meaning that we’ll be waxing lyrical about music, the creative process and other things. 

Of course the “other plans” part of the tagline is a nod to John Lennon’s often quoted line in his song Beautiful Boy “… life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

We’ve created three episodes already with the latest episode featuring a special guest.

You can find them below…

It’s our intention in future episodes to have creatives from other disciplines besides music on the podcast talking about their art, their creative processes and what creativity means to them in general.

This is a subject which really fascinates both Simon and I.

I’m really enjoying the process of creating, producing and releasing the podcast and I consider this a great way to build up my skills to launch my own series of audio blogs plus getting into the world of video in the future.

So, have a listen to the podcast, let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions about future episodes I’ll see if I can find a way to use it in a future episode somewhere.

In the meantime, I have some baby steps and a steep learning curve to contend with which I will happily tackle head on.


Corey 🙂

Sometimes writing songs is a linear experience.

You come across a possible song title that jumps out at you and after writing the first line of the first verse, a first draft is suddenly completed from start to finish.

Sometimes writing songs is a puzzle solving exercise.

You take a piece here, a song title there, a bit of a verse here and a half written phrase there and, after discovering the common thread that connects everything, a song is eventually completed.

Sometimes writing songs is like incubating an egg.

You finish writing a chorus but find you can’t go any further however, after leaving the half finished song for a period of time something triggers in your mind and the song magically completes itself.

Sometimes you start writing a song from the beginning and work forwards, sometimes you start writing a song in the middle and work outwards and sometimes you start writing a song from the end and work backwards.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start somewhere.

What do you think?


Corey 🙂

People that know me, know that I’ve always weighed in on the heavier side of the scales.

Even when I was in my younger, fitter football and cricket playing days, my “big boned” stocky build would always shine through thanks to my Scottish/English heritage.

But last week, on May 20th, after a visit to my doctor to review my latest blood test results he gave me some pretty awful news… I am now officially a Type 2 Diabetic.

Now, only just mind you (with a blood sugar percentage of 7.8% with anything over 7% being Type 2) but nevertheless, I have Type 2 Diabetes and I have to do something about it NOW!

When I got the news I was numb at first but soon afterwards, the shame, the anger and regret started to creep in. “How could I do this to myself?” I asked while looking in the mirror. Well, it was actually quite easy.

I ate and drank the wrong things, at the wrong times and at the wrong quantities whilst not moving all at the same time.

But since then, after some very stern advice from my doctor, I’ve been taking the positive steps needed to improve my health to the point where I can reverse my Type 2 diagnosis.

Now, I had suspected that something was up beforehand because I felt I had reached the point where I was really feeling the consequences of many, many years of not looking after myself properly and on May 20th, all of my suspicions were confirmed.

This post is not going to be the start of a long rambling series of before and after shots and blow by blow accounts of how much weight I’m losing on a day to day basis (I’d rather keep that information as personal) but this post is something I wanted to write for the sake of transparency and honesty.

Let’s face it, if I’m going to reverse my Type 2 diagnosis, feel way better about myself and also get back out into playing gigs again, I need to be physically and mentally fit as well as gig fit and to do that I need to change my lifestyle and dietary habits.

The main question I needed to answer was “How am I going to do this?”

Even though I’ve just started this “change of lifestyle” journey since May 20th, I’ve realised that you don’t have to make incredibly huge changes to make a real difference health-wise.

Changes such as…

Drinking More Water
Just doing this first step has made a huge difference. I’m finding myself going to the toilet a lot more but I feel less stodgy and much more cleaner inside.

I have a PuraTap connected at home plus a SodaStream machine that makes “boring” water turn into sparkling water so increasing my water intake hasn’t been that much of a challenge.

I try to consume at least two litres of water per day.

Cutting Out Alcohol
This was an easy thing to cut out as I don’t consider myself a big drinker anyways but I’ve noticed a slightly better sleeping pattern resulting from this one small change.

Cutting Down On Coffee
Frank Zappa once said in an interview that coffee wasn’t a drug to him, it was FOOD.

That’s how much I love my coffee (either with sugar or more recently, honey in it) but I also knew that I was drinking way, way too much of the stuff and at really stupid times as well. No wonder I’ve been having problems with my sleep for years.

I’m now limiting my caffeine intake to a maximum of three cups a day and when I do have it, I have it black with NO SUGAR

It’ll take me a bit of getting used to but it’s worth it.

Cutting Out Sugar
This is one of the hardest things for me to cut out of my life, but my body is already starting to feel so much better for it.

For me, cutting out sugar meant the following:

  • No more sugar or honey in my coffee/tea
  • No more soft drink
  • No more desserts

I know that there’s a lot of hidden sugars in one form or another in the food that we eat and therefore cutting out all sugar in my diet would be a challenge but cutting out the usual suspects has already made a huge difference in my life.

Cutting Out Carbs (And Takeaway)
That means giving up on pasta, rice, pastries and bread (oh, I really miss pizza)

I didn’t realise how much carbohydrates I was consuming until I decided not to eat them anymore. I was amazed, but it did show me that eating carbs takes far less effort than not eating carbs and I needed to turn that equation around.

I needed to start falling in love with preparing and cooking good food rather than just relying on takeaway which was happening far too often especially since I found myself cooking for one again over the last six months.

Start Walking
It was really obvious to me that I wasn’t moving and exercising enough in my day to day life so I’ve been trying to get into the habit of walking for up to 30 minutes a day.

Now besides cutting out the sugar in my life, getting back into some sort of exercise routine has been the biggest challenge (basically because I’m lazy) and it’s something that I’m still working on but, I’ll get there.

Decreasing My Portion Sizes
First of all, I don’t go for seconds anymore. Further to that, my first portion sizes were also too big so I’ve been getting into the habit of just halving my normal portion size or, eating off a smaller plate.

From doing this I’ve really noticed that I can still function as a productive and creative human being with far less food in my system.

Experimenting With Intermittent Fasting
Now this is the most interesting part. I’ve started to experiment with a concept called Intermittent Fasting.

Now, I’m not going to go into too much detail about it but the first site you come to on Google when you type “Intermittent Fasting” is an article by James Clear on his website called The Beginner’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting which goes into detail about the following:

  • How Intermittent Fasting works
  • The benefits of Intermittent Fasting
  • Examples of Intermittent Fasting protocols
  • Frequently asked questions about Intermittent Fasting

James Clear defines Intermittent Fasting in this way…

“Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you
get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.”

Again, I’m not going to go into all of the in’s and out’s of it but changing my normal eating habits to eating a ketogenic diet (high protein, high (good) fat and low carbs) whilst intermittent fasting has made the most significant difference in my health so far.

Since starting my journey a week ago, I’ve lost five kilos and I do feel very proud of myself.

I’ll keep myself honest and post some more health updates from time to time but I’m not going to obsess about it. I’m just happy that it’s now rather than later (when it can be far too late), that I’m finally doing something about my health.

I’m sure Mara would be proud.


Corey 🙂

Today marks six months since my wife Mara passed away from cancer on November 22nd, 2020 and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and how much joy she has brought to my life.

Lately I’ve been asking myself the question “what have I learned from the last six months?” Of course I’m still processing all of this and will continue to do so for a long time. I mean that’s what grief is I suppose, but what I have noticed lately is that…

  • Life is far too short for me to be waiting for permission to do something with it
  • Fear is all in my head
  • I suffer fools even less gladly than I normally would
  • People spend too much time complaining about first world problems

Now, I haven’t written any songs since completing the FAWM 14 Songs In 28 Days Songwriting Challenge (which was a wonderfully cathartic experience), but I wanted to show you this, the most recent song I’ve written. 

It’s called My Last Goodbye

This is a song I’m pretty proud of and it really encapsulates my feelings for our relationship and how I’m feeling about everything now plus, the bassline is pretty cool too.

Seriously though, this is what songwriting is about for me, putting into a song what I would normally find difficult to put into words and My Last Goodbye is a great example of this. 


My Last Goodbye
© 28/2/2021 C. Stewart

Verse 1
If I looked up to the nights sky
And counted all of the stars
It would never get me closer
Closer to where you are
If I stood beside the ocean
And stared at the horizon
The expanse of what’s before me
Is so small compared to my love

There is nothing I can take
For this loneliness inside
There is nowhere I can run to
And nowhere I can hide
Everywhere I look I’m finding
Reminders of your life
I guess it’s time for me now
To say my last goodbye

Verse 2
If I had a go reciting
All the digits that made up Pi
There’d be not enough numbers
To describe the love of you and I
If I could travel through time
I’d go back to where we started
Just reliving every moment
As if we never parted




I can now feel myself just lifting my eyes up from the fog a bit and take my first steps back out into the real world. And what have I noticed? Well, nothing much has changed, the sun still rises in the morning and the world is still going about its daily business.

This has shown me that regardless of what is going on for me, life continues to go on. So I will continue my life’s journey, one day at a time and with one foot in front of the other as this is what Mara would’ve wanted me to do.

But I still miss her… Always.


Corey 🙂

Just think, as songwriters, every time we write a song we start off with a blank page.

It sits there and it waits patiently for us to pick up our pen and pour out our songwriting ideas from our hearts and minds onto its surface however, a blank page can mean one of two things to a songwriter.

It can either be either something to be fearful of, a scary journey into the unknown or, a doorway to infinite songwriting idea possibilities.

Let me ask you this.

Are you free to create whatever you want, whenever you want without second guessing, self-censorship or prejudice on your part? Or, are you a songwriter that feels shackled by the belief that you must obtain some sort of quantifiable result every time you put your pen to paper?

Which headspace would you rather be in?

I know that I’m asking a lot of questions here but as songwriters, this is something we face every time we sit down to write a song and as our answers to these questions are automatic and unconscious, we wonder why at times we don’t write anything.

This is when we start blaming things like songwriters block.

So, try this simple exercise the next time you sit down to write a song. Look at that blank page in front of you as your friend and playmate.

You see, just the very thought of sitting down to write a song means that there is possibility that the muse will knock on your door and ask if you can come out to play.

It just takes a shift in our perspective

We need to remind ourselves that writing a song can be one or more of these three experiences:

  • A linear experience – You come across a possible song title that jumps out at you and after writing the first line of the first verse, a first draft is suddenly completed from start to finish.
  • A puzzle solving exercise – You take a piece here, a song title there, a bit of a verse here and a half written phrase there and, after discovering the common thread that connects everything, a song is eventually completed.
  • Like incubating an egg – You finish writing a chorus but find you can’t go any further however, after leaving the half finished song for a period of time something triggers in your mind and the song magically completes itself.

Sometimes you start writing a song from the beginning and work forwards, sometimes you start a song from the middle and work outwards and sometimes you start writing at the end and work backwards.

When it comes to songwriting, it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start somewhere.

Just remember, a blank page is not proof that you’ve not written a song. It’s merely the doorway to an infinite world of songwriting idea possibilities and all you need to do is have the courage to walk through it, regardless of the outcome.

So get out of your own way and allow yourself to be free to create.

Okay, take a deep breath… How is that blank page looking now? Let me know if shifting your perspective towards the blank piece of paper works for your songwriting process.

It certainly does for me.


Corey 🙂

One of my guilty pleasures is my love of the music of ABBA.

I always felt that if you wanted to study perfect pop music then study the song catalogue of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. To say that I have the utmost respect for these two songwriters is an understatement.

Now while Benny has been the musical director of his own Orchestra of late, Bjorn has been recently elected to the role of president of CISAC which is the umbrella organisation of copyright collection societies around the world.

It is in his role as president of CISAC that Bjorn has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of songwriters.

He was even quoted in the May 7th, NY Times article “Will Songwriting Survive Streaming? Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus Is Worried” as saying that…

…the streaming economy that now dominates the music industry has put songwriters at a severe financial disadvantage. Low payouts, split among teams of writers, mean that even the composers of major hits make a relative pittance from streams despite the clear importance of songwriters and producers in crafting the material that propels the careers of star performers.

He extrapolates the above quote further in a very recent TEDx talk he gave called Rebalancing The Song Economy where he offers three ways in which the song economy can be made fairer for the creators of the currency that the music industry today is built on…


Here’s the video of Bjorn’s TEDx talk. Enjoy!

Well, what did you think of that? Even though Bjorn Ulvaeus made his fortune through writing songs for ABBA in the “good old days” he still has the humility and humanity to advocate fairness and equality for songwriters doing it tough in this new music industry TODAY.

Awesome! Makes me want to love ABBA all over again.


Corey 🙂

Musicians don’t retire, they just change direction and get more picky and choosy about what they want to be doing plus…

They don’t give a fuck about what people think of them and their music anymore.

Right now, we’re approaching the halfway point of May, which means that we’re almost at the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, which means it’s almost tax time (something that I’m preparing for at this moment) plus, it’s been just over four months since I turned 50.

For me, turning 50 was the start of me looking back on my life and asking myself questions such as…

  • Am I getting too old for this music caper?
  • What have/haven’t I achieved to date?
  • What am I going to do next with my music/life?

Now, to some, these questions are necessary because self reflection is an important part of growing as an individual but I reckon in my case, this line of self talk has been designed by my inner critic to derail and sabotage any attempt of me taking some sort of leap of faith in 2021.

This is of course cleverly done under the guise of “being realistic” which as we all know is the nemesis of all optimists like myself.

I’ve noticed that as they get older, there are some musicians that turn to genres like Country, or Blues, (or Roots, or Urban Folk, or Americana, or whatever the fad/flavour is for this year) as a means to “musically retire.”

While all of the above-mentioned genres have their place to fill inside the wonderful musical landscape that we all live in, retiring to these genres would be for me the musical equivalent of putting on a dressing gown, slipping on some comfortable slippers and watching TV for the rest of my life.

No, I don’t think so, not for me…

If I was going to musically retire, I want to become an ambient musician. I would be retiring by composing and performing ambient music, soundscapes and the like. I want to walk the path that sonic pioneers like Brian Eno has been walking on for decades.

That’s where I see myself in the latter stages of my music career.

However, besides my post-birthday contemplations, I was also inspired to write this because of a YouTube video created by brilliant ambient musician Bill Vencil from Chords Of Orion and Chords Of Orion – Longplay called “You Will Become An Old Musician (Bring It On)” a perfect response to a negative comment he received about how some musicians are supposedly TOO OLD for YouTube.

I had been following Chords Of Orion for a fair while now but it wasn’t until I saw the above video that I decided to really get into what the channel was about… Ambient Music and the creation of it.

Anyways, what I’ve gathered from all of this is that there is no such thing as musical retirement. Music (and the creation of it) transcends age and therefore it also transcends the self imposed limitations around age that I sometimes put myself through.

I am so glad I am the age I am, with the knowledge and experience that I have and the ability to create music with all of those tools at my disposal. I look at 2021 and beyond with excitement knowing that there’s going to be some wonderful music yet to be created.

Robert Fripp said it best when he described music as the “…wine that fills the cup of silence.” I say that for me, the best is yet to come.


Corey 🙂

PS: As I’m writing this I have Brian Eno’s “New Space Music” humming along in the background and I’m loving it. It’s so conducive to creation, I’m surprised I didn’t click onto this before.

For a little while now I’ve been thinking about starting up another band to showcase my increasing portfolio of songs that haven’t seen the light of day.

I’ve been testing the waters, keeping one eye open and ear out on the local music scene and even re-joined the board of SCALA (Songwriters, Composers And Lyricists Association), a local/global songwriters association, just to see if the concept of getting yet another band together has some merit.

I mean, I must be some sort of masochist, a glutton for punishment. Another band?

Well, what can I say, I’m really a bass player by trade and right now I’m really missing playing bass to a live audience.

Currently I’m with The Ides Of March playing yacht rock covers and other forgotten hits from the past but the bass playing spot was already taken so I sing and play acoustic guitar and keys instead

I play bass and sing for The Synchronicity Police, (a three piece Police tribute outfit) but those gigs are few and far between at the moment so it doesn’t really count as consistent bass playing in my book.

I’m also filling in as the bass player for a local soul band Soul Sensations and although it’s been a lot of fun and all, I can’t guarantee that I can devote the time needed to become a full member of that band.

This is because I’ve made up my mind… I’m getting the band back together.

Well, I’ll be getting back together with my FIGJAM partner in crime Darren Zaza on guitar in the first instance, but we are looking for a drummer and a keyboard player to make up a four piece that hopes to create music that is the lovechild of The Police and The Badloves.

If you want to hear what the music might sound like, check out my album “Seeing Stars” from SoundCloud below…

I’m pretty excited about all this though because it means that I’m now ready to get back into playing live regularly and consistently so I can expose myself and my songs to a listening audience again.


So, with that being said, if you are either a drummer or a keyboard player or, you know (of) someone who plays drums or keys who’s looking for a band to connect with, then contact me and we can chat about what happens next.

See you in the rehearsal studio,

Corey 🙂

I’m a firm believer that when it comes to songwriting, the originality in your songs comes from the fact that you wrote it in the first place, not from any external source.

To reinforce this belief, I found a video of a TEDx talk by author and artist Austin Kleon called “Steal Like An Artist” in which he talks about how art can be put into one of two categories…

  • Art that is worth stealing
  • Art that isn’t worth stealing

He also talks about his poetry writing technique called “newspaper blackout” which is blackening out unimportant words in old newspapers and how this seemingly original idea actually has a 250 year history attached to it.

He finishes off the video with some quotes by Pablo Picasso, TS Eliot, Steve Jobs and David Bowie which all extol the virtues of “… taking the things you’ve stolen and turning it into your own thing” rather than just copying ideas for copying sake.

Anyway, I reckon you’re going to either love or hate this video plus, you’re going to pick up a fantastic songwriting idea generating technique as well.

Well, what do you think of this video? What do you think of the whole concept of “Nothing Is Original” in songwriting?

Comment below or contact me about it. I’d love to hear from you.


Corey 🙂