Happy New Year! At the beginning of a new year it is only natural that we refocus. You may choose to focus the year on your work, your hobby, a personal endeavour or a massive life change. Whatever it is, the pursuit for happiness is always full of twists and turns. Music is no different. Year on year you find the music industry grows, it bends, it stretches, but never breaks. Artists spend time trying to reinvent themselves, trying to find a new way to find their audience, a new way to stand out from the crowd. As consumers of music we’re in the position of control – we choose what and who we want to listen to and how. But this makes the job of being a successful artist that much harder in deciding the fate of something they are personally so heavily invested in. Life as an artist is harder, I think, than most of us know. Surviving in an industry that is getting tougher to be seen or heard in haunts most artists who are either trying to make their way, or trying to stay on top. Consecutive successes really are hard to earn, the potential for failure could be in something as simple as the release of a fellow songwriter in the same month as you. There is no telling, one year to the next, exactly how your career can grow and sometimes you need another person to release your song to finally get the recognition you deserve. Speaking with an artist like Brantley Gilbert will always be a joy. There was no wrong question in that interview, no moment of hesitation, no worry for what was going to be said that shouldn’t be said. His honesty was so refreshing as was his simple work ethic – start from the bottom and build your way up. I steadfastly believe in that motto – there is no point changing something that works. There is also no point in staying still. The reason I have so much respect for the artists in this industry, is because we fight the same fight. How to stay on top? There is no measure for greatness, there is no equation that equals success. There is simply being you, having self-belief and doing what you think is right. Beyond that, who knows? In everything you do this year, be sure to keep this in mind. So if you have something you’d like to suggest, or simply a comment on your favourite or not so favourite bit of the magazine, we want to hear from you. Just as an artist creates music for their fans, we create this magazine for our readers and encourage you to get in touch to let us know what you think. And for anyone attending the Country 2 Country Festival in London this year we look forward to seeing you there! Make sure you stop by our stand in the market place to meet the team!