Testimonial: Recording Songs for the Road

Sean Leyden

Testimonial: Recording Songs for the Road

I have always had a passion for playing guitar, and while I had the free will to pursue this hobby, achieving my goal of recording and performing 15 original songs always seemed to be out of reach. While the process of becoming a musician isn’t a mystery, the CATSHOT 13 program helped me to align my passion, free will and focus to successfully record and perform my first album, all within 8 months of starting the program!

In the beginning, my personal battle rhythm was slow but steady. Self-taught on both electric and acoustic guitar, I had never written a song, let alone developed a piece of music to the point it where it was ready to be performed publically or recorded. Although I didn’t have any formal musical training, I started writing songs, one every couple months, and after four years, I had 15 original songs. However, my real passion was to record my music and perform it in front of a live audience.

Through the application of two rounds of the CATSHOT 13 Process, I began an intensive program of working with professional singers and songwriters to improve my music. In my first CATSHOT 13 sprint, I built a foundation with my new mentors that played to my strengths in guitar, while continuing to develop my songwriting style and singing voice.

Sean Leyden Songs for the RoadIn my second CATSHOT 13 sprint, my focus shifted to performing my music in front of live audiences and recording in-studio. Of course, everything didn’t go 100% to plan, and that’s where Rob’s insights on preparing for emergencies helped the most. My hobby was over budget, and I couldn’t produce the quantity of CDs I desired. For better or worse, the tangible goal of my own custom designed album had taken on extra significance, and I was skeptical about going 100% digital. Would others use my work without attribution? Will the streaming music services hurt my growth?

Thankfully, with the momentum I had been building, I realized that my project was going to launch, and it could be either a strong takeoff or crash landing. Looking back, it turns out publishing online has worked out for the best. My digital audience is growing, and my 7th performance is coming up in front of my largest audience. Other musicians are reaching out to collaborate, and I am working on my next album, Lighthouse.

Following the CATSHOT 13 process, these previously insurmountable goals turned into achievements – a growing live audience and the release of my first professionally recorded album!

-Sean Leyden is a former Naval Aviator who first got to know Rob as a “nugget” or first year F/A-18 Hornet Pilot. When he isn’t practicing his music, Sean works as an Associate Director at KPMG Australia.

You can listen to Sean’s work via his website and contact him via his MusicSA website here.