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"Against the Odds", we made it!

It’s a pretty apt title when you think about it. Our first single from our new album “Home” is perhaps a prophetic one. Who knew we were actually mirroring our own process when it was written? Despite its sporty-styled theme, we could get pretty metaphysical if we really delved in to the whole psyche behind this song, but let’s just explore that for a second.

Being a musician in today’s music industry is a huge gamble. Even if you think that what you’re doing is truthful and reflective of your own creative process and journey, you can get lost on the road to discovery…hmm maybe that will be the title of our next album? But anyway, as we started out on this whole process we knew two things:

One; that we were sick of messing around and needed to really give an almighty push to give our best shot at poking our heads above the crowd and madly waving to people “Hey, look over here at what we’re doing, we think it’s pretty cool, but do you?”

And two; that there is no other job in the world we would ever want to trade all of this uncertainty and struggle for, so we may as well go for broke!

Both of those realisations gave us the strength to keep pushing even when we were exhausted from double gigs or bickering like kids in the playground. We struggled on 2 hours sleep and sacrificed our social/family lives, our sanity and our physical exhaustion all for a shot at getting (at the very least) to where we are right now. Don’t get me wrong - the after parties, amazing crowds and the hanging out with celebrities definitely has it’s perks, but it wasn’t always that way.

It’s taken us all years to position ourselves here, in Dubai, in this band. It’s taken us even more to reach the stage where we are capable of writing music, of working and reading a crowd, and performing it well it too. You spend so long listening to people ask you when you will get a ‘real job’ or “but what is your ‘real job’, you know…in the day time?” News flash! This is our ‘REAL job’ and this is our ‘day job’ too. This is an actual career and one that we have to survive on and pay bills with. It takes a full week of 5 people, working non-stop, to reach the point where the audience turns up and sees us on stage. That’s the tiny tip of the iceberg of what we do. And that tiny tip of the iceberg is the part that drives us to suffer all the stuff that supports it (all the stuff that’s going on behind the scenes).

You spend so much time in the beginning fighting for fair pay that will never reflect the years and years of practice, cost of lessons and sheer dedication that goes in to honing your craft with your instrument. All of those skills are often washed down the drain like the 3 free drinks that accompany your 50 quid a gig pay back home. 

So “Against the Odds” is about right!

“Against the Odds” we kept pushing through all those slammed doors, refused gigs, ‘real job’ comments, boo’s from customers who didn’t like our song choice, the comments on request forms that decide that because you’re on stage they can pick you apart on anything from your wardrobe to your body shape.

“Against the Odds” we made it across continents to find each other (God knows how) and to find that as a team we work well together, and are able to create something we are proud of and something that is truthful to us as artists, something that is also a culmination of all of our shared knowledge and our vision for our future.

And “Against the Odds” we managed to set up a home right here in the UAE, to create a life, far away from our own countries, doing what we love. We found a way to stick it out away from family and to find supportive friends and people who get behind us and believe that what we are contributing to the music scene is worth all of those hardships.

All of this has culminated in that one night when Gary decided that this latest song we’d written was (just maybe) catchy enough and good enough to get us noticed. We were confident it had something. And so a little bit of Dutch courage on Gary’s part, after a night out, meant he did what most people advise against. Generally it’s not the smartest thing to send important emails under the influence (but then Gary is never one to follow anyone’s rules and that’s why we keep him). 

He came home, cracked open another beer, put on his headphones cranked up to deafening levels and listened to what is now titled “Against the Odds”. He sat back, drained his beer and pulled out the card he was given at a chance meeting with Claudius of Universal Music MENA (at our last nomination for Best Band at the Hype Awards) and he penned a new email with a nice little melodic attachment. The rest, of course, is obvious but none of us (Gary and his sore head included) expected such a speedy response. The phone literally rang early the next morning and “Against the Odds” became the one that clinched that record deal for us.

So in all fairness, we owe a lot to those “Nah nah nah’s”! Which means that every time you play it or hear it, you will know the blood sweat and tears that got us there. So yes, it’s perhaps no accident that it’s a song about struggles and overcoming obstacles and one about being the underdog but still pushing up and up and never giving in. It’s about being supported on the way by all the amazing people who are your champions and it’s about believing in yourself and your worth in whatever you choose to do in life. It’s a song for sports, for musicians, for people under the weather who need a lift, but most importantly to us, it’s a thank you for helping us along the way and pushing us up above the current we were floundering in for so long. 

It’s a song from us to you and we really hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Peace out

The Boxtones