As we come to the end of 2014, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on what has been a pretty epic year for our little band.
As you know, we are but three members of The Updraft Imperative; however, in the first part of this year, we connected with the brilliant lady in the UK who has supported us in a way that no one could expect. She has worked tirelessly throughout the year and has become our official promotions liaison overseas and in Australia. I just thought we should give her a special mention as much of what you will read below has been and is fruit of her hard work.
Things really started moving in June, when we received our first UK airplay on Bolton FM’s ‘Spirit of Bolton’ show. This was quickly followed up by what was to become the first of many interviews via Skype.
Several UK stations subsequently added our music to their playlists, including Croydon FM, Ipswich Community Radio, EGH and Krystal Radio. Heathfield FM and North Manchester FM played us as well as airing interviews with Josh and Murray respectively.
The recognition in the UK soon spread to a more global platform with Songs of Gospel Network adding the album to their general rotation. They have been playing us regularly since July this year. Rockers Dive Radio in the US also added us playing tracks regularly and we had a Skype interview with them early in December.
Another worldwide station, The Global Voice which is manned entirely by visually impaired volunteers picked us up in August and again, as well as adding our music to their playlist, arranged an interview – with all three of us which aired in early November.
Other international stations that have played us are Radio Indie Mexico, The Online Festival, Lonely Oak Radio, TRS 24/7 Radio and PMG Radio. We are also in regular rotation on Elite 365 Radio, who have a number of stations transmitting worldwide.
The attention we received overseas seems to have helped us back home in Aus too!
In August, after some pretty intense twitter attention, Brisbane radio announcer Liam Renton gave us a listen and added ‘One Life’ to his Hot 25 Countdown as ‘Hit Pick’ You will have no doubt seen form various Facebook posts and tweets that we remained in the chart for 10 weeks, climbing to Number 15. Not bad for a little unsigned band from Brissy! Josh received ‘the call’ from Liam himself and did a brief interview with him which aired before our first airplay back in August.
Knowing the show was airing on over 600 stations across Australia coupled with the song being in rotation was (and still is) completely mind blowing! I think we can also confess to feeling a little giddy when, at various stages during that 10 week period, we heard our song gracing the airwaves.
Established supporters and friends of ours, Hank and Shari from Aussie Grown continued to give us airplay, and Murray had a chat with them in October. Shari also invited us to perform at her album launch in November, which was a fantastic evening.
In August, a station local to Murray in Toowoomba were looking for bands to perform live in the studio – which we obviously leapt at! Unfortunately Pete couldn’t make it, but bright an early one September morning, Josh and Murray headed into the Voice FM studios and played U2’s ‘Still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ as well as an acoustic version of ‘All my life’.
Thanks in part to our time in The Hot 25, we were also added to a number of Australian stations playlists. Life FM Wagga, Vox FM, 919 Fresh FM, Tableland Christian Radio, 96.5 Family FM and Lime FM to name a few. It was also around this time we met the awesome DJ Damo at 99.9 Live FM in Townsville. As well as playing us and doing a radio interview with Murray, Damo challenged us to take part in Movember. His offer was too good to refuse for Josh. $1 pledged to Movember for every time ‘One Life’ was played on the station. Pete joined the Movember campaign as soon as he could and together raised $400 for an awesome cause.
Murray was in Townsville recently, and dropped in to see Damo for a chat and played a couple of tracks acoustically to thank him personally for his awesome support – playing ‘One Life’ 70 times just in November!
At the end of October, we spent a great couple of hours chatting to Spuddy Lro from Rock Radio via Skype, and he somehow managed to whittle that chat down to an hour long show which aired on 22nd November.
Very recently we have been played on Sunset Island Radio, which airs on 220 worldwide stations, and are delighted to currently be No8 in their worldwide unsigned band chart.
As well as this phenomenal airplay, we have had a number of reviews posted online. Sam Lidicott, a respected UK blogger gave the album an awesome 8.7/10. His and other reviews can be found here on the website – and are well worth a read if you haven’t already done so!
Wesley Huntley from Louder than the Music, the Church Sofa and Gemma at Music of the Future have also very kindly reviewed and/or interviewed us over the last few months.
In July, thanks to Twitter again, ‘One Life’ was remixed by Geiko Music in Switzerland! Given the full ‘Drum & Bass’ treatment, the remix has meant that our music has found a whole new audience which has been amazing.
We currently have another Twitter follower in The Philippines working on a video for ‘One Life’ – which we can’t wait to see!
In July we sent copies of the album ‘Chair’ to America for use in prison ministries and we receive regular updates that our music is instrumental (no pun intended) in bringing men and woman within those prisons to The Lord!
Social media has given us a fantastic opportunity to connect with you all – which we love doing. Our Facebook ‘likes’ have more than doubled since the start of the year, as have our twitter followers. We have launched an ‘exclusive’ Facebook members group, The Updrafters and a global gathering of support is growing in there. For those without Facebook, we launched a mailing list, to let our friends and supporters hear the exclusive news about what we are doing first.
We also released the first episode of our ‘regular’ video blog – ‘Couch Time with TUI’ as a thank you for all the support we receive from you. Episode 2 is currently with the scriptwriters….(!)
So what does 2015 hold for TUI?
Well one thing is for sure, 2014 is going to take some beating! However something tells us that The Lord has big plans for this little band, and that 2015 will indeed be bigger and better! God is so good, and we recognise His work in and through our lives and music.
We have a few ideas in the pipeline for the coming year, and will share them with you (via our exclusive Updrafters and mailing list first of course!) just as soon as we can.
All that remains is to thank you sincerely for your amazing support throughout 2014. We look forward to sharing more music, news and silly videos with you in 2015.
Happy New Year from Josh, Pete and Murray - we can’t wait to see you on the other side.