A Short Timeline Of My Journey So Far
I'll go more into depth in other posts but here I just want to give a general run through of events in my life and how I ended up at this point. I realise my path may be confusing for some and is certainly not the normal path of a musician. I'll begin towards the end of my school days just as I was about to enter the adult world.
So approaching the end of my Fourth Year at High School, the point here in Scotland, where you have a choice to leave school or carry on for a further one or two years, a necessity if you wanted to go to uni in my school days. My intention was to stay on until Sixth Year and probably go to uni, although I didn't really know what I would study at uni. Complications with selecting subjects for that final year led to me leaving suddenly a year early. A voice in my head literally said "You are finished with the education system".
So I left in August 1996, got sent to the Careers Centre, who found me a job a month or two later at Adam & Company, a private bank. I started in the mailroom/general office duties. I'd only been in the job 3 months when I became ill with a "mystery virus". Those were the words my doctor used to describe it. I was sent for tests, both with my local doctor, then through the private healthcare which came as part of being an employee for the bank. They couldn't find anything wrong and eventually told me I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or M.E. I was told I would probably have it all my life but that the symptoms would ease off as I got older.
I was signed off work for a while, on what they call Incapacity Benefit, until my doctor felt I was able to return to work. During this time Music entered my life in a big way. I had begun playing guitar and had even started writing songs. My Dad suggested a music course that was taking place at an education centre nearby him and being out of work I was able to sign up for free. That came to an end early when the tutor died of cancer.
I got a job through the Job Centre New Deal scheme I was on at the Scottish Government's new headquarters down in Leith. I lasted a week before walking out. Next I got a part-time job with UPS, loading and unloading the vans at their Edinburgh depot, which I did for a year or so. As I was growing weary of that job, mainly because of a new supervisor they had brought in who was changing everything, my Uncle suggested a vacancy which was going at his workplace, the NHS Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. I only took this job because it was full-time so I could save money to go on a backpacking trip to Europe with Kate (something we'd made a promise on a year earlier). I left this job after about 6 months and got a temp office job with Scottish Provident, doing data entry, for the same reasons.
In August 2002 I left that job and Kate and I went off on a Europe adventure. Our aim was to 'find ourselves' and try and create a life in continental Europe. Sadly, the experience only lasted 3 months and we had to return to Edinburgh with our tail between our legs, although we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and knew it wouldn't be the last Europe adventure.
On returning, one thing became clear to me... Music was going to be my life. I did attempt to go back into 9 - 5 work, arranging an interview with another bank job but my heart just wasn't in it. So I got a few bits of gear to get me started and began the process of recording my first EP of material, 'Head Above Water, released under the artist name Seven Worlds at the end of 2003.
The limitations of my set-up became apparent by the end of that and I knew I had to take it further. I could hear in my head piano, strings, drums on my songs that I had no way of bringing to life by myself. I had no band and knew nobody who was into the kind of music I was making. Soon I came across an independent Edinburgh production service where I could send my songs, with vocals and guitars, and they would take care of the rest. I was able to instruct them on what I wanted, how I wanted each song to sound. Out of this came my debut album 'One Way Ticket' in January 2006.
I was already preparing for album number two, I had all the songs ready and even demoed, when my world was to take a drastic turn. Or rather my world view was completely shattered. David Icke came into my path, soon followed by various other conspiracy researchers along with spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle. This all happened in an intense 3 month period, at the end of 2006/start of 2007. Soon after this my mum died suddenly and unexpectedly. The changes in my life were happening thick and fast during that year 2007 and I eventually had to take a break from music in order to assimilate everything that was happening to me.
I never stopped writing songs but now they had a different feel to them. They were much more spiritual. I couldn't help it, this is what was coming out of me. I kept these songs private until it became more clear what my direction was to be now. After several years it became clear to both Kate and I we were to return to Europe. We left behind everything in Edinburgh and set off on a new Europe adventure in October 2010, which became SoulJahm.
Now Kate was involved directly in the Music, singing and playing melodica. For the next few years until her death in 2014, all the material I released came out under the name SoulJahm. I attempted to keep SoulJahm going after her death, hoping to find new people who would understand the spirit and ethos we were striving for but sadly, I was to find the world had changed so much. It seemed to have spiritually devolved and this was confirmed to me again and again as the years went by. I had little choice but to return to making Music solo as David William again, picking up from where I had left off with 'One Way Ticket' back in 2006.
Working through my back catalogue, I did a new stripped back version of the 'One Way Ticket' album in 2018, titled 'One Way Ticket (Travelling Lighter)', a response to me playing those songs solo on the streets of Edinburgh and online. I released a couple more acoustic albums that year - 'The Days Before' and 'Out Of Witch Hurts'. The following year the 16-track album 'End Of The Strangers' was released under the name David William & SoulJahm and then in 2020 another album as David William & SoulJahm entitled '2020'. These two albums are effectively solo albums but I had already confirmed the artist name with the distributor at a time when I was still hopeful SoulJahm could continue in some form and wasn't able to change it. When it became clear SoulJahm certainly wasn't going to progress any time soon I once again began releasing my work under the name David William.