I finally got to fly over to Los Angeles last year in June with my business friend Kris. I had never been over to America before so I was so happy the first place I got to visit was LA.
It was half a business trip and ended up being half of a pleasure/sight-seeing trip for me. I had arranged a meeting with producer Jud Friedman (Whitney Houston) to chat about recording one of the songs he had written. Kris and I ended up meeting him again with his wife at a business party the next night. They were a lovely couple and I ended up recording and releasing his song "House of Cards" a couple of months later back in the UK.
I was suffering with my first case of severe jet lag and was running on no sleep but there was something about LA that kept my adrenaline running. One of the things I noticed more than anything was that LA is so ambition fuelled. I met a lot of people over there, even when just travelling around on my own and everyone I met seemed so enthusiastic and passionate about music, I loved that!
I remember on the first night, meeting a couple of Kris's friends for dinner (one who worked at Disney) and they kindly gave us VIP passes into Walt Disney Studios and tickets to see as private showing of the new Incredibles 2 movie. We got a private tour of Walt Disney production rooms, the studios where they edit the movie soundtracks and a tour of the underground systems and storage they use to store all the original film reels. I remember walking in from 30c to -5c, freezer-type storage cabinets that were enormous! The man giving us the tour, opened up a couple of the cabinets and showed us a numerous of old reels of everything from 101 Dalmatians, The Hunchback of Notre Dame to as old as Snow White. He told us how the cold, underground tunnels are used to carry animations from production rooms to storage protecting them from the sun's heat. I'm a HUGE Disney fan, so this was a dream for me!
I spent a day visiting Capitol Records, walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and eating the largest slice of pizza I ever had! I also tried "twinkies;" something I had heard about a million times in American movies.
I loved trying all the American foods and sweets that we don't have back home.
That night we ended up enjoying a couple of drinks and amazing music in a small club where a couple of artists had a showcase where I bumped into a couple of friends from back home who were on the same business trip.
My friend Kris had a meeting one of the days, so I decided I'd spend the day at the LA zoo. It was several miles away from our apartment I ended up using an Uber for the first time. It wasn't my finest hour if I'm being honest. I left the apartment for the day with my phone only half charged. Of course, being at a zoo as big as the LA, I took a lot of pics and vids and used snapchat for the majority of the day which completely drained my battery. Leaving the zoo, I quickly ordered an uber (phone battery on 2%) and hoped for the best. I started panic a little as I was on the app watching the uber driver go round in circles (10 mins away.) I was adamant he didn’t know where I was and I didn't know about leaving messages for him letting him know where to pick me up. So yeah, I would have been stuck in middle of LA, on my own with no phone, no numbers I knew to phone and no money left from buying food and drinks at the Zoo throughout the day. I have no idea how, but the 2% battery life lasted until he finally showed up 15 minutes later as I recognised his number plate. Learned my lesson that day to never leave the house without a phone charger.
Typically, I was finally shaking off the jet lag on the day of leaving back to the UK. I had just adjusted and started to relax into things when I had to go home. It kind of sucked but I definitely have plans to go back. I have plenty of people to meet over there for next time and I would love to arrange a showcase for myself as soon as I can!