As I customarily do, when I start a new project, I usually blog about for two reasons. First, to sort of document the journey so I can look back on it in the future (it helps when/if it gets down to interview time and I want to cite certain things about the creative/production process and related thoughts). Secondly, I do so for those who have a general interest on the “behind the scenes” stuff that goes along with an entire creative process such as this.
While I won’t drop the name of the project until it’s time to start pre-release marketing near the drop date, I will give you a little background along the way. That said, this project is a collection of tunes (a smaller collection than originally created) that was inspired by a business trip I took long ago, halfway across the world, ten years agi. The tunes (with the exception of one) was inspired by various aspect of daily life that I experienced on this first trip (I actually made two trips, two consecutive summers, to the same place, but the tracks were inspired by the first trip).
All the tracks, with the exception of the title track, are written, recorded and arranged by me. The stage I’m in now is track editing and mix preparation. Over the last three days, I’ve been in the studio doing just that. For example, tonight I demixed the drum track and began preparing to bus them to their respective auxiliary channels. This basic process allows for grouping those bus tracks to allow greater control over track automation and effects processing over essentially what is an entire drum kit. The next step will be adding a guitar track and essentially following that same process with respect to a single guitar track.
As for the overall concept, all the tracks tell a story, cohesively, but individually tell singular stories in and of themselves. For those of you who are on Instagram, you can get a sneak peek, if you will, to the creative journey by following the simple hashtag #bsun2017. Hope you come along for the ride.
It’s Friday….enjoy the weekend. Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers (biologically or not).
Over the last few days, I began to take stock of how I *think* I want this project to unfold. In the last post, I mentioned it was to be a 10 track project but it has since grown two more tracks. I plan on stunting any further growth…, LOL.
Right now, I plan on inviting 24 other artists to participate on this project, whether they all do remains too early to be seen, but the invite email is going out this weekend. Of the 24, I have four already committed, so that’s good, so now starts the real groundwork: logistics, determining how much remote collaboration will be needed, musician assignments to each song, etc. This should prove interesting (one drummer I really would like to have on the project will only play an acoustic set – which I don’t have in my studio), but better to nail down this now verses later. Stay tuned.
Happy Holidays (Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, etc) to all. A lot of you catch my tweets about what I’m doing musically, so I wanted to give you a peek at where it all happens. All the composers, songwriters, musicians, etc have such a spot, most of them (obviously your truly) tend to call it a lab of some sort. I was talking with a friend yesterday, who’s a songwriter/musician/producer about studio workspaces and how they run the gamut of styles. I kinda thrive on ergonomics, comfort, and organization, etc…helps the muse flow freely. As for as tools, I’m a firm believer that the best utilize what they have to the max to get the results needed.
I’m looking forward to completing a long awaited CD that my partner and I have been working on, continuing work on a collaboration called “contempojazzsoulhop” with my boys Fave and Todd, a smooth jazz project with KLWJazz, more remixes for Philip Clark, gospel jazz keyboardist Kevin Battle, vocal group Destined 2 Praise, vocalist Dana Yates, more production work with AfterSix Productions, saxophonist Harron Evoria, annnnnnd my own CD project, whew. Ok, anyway, here’s mine, in it’s current form:
That’s about it…now u see where the tweets flow from, the hangout spot.
10:15pm, Friday night. The day part was long, and busy, so I am definitely appreciative of this part. I’m sitting in the studio…really chillin’. As usual, I’m thinking of projects that need to continue, get finished, or get started, but tonite…I’m relaxing, and catching up on blogging (*yawn*).
They say when it rains, it pours. It’s been doing that figuratively and literally (more figuratively then literally). For the longest time, I, and my biz partner, Dan McCollum, have been working on our CD project….the longest time is a time I care not to divulge, but hey…life get’s in the way. The CD is entitled “What Love Is”. We are known as After Six Productions. It started out, and still is, a labor of love project, as opposed to one created to get a record deal. We have a record company established under which A6P falls, Hall Effect Records. While we are now down to pretty much nearing completion of the project, we’re really seeing how much work it entails. Our only desire, be it lofty or not, is to put out songs that can stand the test of time. A bit ambitious…maybe…but in light of what the urban music industry is offering, we feel it’s high time for a change….we’ll see. We’re coming.
I won’t bore ya with my humble beginnings, but just let you know what the journey has been like over the last year. I’ve had the studio running for quite some time. This year there have been other projects like recording a four-voice ensemble to a welcome song written for our church mass choir. The result of that demo CD drew similar artists in, with songs of their own from time to time (I have three in the queue currently). Having *clientele* like this is not something I expected at this point, but it gives me an idea what it really takes to produce and learn the recording hardware and software I have.
Over the last few months, I’ve begun a remote collaboration project with two other very talented musicians AND friends I have on twitter: @fave (in Houston) and @toddkelley (in Cali). Fave and Todd have been doing collaboration songs back and forth that I’ve been fortunate to hear. These tracks, everyone, have been slammin’. Down the line, we all started talking about collaborating to some extent. Fave came around and seem to set the wheels in motion, farming out some incomplete tracks to Todd and I to work on, Todd doing the same to Fave, and Fave feeding what Todd and he did to me, for the guitar work. So far, tracks done, and released to the public to hear, have been met with great enthusiasm. The name of the project is called C3 or deeper still, “contempojazzsoulhop”, a name that describes the flow of all three of us combined as one. Here’s Fave talking about the origin and development of the project (yeah, man…we both owe u inputs! LOL):
I’ve been working on my own tracks for years, under a project entitled Songs From The Future (SFTF). While I won’t get into my whole workflow, inspirations and such, songs come to me in many different ways, different times and are often built from a little as something like this. My plan is to get under way with my CD in 2010, as soon as we drop “What Love Is”
Within the last, what, almost two months, I got the grand opportunity (again via Twitter) to be asked to do remixes (seemingly a life long dream), for one VERY funky and soulful artist by the name of Philip Clark. Via some tweets read about the development of “contempojazzsoulhop”, he got wind of the fact that I produce my own music and was always interested in doing a remix. After a little discussion, he approached me and asked if I wanted to do some remixes of tracks from his debut album. Of course I jumped at the chance to do so and picked the track “Granted”. Happy to say that after hearing the rough version, he is pleased with it….but not more pleased that I to know he’s diggin’ it. I plan two other remixes of the track. He’s a pleasure to work with and has displayed a great mind for the business as well. I like what he has in store for the remix project as a whole. I applaud that, as well as his musical flow. Definitely check out his tracks. His official site is here. Much thanks to the shout for my podcast.
As far as live music, I’ve been playing in my church’s music ministry with all the various choirs since 1994 as well as with a band, 150East for a few years now. Here’s a short vid of the band:
Since 150East, I’ve started teaching guitar, as well as studying jazz guitar under a Washington DC guitar instructor and recording artist, Dave Mosick. The latest project about to kick off is with a local sax player and good friend, Kelvin Wilson.
So, needless to say….busy for sure. Just tryna make it happen, and that always starts in ‘The Lab.
I won’t say what time it is now…but, I will say…thank for reading….The weekend is here…let’s go…