Hello fans! I hope you are doing well! I am not dropping a new track yet, I have a few tracks that I’m working with but I’m not sure if any of them will make it on the album or even how many tracks I want to place on this album. I’m trying to pick the ones that really speak to me and fit the overall theme of the album. There’s also that pesky challenge of deciding if I want to make a title track and if so, what it would be like. I’m still debating all those things as I work towards producing the rest of my album.
In the meantime, I confess that I have become more and more addicted to YouTube videos. I remember a time when YouTube was basically a dumping ground for whatever random video blog or stupid antics someone wanted to show the world. It’s only been in the past 5 years or so that I have noticed an increasingly higher percentage of quality content made from thinkers and people who are not afraid to argue with the status quo. But, if you’re not a dinosaur, you probably already know that.
So why am I bringing this up? Well, because I wanted to share a gem on YouTube that I found and since I know that there is so much content on YouTube that even if all new uploads were to cease (they won’t), it would still take you 60,000 years or more of non-stop watching to watch every video on YouTube at the time new uploads ceased (Quora.com). Because of that number, there is a very good chance that you may not find this video that I found. However, I think it is a fantastic explanation of the popular music scene.
This video, friends, is why I am not upset that I’m not a ‘popular’ musician. While I’d certainly love to make more money with the music I have made so that I can afford to work on music more directly, I’m also not about to try and mold myself to fit a particular niche in the world of popular music. I create what I create because I feel like I am driven to create it and that I should share it in case anyone else would like to hear it. While I certainly draw some inspiration from modern styles of music, they do not define my music. I create the things that I enjoy listening to and hope that everyone else will enjoy listening to it as well. I hope you found this information at least somewhat useful.
I have some great news! I have officially dropped “DJ6i – Solar Wind”, the fifth track from my upcoming Expanse EP.
I was working on a song in a similar vein to Street Fire but realized that I was ‘forcing’ a track rather than letting it come naturally. This has never been my style and has never worked well. Luckily I changed my own mind and allowed myself some creative liberty. I took the rather common speed for this album – 145bpm and started to play with some melodies that I had brought up in my mind. I wanted something that would run smoothly on top of arpeggios but carry a rolling bass line.
Over the next few days, the track began to take shape and I liked the energy. However, in a very different path than I normally take, I made a decision to do something altogether different – use voices! I know! I have had a longstanding rule to never use voice effects or anything like singing in my music. However, when I was layering the first cut of the melody, I decided that a cut-up-vox like I hear in many VIP mixes and such added a nice layer of ethereal presence that the track needed. I once again played with the Logic Pro X “drummer” tracks but used a considerable number of tweaks to give the drummer more ‘swing’ and uniqueness. In the end, it turned out quite well.
So what is the meaning of this track? Well, as you know, this EP has been my attempts to stretch myself more as an artist rather than lock myself into a pattern of styles. Hence, this album covers an Expanse of styles and influences drawn from many places. Well, I have been drawn out of my home in Oklahoma and starting my family’s life anew in Kansas City. The more time I spend here, the more I realize that this is where I was meant to be despite my constant opposition to change. Well, the solar winds are the force from the sun that ejects positively charged particles into the galaxy that will strike all planets in the galaxy, charging them with the particles that sustain life. So life is throwing me into new places and new situations but with a positive charge that sometimes only makes sense after the change occurred.
I hope you enjoy this! Since I have decided to remove Boom Room from my tracks, this will be the fifth track. That means that I only need two more tracks to finish off this EP. Who knows what this new world I live in will send my way. Stay tuned!
Hey fans! I had a realization yesterday – Kansas City, MO (KCMo as we call it), my new home, has an amazingly rich musical history. I know, as a musician you’d think I research this stuff before I moved but – well, life happened. Anyway, yesterday I was just curious about the artwork atop the Kauffman Convention Center (they are these four pillars that look like cudgels on top of smoke stacks) so I did some research. This ultimately threw me into a great series of articles on the history of KCMo and – it’s music. I feel like an idiot for not knowing these things:
Kansas City, MO is considered the birthplace for American Jazz. Now, to my credit I’m not a jazz aficionado but I am a music history buff so you’d think I know.
The 18th and Vine area, not far away from the downtown core, is considered the Jazz Holy Land and also hosts the Blue Room which launched MANY well known acts.
A few singers from here made it very big over time. Of my generation of music – Puddle of Mudd started here, so did Melissa Etheridge. Even Eminem spent a few years in St. Joseph, MO on the eastern edge of the KCMo metro area.
One other very well known act from my history – Tech N9ne – is from this area and I had no idea!
As a random bit of fun, you will recall that I wrote Street Fire after visiting a certain neighborhood in KCMo and feeling the energy there. It turns out that this neighborhood is only a few miles away from 18th and Vine. Perhaps that is part of why the energy was so strong there. Whatever the case may be, I am enjoying a city that has a culture of music and I can’t wait to learn more about it when the time allows.
If you’re bored, here is a list of tracks that I think you’ll like from KCMo folks:
Hello fans! I am excited to announce the release of the fifth song from my upcoming EP, Expanse. I call this new song “Street Fire” and it’s dedicated to the people in my new city (see the post about Relocation if you aren’t sure what I mean). But the true motivation is something very cool and deserves to be told.
If you do not know, I am a Christian and I am not afraid to admit it. One of the things I have always enjoyed is seeing the different ways that God can use my skills. I’ve never written a song for God, nothing could speak to him. But, this is close. You see, my family and I agreed to work with a great mission called “Freedom Fire” and they do some great outreach things in the Kansas City area. One of them is a Friday Night celebration where they invite almost 100 kids from an impoverished, inner-city apartment complex to a night of fun with face painting, sports, food, etc. I had the honor of volunteering at this event with my wife and kids. I was amazed at the positivity of the kids even though I saw the very dangerous and scary world they lived in. It reminded me that you can find a fire in people off the streets that burns brighter than many churches.
As a result, I combined hip hop elements, beats, trap and techno elements to this track. I actually wrote the beat the day after I saw the kids and I could just imagine them dancing to it. This is a track unlike any other track that I have made and it has a great mission! Check it out!
Hello fans, it’s been a very long time since I have provided you any updates. I’m sorry about that, but life has been very busy. As of March, I took a new job and moved my family to a new city in the Midwest USA. This has been a challenging transition to say the least. I have already talked about it at length on my personal Facebook and on my spiritual blog so I won’t go into it here. But, it does at least explain why you have not heard anything from me.
I do have a much more spacious office and studio space in my new home as the basement is finished and offers lots of space that is not currently needed for other purposes. I have already setup my mixer deck, my speakers, mic, and a few other peripherals. I also have done a few solid tests for acoustics. Will this translate into new music? Maybe so or maybe not.
I am still working on the new album and trying to focus on the new, more techno-focused sound. If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know that I have dropped 4 songs so far. I usually try to put 7-9 songs on each EP that I create. I have never officially released my “Space Jingle” Christmas song on an album so if I include that, it would be 5 songs. However, if I’m going to include Boom Room on the album, I am likely to have some legal hurdles since a few other artists have already used the same pad setup to make different songs and copyrighted them (or so YouTube and SoundCloud seem to think). I don’t have the financial means or desire to take on a possibly lengthy lawsuit so I may have to drop Boom Room from the album entirely. If so, I’m back down to 4 songs with Space Jingle. That means I need at least 3 other songs to round out the EP. I certainly have a few projects that I could turn into songs and I very well may do just that. But I never just throw a song together that might be good and put it on an album to fill up space, that’s not my approach at all.
Each track I include on an album is one of the many I have written and ultimately decided was worth the release. So writing 3 solid songs is going to depend a great deal on my time to work in the studio and the right amount of creative indulgence applied to those works. If the creative juices strike me, it may be just enough to take one of the many projects I have and turn it into a real song, or it may be a totally new project that just fits when I write it. Or, it could be any mixture of those two. So I don’t intend to rush this as the more rush, the lower quality the music I produce tends to be. As I write new stuff worth mentioning, I will share it to those who follow me.
Meanwhile, I am focusing my attention on getting my life in order after the move. I am also working on getting my oldest son a set of electronic drums the he can use because he seems to have some untapped talent in this field (at least if his rhythmic drumming on overturned laundry baskets, pans, and darn near any other surface he can get his hands on has anything to say about it). I took the kid to a music store about a year ago and they had an electronic set with headphones. He put them on and spent the greater part of 30 minutes drumming all over the place. If I can reasonably afford to buy him a set and hook it up to the studio, you can imagine the fun we could have. Imagine if one of the tracks on my new EP had a drum fill courtesy of my child or even an entire rhythmic section. As an artist, it’s my duty to foster other artists, that duty is increased one-hundred fold when the other artist happens to be my child.
Hey friends! I have been talking about this track for several weeks now and I released it on SoundCloud a while ago but I was holding out hope that I could get a cool video made for it but I simply don’t have time. With that being said, you can now listen to “Burning Star” on YouTube. Enjoy!