On Letting Go…

 

Sure I posted this song to Soundcloud on the last possible day of the month to reach my song a month goal, but I did it! I kept wanting to change more and more with Open until I told myself to let go. It was difficult for me to get my grips off this song. But I’m slowly realizing that letting go must be a part of artistic growth. It’s like sending your child off to their first day of school or something. You don’t want to send them into the real world just yet. You want to hold their hand for just a little longer. You want to protect them. But it’s something that must be done. So, fug it.

Fun (or not so fun) Fact: I started this song nearly two years ago.

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Inspiration May Be Around the Corner

I’m proud of myself for not quitting when I felt stuck. The latest song I’ve been working on has been yet another challenge for me. Sometimes I’d spend hours on this song only to take elements out. And sometimes I would try things out that flat out fucking sucked ass.  I was frustrated.

I turned to my brother for advice. He told me to give it a break; to work on something else; and to stop putting so much pressure on myself to finish one song in 30 days. I partially agreed with what he was saying. But there was something in the back of my mind saying that my goal is something I know I can do.

My brother’s thought process was for me to build a catalogue of music over a course of several months and to release afterwards. I immediately started thinking “If I can’t release one song a month, then how can I trust myself to make several songs in 8 months?” It did not sit well with me.

The following day I was inspired by a song by Crystal Castle’s called “Courtship Dating.” I began to think to myself that I had more than enough elements in my song to make a complete piece. I went back to my “makeshift studio” with a new set of ears. I’m not finished with the song yet, but it’s almost there!

Forcing myself to release a project a month keeps me working every day. It gives me a purpose to keep pushing even when I feel stuck. It keeps me accountable to myself. Sometimes that is what you should do. Sometimes you must trust yourself and keep yourself accountable, especially if you don’t have anyone there to give you shit if you’re not living up to the goals you set for yourself. You’ll never know where the answer will strike you. It could be right around the corner.

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Choose Wisely

“If you can’t take your goals seriously, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously?”

Maybe I heard this quote before; maybe I haven’t. Or maybe the quote is a hybrid of quotes. No matter the origin, I thought of this before having to cancel a few events I had for this coming weekend to meet my music deadline.

I love spending time with my family and friends, I really do. That’s why it can be difficult for me to say no. I know I’m not alone on this and there are countless others that deal with the same situation. Regardless, we are all given a choice. The decisions we make ultimately determine where we are headed. So, choose wisely.

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The Beauty in Music

 

One beauty that creating music offers is the ability to take inspiration from another musician and to make their sound your own. I’m not going to lie, I was heavily influenced by Chris Brown’s “Party” instrumental while making this song. I literally sat down and took notes on every second of the beat. Not only that, but I took elements of the Neptune’s productions to round it out.

I’m not great at coming up with ideas yet, but I can look at this song and say that I enjoy it. I do. I know that I’ve written about Earl Nightengale’s quote where he mentions we are on this earth to serve others. That still resonates with me, but I feel like there needs to be a measure of self-satisfaction in what you do. It’s a great feeling to do something that moves you, even if no one else feels the same way. Be in control of what makes you happy and never allow anyone to have influence of that.

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Bored, Bored, Bored

Is it normal to bore yourself of your own creations? This thought was on my mind recently. I have been working on my latest song, which I really enjoyed at the time, but after a few weeks of listening to it day in and day out I felt a wave of boredom. What I once thought was friggin’ awesome was eh.

I spoke to my brother, who is also an artist, about this and he reminded me that it is normal. He mentioned instances where he’d trash an entire song if a single verse didn’t resonate with him. A little extreme? Maybe so. He did mention that he does feel bored during the mixing process, but after he’s finished he puts the song away. In time, he gives his work a listen with a fresh pair of ears. Normally his break allows him to appreciate his final product.

His opinion gave me a pinch of relief. My concern is the fact that I know everything about the music I create. There is no surprise with my own creation. I know everything about it. Not only that, but I’ve listened to it hundreds of times before any other ears heard it. Will there be a day I perform a song live that people love and I fucking hate? Who knows.

But I am no pessimist by all means. There is a part of me that says if the final piece speaks on a profound level that it will remain something you’ll enjoy long after you’ve finished. But I haven’t been doing this long enough to really know the answer. Only time will tell.

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After my Second One on One EQ-ing Class

I’m starting to feel more comfortable EQ-ing after taking my second one on one music course. It feels pretty awesome to absorb new information. But there’s so much more I need to learn. As I dive deeper into music, I realize how much I don’t know. I guess that rings the same for taking on any new skill, really. But one thing that keeps me going is the fact that though the technology behind music is in a constant stage of evolution, the theories behind creating great music will always be the same.

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Brick By Brick

Creating anything beyond mediocrity can be intimidating. I mean really fucking intimidating. Sometimes I freak myself out when I listen to amazing music. It’s as if my mind can’t fathom the possibility of getting to the level of greatness.  Maybe this is something a lot of people think about. Maybe it’s something that cripple’s people’s dreams before they take action. I re-watched an interview with Will Smith where he spoke of a brick-laying task his father had  him and his little brother do when he was young (Feel free to watch the short video for his explanation).  I really love the idea of looking at large tasks as laying a single brick. Rather than looking at the entire beast of a project, look at it as taking small steps. Don’t skimp on the small steps, though. Kick fucking ass with every small step.  Lay down the best fucking brick every time. Each brick you lay down, with time, may turn out to be a castle when you’re done.

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