Well…

It’s been a little while since I wrote about what the freak I’m up to musically. I will admit, I have been slightly slacking off. I’ve let life kind of shimmy its way in the direction I am supposed to be going. To be honest, I’m not upset with myself about it. There’s something in me that’s telling me I am where I need to be for the moment. Maybe it’s trust, faith, or some other thing. I’m not sure, but I know I will steer back into the direction I need to go.

On another note, I’m sure some of you were forced to sit through the above video I posted. Well guess what? I gave in and invested in the Deadmau5 master class.  I figured since I will not be attending an actual class until at least this coming summer, why not take this online class to expand my knowledge a little bit? So far I think the class isn’t bad. There are over 4 hours worth of videos and a community of users. I have yet to take full advantage of the entire course, but I will fill in my thoughts as I make my way through it.

I’m also leaving the country for Nigeria within the next 48 hours.  And, you know, I’ve been really indifferent about it until yesterday. This trip will be the biggest trip I have ever taken in my life thus far. My extended family is there and the amount of history in Africa blows my mind. I really don’t know what to expect. Part of me is scared and part of me is excited about it. I mean, who doesn’t have a slight fear of the unknown? I sure and the fuck do. But I’m really excited and prepared to be blown the hell away by everything.  Anyway, move forward, always.

 

Posted in Music, Art, Events | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stay True to Yourself

Hip Hop and R&B have been getting me rocking and rolling lately. When I turn that shite on and give it a good listen ,I can’t help but start moving like I’m Chris Brown (minus the dance grooves).  What’s been making the kid feel like shaking his rear end has really been the production of both genres. Some of it is good… Real flippin’ good.

I’m not gonna lie, I have been feeling the urge to say “Fuck it. I want to make music that sounds exactly like the shit I’m listening to right now. I’m enjoying this jam so much, why not make it myself?”

But then something clicks in my brain. Something tells me that this is all a test. Something tells me that I need to stay true to myself. It’s pretty fucking hard to do it sometimes, but I do it. So I continue to work on music that sounds right to me. I continue to try and be as authentic to myself as I can be. Shit, the truth speaks more volumes than something that is artificial, right?

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

F*** Fear

middle-finger-clipart

 

Well here I go again, letting my peanut head get back to thinking about some shit. On today’s menu I started pondering about what keeps me doing what I don’t have a passion for. What keeps me spending over 50 hours a week at a place that I don’t care to be in? I found the little pansy ass bitch that does it. It’s my little friend known as FEAR (cue the Twilight Zone theme music motha fucka).

I give fear my middle finger. If I could flip it off with my toes I’d do that too. Maybe even crop dust it. Why so cold you might ask? Because I’ve come to the realization that it keeps me working at a place that I have absolutely no passion for.  Digging a little deeper, I caught onto more specific fears that have their Kung Fu death grip on my love berries.

It’s the fear of losing my cell phone, being homeless, eating poorly, not affording nice clothes, losing my job, and the fear of the unknown that keep me pinned down. What kind of fucking motivation is that? It’s ridiculous when I sit down and think about it. It’s more ridiculous than the last haircut I seen on Young  Joc.  I could be wrong, but I have a strong conviction that most people who work at jobs they hate stay there for similar reasons.

Some people might say “Dude, stop fucking bitching and get another job!” I am actually in partial agreement to that. Getting another job is a solution. But what about committing myself to something that actually has meaning? I have an idea where I’m headed, but damn is it more challenging than I thought.

Sadly, I fell in the category of not being taught to go for what I had a passion for. This was something I had to learn. Those bitch asses at Gap Kids that gave me 8 hours a week while I was still in college pushed me to thinking about what I really wanted to do. Maybe I should thank them, actually.  Muchos gracias *wink* *wink.*

My bottom line is fuck fear. Fuck the idea of being comfortable if it gets in the way of progression. Maybe it’s not always the best idea to drop everything and sleep on the streets to be the better you, but it is possible to be smart about your next move. I have to constantly remind myself to work my job and to not let it work me. My dad taught me that it’s not about how much money you make, but it’s about how you manage it. As I’ve aged like a fine wine I learned that investing your income is just as important as saving it. So invest your money, read, meditate, and network. Be better every day and give fear a stiff one up its lame ass butt cheeks!

Posted in Music, Art, Events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress Equals Happiness?

I find it odd that I have recently put in more work in my music than usual. I spent hours over the weekend and a decent portion of the day yesterday. It actually feels pretty fucking good. I’m starting to notice my creation patterns. I walk away when I feel like I’m at a roadblock. I get something to eat, watch TV, or work on my step aerobics (Ron Simmons style). I feel completely energized when I come back to it.

I also feel like I am improving on being self critical without being over the top. I know what sounds good to me and I stick to it even if other people think it sounds ok. What’s most important about it all is I feel pretty happy about where I’m going. Progress really does equate to happiness. I know there are days where I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall, but even those days are necessary. It’s the days I break through the brick walls that make me feel like Superman on crack.

Tony Robbins mentions the art of CANI (Constant and never ending improvement). The concept is simple, but damn is it powerful. Small improvements every day turns into massive change within due time.

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art of Detachment

Yes, I’m still working on the same damn song I said I was working on weeks ago. It’s really interesting how time flies. Life can really alter the time line of any given project. As I worked on my latest song the other day, I started thinking about how I can detach myself from my music before I release it. What I mean is, how can I listen to my music with a fresh pair of ears? Maybe there’s a scientific methodology to the whole damn thing. I don’t fucking know.

 This might sound lame as hell, but I turn my back to my music workstation when I try to be unbiased. Yeah, sounds pretty stupid right? For some reason I feel that turning my back kind of separates me from my work. It makes me feel like the music has to win me over. I also close my eyes when I listen. I try to see if the music makes me feel anything, but even that can be a challenge after I’ve listened to the same beat over a fucking 100 times!

Maybe I’m just thinking more about this because my brother, who was always my fresh pair of ears, just moved out. It sucks that I won’t have immediate feedback, but maybe it will be a challenge that I’m supposed to go through. If you’re an artist, I’d like to hear what you do to detach yourself from your work!

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything

Cartoon brain activity drawings

Is it possible to get good at anything in 20 hours? Josh Kaufman thinks so. I was scrolling through Youtube, and I noticed this really cool interview with Kaufman who is adamant that you can learn anything in 20 hours. I’m sure you’re thinking, “What about all that 10,000 hour shit I’ve been told?” It is still arguable that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, but not everyone has the desire to perform at the elite level of any particular skill. Some of us just want to be good for crying out loud! Whether you believe Kaufman or not, I have listed his steps for getting good at anything in less than a day.

1.      Decide exactly what you want

As simple as the first step sounds, knowing specifically what you want takes effort.  Kaufman says, “If you’re able to clearly define what you’re trying to get, the easier it is for you to go out into the world and find ways to get there.” Be as specific as possible. Know the type of music you want to produce, who you want to work with, where you want to have your first show, the year you want to have it, etc. The key word is specific!

2.      Take the global skill and break it down into smaller parts

Deconstructing the skill simplifies the broad sense of the endeavor. Take it apart. Find out the small things you need to learn and move forward. Kaufman sees any new skill as a big bundle of skills that require different things. Kaufman expresses, “The more you can break apart the skill, the more you can decide what are the parts of this skill that would actually help me get to what I want?”

3.      Learn enough to self correct

Skim through multiple books and videos, find the information that specifically provides what you need to learn, and act on the information. It is easy to fall into the procrastination trap of feeling the need to study as much as possible before moving forward. Do not make that mistake! Learn just enough so you can self edit. The faster you can move from research mode to practice mode, the better.

4.      Remove practice barriers

Eliminate all distractions—TV, phone, nagging wife or husband, noisy ass kids, etc. Give yourself at least 40 focused minutes a day. Kaufman personally breaks his work sessions into two 20 minute groups. Simple enough. He also brings up a great point to make your tools easily accessible. Put your studio in your room or place your guitar next to your favorite couch instead of having to go to the garage to pull it out. You want to use as little “will power” as possible.

5.      Commit at least 20 hours to the new skill

In his Tedx Talk Kaufman says “We don’t like to feel stupid. And feeling stupid is a barrier to us actually sitting down and doing the work.” According to Kaufman, you will be able to overcome any initial frustration barrier and stick with it long enough to reap the rewards.  If you break it down to twenty minutes a day two times a day, you will reach 20 hours in one month. Easy enough.

 

My opinion: I think Kaufman’s steps are great. I would like to add, however, that Napoleon Hill made a remark regarding the ability of knowing exactly what you want. Hill asserts that it is not only important to know exactly what you want, but he also says you have to be realistic. It would be ridiculous if you told yourself that you will be a billionaire in the next month without having even the slightest idea of how you’ll get there (unless you win the lottery). Hill also mentioned the importance of giving in return for what you want. If you want to be America’s Next Top Model do you plan to coach aspiring young models in return for what you’re getting?

Also, Tony Robbins brought up one of the most important factors for his personal success. Robbins  immediately applied anything he learned through books or videos. His instant results gave him data to apply the next time around. In return, he learned at what appeared to be lightening speeds.

 

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jam of the Week – Nesfly “Six Feet Under”

Damn do I love the drums on this song. Nesfly comes from Stockholm, Sweden and has much more sounds you can hear from his Soundcloud account.

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment