Posts tagged artists
Goals

All the artists I look up to, I’m finally starting to work with and it’s crazy.... Hanging backstage at Coachella with H.E.R and Daniel Caesar, Tyler the Creator, the Internet, Alina Baraz, Jorja Smith was amazing. I even got to hang with Gabriel Garzon Montano for a few east coast shows. Literally my Spotify playlist in real life. The best part is my world and brother Bryndon’s world (aka Starchild) are starting to cross and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. 

I'm gonna call it now. One day me and my brother will work together on music, film and/or T.V and its gonna be legendary. #goals

Close Up Portrait - Valore Shirt.JPG
Songwriting and Producing

I've been working in Logic producing and writing songs all year long. I don't necessarily aspire to be a producer per se but it's just become my songwriting process. I want to create good songs and demos in my room from start to finish that I can send to other artists and producers. I have A LOT of music in me and producing in Logic has become my way of getting it out.

When I was working on my album Somewhere in Between, I produced the entire project in Logic months before (January 2016- March 2016). This gave me time to work on the songs by myself without having to worry about organizing rehearsals with my band and also I could organize the project all before entering the studio. I worked on the song order, tempos, keys, solo order and honed in on the sound I wanted in the months prior. So when April 2nd of 2016 came and we entered the studio I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do. For anyone doing an album or project I highly suggest doing this...It's almost like making a MOCK-UP album. Then you can get advice and feedback from artists you respect on your MOCK-UP before you hit the studio....

IMG_0408.JPG
New Favorite Artists
New Wave R & B

New Wave R & B

I've been listening to a lot of Alternative RnB and Urban RnB lately. I just wanna share what's been on my playlist...

Nick Hakim (amazing singer -songwriter from Maryland), Masego, Xavier Omar, H.E.R, Nao and Daniel Caesar. Have to say Daniel Caesar is incredible... I want to work with this man. That's gotta happen. Check out my favorite songs from these artists...

 

Playlist:

Nick Hakim - Needy Bees

Masego - Girls That Dance

Xavier Omar - Blind Man

Daniel Caeser - Blessed

H.E.R. - Focus

Nao - Bad Blood

Green Twins - Nick Hakim.jpg
Black American Music and Soul Music
Motown.jpg

I’m not sure who first coined this term but I do remember Nicholas Payton using it a lot a few years back to describe Jazz. I don’t intend to go back down that rabbit hole with this post, but rather to better define how I would describe my music. I grew up on soul music and particularly a lot of Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Temptations and Smokey Robinson. This had a profound affect on the music that I gravitate to. Even after studying jazz for a number of years I find myself always gravitating back to my roots (but informed by jazz). The music that I like to create is influenced by the soul music I grew up on as well as the Jazz that I’ve studied and been immersed in while in NYC. Both Jazz and R&B/Soul are art forms that have come out of the African American traditions. When it comes to trying to classify the music that I make, the best term I can come up with is Black American Music or plainly just Soul. If it comes from the Soul and sounds like Soul and feels like Soul then lets just call it what it is… Soul Music.

The Value of Transcriptions

I”ve recently started a weekly series called Transcription Tuesdays and it is aimed to uphold tradition in this coming musical age of anything goes. Now don’t get me wrong I think it’s important make the music that you want to make BUT I think it’s at least important to be informed as much as possible about the history of the music you”re making. For that reason, I always strive to transcribe daily whether it is something as short as a lick or as long as a full album. This keeps my ears sharp, allows me to get more grounded in the music and also allow me to grow musically.

A little background on me and my start at transcribing!

I got my first private saxophone teacher pretty late in the game. I was 15 years old and my teachers Morgan Russell and Paul Carr always stressed the importance of studying the Omnibook (a collection of Charlie Parker solos written out) as well as the importance of listening/copying artists that I liked. This was always a major component of my lessons. Paul Carr would assign me a Cannonball Adderley solo (like “Minority”) to have written out and memorized for next week. This type of fast paced instruction pushed me to grow very quickly. In a couple years, I had gone fom a novice to playing in the All County, All State Bands and even national groups such The Grammy Band, Vail Jazz All Stars and YoungArts Fellows. I honestly believe this rapid development came not from mere running scales and arpeggios but from learning hundreds of solos and listening non-stop. I learned thousands of solos by ear during that time. I would sing them, play along with them on piano, and of course learn them on saxophone. When learning any language you have to emulate those that do it well and Jazz is no different. So to anyone reading this wondering how do I get better? Or feeling like they”ve hit a plateau. Trust me, there’s more to do and more to learn. Keep transcribing! There’s always someone better than you out there’s transcribe them! LOL

R.I.P. Prince

A few weeks back, I was in New c. We were down there for about a week (April 14-24) and a few days. Everything went according to plan, the music came out great and we had a good a time. One day in particular was different from every other. Thursday, April 21st we found out on the news that Prince had died. At first, I didn’t believe it but then the calls started coming in. My parents called me in disbelief, my girlfriend, my brothers, and closest friends all called me… It seemed like everyone that I knew had been greatly affected by Princes death. It finally dawned on me that we had just lost one of the greatest artists of all time and that the musical world will never be the same. I could honestly write about Prince and how he’s influenced me for days but for now I’ll just post this video I made in tribute to Prince.