The recording process for me second time around is way different. A lot more pre- production. I made tracks in logic at my house and wrote to the songs. Then we went to the studio and recorded to the tracks. The next phase is arranging and figuring what parts I want acoustic and which parts I want samples. This is kinda the most crucial part in crafting the sound... I don’t subscribe to the idea that your album should sound exactly like your live show by any means however I still want the two to be related if that makes sense. So in this project im really trying to marry production and jazz in a natural way. With the help of my producer friends Drew Moore and Rocket Jackson we are really shaping a new sound... #millennialmusic
Since releasing Somewhere in Between last year I’ve been touring with my own band supporting the album. I’ve also been producing and writing way more music. I like to use January through March to write music when work is more slow. Since January I’ve been to Europe twice, hit the recording studio twice working on my next project and had multiple mixing sessions. I’m very excited to say that we’ve finally got some new amazing music coming out soon! I can sum up this next project in 3 phase. Each one has its own aesthetic. I may roll it out in 3 EPs or just jumble it up. The subject matter of the songs chronicles my development as an artist. I can’t wait to share it with the world!
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....
So for those that don't know, my younger brother Bryndon (aka Starchild) is the music director for Solange. For years I've been wanting to collaborate in some way and finally some opportunities came through. A few months back I performed with Solange at The Guggenheim Museum. This was a historical moment... we have a black artist and all black band performing a very socially conscious project in the Guggenheim museum. Everyone in attendance had to dress in all white and the entire venue was packed. A jaw dropping visual to say the least. So I helped contract the other 15 black horn players and we performed "Don't Touch My Hair " and "Fubu" with Solange and the band. Solange's closing number was a super emotional piece where she falls out on the ground rolling around screaming and pouring out her soul. Meanwhile, the band is blasting bell tones in concert and the crowd is screaming full out. We got to the upper room (so to speak). Many people in the crowd were crying. I myself had chills and was choked up a bit by the visceral emotion. It was palpable. Easily one of the best moments of my life.
Things I took away from Solange's show was how meticulous she was about the look, feel, sound and aesthetic she wanted to create. Solange is very hands on and every moment of the show is choreographed. It was inspiring...
This Frank Ocean album couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! He released a visual project exclusively on Apple Music and then within 24hours he released a 17 track full length LP entitled Blonde. Did it live up to all the hype you wonder? Well in many ways it did and in some ways it didn’t. This depends on what you expected from Frank. If you expected an album full of club bangers or catchy radio hits like his last project Channel Orange, (which had hits such “Thinking Bout You” ”Super Rich Kids” and “Sweet Life”) then you were probably quite disappointed with Blond. However, if you are like me and expected another piece of art that told a story, filled with simile and metaphor from beginning to end then this was the PERFECT album. In a lot of ways I think this album was exactly what the world needed. Firstly, I love that Frank puts his emotionality first in his music. Second, I think its amazing how well refined his songwriting is. His songs are often metaphorical and tackle multiple topics at once, yet he still is straight to the point in some instances. Lastly, I love how Frank seemed to refuse to go for the low hanging fruit rhythmically. What I mean by that, is that he seemed to avoid falling into the clich’s of 2016 such as trap beats, Drake-like phrasing and melodies confined to 3 or 4 notes. He showcases his range so well yet still makes the focus about the stories and not the notes or grooves. I think this world needs more storytellers like Frank Ocean. I aspire to be like that in music’s #GOALS
Recording Christian’s album has been an amazing experience! I’ve learned so much. Watching Christian’s creative process from an idea, to a sketch, to a full composition, to a recording, as well as his post productions ideas have shown me a lot about how to create music effectively. In addition, he’s an incredible businessman and knows how to SELL records!! He’s always coaching me and the band on how to market yourself and how to brand yourself. I’ve learned that there is a lot more to success than just someone’s ability to play their instrument. In fact that is a very small part of it! I’m looking forward to this next project of his coming out and looking forward to touring the music. The future is looking bright.