Today, we hear from an interesting producer that tackles vulnerability within music. Having worked on a variety of big projects over the year, his first original creative output explores our most vulnerable moments and the pain that goes alongside. The new Slow Violence track features haunting vocals from Von Grey. The visuals are equally poignant, and follow a narrative of desperately trying to find the strength within.
How did your music career start?
Growing up my father was a rare type of music lover. He wasn’t a musician, but listened to a lot of instrumental music, a huge variety of artists, and essentially listened to music all hours of the day. Through him I became intrigued about guitar. One Christmas, when I was 12, he brought home a cheap guitar and amp for me to try and I instantly became obsessed. I would spend up to 8 hours a day practising and learning songs by ear. Through my teenage years, I started to learn multiple instruments and eventually understand songwriting, recording etc. When I turned 18 I began doing it professionally in clubs, bars and venues playing bass guitar in a blues trio in buffalo up to 6 shows a week. From there my career and passion grew and expanded and music is by far the thing I love most in this world and I love wearing as many hats as possible.
What did you love about working as a producer?
I have always felt like a producer but was more of a music director my whole life. This particular project was my first experience at being a producer 100% while also being the composer and I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed the freedom of being able to craft the music the way I heard it in my head and really take the arrangements where I felt they needed to go without compromise. That being said, the artists I have chosen for this project had very good ideas because they are creative beasts in their own right. In short, the joy I get from helping artists bridge the gap to where they want their music to go and their appreciation for my voice is by my favourite part. I just want the music to be the best it can be for the artist, not just for me or my ego.
What made you make the switch from production to original work?
The switch felt necessary for me and has been in the back of my mind for many years. I have always had so many song ideas, progressions, lyrics etc that lived on hard drives and essentially collected creative dust. My peers have always tried to get me to release them and honestly, timing was always an issue. I needed to free up time for myself and trim down the amount of projects I was involved in. I just had this itching desire that I finally gave in to and now I know I will never stop. I was scared of my music not existing in the world, regardless of success or not. I just wanted it out there, feels more complete and I can move on to new ideas because of this.
Why did you choose vulnerability as a specific theme?
I chose vulnerability for multiple reasons, but what stands out most for my choice, is I have had the pleasure of literally performing with, writing with, and recording with over 50 or more different artists in Atlanta, GA. Through all of this I realized what we talk about in the rehearsals or on the road or while we are writing, is always much more personal and “real” than what they put in their music. Even though what you hear may seem like the transparent story, most of the time it’s not. I really wanted artists to not only express these things they hide from, but also use it as a way of purging it so they can grow and the audience can perhaps get inspired to look within. (Disclaimer, I never pressured anyone) To be honest, when I asked each artist they didn’t hesitate and immediately knew what to write about and furthermore, they ended up hugging me and thanking me afterwards for pulling it out of them in some cases. I also feel this theme is a global matter as well.
What have you learnt about vulnerability since starting the project?
Everything from the climate of society to the literal climate of the planet seems very vulnerable to me right now. A lot of media outlets and people like to use “tense” as a way to sum up our world, but that tension is merely a projection in my opinion. Social media has been a conduit for people to express/empower themselves, but has equally given an invitation for judgement or hate. Being vulnerable can be powerful depending on your reaction. I truly believe having the courage to show who you really are is the only way you can see who you really are. Vulnerability isn’t the same as fear. All just a matter of opinion and perspective. Again, my opinion, but vulnerability can also show that you trust someone, love someone, and are willing to surrender your life and safety to someone. Mentally and physically, regardless of the difficulties and risk that come with it.
Will you continue to make music around this theme?
Yes I will continue to make music around this theme. Vulnerable World is an entity to me. It will be an ongoing series of mixed medium art I will continue with multiple chapters (albums). I will also release other music outside of this theme, but this collaboration project I will continue to do. The possibilities are endless, because every single person has a different perspective on the topic and that gives room for each song, video, piece of art to be unique in it’s own way. I am just here to curate and bring it to life.