Hey friends. What’s happening, what’s up, what’s fresh?
The title’s weird and a little bit alarming, just roll with it, it’ll make it a whole lot easier on all of us if you do.
Basically. If you know anything about me and my life outside of this blog, you would know that I am a musician. It’s one of the many slashes in my ever-changing title, and I’m working hard to make it legit.
“How?” you ask, well by somewhat attempting to make music, make better music, and make music that people actually enjoy, and it’s taking it’s own sweet time in happening, but I’m having heaps of fun while we get there.
One of the things I’ve been doing to better my limited production knowledge, explore my style a bit more, expand on what I know and what I don’t, is research. Since ordering one of my most wanted items on my wish list a few weeks back, the AKAI MPK Mini midi keyboard, I’ve been looking into how other people are using it, the way it works, how to load sounds up, and ultimately that usually leads me down the YouTube music and production rabbit hole.
One of my favourite things to do, is watch how producers make their songs. There are some amazing producers who work with some of my favourite artists, and channels like Rolling Stone and Genius on YouTube have heaps of videos that show the thought processes and construction of some of the most popular songs at the moment.
My favourite of these videos, are the ones where the artist and the producers, are one. For example.
I couldn’t keep track of how many times I smiled during that video from sheer awe of the genius and intuition and innovation in the man. I’ve never listened to anything by Charlie Puth and not enjoyed it, but it’s very clear that a lot of his recent music is vastly different from his older music. Attention was the song that really made me say, ‘Hell yeah, I’m a Charlie Puth fan‘. AND. Voice memos. My life. It’s great seeing people’s eyes widen when they see the amount of voice memos I have on my iPhone, purely for the same reasons as Charlie, I can’t read or write music, so if I forget a melody or a harmony or anything, I’m screwed.
I also definitely made my dad stop his actual business work so I could explain how impressed I was with the simple idea of how he set up the guitar in the introduction, similar to a way I’ve seen Jon Bellion ‘record’ trumpets, but we shall get to that man in a bit.
It’s just the whole process is full of ideas and small bursts of genius that make so many things outside of what was supposedly the realm of realistic expectations of a musician who can’t read or write music, possible.
Sorry for my tangent.
And then you watch this, with Mura Masa.
My favourite part is is explanation of the steel pans and how they come to be such an integral part of the song. Also, his explanation of all the vocals that he cuts up and pitches up and down, it’s super duper inspiring and interesting to watch. I got so many shivers watching that video in particular.
Like I said though, Jon Bellion, for me, is in a whole different world. The musicality, the vocabulary, the voice, the way his entire body jolts and shifts when he hits upon something good. When he talks about the lyrics it’s literally as if he’s doing a spoken word performance.
I may not mention it as often as you would assume I probably should, but Guillotine, will forever be one of my favourite songs. Ever.
There’s also the contrast between John, and the last two artists, Charlie and Mura Masa, in how he’s very intent on bringing the live music element into it, rather than recording and producing solely electronically, and there’s nothing wrong with either, but I love how videos like these can highlight the versatility and potential in both. He’s also so appreciative of everyone who jumps in to help him, and you can see how excited he gets when they bounce their ideas back and forth.
I don’t know if it’s too much to share that I cried at the end of this video when they pieced it all together…