Track Clean Up and Last Time I Work on "Struck Down" 

Today is by far one of my favorite days in the creation process. It's the track clean up right before sending off to mix. Basically i go through the song and listen to each audio track (i.e. guitars, drums, vocals, etc.) I consolidate all the work so the file is smaller and is cleaner for the mix engineer to work with. I do everything from making each audio file the same length as the session, change the color of each audio track, add location markers, and reorganize the instruments so the instruments are grouped with their like instruments.  The whole process is intoxicating for me because it allows me to really sit with the song and tighten it up a bit. Most of the time i end up mixing the levels a bit so the mix engineer has an idea as to what direction i want the track to go.

The song i worked on today is one that i previewed in one of my Instagram posts a couple days back. The track is called "Struck Down" and is one of my favorites from the "IDENTITY" project thus far. The song features the very talented vocalist, and long time friend of mine, Kristin Strom. Kristin and I go way back! Met her 5 years ago when i was living in Lawrence, Kansas. She was the worship leader for a church that i attended and her and I would always talk about music and a collaboration. Fast forward five years later and we FINALLY collaborated on a track. Anyway, Kristin and I had a blast with this and spent a lot of time planning out the track and her roll in everything. It's been a trip. It's almost bittersweet to know that her and my work for this song are completed. Each song TRULY is a journey. There are so many great feelings going in to this particular track that it's hard to watch it come to an end. I mean shit...not only does it date back to when we were sitting in the church talking about collaboration, the first time i ever went to LA, i was working on the same song we visualized! There have been so many great memories and so many great people assisting in this track that if it even had the slightest bit of a chance of flopping, i wouldn't give two shits. This song has been a blast. So sad to see it end. I guess it's just like that quote says: "All good things must come to an end." 


My morning dump 

The morning dump... haha sounds a little foul but i promise its not what you think. 

Anyway Sunday morning i went through and made a list of everything that needed to get done that was on my mind. I like it call it the morning dump. Getting rid of all the excess if you will. 

Being an artist i think it can be tough sometimes to get out of the creative mindset for five seconds and be practical. The constant debate i have with my close ones, and even myself, is You CANT schedule inspiration! If you do that... it becomes forced. I know a ton of people that would disagree but my argument is this... why do you think that every big artist that gets put on a label releases one or two good albums then everything else seems to go down hill? It's because the label created deadlines and unrealistic measures that had to be met. People often forget that most of the first two projects were songs or ideas that had been worked on for the majority of that artists' life. 

Being that i've studied both the business and dive into the creative side everyday, this debate is ongoing and i find myself a bit skitz from the whole thing. What is the perfect balance??? 

I'm sure that for each person its different but i thought i'd share what my mornings like-

Basically I start my day i go through and clear my mind of anything that needs to be done in the next week and collect anything that didn't get done in the last week. (ie. Track Vocals for feature, mix song prior to guitar session, finish laundry, get oil change, call pops, etc.) Things of that nature. 

Once i get my action list prepped i start assigning dates to each task by scheduling them on my iCalendar that is synced with my iPhone. This way when inspiration hits i can focus completely on the moment rather than filling my subconscious mind with all of the garbage of preparation and unplanned tasks. The idea is to clear the my mind of all the random shit and allow myself the mental space to create from a deeper place. That's exactly what our body does with the waste... it gets rid of it. It dumps it so our body can take in more of the good. So that's what i do every morning with my thoughts. I get up have a cup of coffee, take a mental dump, and then go exercise for 15-30 minutes to get the blood flowing. 
Then i come home with a fresh head and ready to work. 


This is what my morning 'dump' looks like

The Dire Dozen 

A while back i watched a video on youtube called the Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. Somewhere in his lecture he details "The Dire Dozen" from Mr. Holland's Opus. Today i was going through some of my open loops and i came across the notes from this lecture. I thought they were too damn good not to share.

1. Want more for others than you want for yourself.

2. Think from the end... see yourself how you want things (Persistence)
        "I can create what i want!"

3.Appreciator- Look for the valuable not worthless.
        *Make yourself more valuable

4.Stay in a state of harmony

5. Resistance- Any negative/judgement is bad resistance

6. Contemplate yourself as surrounded by in what you want to produce.

7. Understand the art of allowing

8. Practice radical humility- you are divine source

9. Be grateful for EVERYTHING

10. You Can never resolve a problem by condemning it

11. Play the match game



Close Out of Your Open Apps!!! 

Today was an extremely dull yet reflective day for me. I went through all my stored boxes and got rid of all the shit that was meaningless and archived the important items for reflection or resources. Everything from old bank statements, tax documents, old pictures, notes from old friends, cds… all that type of shit. The reason I chose to do this today was because I was reviewing the GTD lessons by Tiago Forte and he mentioned something that stuck with me.He said that our brains acted like the RAM of a computer. Each task or thing that we were storing acted like an open app or program slowing our mind down. I was a bit reluctant to believe this at first glance but I’ll be damned that if I didn’t feel a HUGE weight lifted the second I cleaned up my open loops. I felt lighter and more prepared for next time that creativity struck. Don’t believe me? Go clean out your email inbox… or sort through your closet and get rid of the clothes you never wear and keep only the things that are necessary! Let me know how it goes. Though this process is tedious you have to close out of those open apps in order for your computer to run smoother! 


Believe in Yourself and What You are Doing! 

About 5 minutes prior to me writing this post i was having one of the best conversations about business I've ever had. The reason i dedicated today's post to this conversation is because not only was it such a pivotal point of the "IDENTITY" journey, but i thought the dynamics would be something worth sharing. The conversation started out like any other conversation then BOOM i was completely and utterly enthralled and devoted to the present moment.

So first thing... what made this conversation possible? What things kept it alive? Why did i have this convo?

I could come up with a million things or reasons but the one word that comes to my mind is belief.

I'm talking real belief. Unshaken positivity. 100% certainty! THAT was the key to this great conversation.

I had BELIEF in my product. BELIEF in my analytics. BELIEF in my talent. BELIEF that i was doing exactly what i was supposed to. You get the point. Now we talked about everything from sales, PR, marketing, advertising, and promotion. I was talking about this website and the importance of my blog posts, the facebook campaigns, where I'm going to be touring, my team, my band, the artists I'll work with in the near future, funding. I mean EVERYTHING...

but it all boils back down to this, my time here on earth is limited and i BELIEVE that i can create something that will stand the test of time or inspire someone.
My belief is my fuel.

Belief is the catalyst for passion, determination, and visualization. When you believe in something all of a sudden your given this damn near mystical power to work ass off. You feel rejuvenated and light. Nothing can stop you. It truly is your fuel.

If i accomplish nothing more in this world, i want to instill belief in people.

HENRY FORD said it best! "Whether you think you can or think you're right"

My whole stance is this: BELIEVE in what it is you are working and never stop believing. Like the band Journey said "Dont Stop Believin!"
You never know how incredible the repercussions could be!


You Have MORE than enough! 

Being that this is the 21st Century and technology damn near rules the world, there is no excuse for the lack of productivity or creation. We live in a world of unbounded potential and the capability to create almost anything. It's absolutely mind blowing when i hear someone bitch about not having enough. I always laugh because all they have to do is reach in their pocket and grab their smart phone and they have a multimedia player, instrument, newspaper, radio, marketing tool, etc.  I think about the time when my dad was growing up in the 70s and how there were no computers let alone cell phones!!! It's absolutely mind blowing.

A couple years back I attended a Mind Protein Lecture led by Ralph Plumb and he mentioned that there were more cell phones owned in the U.S. than there were tooth brushes. Let that shit sink in...

Aside from that fact being completely disgusting and disappointing, it's depressing! It makes me mad that I've ever bitched about not having the right tools.
This last year i will shamefully admit that i was one of these people complaining about not having the right equipment for the job. I made a decision to upgrade my studio equipment and didn't want anything to do with my old stuff. Basically, if it wasn't new and shiny i didn't want it. It took about 2-3 videos of  The Recording Revolution by Graham Cochrane that i remembered i had enough to make a good body of work.

I started creating everything that came to mind no matter what tools i had in front of me. Not only did my work improve i felt like i was able to catch inspiration a lot faster.
Before i HAD to have a certain pen and a certain journal, now I use the standard notepad that comes with my iPhone and I'm jotting ideas the second they hit.

So what tools do you have in front of you right now that you have you could be using to capture your inspiration when it hits?
I'll leave you guys with this.


Get Started Now 

Today I broke out the ole pens and pencils and began sketching the work for an unreleased hat that is going to be a part of the NY merch collection. (Soon to Release)
The reason I wanted to share this is because i wanted to give you guys an idea as to how deep the creative process goes into making quality work.

Now to be clear, i haven't drawn consistently in about six years but i didn't let that stop me. Too often people look at the workload they have in front of them and don’t even begin.

Mark Twain said it best, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

So what is it that you've been putting off that you could start right now?
Tiago Forte has a few great rules that I keep in mind when planning my workload

1. If it takes less than two minutes then go do it!
2. DELEGATE!-if it's something that someone else can do to 80% of the caliber, have them do it.
3. Defer- if it takes longer than two minutes and someone else cant do it to the quality  then assign a date and block out the time to get the work done.

With these things in mind, we are able to process things quicker and start on the things that will allow a more creative open mind.


Rest Day 

Not too Long ago I read a book by Jack Canfield by the name of "The Success Principles". It is easily one of the best self help books i've ever read. The entire book Canfield outlines his 46 principles of success and goes into complete detail on how tostructure your life to become more successful. Since i read the book i've noticed little things that i do on a daily basis and a changed perspective. Once you complete the book there are number of free success tools to download. Everything from a One-Year Planning Guide to a Victory Log and even and Mastermind Strategy Guide. If you are interested in checking them out... 

Here is the link to them>> 
Anyway one of the free pdfs that i received i noticed there was a calendar with 3 categories to label each day. A Best day, Rest day, and Prep day. For the longest time i always thought that a rest day didn't exist in the world of chasing what i am chasing. I saw it as counter productive and detrimental to the work. It was until i read Jack Canfield's "The Success Principles" did i notice that in actuality the rest day is just important as the work day and the prep day. It's crazy to think about but it's much like the body after a work out. You need time to let the muscles relax before killing them again. 

Today was just that for me. I got together with my woman and decided to take it easy and let the creative juices take some rest before i hit it hard again tomorrow. 
As a word of advice, these days are so vital that you actually get rest. I've noticed that trying to go out late drinking or staying up too damn late is played out and causes more creative damage than anything. The whole club thing and night life is played out anyways. Live fast and Let your creative side die young. 



Announced the hats and worked on potential single 

Today was an interesting day. One of those days where i couldn't do enough work to meet my expectations and standards. Wishing i could complete every task that came to my head within 30 seconds. lol With that being said i DID complete  a verse for  one of my tracks... haha. I'd love to say it is THEE track that'll make all my dreams come true,  But really, It's hard to tell. Although, i'm very proud of it. It is one of those tracks that just makes you want to move. The best part about it (for me at least) is it's a lyrical track. I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up being the commercial single. 
It's weird because it is so foreign to my comfort zone that it doesn't feel like the same genre. I know that it'll be okay tho. 

On another note, i released the 3 hat designs i've been working on to see what people were interested in and what would sell the most. I got great feed back and i fell like i'm heading in the right direction.

The closer that the album is to completed the more excited i get. 

Getting Things Done-GTD 

So not to long ago I watched a series of lectures by Tiago Forte on productivity and GTD. (Short for "Getting Things Done") The lectures were absolutely incredible. The whole coarse was around 90 minutes and by the end of it I was starting over the lectures so i could pick up what things i missed. Here is a link to the lectures if you guys are interested in watching. 

The picture to your left is one of Tiago's graphs from the lectures describing the GTD workflow. The reason i'm sharing it with you guys is because it's been such a pivotal part of my project "IDENTITY". The results are ridiculous. I've become a machine and it's requiring the same amount of work if not less to get shit done. Songs are being wrote faster, the session files are way more organized, and the mini projects within "IDENTITY" are all getting done and kept track of. Everything!  What's really crazy is it's not just music, it's my life outside of music as well. Go watch the lectures... I promise you won't regret it. 

On another note, Today i finished the first verse for a potential single. Once i finished the first 16bars I sent it off to my mix engineer out in LA and he loved the track. Definitely looking forward to your guys' reactions once the song is released.


Organize and Review Day 

Today was a day i went through the songs completed for the album and made a list of what work still needed to be done. Anything from quick ad libs, picking the right takes, making sure that file's I've bounced have the ideal levels prior sending off for mix, or even making sure that album is going in the direction i want it to.
What most people don't realize is, the session files for each song can have gigabytes upon gigabytes of information to be sorted. This can make the process a little time consuming and tedious. I always try to remind myself the great quote by Willam F. Scolavino. 

"The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions." 

I don't know about you, but that rocks me to my core. Basically the harder i work and the deeper i dig the farther and higher i will rise. I love it! Makes me feel like no matter how hard i work it will pay off. 

To give you guys an idea of what my workflow looks like here is a screen shot of JUST SOME of the mic'd drum kit. On this particular song there was at least six takes of just the drums alone. That is not including the guitars, bass, piano, vocals, etc. I have to go in and listen to each take of each instrumental and vocal before sending off for mix. To all my fans out there, now you know why the album is taking so damn long! haha 



Today marks the day that I publicly released the album artwork for "IDENTITY"  Check it out! Let me know what you guys think.

Lyrics Completed 

Today was such a pivotal day. I completed the lyrics for a  track that i started on Wednesday. I know to most people that 2 days might seem like a long time but the amount of work and thought that is going into all of this project is far beyond anything that i've worked on. What's really crazy is hearing the differences and seeing the maturity of the song along the way. Anyway, that track name is called "Know My Name" and It's composed by Patrick Woolam. He always sings the chorus. We built this gem on garageband and will end up taking it into the studio and track everything live. Between this track and the other ones for IDENTITY there is roughly 40 minutes of completed work. For those of you who don't know, my last project was only about 30 minutes long. I'm making sure that you guys get your money's worth on this go around. Tomorrow I'll be working on merch designs and getting in touch with my booking manager Ariell. The time is getting closer... i can feel it. 

"Know My Name" composing  

Today was a weird day. I was in a sort of a conversational funk. Don't know if it was because i was hungry or the lack of sleep but shit was weird. I wasn't on this planet at all. But none the less i woke up and went to work on one of the new tracks for IDENTITY. Patrick Woolam has become such a savior on this project it's not even funny. He's a little bit of a perfectionist (meaning a million takes on everything lol!)... No but in all seriousness the man is fucking incredible. I'm so lucky to be working with him and can't even begin to explain the gratitude i have. With that being said, here is a little pic of the workspace from today. 

Check out Patricks other work here

Music Video Update 2 

Things are coming together miraculously. The video shoot went incredible. So grateful for all the extras and people that got to be a part of the festivities. Definitely the biggest moment in my music career. I am beyond anxious to see the kind of buzz that it creates. This is really my truly. Each stride gets bigger and longer. Eventually i'll be exactly where i planned. After the video shoot was over it was crazy to be a part of the real world again. I felt like i wasn't human. It was surreal. I honestly cant wait to see where everything goes from here. The video should be releasing in a couple weeks or so. Until then, stay tuned for new music and downloads.

Music Video Update  

Its about a week out from my biggest video shoot and needless to say, i'm anxious as shit. The director and I have met consistently for the last month and the things that come from the meetings have been phenomenal. The video shoot is Saturday November 17th and 18th. The song that we are shooting the video to is "Aint Stoppin"

Add message
No messages

Join our mailing list for the latest news