I will be posting a multi-part series as I chronicle the creation and production of my first original track — currently titled “Bright Wide Eyes” — from start to finish!
For my “Independent Study Project” or ISP this semester, we have been given the task of recording a song that includes a unique instrument played by someone outside of the program. To complete this task I have chosen to write an original song to record which I will subsequently sell online (but more on that in my future “SOCAN PLAN” post).
Over the Christmas break, I began demoing a track I figured I would be able to somehow mold into the ISP I hadn’t yet been assigned. I’m nowhere near the finish line, but now that it has been assigned, I think I’m going to do just fine.
In the Music Industry Arts program at Algonquin, we are diving deep into ProTools as our primary DAW; however, I feel most comfortable in Ableton… so that’s where I made my demo which can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/djfunknasty/bright-wide-eyes-demo.
As a budding producer, I’d be the first to say I have a shitty workflow. After failed song attempt after failed song attempt, I decided to take the “rip-off” approach to get this song off the ground and see where it took me. This lead to me deeply analyzing the first 32 bars of “Do What U Want” by Lady Gaga and R. Kelly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3jzMyYgPQs). Taking the time to completely break a song down and analyze every piece of it seemed to be all I needed to simply get started, focus on finishing something, and really fill the soundscape of a song. After the creative juices took their toll I had some loops that were a different key, different chord progression, and altogether different sounding 32 bars. Day one was complete.
To push the song further all I needed was a little bit of weed and a bit of manic episode to run its course. After a few hours of insanity I had the structure to a new song that I loved which only whispers remnants of Gaga.
I have a butthole’s load of more work to do and a million workflow kinks to work through, but I’m on my way to releasing my very first original song and it gives me boners every day!
Here’s what I used in the creation of my demo:
- DAW: Ableton
- Drums: xfer’s Nerve
- Toms: Ableton Core 707
- Main Synth: Dave Smith Mopho
- Synth: Arturia Minimoog V
- Sweeps and Pads: Native Instruments’ FM8
- FX: Camel Crusher and Ableton’s native effects
I just spent the last few hours creating a business plan for what I want Funk Nasty Entertainment Enterprise to become in the very near future and I am on a creative high. I am incredibly excited to have purchased http://www.funknasty.com among other site names, to have begun formulating the basis of my brand, and to have started the registration process for the business name “Funk Nasty Entertainment Enterprise”.
I am very excited to take further steps to establishing the Funk Nasty brand, because this shit is going to get real 😉
Yesterday my class was graced with the Skyping presence of ‘Songwriting Hall of Famer’ Desmond Child. This incredibly interesting and insightful character has teamed up with the likes of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Ricky Martin to create songs selling over 300 million copies. With Desmond having a background so vast I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to pick this man’s brain. I don’t know how well I did, but sure tried to absorb what he had to say.
I found Desmond very relatable right from the get go. He discussed with us what motivated him throughout his life to get up every day and go balls out. One of my dreams is to be able to support my parents when I’m older, pay them back for all the sacrifices they’ve made for me over the years. This is a dream that Desmond worked hard enough to fulfill, and I was touched as he shared what it was like to be able to buy his mom a new place, car, clothes, etc. It really gave us a window into his roots and showed the class how ‘real’ a person can remain, even after gaining the kind of success that Desmond had.
One of Desmond’s strongest lessons for us was to never forget the fact that although music is an art form, choosing to enter the music-industry as a career path is a business decision. This means we can never stop thinking of ourselves as warriors. Warriors create concrete plans for themselves, cover every imaginable base, and go to whatever length needed to progress their career in any way they can. He laid out an interesting strategy of learning everything you can about the business partners of an artist you’d like to work with one day. Find out his lawyer, try to hire that lawyer, find out his barber, get your hair cut by that barber, find out that barber’s best friend and hang out with that dude. I’ve hopped online to try and find some information on one of my idols, deadmau5, and at first glance the information is sparse, but I have a few leads. It appears deadmau5 is represented by the agencies “Richard De La Font agency” from Oklahoma, “William Morris Agency, Inc.” in Beverly Hills, and “Zero Six Thirty Group” in the U.K. This isn’t very in depth information, but it’s a start.
Desmond gave me many other topics to think about, more blogs to come!