My Upcoming EP “Element”
Note: 10/16/13 This blog was originally written in 2012. With the upcoming release I have slightly altered/corrected but most of it is the same…
I thought I’d give an overview of what you can expect from my upcoming release and what is and the work that has been involved in getting to this point. First off, what a process this has been!!! As a musician, and really I imagine this applies to anyone in life, it’s very easy to get into a rut. Sometimes we gravitate to that which is easy and causes less friction. However, to really do something worthwhile and chase your dreams and goals, you often times have to stand right on the edge of that cliff. You know what I mean?
When I graduated college I wanted to put out records as a steel pan artist. I fell in love with the instrument, the music, and the idea of creating my own voice within this genre. I began playing professionally and constantly sought to improve and be the best musician that I could be. Unfortunately somewhere along the way, I started straying to a different path. Being self-employed, you have to go where the money is often times. It’s not hard to figure that one out; it’s just a simple equation. To start my own project, create my own original music, and to carve my own path not only takes time and money but sometimes a lot of guts. Now I’m not trying to make myself a hero; I’m certainly not alone in this adventure. Numerous other people are in the same boat and I definitely say “kudos” to them as well.
Ironically I had a “moment of clarity” a few years back as I decided to throw away my HUGE collection of cassette tapes that I had in a couple of boxes. As I started to go through these boxes, I was reminded by a large amount of “practice tapes” and “research tapes” that I had amassed. It reminded me that at one point I had a very specific goal and that it wasn’t to go out and play music with just any Tom-Dick-and Harry that called me up. It was time to get back on this track!
This new music that I’m releasing is a culmination of many things. Most importantly, it’s MY voice. It’s what I hear. I recently told someone that, basically, I started with a blank page and this is what resulted. Miles Davis once said “You have to play a long time to sound like yourself.” (paraphrase) Nothing rings more true to me. This is what I sound like now and this is part of my vision. My music is a combination of Jazz, Electronica, Funk and a little “World Music” thrown in as well. Although we can never get away with not having a bit of our musical influences over the years come through our voice from time to time, I’d like to think that this music is truly unique and fresh. Hopefully you’ll agree!
The EP is set to be released on Nov. 5, 2012. In the upcoming couple of weeks, I’ll be talking more about each tune, the special guest artists that are on the album, and much more. For now, you can check out my first single, “Pfunky Chaca” which I’ve released on my music page and is available as a FREE download on Noisetrade.com I’ve also written a detailed BLOG about that tune if you’d like to check the link. It features the legendary percussionist Luis Conte and world-renowned drummer Johnny Rabb. Another tune that I’ve got coming up on the EP is a Dancehall/Reggae tune that features another world-renowned drummer, Derico Watson. I do have one somewhat traditional calypso on the EP, which is entitled “Like Dey Used to…” If you’re not new to KrusharMusik than you’re most likely aware of the amazing vintage steel pan that is in my possession. If not, please check out my “Old Pan” page for the full story. I also have a cool video of that on my videos page that you can check out. For the recording, I’ve attempted to interweave that “old school” calypso sound with a more modern tone. I went into the studio and re-created a really cool loop that I was previously using that mimics the drum groove/intro to the ‘Grandmaster’ of Calypso Lord Kitchener’s tune entitled “The Road.” ‘Like Dey…’ combines the loop element and old pan sound with a new more modern tone. Plus for you fellow pan players, it was a nice challenge as it’s in the key of Ab! Another song on the EP is one of my favorites. Originally slated to be an Afro-beat, it quite nicely morphed into “my sound” that mixes a DJ element with some cool loops and some rich steel pan and percussion textures. Finally, the last single reminds me of a movie soundtrack and utilizes some steel pan mallets that I have invented (as do a couple of the other tunes).
Throughout the entire EP you’ll also find that I love creating textures and layers. I feel that if a song doesn’t feel good than it’s not going to be good. Part of this creation of textures is attributed to my use of effects on my steel pan(s). This is something that I’ve been doing live for quite a few years now. As it would take too long to explain, I’ll leave that for another blog. I do feel that it creates a bit of excitement in the music and takes you to a different place. Hopefully you’ll hear something different in each tune and not a carbon copy of the one that you just heard before.
So I hope that I’ve somehow piqued your interest. This will be a 5 song EP with a bonus track. I have more than 5 original songs but unfortunately we’ll have to save them for the next project. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post and I hope that you enjoy the music! Thanks for reading!!!