I've always thought I was stubborn mainly because that's true but also because I've always been unwilling to change my music to fit with the times. Recently a producer told me I need to make my music more modern, I'm always open to criticism but this time I just don't agree. I've always made it a point to record with all live instruments because I was raised to believe that instruments make music, somewhere along the line I think the industry has forgotten that. Live drums are pretty much obsolete in the pop world and now even in Rock so many bands are switching to synthetic drums because that shit sells.I listen to the shit on the radio and I think is there one real instrument in this song? Most of these songs are written far away behind closed doors by underpaid unappreciated people, bought and sold by record labels who force feed it to their puppets who regurgitate it back to us. What happened to four dudes sitting in a room writing a song and going "cool, lets record that". What happened to covering the block with posters? Take me back to the days where bands were judged on their music not their social media numbers. It seems like every month some dumbass new streaming site comes along to try to revolutionize music. Hip Hop is to put it bluntly a miserable wasteland filled with a bunch of dudes participating in a dick measuring competition but as long as people continue to buy it, the powers that be will make sure it gets out there.One should self title extremely cautiously, people jump to calling themselves MC's musicians or artists so fast but these titles are earned. Putting time,effort and thought in to your craft. A question I ask to keep myself in check is, if you were on a desert island alone for the rest of your life would you continue practicing your craft? I've given my life completely to my music career and most days i struggle to even call myself a musician.
I'm stuck in the past I guess,when I was a kid my mom would play Queen records as we went to sleep, to me there is no greater front man than Freddie Mercury.Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon changed my life( and yes I was sober) and Rage Against the Machine changed my whole perspective on songwriting. The thought that my music may be able to have a positive influence on someones life or give them the power to keep fighting is fucking cool, that's the only reason I keep doing it. When moving to LA the main thing people kept telling me was "be yourself, don't let it change you". My will is strong but some days the thought has crossed my mind that I have to get with the times, auto tune my voice get synthetic drums and drop the whole self empowerment thing but there's really no point in doing music if you change it every time someone doesn't like it. I love the space and imperfections of a live set recorded in a big room, I love small tempo fluctuations when the band gets excited or whatever it may be, I love hearing the frustration or exhaustion in my voice after fucking up take after take for hours.
Humans are imperfect, art is imperfect just the way it should be. Fake kicks locked to a grid do absolutely nothing for me. During the recording of "Schematics" I learned more than any experience in my life. I started asking myself "Why am I making these songs?" "What is my intention with this EP?". These are interesting questions that lead down a long dark rabbit hole. I'm not saying making music has to be that deep it can be done for fun but for me, when I make music I look at it as I'm stepping into the ring with my heroes, am I adding to the art of music as a whole? Or trying to fill that desperate need to feel as if my life has some meaning. Maybe it's a battle to try to feel special. What I came to was I need to clear my mind put all of that aside and just try to capture how I really feel in that moment. There is nothing that an empty mind cannot do, clearing your pallet of all the pressure of outside perspective is important.Of course listening and being open to the thoughts of other is imperative to life in general but at the end of the day you have to keep your vision. An empty mind is powerful, meditation is for me the key that unlocks the door to me truly being a conduit for expression. There is no changing industry though Que Sera, Sera I guess. I'm stuck in the past, I'm a romantic when it comes to music and I'm proud of that. I'm just going to keep making my music just like a wise man once said "when we lose sight of ourselves baby that's the deepest shade of blue".
P.S Respect to my mom who raised me on amazing music and introduced me to BB King(RIP)