I’m usually one to catch on late when it comes to new music, but I have my exceptions. There are a few artists I just can’t wait on. As many R&B lovers may know, Tank is dropping his new project, SLP2, which is the follow-up to his album, Sex, Love & Pain. It’s currently available for pre-order and he just made a new track available, which I am in complete love with. “Already In Love” features Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men and when I say it’s good…
One thing I enjoy is seeing artists who were popular in the 80’s and 90’s grow with the change that seems to occur rapidly in music, especially in R&B. I love to see the foundation still there and to see the ways, in which us creatives have the ability to adapt overtime.
COLLABORATIONS CAN BE MAGIC
So, I’ve been collaborating with this talented producer that I happen to work with on my day job. It’s probably one of the most magical combos I’ve had thus far. I remember a time when I would write songs only on my own. I had my ideas and I just went for it. I didn’t always feel the need to partner up with people, and definitely not more than once. There were maybe one or two writers I would work with every now and then but that was it. As time passed, I started meeting more and more talented individuals and the things we would come up with-sheesh! It’s interesting because us creative people love to have a high level of control over whatever it is that we’re working on but the ideas that other people can bring to your project can make things even bigger than you imagined.
So far, Cherokee and I have completed about five songs together for different purposes (and plenty more in the works) and I love every single one. I’ll definitely have some of our work posted on here in the near future. For anyone who doesn’t like to work with others because of any doubts or restrictions you may feel you would have to deal with, I encourage collaborating anyway. You never know the number of songs you’ll come up with, with hit potential. So many ideas are in the air and we all need to just take advantage, and create often.
LOVE SOMETHING? DO IT
I have stayed at this point in my life where I am determined to make something out of the things that I have always loved doing. I am older and I have loved these things for a decade, and some for far longer. I was working my regular jobs, going to school and doing what I needed to do for years and I never forgot about using my talents, but I was definitely distracted.
There was a time when it became like an itch to me. I would ask myself questions like, “what am I doing with my life?” and “why am I not where I always planned to be?” My life was always going in some other direction but I knew what felt important in my heart. One day I sat down with a pen and paper and I rewrote my goals. I wrote down all of the steps that I needed to take and I found a way to allow myself free time. In my free time, I would create and I would plan more. I would also focus on the business side of things more. We all have responsibilities but I knew that something was missing. Action needed to be taken.
Here I am now, having written songs for some projects and even a couple e-books, which was my second plan. I had gotten so far in my progress within just months of planning the e-book process. I believed in myself and I let my talent get to work.
Nothing feels worse than that feeling of being unfulfilled. It begins to eat at you and the only way to fight it is to use what you know and do what you love. As you see things start to happen, you realize that all the time you put in was worth it.
I listen to a lot of artists. One of my favorite songs is “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Prince. I also find myself listening to songs written by Stephen Sondheim really often. I grew up in the nineties and I think the singer who really spoke to me when it came to the music thing was Brandy. Her voice was and still is crazy to me. Another person whose music I fell in love with in high school is Tank, another great R&B artist. Hearing his emotion play through on every song really keeps me in a moment.
There’s nothing like the feeling in it and I notice many good things in the music of both veterans and newcomers, whether it be the voice, the lyrics, the creativity-a lot of it is good and a lot of it is something to pay attention to. Saying that, I hope that people who hear what I’m working on feel like I’m also a creative to pay attention to.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS
All my life I have been a do-it-yourself person. Not having to rely on others for resources is a good thing but we all need assistance sometimes. When it came to what I wanted to do with my life, I knew some well-connected people but for some strange reason, I never wanted to ask anyone anything. I felt like if they made it to where they wanted to be in their career alone, I could too.
I began to understand that it takes a lot already. It isn’t always just hard work and using only what YOU know. And of course there are some who will not, but there are some people who would be willing to help you in any way they can to see you move up.
Not too long ago, I started asking questions. I started getting information that I would have never gotten because I wasn’t on the inside. It was very useful and it made me think smarter about my decisions. I realized that I didn’t need to do it alone. Had I known what I found out sooner, who knows where that information might have taken me then? It’s all a matter of using what it is, as well as who it is we have access to, to obtain the necessary help and knowledge that they might very well be open to giving us.