2014 Year In Review

In a desperate attempt to shake the feeling that I didn’t do much of anything this year, I’ve decided to throw together a quick recap for your entertainment and my sanity. If I leave something out, please let me know in the comments!

Musically,  Adjustments Pt. 2 was the main event. I’m still not sure why it took two years to complete four original tracks and a Barry Manilow cover, but I won’t let that happen again.

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Help Me Help Synthpop

UPDATE 12/23: Congratulations to Ramon Esquivel, the winner of the Amazon TV Fire Stick!

UPDATE 12/17: As I mentioned in the comments below, the 25 free-for-life subscriptions were snatched up lickety split. If you sign up for Mad Genius Radio through my FanDistro campaign page, you’ll get an extended free trial through April 1.

In the meantime, they’re giving away an Amazon Fire TV Stick! To enter the Amazon Fire TV Stick Giveaway, simply sign up for Mad Genius Radio through my FanDistro campaign page from Wednesday, December 17 at 5:00 pm EST through Friday, December 19 at 5:00 EST. You can earn extra entries by sharing my music from that page (up to four extra entries per day).

If you already signed up for Mad Genius radio through my FanDistro page, you’ll automatically be entered into the giveaway.

I’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 22!

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Continue reading Help Me Help Synthpop

Mad Genius Radio

It’s hard to break even, much less make a living, as a recording artist these days. I don’t perform, and I don’t have merch to sell. All I’ve got is my music, and people just aren’t buying music anymore.

Did you know that there have been no platinum albums so far in 2014? That’s never happened before! I have 10x the fans, but make 10% of the money, that I did 10 years ago.

With that in mind, I’m thrilled to partner with Mad Genius Radio for a crowdsourced campaign that will help me pay the bills, buy new equipment, and most importantly, keep making music.

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My Songwriting Process

I’m often asked, “Which do you start with – the words or the music?”

The music.

Kind of. It’s not that simple.

Usually it goes something like this:

  1. Come up with a production hook of some sort – a 4-bar groove, an instrumental lead, a piano part, etc [1 hour]
  2. Play with the chord progression until I’ve got a verse, chorus, and maybe a bridge [1 hour]
  3. Come up with a song title and write the lyrics [8 hours]
  4. Record and edit the vocals [20 hours]
  5. Flesh out the rest of the arrangement [15 hours]
  6. Finalize the mix & master [5 hours]

The problem is, by the time I get to step 5, it’s a slog. I just want to be done.

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The Winning Watch

Congratulations to Michael Dixson, Elizabeth Dolitka, and Janabananaky, who were randomly picked to receive the winning design!

Modify Watches was kind enough to send me one too, as you can see in the photo above (you can tell I’m a pianist by that big vein).

It’s weird wearing a watch again, but a lot easier than pulling out my phone to check the time! Several times I wondered, “Where is that ticking coming from?”

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Productivity

Many of you noticed that “Productivity” from the new EP sounds a lot like “Fireflies” by Owl City. It does, and not by coincidence.

Last year I was hired by Ubisoft to create a two-minute soundalike version of “Fireflies” for their Just Dance Kids 2014 video game.

Dissecting the track in such detail gave me a deep appreciation for the production, and inspired me to write a new song with the same set of sounds:

I know what you’re thinking… alert the copyright police!

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80's synthpop + EDM + classical piano