#TBT “Can We Kick It”

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Hard to believe it’s nearly been a year since we put this video out. In hindsight we should have done it earlier but the weather here in NJ prevented us shooting some of the scenes we wanted to capture. The radio campaign we had running was tailing off as this was coming out, the fact that the lyric video has nearly 5 times more plays (we put it out mid radio campaign) speaks to that effect. The music business is all about timing, miss the boat by a day or two and you’ll get left on the sand. Have your song heard at the right time on the right platform and you could blow up. It’s a game of fine margins.

Alas, it was a really cool video directed by our good friend and collaborator Charles Kliment (see his post here for his insight on the shoot) and was the first all Go Pro music video shot like this.

Go ahead and check out the video (again, because you have seen it already right?).

-HS

From Demo to Release- Do U Want Me (I Want U)

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We came across this old old version of 3AM Tokyo’s “Do U Want Me (I Want U)” the other day and thought we’d share it to show the difference in where the idea starts and finishes.

This version of the song was just after we had recorded guitars and bass on top of the initial chord structure and beat we had laid down. We hadn’t written the topline yet and this was the point where we began adding more sounds and instrumental melodies in. The trick is to make sure the instrumental parts you add don’t influence the vocal too much otherwise you’ll end up writing a melody that just follows the music (this can be good in some cases but most of the time it’ll make the song way too repetitive). That’s why we often leave it pretty sparse for writers- ourselves or others- to create lyrics and melodies before we add in more parts.

Songs are very rarely done all at once in the studio, we have two setups that have different sets of sounds and keyboards that we go between and in terms of mixing we listen to mixes in every system we can, going into 5 different cars, multiple sound systems etc to check for consistencies. There really isn’t a set structure of what the song needs and which sequence it needs to be done in either, as you can hear in this one we started with a beat and a chord structure and had the band play their stuff over it before we developed it further. Other songs we may have had the vocal already cut, the sound bed laid down and just needed a couple more elements like the guitar and bass to finish it off.

We’ll let you hear for yourselves the difference between the raw version and the final version and let you try and pick out all the stuff that was changed or added. Bare in mind we hadn’t done much editing to the guitar or bass parts either.

Enjoy

Raw Idea:

Finished Version:

-HS

That Friday Feeling

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The weekend’s on its way and we couldn’t think of a better way to get you in the mood than this remix we did for our friend Meital and Sean Kingston. All we wanted to do with this one was bring the energy to the club. When the DJ pressed play, we wanted everyone going crazy. From seeing in action a few times, we succeeded. So turn it up and get yourself ready to party this weekend

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New Music Tuesday

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It’s new music Tuesday. The traditional day for releasing new music in the US (still not sure why this is?). We took a listen to what came out this week and liked the new Fall Out Boy album a lot. The song above is the opening song, it really sets up the album and takes off from where they left us with their last album and it’s big single “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” with that energetic, slightly dark sound.

Stay tuned tomorrow, got a piece on music and technology in the works!

MLK

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We don’t need to say much about this man, Martin Luther King Jr. left quite a legacy. As we celebrate his life today it’s a good opportunity to remind ourselves that race shouldn’t divide us and shouldn’t define who we are. Unfortunately in parts of society racial prejudice still exists and that goes for any minority. One thing we love about music is it’s ability to bring people together and cross cultural lines. Hopefully one day those lines won’t exist. Happy MLK day everyone.

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Ne-Yo

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Came across this from Ne-Yo today and it provides a good opportunity to give him a quick shout out. Without doubt Ne-Yo is one of the best songwriters on the planet. He’s written hits for BeyoncĂ©, Rihanna, Usher, Mario and many others, not to mention his own songs and he’s been doing it for a LONG time.

We’ve seen a lot of writers and producers come and go over the years, either because they fall out of flava or out of favor, or their hit making dries up. It’s not uncommon to have a hot run for 18months to 2 years and then fall by the wayside. It makes sense if you think about it, a record label takes a chance on a new, up and coming writer or producer and the song has some success. The label then starts asking for more songs for the rest of their roster. Then other labels want a piece of the action and all of a sudden said songwriter/producer has 10 or more songs out. After being in demand for so long for the same type of material, it’s hard to keep up the pace and quality of your music. This is usually the point where you stagnate and get too caught up in the same sound or style which then goes out of fashion. Before you know it the same songs that the labels used to love aren’t so hot to them anymore and you’re back to the beginning, a lot richer, but having to grind twice as hard because now you have a reputation in the industry.

We tell you all of this to demonstrate just how great someone like Ne-Yo has to be to stay so consistent for the last 10years. It’s by no means an easy feat and talent like that is undeniable. So with that said we salute you Ne-Yo, a true inspiration to us all, good luck with the new album!

-HS