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Short Story: The Truth About Why I decided to Remix Cold Duck

Technically and according to the music industry it’s a reissue or re-release. Remix just sounds and looks better on the cover to me. You probably don’t care much about the technicalities, but I’m often asked “why a different version?” Or it’s assumed that I didn’t like the first version.

Here is what really happened. I teamed up with Giampero Scuderi, (the featured guitarist on the first version ) after hearing him play while having dinner one evening at one of my favorite spots. He immediately got my attention because he alternated between the guitar and the keyboard. May not sound like a big deal to you but let me say that he was doing a brilliant job and his musicianship was stellar. During his break, I immediately made my way to him to let him know how much I was enjoying his playing. I mean he was really into it! I couldn’t take my eyes off of his entertaining ways.

Now mind you, the track had already been written, but I just didn’t have a feature. I had previously auditioned eight other guitarist. That’s right EIGHT! Some came highly recommended, some were really good. But when I received their solos back, I was not at all impressed. I could tell that some of them, as good as they were with gigging, it didn’t translate on to a structured song. I realized that sometimes when a musician is use to improvising around a two or four bar loop, they get use to hearing a certain way. Follow me.

The ability to just improvise is an art form all by itself. Kind of like in rap music, the ability to just spit bars on the spot, no thought, no preparation, no writing down lyrics, just flowing. So with that said, I applaud anyone that can do that. But if all you do is improvise, you’re not responsible for the complete parts of a structured song. Intro, melody, bridge, hook etc. I found that to be true while auditioning these guys. There was no sense of melody, lots of fighting with other parts of the song, incomplete musical sentences, basically all over the place. Long story short, when I heard Gia play, I knew right away that he was the guitarist that would be perfect for this track.

I could tell by the way he played, by his interpretation and placement of parts. I recognized that skill set. After conversing with him, he agreed to play on it. I already had the melody and instructed him to have his way on the other sections as long as it fits within the track. But I knew that I didn’t have to say that because I TRUSTED him. I TRUSTED his musicianship. I TRUSTED his hearing. Long story short, we had so much fun recording! Fast forward.

Stanley Engelbrecht (the featured guitarist on the remix) had been reaching out to me for almost 2 years wanting to work with me. His persistence is only second to none. But life happened and I was working on other things, relocating to another area and dealing with a lot of things. So I put things on hold. I needed a break. Stanley kept reaching out, sometimes just to say hello or ask how I was doing or maybe a music business question.

He stayed on my radar even when I didn’t respond much.
What he didn’t know was that I admired his playing. I watched his online activity and saw his dedication and felt his hunger. I just wasn’t ready at the time. But after several conversations, I wanted to see what he would do on an already released track before committing to anything else. And WOW!! He sent back what he did and I was floored! But even then, it took me another year to do anything with it! Life happened that’s all.

Now here we are today and I am so amazed at the response and receptiveness of this remix. I gave him no instructions at all! I just gave him the track, stripped of the solo and ALLOWED him to do his thing. He did that!! What’s different? He gave it a different feel, added some more color and made it more cool lol. And that’s the truth about why I decided to remix..oops..re-release “Cold Duck.”

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Meet The Newest Member of My Writing Team

As a songwriter, I’m always looking for new ways to express myself beyond using my Korg keyboard workstation. I’m not always at the keyboard when the creative juices start to flow or when I get an awesome idea for a song. I get inspired a lot by nature, things I observe, conversations I have or just my own thoughts. Usually when that happens and I’m away from the Korg, I just whip out my smartphone and use the voice recorder to record the idea(s). That way I won’t forget the idea(s). But for some  reason lately that has not been enough for me. I wanted a new way to express myself, a new challenge. I wanted to create in a way that I never had before. For me it’s about growing , learning new things  and stretching myself to be all that I can be.

I digress..In 2011-2012,  I went back to school to learn some new things about radio broadcasting because of an internet radio show that I was developing. Mind you, I already had previous experience in radio, so again it was about growth. Before finishing school, I got an opportunity to work as a producer for CBS radio and that complimented the direction that I was already headed in with my show. An added benefit to working as a radio producer in a top five market is that  I got a chance to see the daily operations of running a station, the digital hardware and software, the business-side of radio, the programming etc. Those things have given me an edge as a broadcaster and made me more strategic when planning and developing Indie Music Biz Radio.

So here we are in 2014 and I want to grow more as a musician, a songwriter and a producer. As I looked for a new way of expanding myself, I came to the conclusion that I was going to learn to play acoustic guitar so that I could use it as an additional writing tool. Yes! I am so excited! My goal is not to become a prolific guitarist, but if I learn a few songs , I may frequent some coffee bars and challenge myself to play before a small group just for the fun of it..lol!! I walked into Guitar Center after researching some starter guitars and walked out with the newest member of my writing team.  Hopefully we can make some beautiful music together to share with all of you.Here she is.. and I call her “Lyric”… Know that I will take advantage of the group guitar lessons offered at Guitar center, plus I found a really cool site called guitarlessons.com. Learning new things! I will most definitely keep you posted about my progress!! Happy writing!rsz_lyricimag1308_1_1-1

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