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48 HOURS TO PRODUCE AN ALBUM: A MOMENT OF CLARITY

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    48 Hours… Can seem like a short amount of time when you’re spending it with someone special. 48 hours can also seem like a long time if you’re talking the about the space between meals. Perspective is everything, especially when you’re trying to record all of the vocals for your album inside of 48 hours. No Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte or Hollywood magic to help out either. Interestingly enough, I had met Daniel “Spider” Pierce 48 hours after my very last show with a group I was mentoring. He was a producer and a damn great one too. On a chance meeting, he wanted me to listen to the music he made. Funny… at the time I was frustrated creatively and dizzy with options; and here I am, presented with yet another option. I admit, I was out of focus and unsure about my creative direction. “Spider” made the direction clear. He had music for days. Music that spoke to me. He played track after track and I sat there; conceptualizing an album “Johnny on the spot.”

    Click here out “Graffiti Bleu” on YouTube at Cafe Luna’s in Sacramento:

    How could this be? 48 hours ago I was in a different place. Now I’m shaking hands with a cat that said that somehow “He knew I was coming” My unfocused thoughts turned into a moment of clarity. I would finally make the album I always wanted to make. I would give a middle finger to the establishment and put out a high quality independent body of work. I would be honest lyrically, touching on past, present and future with different flows, cadences and rhyme patterns. I knew exactly what I was going to do and exactly who I was going to call to help me. I call Conrad the engineer and Zen Master at Blue Room Productions in Bethesda Maryland. At this point we have done many ambitious projects and this one was no different. Because of time constrains and travel from California to Maryland, I only had 48 hours to record all of the vocals for the album. I could only spare 2 days, but he was the only one I trusted to get it done. He is one of the few engineers that can troubleshoot on the spot and match my sporadic ideas with his fast technical savvy. So I show up to the studio and Conrad has his “ready to work” face on. We both know that this is a weekend filled with ambitious goals. He immediately asked for the song list and as I did, we sorted out the tracks in numerical order…

    I told him that I would prefer to record the vocals in the order that they’re structured in. He told me “Not only has he seen anyone record the vocals in 2 days, but also he had never seen someone do the album in sequence” In a weird way, I took that as a complement. I know many have gone through his studio doors, so I got a kick out of having an original approach. In a sense it was original, but originality was only on the surface. I had been well prepared for this day and being prepared is hardly an original concept. From intro to outro, the tracks blasted through the headphones as I jammed in the booth. Performing vocal after vocal just like I did in my living room months before this day. Countless hours of practice, writing and rewriting all manifested in a 2 day session. Tea, great weather and good health were also on my side as we methodically went through the songs one by one. As predicted, Conrad came through. He brought an energy to the session that matched my own. All we can do as artists, is try to inspire. Every now and then we succeed and on rare occasions we are inspired ourselves. 48 hours came and went. Next thing you know we were shaking hands as I was headed back to California on the next flight. We got it done in a manner that was new to the both of us. After every song was mixed and mastered, I sent them to NY to get the opinion of a 2nd producer who contributed on the project. “You did that!” was all Key Morales could say when he heard the album in its entirety. His opinion counts, he has a great ear for music, is always honest and has never pulled any punches with me. So here we are 48 hours before the release of my life’s manifesto.

    In 48 hours from the release of this blog, “A Moment of Clarity” will be available on iTunes, Amazon MP3. Google Play and Spotify….

    gbleu.com would like to thank Conrad and Blue Room Productions for all of their hard work on this project.

    Please enjoy the video for this project and if you like it, support the project and the people who made it possible.

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