“We recorded where we could, when we could, and with what we could”
From professional studios in Austin, Texas to homemade living room vocal booths in Bucharest, Romania; Sunshine, Feel Rights, and Goodbyes” would eventually be born after three years. Big shout out to Carlos Betancourt, Joey Mauro, Ruxandra Vorotneac, Jullien Ellias, and Maikel Vreugdenhil – thank you all for your contributions on this project. This would not have been possible without your help, thank you!
A quick look on how things were. Oh, what a ride and learning experience it has been.
I typed this paragraph on January 16, 2019. There is one final piece of work to finish on the album, the vocals. These are the icing on the cake so to say. I finished what I thought would be the final vocal tracks in the winter of 2017, but since then my voice has grown, adapted, and became stronger. I learned a lot in the making of this album. Two different drummers play on this album with two different drum sets which were recorded in two completely different countries during different years! The album has so many different sounds, and has one hell of a journey attached to it. There is one song with a horn section. That song is titled “The World Needs Love.” We recorded on a Wednesday. I sent the horn players the track the night before. They listened to it once before we met each other on recording day. I was nervous a bit, but more excited! None of us had any clue what type of horn lines we wanted, but all of our energies were so in tune that it all worked out. I met the two gents through a friend on Facebook, and sadly I can not remember both of their names, but one of them was Elias. I just sent him an email asking what the trombone players name was. Hope he responds and I can delete this sentence. I “played” the horn lines I heard on my “mouth trumpet”, and within seconds they were playing the songs back to me on real brass. It was an incredible moment for us. We all were having so much fun. Our time together was short, but boy was it sweet. After two fun hours in the studio the horns were done and I was off to my corporate call center job the rest of the day. He responded to my email. The other horn players name was Andrei Lupascu. Thank you sir!
Carlos Betancourt. You are the reason this album possible. Thanks for helping launch my music career.
I thanked a few folks earlier in this post, but the person who deserves the biggest thanks of all is Carlos Betancourt. That man has put more of his heart and soul into these songs than anyone, including me. Carlos is basically the boss engineer on this album, he has twisted every know and adjusted every single level, and he did it damn well. He has been there every step of the way helping come up with ideas, and even recording some bass lines or laying down some harmonies. Carlos plays the bass on a song called “Home”, and boy is that bass line tasty. Thanks buddy! Carlos and I worked together in Austin, Texas before I moved to Romania to work with our European office. This project started as a pipe dream in Texas with four songs and three drum tracks. Neither of us expected it to grow into such a long term project, but it did. Three years later and we are almost done. As previously stated, the current date is January 16, 2019. What a journey this has been. I have learned so much in the past few years, I am more excited to get in the studio to record alum number two than I am to release this one. Just kidding, I can not wait to release this beast! As I said, Carlos was in Austin, and I was in Romania. When Papa C (Carlos) would come over to Romania, we would work on this project when we were not slaving away to the man.
We recorded during the day and worked at night.
The only thing on this record that was recorded in a professional studio was the horns. I will lay down the vocals in a studio as well, but the rest was done through make shift jam rooms, and blankets on living room walls to help with the acoustics. It’s amazing what we accomplished given our circumstances. I owe a lifetime of gratitude to Carlos, not only for his time spent on this but his belief in me and this CD kept me going along this long road. There were many emotional ups and downs which can be heard in the songs. Love was found, and love was lost. Home was far away. I was dreaming big but feeling small. I look back at the version of myself when I first arrived here. We are two different people. On the outside, its all the same, but so much has changed in my mind, and in a good way.
What’s the vibe of this album? Why sunshine, feel right’s, and goodbyes?
Long before I knew what songs would be on this album, I decided Sunshine, Feel Rights, and Goodbyes was going to be the title. I first wrote down this title in 2016! For some reason, those words just sounded good to me. Little did I know then, but this small saying would eventually come to life. The record will consist of 8 songs. The main message of this album are to feel good, love strong, follow your dreams, and always look ahead. The past will always be there, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Just learn from it and grow. You will be sent on a Journey through the past 2 years of my life as you travel from track to track. Whether I was traveling ambitiously to new lands or chasing love “I do not recommend the second one”, the lyrics were continuously spilling out of me. Inspiration was striking at so many different moments from so many angles. Certain songs were written in one strong moment, while and others took some time and perspective to complete. As a quick example, the song “Free man’s road” was written in one quick sitting in Belgrade, Serbia, while the song “Home” took months and a few trips across the pond to complete. There is no set defined way to write a song, but you will know when it is complete. It will just feel right.
“Hippie White Boy Music”
Throughout the recording process, my music was referred to as “Hippie White Boy Music” by Carlos and I. This term sure made for some good laughs along the way. I said it before and I will say it again. Thank you Carlos! Words can not thank him enough. As I said earlier, this album was recorded with different equipment in different countries, Not only do the sounds change, but the genre also changes. You will bounce from alternative rock, 70’s, ska, and even acoustic. This is why “Hippie White Boy Music” was coined by Papa C and I.
“BIGGER, STRONGER, HUMAN CONNECTIONS”
The lyrics are about deep feelings of travel, love, the current state of the world and self-trust. I hope that it will inspire people to dream BIGGER, love STRONGER and create stronger HUMAN connections in their day to day lives.
Charity – Giving Back Through Music #givingthroughmusic
Twenty percent of this albums proceeds will be donated to communities and organizations who do something to give back to the world. Two of the NGO’s I will work with are RefuSHE and LavaMae. Click their names to read more about them. RefuSHE helps refugee women in East Africa and Lava Mae assists the homeless in California. When you stream, purchase, or download my album, you will be putting money towards a greater cause. Let’s make a difference in this world.