Hi, Davey Myssle! Welcome to BuzzMusic! Wow, what a dynamic release! Could you talk to us about what went into the songwriting and production of "Leave the Lights On"?
I'm glad you like it! :) So this actually started out as a remix I did for a friend of mine. He and Holly had a song together and at the time the original track was very uptempo. When I received the vocal stems, I noticed how different the song came across with no music, especially with Holly's voice. So I grabbed my guitar and started fiddling around with chords and I realized how dark it sounded when slowed down. And that's how the production started! I added a blend of piano and pads along with light ambient sounds to create this ethereal space. When I showed my friend the final mix, we were both like "Damn, that's a record!" And decided my version of the song should be the one released as my first single
We are loving the dynamic between your’s and Holly’s vocals! How did the two of you come to meet? How were the parts chosen for each singer?
I actually did not sing at all on this song, that's all Holly! She has incredible range in the lower octaves. I did some ad-libs during the drop but that's about it lol. I do intend to use my vocals more on future releases though. I met Holly a while back through a mutual friend. We co-wrote a few times, she's an incredible writer and singer!
It’s so great to hear you have been working on your skills whenever possible. What were some of the challenges you faced along the way and how did you overcome them?
"Leave the Lights On" to me is being completely comfortable and transparent with someone. This particular song is about someone you're intimate with, but I think it can apply anywhere. If you trust someone there should be no reason to keep them in the dark ;)
How did you create the various elements of the song (the drums, bass in the drop, and moody pads). Were these sounds made before the song was written or did these sounds come after the recording?
So all the production was made post song. The vocals were recorded and produced by Sheux-Bear and he sent the stems to me. I like to start with a blank canvas, so I'm not using "go-to's" or sounds I've created in the past. I do love organic instruments tho, so I always start with the guitar or keys. Once I had a basic arrangement laid out in Pro Tools I started with the drop. Producers will think I'm crazy, but to create the drop I used the Soundtoys Tremolator and basic automated eq filtering for the LFO's while utilizing panning to alter the width of the polys while the chord rang out. Since I didn't have Serum at the time and knew nothing about LFO automation, I split the chords into separate tracks and used different LFO settings in the Tremolator to make it imitate automation. I used Onminsphere for most of this record. I like how dark their sounds are. The drop snare has a few layers to it, even a water drop sound I made with my mouth if you listen closely lol. Finding the right blend of piano and pads in the verses was tough but with trial and error, I think I nailed it. The Bass drop I believe was two Moog basses layered, one being raised an octave up. And also at the end of the record, you can hear tree frogs I recorded on my phone while at a friend's house. They were so loud!
Oh yeah, the breathing was me in the intro too. So ad-libs and breathing was all me lol
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
As a businessman, I'm working with A.D.D. Marketing (Artistic Development and Design) on building my company, The Upstate Sound. We are a team of 5 music producers providing Beat leases, Sample packs, Mix and Mastering services, and more! As an artist, I intend to start releasing more music. I've gotten to a point where I trust myself fully to make the right decisions producing a record. And I have a lot of songs to write and produce >:) I am a perfectionist, but I understand the difference between utilizing it as a skill and using it as an excuse for insecurity as Gary Vee puts it. The trick to making good music is to trust yourself :) and to trust yourself that you can do it again and again and again.
Be sure to listen to "Leave the Lights On" here.