The Houston native Musician and Singer/Songwriter Pop Cautious serve a message of justice with his sincere single, "Peace Song." The one-man band Pop Cautious (Tyler Porterfield) is a rising country sensation and founder of Pop Cautious Records, swearing to effect peace, unity, and love through an honest resonance of authentic music.
His latest single "Peace Song" (mastered by Howie Weinberg) gives listeners the perfect introduction to who Pop Cautious is, being a preacher of unity, strength, and overcoming adversity. With 'peaceful' instrumentation that offers a mellow country feel, Pop Cautious' single preaches that humanity will succeed once equality overpowers.
"Peace Song" beautifully opens with calming piano melodies accompanied by soulful acoustic guitar. Once Pop Cautious' vocals appear with grace, his lyrical message perfectly aligns with his serene vocal delivery. Singing lyrics of needing peace amongst humanity in order to set us free from our burdens, Pop Cautious brings incredibly poetic and heartfelt words to light within this piece. The surrounding instrumentation gradually builds with subtle percussion patterns and a distant organ, giving the song an utterly pure and placid atmosphere. Pop Cautious takes his time delivering his lyrical message, truly allowing listeners to reflect on their surroundings and what they can do to help.
We're thoroughly impressed with Pop Cautious' heartfelt lyrics within "Peace Song," and we hope you'll take something away from his single just as we did.
What an incredible message you've created with your single, "Peace Song." Could you describe the moment you realized that you needed to write a song preaching peace and justice?
Thank you so much. The song was actually written in a hotel room in Glendale, California in late 2019. At that time, I was living a gypsy lifestyle and traveling between Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, CA. Was still able to occasionally play shows and network here and there, but was mostly working my side hustles to save up money. Not having to pay rent helped me with that a lot. My Father was President and member of Space Center Houston’s Rotary Club and they were working on a Peace Initiative Project. The concept is “Peace Through Understanding”. They commissioned me to write and record the song as Dad was pitching his idea for a peace monument. The idea of the monument is to welcome international students attending Texas schools. Not long before that, I had returned to California from Medellin, Colombia where I was staying with the family of my ex-girlfriend. We were enjoying life over there, as she was not allowed to return here to the US due to a visa issue. I had gone to see her after I had needed to leave my apartment suddenly due to some somewhat unexpected occurrences. That was a little strange for me because that apartment was the original HQ of Pop Cautious Records in Toluca Hills when we had launched in 2015. Arriving back from Colombia, I returned to having no home in LA. Fortunately, I was able to seek shelter over at the brother of my Mom’s high school friend who was also a fan of my music and had been to most of my shows. He had a low-income housing unit in South Gate (Los Angeles) that I took my little Siamese cat over to live. Some nights I was able to work all night, sleep in my car, or find a friend’s couch to crash on. It was there in South Gate that I was able to write the next song that I will be releasing, “2 hearts” which will be the B-side to a 7” vinyl for this most recent single, “Peace Song”. The musician that I wrote “2 hearts” was also of southern influence, but had lived most of his life on the West Coast. The song captured exactly what I was going through. The co-writers band for “2 hearts” actually has a version of it out now.
Through my experiences, I had a lot of newfound passion. Being without a place to call home is inspiring for those on a spiritual mission and healing. It humbles you quite a bit and transforms perspectives. The idea of writing a song about understanding what peace means to each of us was perfect for me at that time. Throughout all this process, I had lost some friends and needed to cut ties with people that were no longer helping to fulfill the greater purpose of this music mission that I am on. It was because of this that I could more easily realize that peace can be applied on a personal self-love level, in relationships between family/friends or toward groups of people in general and on a more universal (national/global) scale, as well. The events that have unfolded in 2020 would further solidify my experiences in making sure that I understood the importance of the latter type of peace mentioned. The words for “Peace Song” seemed to flow quite naturally when I just sat down and meditated on the question, “What does peace really mean to me?” The music written for “Peace Song” is meant to be more or less an audibly digestible backdrop for the lyrics to take the limelight. I challenge everyone to ask themselves the same question. What does peace mean to you?
Regarding your recording process for "Peace Song," did you record all of the instrumentals yourself? How did you go about starting the process?
A fellow musician/friend and veteran, Matthew Burrows, whose band I had booked at the Hotel Café and who had attended college with me during my time at MI (Hollywood) actually has a home studio over in Korea-town (Los Angeles). Everything was tracked over there. Rotary paid for studio time, which was awesome. We flew in my brother from Texas to lay down the bass. Matt had referred me to some of his studio musician friends who helped to track the percussion and keys.
We knocked it out instrument by instrument over the course of about a month or two. It was done in four or five sessions that I fit in between my busy work schedule.
A lot of the parts I had written with the musicians as we recorded it.
When we finished tracking, Matthew mixed it and we sent it over to 15-time Grammy Award-winning Mastering Engineer, Howie Weinberg (Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Nirvana, The Clash, etc.). Howie is easy to work with and down to earth. He made the track sound “next level”. He had previously worked with the label on our release of Drover Shy’s, “When I’m Gone”.
What led you to this incredibly powerful and motivational style of music? What inspired you to make music that inspires others?
Some of my favorite musicians to listen to are Bob Marley and John Lennon. Aside from their excellent music, their lyrics almost always have had a powerful message.
Sometimes the messages were considered against the grain. Sometimes the lyrics were edgy or threatening to the “powers-that-be”. I think appreciating musicians like them definitely has led to the inspiration for “Peace Song”. One song, in particular, you can catch the influence of in my track is Cat Steven’s, “Peace Train”. Notice the hand clap patterns and chorus chord progression and rhythm. Music helps us say things in a more powerful way. No one should be afraid to take risks and/or sacrifices to get messages across that they truly feel in their hearts to be what is good, right, and just for all (even if it isn’t immediately understood by everyone or seem to fit into a current political/media atmosphere).
Messages of peace, love, and unity are always needed in the world. Currently, in a demagogue environment, the top 1% wealth class agenda is apparent; divide and conquer.
We see a widening gap in socio-economic class status, as our small businesses are have been vandalized and/or closed down due to coronavirus and reaction to current events.
All of this is leading up to the US elections. Goodbye, middle-class. While we must attain justice, we will also be intelligent in how we attain it. Police brutality is grossly playing a part in the hidden socio-economic class agenda. We must not ignore the fact that the billionaire class is seeing an increase in wealth during this pandemic, as the rest of the country has lost jobs or shut down small businesses. Crime and immoral behavior are purposefully being normalized for this agenda. The government’s temporary financial handouts will not be sustainable long-term for many of the lower-income families relying on them during this time. Meanwhile, the state of California burns from mass wildfires and wildlife suffers. It is important we begin to plan ahead. We must all support each other regardless of sex, race, beliefs or lifestyles, etc. This is the only way we can prevent furthering an economic depression crisis and survive as a species and planet in the long-term.
Question everything and begin the complete unification of our nation’s people, while still maintaining your deserved pride and self-love. Always remembering that influenced division based on media-driven agendas could very well be a part of the socio-economic class gap widening and pre-election schemes. Not every celebrities’ beliefs or messages will be in our best interest or for the greater good for the entire nation as a people economically and morally. We must act only through love and read between the lines. Maintain hope and strive to be selfless; every action karmically has an equal or opposite reaction. We must think for ourselves. I’ve always been emotionally connected to the music that conveys a message, makes me think, or makes me feel a certain way. Never am I thinking, “what will sell?”
Fame and fortune should never be the focus of a musician. Hence the label’s mission; to create the “honest resonance of authentic music.” If you make good music and you are doing your best to be a good person, success and stability should naturally come. Anything countering good intentions most likely could be seen as fear, jealousy, selfishness, or greed-driven. Could be ignorance or capitalist competition cloaked by emotionally provocative propaganda. We have this one life to live, so let’s make it a good one for ourselves and those around us. We are all a works-in-progress and peace at all levels should be a goal. There will be justice through our mission to attain peace.
Seeing as you're busy finishing up a debut full-length album ‘Troubadour’, could you share any details about the project? Does it contain tracks similar to "Peace Song"?
There are about 10 to 12 songs that I’ve written over the course of the past few years. A few of them are in the vein of “Peace Song” and others are a little different, lyrically and stylistically. It’s my voice more than anything that will tie them all together into one coherent album. They are based on experiences and realizations. I have always had a tendency to write introspectively. However in songs, such as “Peace Song” I’ve started to open up to more universal themes. One of the most beautiful things is when the audience can take the lyrics to a song and make meaning of their own. I’ve mentioned “2 hearts” and how/when that was written. The other tracks are mostly still acoustic skeletons with some keys and bass, etc. Some are more developed than others.
Now that I have most of the instrument parts written, I’m planning to take the tracks that I have begun in Logic on my computer at my apartment elsewhere to track drums and vocals.
I’ll probably double and add some guitar layers and other instruments, too. Now that I’ve recorded each one several times as demo versions at home, I’ll be ready to knock them out in the studio. Aiming to have the album finished and ready to mix/master in the first quarter of 2021. Then I will announce a release date.
What can we expect to see from you next?
A music video for “Peace Song” is currently being produced. The new song “2 hearts” is right around the corner. There will be a video for that song, as well. Other than that, the label is working on a series of compilation records for good causes or particular focuses. They include Native American Rights, Women in Music, and Black Artists albums.