The Making of Alright
It gets better...generally after it goes to hell in a hand basket
Many of you know that I released a new single a few weeks ago and it’s called ‘Alright’. It’s a mid-tempo groove about keeping it moving when life gets tough…keeping the faith. Basically lol, it’s the “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” anthem of 2020. However, if you know like I know – on the other side of Alright is the stuff that wasn’t alright. Whew! Let me explain…
I wrote the lyrics and recorded ‘Alright’ in a time of huge uncertainty. I had been laid off and hadn’t worked in a loooooooong time. I had no solid relationship so I didn’t really have a bae, per se to lean on for support. My friends and family were there 100%, but having someone who is with you to just say “no worries tonight, I got you” is a different kind of support. Of course, I had my faith in God to guide me through but this time was extemely tough for me. I had never experienced long-term unemployment and if you know me, you know I always have a plan. Baby in that season, none of my plans were working. Not. A. Single.Plan. Worked. That added another layer of angst because if you’re a planner, you feel like ok…if I do steps A-C, the result should be a win right? Nawl. No wins. Steady losses. I mean life was like here “Hold this L!” I was out here like :-|
Here's where the "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" comes in...
Nevertheless, I decided to keep working on my music. Saying I had a shoestring budget is the understatement of the year. Luckily, I was working with my brother, that phenomenal Nupe and musician known to many as Dre King. Now you can tell by the snippets of his latest project (shameless plug) Marvelous, that this cat kills. Like his ear and talent are unmatched. He is also the king of – no pun intended, mastering all options available to make a bomb record. He has a mobile studio – that he lugged up three flights of stairs to my apartment so we could make this record. That’s dedication! When you’re working with someone who has a “we gon make it do what it do” mentality, you learn a few things. Here’s what I learned making ‘Alright’.
5 Lessons that recording 'Alright' taught me.
1 I.SING I can sing my entire face off – even when I’m sick. I had the worst cold and this terrible congestion that wouldn’t let me be great. However, the session was set so – clear your throat, sip some tea and sing.
2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE. A studio can exist anywhere you have great acoustics and not a lot of external noise. I recorded ‘Alright’ in between the kitchen and dining room. Legit, the mic was in the middle of both rooms.
3. THE RIGHT PEOPLE WILL SHOW UP. When people can “feel” you, you don’t need to be there for them to do their part. KingQuest recorded his rap for ‘Alright’ with Dre. I was nowhere around. I gave him no direction. He just knew what to do.
4. ALL. NOT SOME. Sometimes you’ll have to use all your gifts – not just the obvious ones. I wrote the lyrics, styled myself and did my own makeup for the song cover. Sometimes you’re dayum near all the things because that’s what it takes.
5. SOMETIMES IT'S HARD. ALWAYS WORTH IT. Doing something great will require sacrifice. It may be sleep, money, hanging out with your peoples, quality time with your boo…I don’t know what thing it is/was for you. But trust me it will be SOMETHING. There may be some tears, quite a few hard days and you legit being 2 minutes away from chucking deuces. At the end of it all, you can do it – if you want to. My Aunt Pat always says “There is no failure in God and nothing beats a made up mind.”
I made up my mind that it was gonna be #Alright – and it was. Listen here and let me know what you think.