Getting back into visual art 

It is March 2020 and things are a bit unusual right now, to say the least. This hasn't changed much for me, because I stay inside all the time anyway. What this did do was affect my plans for this year. I was planning on going out into the local music scene to try to eventually get booked. I had planned to talk to some bands and venue managers about putting me in as an opener. I have a currently untitled alternative rock project I've been working on since last year, and I have a set list for it. I was prepared to be dismissed anyway since I'm sure a lot of people would be confused to see a one-man instrumental band, but I was gonna give it a try. I hoped that if I could at least get an opportunity to show what I can do as a drummer, that would give me some opportunities. 

Now, I'm getting back into visual art. I was planning on doing that anyway before all this, and now I'm probably gonna be more focused on it since I can't play live music. I got back into the 3d graphics program Blender and started on some new projects. I am still learning it, after using 3DS Max for 3 years. I was on a hiatus from visual art while I made my latest Synthesism album. Now, it's a great time to get back into it. I've been drawing and painting since I was a kid, and I'm very excited to see where my new work can take me. I ordered a tablet to do digital painting on, and I've actually never done digital painting, so that's gonna be awesome! 

So for the next...however long, I'm gonna be more focused on that. I still make music whenever I feel like it, but it's nice to have put my new album out after 8 months of working on it. With that, and without being able to go to music shows, I don't have any pressure on me to get noticed in the music scene. It's great that I have other projects to work on so I can make use of my time. It's disappointing that I can't play my music live anytime soon, because that's the only way people will really understand how serious I am about it. I can tell them all I want about my albums, but until they see me on a stage, most people won't care. I know I'll have my turn, though. For now, I'm gonna see what I can with my visual art!

My first blog post of the year 

My first blog post of the year was supposed to be about some good news. It still is, it's just that there will be something very sad for me to talk about too.

 

Today I released the first single for my new Synthesism album. It's titled, "Destructive". This new album is the first proper album that I've made, whereas the first one was a collection of 10 songs that I made in the first 2 years of Synthesism. Those songs were made and uploaded individually as I went, since at the time it was only a hobby for me. This time around, I bought new software after years of using the demo versions, and I made almost all my new songs together as a full album over the course of 7 months. This investment was something I only wanted to make if I felt for sure that I was going to make an actual career out of this.

 

So that's the good news. The bad news is that Neil Peart, one of my biggest influences as a drummer, has died. He was very influential to my dad, and I take after my dad so much. I was raised on my dad's favorite music, and one of his favorite bands is Rush. So I've been a fan of Rush as long as I can remember. Neil Peart was a legend. So for me to even try to explain the impact he had on me and my dad is difficult, especially for this quick blog post. I studied his drum tracks and his solos. I admired his precision, his work ethic, and above all else, his creativity. He was as great in his technique as anyone, but what made him the best was his innovation. Neil was not only a drummer, he was a full-fledged musician. He played the drums as a musical instrument and not just something to bash the noise out of. He mixed in electronic drums and samples in melodic arrangements. This was a huge influence on me as a drummer and a music producer. It showed me that the best drummers do more than just make a beat. They make their own music with their drum set. Neil's creativity was on display also as a lyricist, as an author, and just through who he was as a person. He spoke with a poetic vocabulary. His conversations were often philosophical. He was a genuine person who was just about the opposite of a "rockstar". The hard times he went through were something I related to, and the way he still found a purpose through it all was also very impactful to me.

He is the greatest drummer there ever was, and one of the greatest people there ever was.

 

RIP Neil Peart, The Professor.

 

 

Finding my niche 

When I started making music, I didn't know that much about the genres of electronic music. My interest in video game soundtracks is what inspired me to create the kind of music that I do. So because of this, my style developed into something that took bits and pieces from the various kinds of electronic music I had heard in games.

Recently, within the past 2 months since I got on Twitter, I've been getting to know a lot about one particular style of music- and that is Synthwave. I created Synthesism based on my very vague knowledge of it. I knew about the aesthetics, I knew about the 80s nostalgia subculture. I knew that there were musicians who made electronic music in the style of the 80s. But since I was never a fan of the 80s, I never paid much attention to it. Synthesism was made as a concept of Synthwave because I knew my style was not anything like modern electronic genres- at least, not the mainstream ones that I knew about. I had a very small understanding that the sounds I used in my music were of 80s style. Looking back on it now, it's really cool that I was able to formulate a theme for my music that fit, while also not even really knowing anything about it. In fact, Synthesism was a last-minute name that I came up with because every other interesting name I thought of for my music was already taken.

The Synthwave community on Twitter has been awesome to be a part of. These artists are very passionate about their music, and like me, most of them are completely independent. They support each other's work, and they're all really friendly people. This is something I didn't know about at all when I first got on Twitter. I thought Twitter was just for self-promotion with people commenting, and that was it. I was surprised to see so many quality discussions. Had I known this, I would've gotten on Twitter a long time ago!

I'm definitely not from the same kind of background that most of these other Synthwave artists are, but I still feel like I fit in more with them. They're professionals. True musicians. Not mainstream. Going forward in the process of creating my next album, it'll be great for me to know more about this genre and its audience. While my music is still different from the typical forms of 80s-inspired Synthwave, this next album will be more cohesive because I know more about where my music fits in.

Cool weekend 

It was a cool weekend for me. It was so cool to see Ed Reed, a local legend and one of the greatest football players ever, get enshrined into the Hall of Fame. He's from right down the road from where I grew up. I went to the same middle school and high school that he did. He's definitely someone who inspires me. A great athlete, and also a great person. He is proof that if you're a talented person, all you have to do is put in hard work and you'll be successful.

I also went to the Saints' practice tonight. It was at Tulane's Yulman Stadium, which is a short walk from where I live. I'm a huge Saints fan, so it was very cool to be there. I haven't been to a Saints game in years, so I'm glad to have been able to at least see them practice.

My debut album was released this past Thursday. Not that many people know about it. I'm trying to spread the message. Building up a fanbase will take time, but I'm certain that I have the foundation for a solid career.

Hard work 

Being an independent musician and trying to promote a debut album is hard. I have no discography for people to listen to, so it's quite the challenge to get promotion for an album out of obscurity. This was to be expected though, no big deal. I think things will be much better when my entire album is out. Then that should give me a little bit more credibility. The promotion for my eventual second album will be a lot smoother. I'll have more experience and hopefully by then I'll actually have some kind of fanbase.

_________________________

My drum practice has been alright lately, but filming my most recent video was stressful. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I put so much pressure on myself to have a good performance for this video. This video was intended to show a wider extent of my talent. The first drumming video I made was just something to show that I could play decently. This time I had to really show what I could do. And I did a good job of it. So now I have a good enough example of my abilities.

 

My first blog post 

I'm creating this blog to post more in-depth updates about me and my career, and whatever else I feel like posting about. I've always loved to write since I was a kid. I used to write a lot of stories, and I excelled in English class. I won writing contests several years in a row in elementary school. Since then I've been involving myself in other things, so I haven't written anything in a very long time. People tell me I should write a book. I don't know when, but I might do that. For now though, I'll have this blog.