MusicBox Studio Monthly Report
Month: September 2012
Studio Location: MusicBox Studio North @ Preston Taylor Boys & Girls Club
Program Director: Philip Gilley
After a very busy first summer, the MusicBox Studio has settled into a great “rhythm”. Opened in June 2012, just in time for the summer break the MusicBox became an instant draw for new and existing participants. While the summer saw a variety of new members, by the time September rolled around we began accumulating consistent members who (after the chaos of summer excitement) were ready to start focusing on finishing product. As a testament to the word-of- mouth outreach approach we have seen it infiltrate the studios and schools; family and friends of existing members have started to explore the studio. Joseph and Mandrel’s cousin, Laquisha has started coming to the club and studio as a result of her cousin’s music creation. (Insert pic of goofing around on couch)
Laquisha has an incredible voice as well as a natural talent for songwriting. While production is still being wrapped on her first track, she proved that she can write a song in a day… actually an afternoon. Her first time in the studio resulted in a finished hook and almost 2 complete versus over a beat Mandrel and I had previously worked on together. She has whatever that “IT” factor is! Mandrel contiunes to work on his first song about struggle while becoming increasingly more proficient on making beats on Reason.
We have some incredible volunteers helping us out including Tito, an extremely talented songwriter and player who has started working with our first ever Country Band to come through ANY Notes for Notes’ studio. The band’s name “C-4” is Christian, David, Joey… and they are still looking for that 4th to complete the band and band’s name! The first day they came to the studio was an eye-opening experience for all… while they claimed to be a band it was in name only as they had yet to learn instruments. In our first session I helped create the music for what would be their first hit “Hey Girl” We are already at work on their second song with Tito’s mentoring. A special workshop is also in the works in collaboration with CMT and one of their artists to visit the studio and appear on TV… Stay “tuned”!
The studio is packed with a variety of instruments and one of the most popular is always guitar. Q has found that his “axe” of choice is the Epiphone Joe Bonamassa signature Les Paul. He is incredibly diligent about practicing every day and we are arranging it so that he can have a guitar of his own come holiday time courtesy of an Ohio guitar maker! I turned Q and Jacari onto one of my favorite Foo Fighter’s tunes, “Ever Long”. Check out our rehearsal…
While we rock hard we also rock softly. Dalylionte is obsessed with the Ukulele, so much I just had to send her home with it over the weekends to continue practicing. We spent some time learning “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show as well as a Jack Johnson tune, “Banana Pancakes” We are hoping to record it and then perhaps ask Jack to contribute something musically to the cover!
We spent some much needed time mixing down tracks from the summer into complete recordings. Check out some of these hits blasting from MusicBox Studio North in Nashville.
Swag Walk featuring Monquisha, Deasia & Tori (sample of Temptations’ “Get Ready”)
Make That Move by Yasmine (at only 13 yrs old)
Hey Girl by C4 (mixed by Zach at the Tracking Room)
Family by Joseph featuring LaQuisha
Outreach/ Outside Collaborations:
Summer produced and introduced some amazing new talent to the MusicBox Studio that unfortunately only come in the summer. Our next step will be to find a way to do outreach to this summer population to engage them year round. So much talent that I would love to see return. We are currently coordinating with Mr. Jeff of the Preston Taylor Boys & Girl Club on some outreach ideas especially to the built in population directly above the studio in McKissack Middle School!
We would very much like to thank Sonos who have generously sponsored all N4N studios with HiFi wireless speakers allowing us to stream music to multiple rooms. This is a great tool for not only exposing our members to new music but also for learning. I can put a song on repeat in one room (as I have done with Q so he can practice Ever Long) for someone to continue to practicing or listening while I am able to work in the other room with a new member. It is the closest we have come yet to cloning! We will also be putting a unit out in the club so that we can pipe music from the studio throughout the club engaging the entire facility in music and what’s happening in the studio. (pic of sonos speakers)
We have been focusing much of our energy on wrapping up orphaned projects started from the summer and are nearing completion. We currently have a track in route to Santa Barbara for Caesar to contribute a hip-hop hook too. It is a brand new track from a very talented new member, Mary-Grace. Can’t wait to share it with you all.