We often focus on the finished product, the manufactured image, or the destination without giving credence to the journey, the growth, and the process - I want to do things a bit differently with my music. I have a vision of where I'm headed with music and I'm self-aware enough to know that I am not yet there, but every day on this journey is an opportunity for growth toward that vision that I am infinitely grateful for. So I want to invite you to catch a glimpse of what that journey looks like.
Girl From LA started as a slow set of chords and a few melodies I would play while still living in California with no real plans of turning it into a song (let alone fully pursuing music). When I moved to NYC to meet artists and creatives with positive energy that I could vibe with, I met the music collective The.Wav. They are a huge part of the reason I had the courage to embark upon this journey and constantly remind me of my obligation to cultivate and share the gifts in music that God has given me. The week after I decided to leave my 9-5 to pursue music, The.Wav moved to Los Angeles, as if to say "our work here is done."
I went to visit LA for some music tech consulting I was engaged with at the time and I spent a lot of my time writing music with The.Wav. During one writing session that lasted until 4AM Badí, Cardigan Deville, my first guitar (that my sister bought for my 18th birthday) and I created what we called "Girl From Vallejo". I brought the chords and "Ooh Ooohs ooohs" and Badí, being the talented vocalist/rapper/songwriter brought the swag to the verses, as you can hear in this first recording of what would later be known as "Girl From LA."
Notes: We had just written the so I couldn't play it and remember the words yet so Badî is singing the lead; I couldn't play the vamp at the end and sing at the same time, hence the strugg - im sliiightly better at the guitar now. enjoy
I love listening to this version of the song. Badí has a really dope tone and we were able to write a dope song to kick off my journey in music. The.Wav have always created the perfect space and energy for artists to feel comfortable and open to let the music flow and I'm grateful for it. I would later add the chorus and bridge to bring the song to it's current state.
I've had the opportunity to perform this song several times over the last couple months - with a band (including MIA's drummer Kiran Gandhi!), just a drummer, and by myself, and I love how many different versions of the song I am able to create with the live performance and I'm excited to see it evolve.
So I've also dabbled in production over the years and I gave "Girl From LA" a quick pass before deciding to work with the pro Kennard Garrett down in Atlanta for the final single. I almost didn't share this, but I figured if you're reading my blog you're in a present minority that is interested in stuff like this.
As fun as this track is, I decided to go with a professional producer - my Morehouse and Fraternity brother Kennard Garrett was the perfect choice for this track (I specifically asked him to make it sound less Rugrats lol). I'm super happy about how it all turned out and we will undoubtedly be working together again soon.
This process was daunting in a lot of ways that are hard to explain - from conception to release. But it marks a long overdue beginning to a journey that's guaranteed to be incredible. Peace and Blessings