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My Trip to south London

Updated: Jan 23

Where do I start...

So about a year ago I started to notice people were changing their social media interests to Tiktok.. So, like a lamb I thought I should follow the flock and created a account. I started by just posting some acapella covers and then after a while I began to post my own stuff. To my surprise it was pleasantly received, this gave me the confidence to keep on writing and posting new material as often as was possible. One of my favourite things to do on this app is to watch other peoples creations and to comment positive remarks, it's remarkable to me that we have so many creatives out there with loads of "likes" however hardly anyone wants to spend five seconds to write a review.

I digress.. It was about three months ago I came across (Casey Ray's) work, here was a dude that was a similar age to me and was creating some really professional content and also came across Relatable. Naturally I began to check out his back catalogue and comment accordingly, we started to chat and soon realised that we had similar interests. Before i knew it we were collaborating together.

Some time in November Casey invited me to come and record with him at his home studio in south London. I knew this was an amazing opportunity that I couldn't miss out on, However there were a few hurdles to overcome like who was going to look after our two kids and dogs as Jessica was already snowed under with work and college. All that being said a plan was made as I couldn't miss this! I hadn't long been in hospital again so there was some concern as to if I would be well enough. On that note, a discission was made that I take my nephew (Riley Middleton) he too is a budding musician with a passion for learning more about the industry. After seeking permission from his mother AKA my sister and pulling a sicky from school (not my idea) but I do admire it, we set off on the Friday for a long weekend of music, fun, and dodgy takeaways.

Prior to this I had been in talks with my cousin (Matt Caffell) about borrowing a bunch of basses (much to my wife's dismay) so we had arranged to pick them up along the way, as these would add more strings to my metaphorical bow. After a stereotypical truckers breakfast and a exchange of instruments myself and Riley continued on to London. We arrived around three PM and after sorting out are confusing parking arrangements we proceeded to settle in to our new digs. As you can imagen two country boys in the big city our first response was "Christ look at the size of these buildings!" it had been a long day so we settled in to our room until we inevitably crashed.

The next morning we woke up filled with excitement, I had arranged to be at the the studio by 10AM so it was a quick,bquestionable breakfast and then on to the studio!! As we arrived Casey was there to greet us, he was incredibly hospitable and before we knew it we were lugging more than a handful of instruments through his house to the studio out the back.

The studio itself was a marvel and after explaining Casey told us that their used to be a air raid shelter in its place, hence its name (AirRaidStudios) the lovely thing about this studio is that it was hand built by Casey and his father this was something I could relate to strongly.

So after a quick exchange of passed experience's I began to showcase a couple of songs I thought would be worth his time. After some deliberation we had decided on (Silhouette) this song meant a lot to me as its overall premiss was about loving everyone no matter what shape or size. After that I began to lay down a reference track with my Ibanez Artcore (hollow body) Once we had the reference track it was time for some rhythm. This is where myself and Casey came into our own, as we were both self proclaimed Drummers and boy oh boy he had everything we needed to explore the songs potential. My first idea was to add a rolling highat, Casey set it up and I began rolling a couple of takes were recorded and we listened back we soon realise that it was sounding a little "trappy" so we quashed that idea. We still liked the idea of a rhythmic roll so naturally we thought we would try it on the snare with some felt headed sticks and by joe we had it! This was simple yet very effective the staggered sixteenths were the base to this musical gravy. With this the excitement only grew from there Saturday was pretty much rhythm day, from egg shakers to a full drum beat we were in our element. I chose my Tanglewood LesPaul (soild body) to record the intro with a warm fuzz tone thanks to the vast array of plug ins on Logic pro X. Casey then had the brilliant idea of adding a complementary organ transcending in the key of E, this really consumed the mood of the song their for set us up for recording the main guitars (Ibanez ,Tanglewood) after this it was Bass time!. I purposely left the bass lines for improvisation on the day. In my experience this leaves opportunity for creativity their for some funkyass bass lines are made, by the time all the bass lines were recorded that was the end of day one.

After a night of dodgy takeaways and hotel FamilyGuy we were soon at the recording studio again ready for day two!. We already knew todays plan which was to record Vocals and keys, this left us a lot of time to create something magical (if I do say so myself) So after some adlibs and inevitable harmonies I added some keys then it was time to go home!.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Casey for the opportunity and look forward to working with him again.

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