October 8, 2011 was an exciting day for Urban Dreamz as we spent 5 hours at Lucky Run Studio in Richmond, TX working with producer Jeremy Dudman on recording our first original song in order to get our music out to our fans.
The song that we chose to be our first recording was written by me and Sherry Kai Kuybus right when Urban Dreamz was starting up. Sherry and I set out to write a song to pitch to Lady Antebellum and I pitched to her the idea for “Make It Up As We Go” talking about a relationship where everything seams to be going wrong, but all they really need is each other, so they forget about their plans and just enjoy their time together. Sherry loved the idea so we spent a few months tackling it via skype on our weekly writing appointments.
After we finished the song, I mentioned that I was starting up a new duo and thought it would be perfect for us. So Aurelia and I started performing the song during our Urban Dreamz gigs and it quickly became our most requested song due to it’s popish feel and a very singable chorus which includes “We’ll go-oh-oh-oh with the flow and baby we’ll just make it up as we go”. This song has defined Urban Dreamz and who we are as artist.
Then in August, I attended a songwriter boot camp at Lucky Run Studios in Richmond which included some performance techniques as well as recording techniques and after seeing that studio I thought about recording there, but I knew we couldn’t afford it. Then low and behold, I won a door prize for 3 free hours in the studio while I was at the boot camp.
So we took our signature song and our free studio time and ventured on our first studio experience. Jeremy Dudman was our producer and was awesome to work with and really nailed the song down perfectly. He was awesome at the fine tuning of each instrument. We started with laying down my guitar tracks to a click track. Then Ren Renfree, a long time songwriter friend came in and did some signature lead riffs for us. After Aurelia and I both recorded our lead vocal tracks. Ren and his wife Andi brought our chorus parts to life with some fabulous harmonies. Then Jeremy made magic happen by blending it all together and adding in drums tracks as well as playing base on the final mix.
You can hear our first professional recording of “Make It Up As We Go” on our facebook at http://www.facebook.com/urbandreamz
I just recently returned from a week long trip to Nashville to pitch some music and hang out in Music City. Overall I had a very productive week, getting some great feedback on my songs as well as meeting some future co-writers while hanging out with some great songwriter friends from Houston. I spent most of the days pitching music and the nights at hit songwriter’s shows presented by Tin Pan South with new and old friends.
Meeting Allen Shamblin in Nashville, April 2011
I can’t even begin the explain the experience I had with Tin Pan South. I saw so many great hit writers up close and personal. My mind was overflowing with inspiration just listening to each of their unique stories. My favorite show was one of the first nights at the Hard Rock Cafe on Broadway. It included Phil Vasser, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Brett James and Josh Kear. You may have heard of Phil Vasser and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, but many of you may not know Brett James and Josh Kear. Brett James wrote many of Carrie Underwood’s songs, including “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Cowboy Casanova.” Josh Kear has many hits, but most people know him now as the writer of Lady Antebellum’s huge smash “Need You Now.” Josh also wrote “Before He Cheats” for Carrie Underwood.
That night was the highlight of my Tin Pan South experience, but other great writers that I saw that week were Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, who wrote “The House that Built Me.” I actually saw each writer seperate and both put on a great show, including their performance of Miranda Lambert’s huge hit. What was interesting is Tom Douglas actually played it on the keyboard, while Allen Shamblin played it on the guitar.
New and old friends in Nashville, April 2011
I could go on and on about the Tin Pan South shows, but the main reason I was in Nashville was to get feedback on my own music. I set up appointments with representatives at NSAI and ASCAP as well as with a producer in Brentwood that a friend recommended. All of them gave me great feedback and said I was on the right track. I had three songs that I was pitching. The first is a brand new song called “Red Eye,” which I wrote with Jon D’Agostino from New York and Jason Eustice from Louisville, Kentucky. Jason did a guitar vocal of it and I got really good compliments on his presentation of the song. The second song I pitched is a song I wrote last year with Beth Kille from Wisconsin. Beth lived here in Houston for a while, which is where we met, but didn’t start writing until she moved back to Wisconsin. Now we co-write via Skype. The final song I pitched is called “Doing the Best I Can,” which was inspired by my cousin going to Afghanistan. All three songs got great reviews. Now it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time and of course continuing to write great songs!
I love Nashville and the musical vibe that surrounds the city and hope to make it back soon.
Hi, welcome to my music blog. Thanks for stopping by. I am a singer songwriter who carefully crafts songs that will hopefully touch people the way they touch me. I do perform around the Houston area occasionally, but my main goal is to write the best country songs that I can write, whether I sing them or someone else does. I just hope the songs reach out and touch the world.
I hope you’ll stop by now and then to see what I’m up to. I’ll be covering a wide range of topics, including upcoming events, such as a new duo called Urban Dreamz to what I think about the structure of the current #1 song on the country Billboard charts.
Hope to see you back soon