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Urban Dreamz in the Studio

9 Oct

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


Urban Dreamz the Main Act

31 Jul

After performing a few small gigs around Houston, Urban Dreamz landed its first main act slot on the West Gray Showcase at Hefley’s with The Wild Rabbit Salad Band opening the show. This slot came about after performing at the Hefley’s open mic in May 2011 where we impressed JW Wind, who runs the Showcase.  One evening in July, JW called and said, “Would you guys like to perform as the main act for a 45 minute set?” We accepted and starting building up our set list.

On Tuesday, July 26, we took the stage at 8:30 p.m. We were both a little nervous, but as we went through the set, we interacted with the audience and ended up putting on a great show, performing a variety of  cover songs which included Adelle’s “Rolling In the Deep,” a Tina Turner version of “Proud Mary,” and Pink’s “Perfect.” We finished off the set with a heartfelt rendition of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”

Not only did we debut new cover songs, we also introduced  a few new original songs to the audience. One of them was an uptempo song called “Better Together,” which I wrote in 2010 with Beth Kille, a songwriter from Wisconsin. The song was not originally written as a duet, but once we started Urban Dreamz and were looking for songs it seemed to fit right in with our style and what we were looking for. So we reworked it to where we were singing lines back and forth to each other, sort of like a call and response. We also slowed it down with a passionate ballad written by my duo partner Aurelia Arredondo called “Shiny Weather.”

I think our first show as the main act at The West Gray Showcase turned out to be a success. We’re continuing to add songs to our set list and are working on more originals, so keep an eye out for updates on what’s next for Urban Dreamz as we pursue our musical dreams and do our best to entertain our audiences.

This is just the beginning!

31 May

Urban Dreamz had a great turn out for our first performance at a small place called Hefley’s in Houston. We had 10 people from Spectra come out to happy hour before our performance telling them that the music started at 8 p.m. But at 7:30, the opening band started and played for an hour. They were very mellow and were  playing some classic country like Johnny Cash. Some of our fans were getting bored and restless. Then once the open mic actually started, we were third on the list, so there was still another 30 minutes of other performers. Finally at 9 p.m. we took that stage ready to rock it out.

We began our three song set with “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square, but as I strummed the first chords, the sound system was going in and out, so the guys running it came up and fixed it and we started, but before we got to the chorus it was going in and out again. But we fought our way through it and still got a great reaction from the audience.

For our second song, we decided to do an the original that got us to this venue. The song “Make it Up as We Go” was a song that I started with a co-writer, Sherry Brusso, and actually got to work on with her while we were in Nashville in March. Sherry is very set on writing a duet for the duo Steel Magnolia, so we set out to write a duo when I brought her the idea for this song. Little did I know, a few months later it would be perfect for our break out song as Urban Dreamz. The first time we performed it was at a Nashville Songwriters meeting where were getting it critiqued. It just so happened JW Wind was in the group and said “he was bobbing his head to it and could definitely see driving down the road to this song.” At the end of the presentation, he said “you guys come on out to my open mic at Hefley’s and bring some liveliness to it every Tuesday.”

Everyone loved the performance of our first original “Make it Up as We Go.” Then we ended our set by getting everyone up to their feet with our rendition of “Stuck Like Glue”!

After our performance we got so many compliments, but also got invited to open for an Indie Group called Prairie Cadets. They were so excited and mentioned more than one venue that we could open for them if we had a larger set of originals. So the challenge is on! Write great duet original songs and open for them sometime in the Fall. Stay tuned to see what Urban Dreamz is up to next.

Thanks for being a fan!

Urban Dreamz

29 Apr

In January 2011, I started a new adventure with my music, a duo called “Urban Dreamz.” It all began with a Spectra Energy Rodeo event. For 2 years I shared a cubicle wall with Aurelia Arredondo, who has become a great friend over the years at Spectra Energy.
When the calling came out to sign up for the annual rodeo events at work, she said we should sing a duet for the singing contest. At this point I knew she sang, but I didn’t think she was serious about pursing a music career until we started practicing together.

Urban Dreamz

Our first practice was held in the stairwell of Spectra. We chose the song “Need you Now” by Lady Antebellum and spent a few weeks singing it over and over to prepare for our debut performance. While we worked on the song, we also needed to come up with a name for our duo. That was an interesting few days as we passed ideas back and forth on IM and text messages. After coming up with dozens of names,  we decided to combine our influences. I said I liked Keith Urban and she said she like Alicia Keys. So we tried Urban Keys, but that didn’t fit us. Then she mentioned the song “Sweet Dreams” and the name of our duo came to life, “Urban Dreamz.”

On February 24, 2011, we made our debut at the Spectra Energy Rodeo event. Our coworkers showed their support and went all out making posters with our pictures on it and cheering  us on.  They all knew that I sang from previous rodeo events, but they had never heard Aurelia sing, so they were all excited and said we sounded great together. It was a great show and that’s when we decided we should pursue it further. So we started working on a set list to actually perform out around Houston.

Here is out debut performance:

We have since set up a Facebook fan page at:!/pages/Urban-Dreamz/134418299964877

Come join us us on Facebook to get updates about what to expect from this hot new duo based in the Houston area.