THE BALLOON GUIDE (EXTENDED VERSION)
LEARN ABOUT THE PROJECT.
THE FOUNDATION I moved to New York City reluctantly in February 2012 after going through a tough time in Philly. However, living in the City is truly inspiring. Embracing my environment, I began going out to shows, meeting other artists with similar interest, writing new music and poetry, studying different cultures and ideas, and learning everything I could about the music industry. Over the last two years, I fell in love with my art again. And, I thank all of you for being apart of my personal growth.
THE IDEA I came up with the concept of "The Balloon Guide" during this time of self discovery. (The Balloon being a metaphor for my rejuvenated spirit because I felt on the rise and filled with positivity.)
The first sessions began with me traveling from my apartment in the Bronx to meet with different producers in Brooklyn. I decided I want to write the soundtrack for my train ride through the Island of Manhattan, with each song representing a different, subway stop, neighborhood, and vibe.
***For example, the saxophone latened "Melly’s Walls" is a smooth ode to Harlem’s Jazz roots; "Crème Soda" embraces the electro-pop/ house culture of the West Village club scene; and the synth-heavy "Roads" is the story of a traveler featuring audio samples recorded at Penn Station.
THE PROCESS Meeting George "Cyl0n" Casseus was the icing on the cake. The ambitious Audio Engineer and music lover influenced the project with a strong focus on quality and content. After months of writing and preparing tracks, we began recording "The Balloon Guide" at Phase One Studios in Midtown Manhattan in May of 2013.
The sessions were new and exciting and filled with creativity. We built something special during those sessions and I will forever be thankful to my friends and artistic soul mates who contributed to the process: Watermelon, Kuf Knotz, Drusef, K.Renee, LongArms, Kwame Darko, Aaron Pfeiffer, Jack Wilson, Rose Hart, B-Tips, Brielle Lelani, Margot B, and the many other artists and friends who have reminded me to keep moving forward and enjoy this journey.
THE ART Most notably, the album art that was created by my friend and NYC acclaimed artist, Borbay. The man who, Timeout Magazine called the "Most Creative New Yorker", sat down with me over beers in the East Village and we came to an agreement of services - He would create an amazing painting for my Album Cover and I would write and record a song for his beautiful new baby daughter, Coraline. The highlight came when Complex magazine recently featured the collaboration: http://bit.ly/LsxT9d
THE RELEASE We released the first single, "Al Roka" on Tuesday, Dec. 10th to great press coverage and gained over 10k views on Youtube in the first week. Shot in Brooklyn against a green screen at Starr Street Studios, the video came together amazingly with the direction of Glass Canon Films. The full album was released on Tuesday, Feb. 11th for FREE digital download with a special "abridged" version available thru iTunes. The album includes 15 tracks, at a running time of 59 minutes and 26 seconds. I'm so proud of this work and how it came to be. I'm super proud of this album, and so thankful for everyone who participated in it's creation! I hope people enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed creating it. #balloonUP