My Introduction into Music (1995-2012)
I have been around music for my entire life. My father was a drummer, my uncle played guitar and sang, my grandmother sang in church, and my earliest memories revolve around music. Music was instilled into me at a very early age. I remember listening to a Van Halen cassette on my Toy Story karaoke machine when I was 2, and my home movies from my childhood depict me banging on pots and pans along to music, or strumming an air guitar. I would bang around on my dad's drum kit when I was younger, but I think I truly fell in love with music when I turned 9 years old. I used all of my birthday money to by myself a B.C. Rich Mockingbird guitar and I practiced every day until my fingers would literally bleed and callous. I continued playing guitar and when I was 14 I decided I wanted to learn how to play piano and keys. I got a cheap Casio keyboard for Christmas and learned some basic songs and right away I was hooked. Now this is where music became an obsession, when I was 16 years old I joined a local metal band as a singer. I had never really sang before, but I had a high voice and that was all the rage back then, so they gave me a shot. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. We recorded a few records and then it hit me. I realized we were several 17 year old kids dumping all of our money into demos and I knew that had an expiration date. I downloaded a cheap DAW, got a really old interface, and started making demos. They were awful at first. I mean, really awful. But like everything, as time went by I got better, and I fell in love with the process of making records. Once I graduated high school I got married to my wife, Miranda, and we moved to South Florida. Bye bye band days.
What Came Next? (2013-2016)
I still loved making music so even when the band was done, I kept making demos on my own. I would go to my classes all day, work a full time job in the evening, then come home and make songs all night. I started out making metal demos, similar to what I was writing in my band days (rip Nightmares Never Sleep). I started experimenting with making electronic music and that interested me a ton. I was fascinated by how synthesis and sound design worked. Then came the big shift, I wanted to make pop music. I met Grayson Gibson one night at Barnes and Noble. He just started working there and I was training him and through our first shift together we could not stop talking about music. He told me he wanted to make music, and wouldn't you know that he wanted to make pop records. I offered to record him for free. We recorded his first two songs Teenagers and Feelin' and they actually came out alright! I also made a record for myself called Focus. I used these 3 tracks to be my portfolio for pop music. I was frustrated that there weren't any online resources for pop producers or writers. I figured that pop was just seen as the massive "top 40s" style pop and the only producers were the big 10 that basically make every record on the radio. So one night I made a Facebook group dedicated to pop producers and songwriters. It grew so quickly and people started flocking in. Producers, writers, artists, a&rs, and the occasional funny troll or two. It was growing quickly, and I was growing quickly as a pop producer, but I still knew I had to take a giant step.
The Big Jump (2016-NOW)
I knew I wanted to pursue music full time by the start of 2016. I knew that I could make it. At the beginning of 2016 I only had a few portfolio pieces and a couple of paying clients, but I was ready to risk it. In March of 2016 I launched a sample pack to make some extra income. A peer of mine was a member of the Facebook group and saw my constant posts about my productions, my samples, and my wish to go full time. He reached out to me with some advice on creating a sample store, going full time, making the transition, and marketing myself. My wife was also dead set on me pursing my dreams and helped give me a final push to really give it a fair shot. On April 20th, 2016, I did it. I worked my last shift at Barnes and Noble and I went full-time. I had an amazing first month and it was just the push I needed to know I made the right direction. A month or two went by and my peer reached out to me again. He had an idea to turn my unbranded, random Facebook group into something huge. Make Pop Music was born. We combined forces and really buckled down on the group. It is up to over 27,000 members in our group, and 97,000+ subscribers on the YouTube channel now and it is honestly one of the craziest things I've ever seen. Since then, my associate has left Make Pop Music, but my wife and I run the group, YouTube, and company. We are consistently growing as a brand and a community daily. Over the past 5 years I have been making records for countless artists every single day, working on the community I have fostered, and growing as a producer, an entrepreneur, and a person. I have worked with over 500 artists and companies, amassed millions of plays on Spotify and YouTube, and landed on iTunes charts. While I am very grateful for all that has happened so far, I am still hungry for me. I want to work with more artists. I want to help more people. I want to change the underground and independent music scene as a whole. I am still learning and growing and getting better every single day, but I am so grateful that I can call my true passion my full-time job. Nothing feels better than collaborating with an artist to make their visions a reality. Nothing feels better than seeing an artist I work with score a big win like landing a major Spotify Playlist, or hitting a million streams, or selling out a venue with 5,000 people. I am so happy to be a part of their team and grow with them, and I am truly blessed to be able to wake up every day and make music I love, with people I love.