How to album | I had to start somewhere

Short version:

I used to write four lines each day. 

I still do, but I used to too.

80% of what I wrote was left on the cutting room floor. I refined the remaining 20% into songs that are in my album. 

Thank you. The end.

Long version

This is my first album. I’ve never done something like this before. 

However, what I’ve done has given me gifts that will last me for a lifetime. I understand myself better. I am able to accept and love myself better. It am able to observe and obsess. The rhythm of each day has changed and brought in a melody that uplifts me in ways I never thought possible. 

It has made me pay attention to other human beings a lot more than ever before. It has helped me pull my head out of my ass and have the deepest possible appreciation and love for humanity. 

It has made me feel awe and admiration for the grandeur of all forms of art. 

It has helped me mentally hi-five artists, living and dead for the subtle nuances and light touches they’ve added to their work. As makers, what they did has transformed my experience as a beholder. 

Previously, I used to appreciate artistic output for how it made me think and feel. Discussing what artists created gave me a things to talk with people. It elevated conversations, transcending the banal and moved us towards how art helps us tap into the intangible awesomeness that exists in our lives.   

Now, I admire and appreciate another dimension of art. I value the inputs, the process, the struggle and the measured and intentional journey that a mere seed, implanted in the mind of an artist, blossoms into. 

Now, my thoughts when I experience art that arrests my attention is to want to be with the artist as they embark on the journey. 

I want to see the words that Lin Manuel scratched out of his songs, letting something he loved so deeply fall onto the cutting room floor while he wrote Hamilton. 

I want to observe how Frida Kahlo’s brushstrokes went awry before she brought them back to a space where she felt comfortable sharing her art. 

I want to know how many shitty first drafts Anne Lamott worked through before writing her chapter on “shitty first drafts” in her book, Bird by Bird.

I want to understand how Plato came up with the allegory of the cave, and what other analogies he had come up with that he let go of in service of beauty, brevity and recall. 

I want to peek inside the mind of Henry David Thoreau, when he realized that he no longer wanted to spend his life in quiet desperation, and wrote his way out by the shores of Walden pond. 

I want to see my heroes fail. 

I want to see them fall, only to rise again much stronger, kinder and smarter than before for having learnt to do better. I admire them because they didn’t give up. It is only because they didn’t give up, that so much beauty exists in the world. Their work, which I consider gifts, gave me permission to create and to share my work.      

The next set of posts in “How to album” consists of the approach I followed to go from zero to one. I’m doing this for two reasons. 

The first is that it will help you, in case you ever wondered how someone went about from thinking of writing the first line of the first track of an album to getting something released on streaming platforms. 

The second is that it will help me, in case I ever forgot how I went about from thinking of writing the first line of the first track of my album to getting something released on streaming platforms.   

This is intended to provide information (this worked for me, might work for you). 

This is not intended as a prescription (you MUST do it this way). 

Choose to do what you will. There is no wrong way to make art. 

Do it at your pace. In your time. With your heart. With your soul. Listen. Wait to be surprised. 

No matter the outcome, when you know that the time you’ve spent on your art has enriched your day, you’re onto something beautiful. You have won.

Keep at it. This is the best way. 

And whoever you are, I’m cheering you on. Your name will light me up, before it is up in lights. 

Making my first album has got me in touch with some talented people who have been kind enough to give their best to help me bring this to fruition. 

Without them, this album would be nothing. 

The “How to album” posts are all about how I got to work with them. 

I will share how Vlad Tavaniuk (music producer – TAVAmusic), Max Reve (recording sound engineer), Chris Jones (mixing and mastering sound engineer – Peak Studios DE) and Reuben Bhattacharya (artist, responsible for album artwork – Visual Amnesia) helped me and guided me with their expertise, their kindness and their patience to turn this album into its best possible version.

Together, they are responsible for all that goodness that you get to experience in the album. 

On the other hand, the responsibility for your experience of anything discordant, off-putting or annoying from the album solely rests with me.