Over the years, I’ve worked with a slew of musicians and producers in more studios than I can remember. I don’t care how talented you are, how creative your vision is, or how much money you have to spend on your project – if you’re working with people who don’t care as much as you do, you will not be satisfied with the final result.
Gio cares about what he does, and it shows. We’ve worked together on several projects at The Record Shop, and I never doubt how great it’s going to turn out. It’s rare to find people who humbly listen to the artist, and interject their ideas without minimizing or discounting the person’s artistry.
My latest project, an EP we’re completing, is no doubt the closest to my heart. The songs are quirky, frank, and by far, the closest glimpse of my insides you’re gonna get without being a mind reader. The only person I’d trust with them was Gio. Not just because I like him as a person (and we both rep Detroit, yep yep), but because I knew he’d “get it”. I don’t believe in genres and I don’t believe that popular music has to be ‘Cookie Cutter’ pop. (Once the EP is released you’ll get why that last sentence is super clever and funny.)
Anyway, we started with me very simply singing the songs with just piano, and I explained the direction I wanted to go in. He instinctively found the perfect players, and wisely knew how to shape the songs to make sense commercially, while keeping the unorthodox sound I wanted.
During one session, before laying down vocals on a pretty dark track, I had this sudden, primal need to scream at the top of my lungs… I guess to put myself in the state of mind I was in when I wrote the song. I went into a little booth by myself and screamed like a maniac – pretty sure everyone in the room thinking I was crazy. Not funny crazy – crazy, crazy.
Well, Gio told me to do it again, skillfully placed it in the intro, and it turned out being the dopest, most perfect way to set up the song. That ability to sense exactly when it’s fitting to leap outside of the box is what has made this project so special and so much fun.
Love & gratitude to The Record Shop & Gio!