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Featured Artist: Jose Kongo

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

me-in-hat-qW78Jose Kongo is a Portugal based artist who has collaborated with the StudioPros production team on a combination of 13 songs over the past 2 years. The worldly rhythms in his song “Nova Dia” always make me want to move when I’m listening to his track.

Kongo says his song was inspired by the hope of change of his native homeland Africa and the rise of a new day with some developments that have taken place on his last visit home. I can hear the hope and positive energy that has translated through the music of Nova Dia which means “New Day” in English. It always amazes me how music can transform a message universally. Even if you cannot understand the language. Music is a language we all speak.

The combination of the world percussion by our authentic percussionist with the live drums set the foundation for the production. The acoustic guitar drives the song, along with a steady bass line and island inspired keyboard tracks. The live horn section really give the song the additional punch. I really enjoy the feel good vibe of the production and the way the full band instrumentation perfectly supports the mellow and smooth quality of his vocals paired with the perfect combination of supporting backing vocals.

Check out StudioPros production of Nova Dia:

How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

I was in Canada and needed some backing tracks for a concert I was invited to at a Portuguese Cultural Center in Toronto. That’s when I was looking for a place where I could easily and professionally record those tracks.

When I went online to look for a studio I stumbled on StudioPros and after a mail to Kati O’Toole all went smoothly. I was actually amazed by how easy the all process worked, from ordering a project to uploading tracks and throughout the production.

How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?

By the time I contacted with StudioPros I had already released two CDs on my own label (@musing). However, there was a need to make the songs sound more professional. The quality of musicians, producers and sound engineers from StudioPros brought that to my music.

What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?

Right now I’m mainly focused of having as many songs published as possible, or for pitching, although I also do some local concerts where I play live.

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

From the older days I love Neil Young, John Denver and Jose Feliciano . My most recent favorite songwriters are Katie Melua and Michael Kiwanuka. My musical influences are very diverse, making my song writing very ecletic, although I could refer to main influences such as Santana, Otis Reading, Bob Marley, and Richard Bona.  Although I feel that I drink from Mozart and Beethoven as well.

When did you begin songwriting? What instruments do you write with?

I always use guitar to start composing my songs.

I can remember writing the first songs when I was 12. As a kid I always loved music & science. My earliest dream was to become a scientist.  So I  moved to Europe, finished High School, got a Master’s degree in Food Science, and a PhD in Biotechnology and eventually I become a teacher and a researcher at a University.  I kind of left music behind although I continued to be a member of a choir and also played for a while in  garage band. It’s highest point was to play at the famous Portuguese University Music Festival “Queima das Fitas” at the Rivoli Theatre.  I remember that as a High School student I was engaged in many artistic activities: played clarinet  at the school band, studied  classical guitar, singing and music theory at the Conservatory, and had Jazz classes with the famous British  guitarist “Curly” Clayton (Harvey Ormerod).

So music was always a part of my life.

A couple of years ago while I was in Canada working on my research, I saw an amazing concert by the  “Watoto Children Choir”. Those kids were just outpouring energy, and joy through music, in spite of the stories of suffering most of them had. That moment taught me that music may well play a role in helping people.

So I start writing tunes again. I was a finalist at the TV show (“Novas Ondas”) on the Portuguese National TV station (RTP) for which I recorded a video clip and was twice an invited participant to sing in their charity  show called “Natal dos Hospitais” (Christmas at the Hospital) dedicated to patients in the hospital.

In 2006 I wrote the song “Viagens”, which was in the final phase of the contest on the Portuguese Radio and Television in Toronto, where I gave two concerts in 2012.

What was the inspiration and writing process like for Novo Dia?

Although I travel most of time between Europe and Canada, more recently I went back to Africa where I was born. Although there are still many needs there, I saw new developments that made me believe that a new day is rising for Africa, and this inspired me to write the song  “Novo Dia”, which means a new day. After the experience of the quality of the recording with StudioPros I decided to send the tracks recorded in my home studio to them and had the opportunity to give inputs while the tracks were being recorded. At the beginning I was a bit afraid because the song isn’t in the line of what is called “mainstream” sound, but the way it came out shows how professional people in StudioPros are. It worked very well.

Besides music, what else do you enjoy? 

I enjoy soccer, writing poems, photography and traveling.

Do you draw inspiration from your everyday life?

Yes, many of my songs are related to some lived or heard story in real life. The motto “Unity in Diversity” is one of the inspirational life philosophies that I drink from. The diversity in the human family should be seen as a cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord and melodies. I think of music as a ladder for our spirit.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a teacher/researcher at a University.

What is your plan for your final recordings?

I want to write and record as  many songs for publication or pitching. I want my songs to be heard all over the world.

Get Your Songs Produced with StudioPros

To read more about how the StudioPros production team can help you get started with your own project: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

Contact producers Kati O’Toole or Robb Hutzal to get started today: 1-310-928-7776 or email us at info@studiopros.com

 

Featured Artist: Paul Kew

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

PaulKew2Paul Kew is a great example of the StudioPros concept that you can collaborate with our team of professional session musicians from anywhere in the world. Living in Perth, Australia, Kew has collaborated with our production team on a total of 7 full band productions. He has the knack for writing catchy pop/alternative melodies that are fit for the radio airwaves.

Always having a clear idea of the direction he’d like to take his productions, Kew co-produces the tracks with our team giving input each step of the way and making sure that the session musicians follow his original vision with the production. He’s a hands on songwriter with the musical knowledge to communicate his needs. For his latest single “Fallen For You”, he gave specific reference artists such as the pop group One Republic to guide our team in the right direction. The final recording is a combination of live drums, a driving pop electric bass line, acoustic and electric guitars, catchy piano hooks with supporting subtle soaring organ and commercial alternative vocals by the talented MG from our team of session vocalists.

Check out StudioPros final production:

Fallen For You:

How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

I was searching online for recording studios and the StudioPros advertisement kept coming up on Google. I ignored it a few times because I was pretty fixed on getting into a local studio to produce my songs but I finally caved in and had a look at the StudioPros site. I was impressed by what I saw, thought the pricing was very reasonable compared to local studio rates and decided to give it a go.

How was the StudioPros process for you? Was it difficult to work online?

I was skeptical as to how it was going to work at first because I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my songs. The idea of not being in the studio working closely with the producer and musicians didn’t sit that well with me at first. But the first song I did with Studio Pros was a brilliant experience, not only because the song ended up sounding so good but because the process forced me to relinquish some control. I still had the opportunity to influence the outcome at each preview but the musicians and producers came up with such good stuff there was no need for me to micro-manage – which saved me a lot of time and energy. It also helped being on the other side of the world because while Studio Pros worked on my songs, I was asleep. I’d wake up in the morning and a new preview of my song was waiting for me.

How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?

The musicians and producers at StudioPros are a talented bunch. They know how to achieve that radio-ready sound that’s sometimes difficult to achieve. They don’t just replicate exactly what you send them through as a guide track either – they put their own spin on it and suggest alternatives so it’s truly a collaborative process aimed at making the track the best it can be.

How many songs have you produced with StudioPros?

I’ve produced seven songs with Studio Pros over the last few months. Two of them are now signed to publishing deals and a third is being pitched around by a couple of interested parties.

What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?

I’m working hard on improving my song writing and obtaining publishing deals and song placements for my tracks.

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

My favorite songwriters are probably Neil Finn (Crowded House, Finn Brothers) and Bono/The Edge (U2). I’m also a big fan of melodic rock bands like Keane, Snow Patrol and Radiohead.

When did you begin song writing? What instruments do you write with?

I’ve been writing for a number of years, although back when I first started I came up with some truly horrendous stuff. I write on acoustic guitar and piano. I sit down and fool around for a bit and if something starts to happen then it does, and if it doesn’t it then so be it. It’s usually quite a simple process. Once I latch on to an idea then the whole song tends to flow. If I have to work really hard to make a song work then it usually means it’s not very good and I let it go. I think most of my songs come from somewhere in my sub-conscious. I can look back on the lyrics sometimes and figure out what may have led to the song coming out, but usually the inspiration behind them is a bit of a mystery.

Do you draw inspiration from your everyday life?

Not consciously. I don’t see or hear things in my everyday life and feel inspired by them necessarily. Perhaps on a subconscious level I am. Everyday life can be pretty dull at times so I tend to be inspired more by books, movies, music etc. – things that can fire your imagination – and when I sit down to write I just keep my fingers crossed that something good happens.

What is your plan for your final recordings?

I plan to try and get them heard by people in the industry who can help me achieve commercial success as a writer.

 Get your songs produced by StudioPros

If you are interested in getting your songs produced professionally, don’t hesitate to contact producers Kati O’Toole or Robb Hutzal.

Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon!

Featured Artist: Chase Force

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

chaseforce1

Chase Force is an eclectic Norwegian based singer/songwriter with a wide range of  influences from pop, rock, hip hop, indie, to folk. You can hear his influences shining through in his latest production with the Studio Pros team, “United in Scream”. The song is the perfect combination of live instrumentation of saxophone and flute establishing the hook, acoustic guitars, live electric bass and backing vocals with drum programming to give it the dance feel that moves the listener.

“Blow The Beat Down” is Force’s second song that tends to have more of a rock pop edge that features a combination of live instrumentation with rock electric guitar lead and hooks, electric bass, live drums, live trumpet, saxophone, drum programming and synthesizers.

Check out the video of “United in Scream” produced by StudioPros

Check out StudioPros final production:

Blow The Beat Down:

How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

I wanted to get some of the songs I’ve written recorded and wanted a professional sound.

How was the StudioPros process for you?

The process was really great! If I was to hire session musicians myself, I’m pretty sure the process would be much more of a hassle. Thumbs up!

How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?

First of all the session players are really great! They have the ability to play the instruments however you want it.  They will compose harmonies if your songs need it and it will always sound professional. Also, Kati is right there if you’ll need any kind of input throughout the process.

chaseforce2How many songs have you produced with StudioPros?
3

What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?

I have just released ‘United in Scream’ independently, and I’ve written more songs that I’d like to record. Time will tell what’s next…

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

I listen to all kinds of music, so I guess I’m influenced by everything. A few of my favorite songwriters/artists : Michael Jackson, Stromae, Avicii, Stromae, Johnny Cash, Labrinth, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Mando Diao, Jonas Alaska, Mumford & Sons, P-Square, Passenger, Kanye West, Elvis, Freddie Mercury, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Jack Johnson, Major Lazer, Swedish House Mafia, Adele, Bernhoft, Shakira, Beyonce, Fun., Nico&Vinz, Rihanna, U2, Coldplay, John Mayer, A-ha, The Beach Boys, ABBA, Susanne Sundf?r, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Donkeyboy, Daddy Yankee, Q-Tip, James Blake, OutKast, R.I.O, Sam Smith, Kat Dahlia, Imagine Dragons, Jake Bugg, Ylvis, Kaizers Orchestra, OneRepublic, and many more…

When did you begin songwriting?

About 4-5 years ago I started humming some melodies. Sometimes I write with my guitar, sometimes I write without an instrument – it all depends!

What is your inspiration and writing process?

‘United in Scream’: This song was all about a melody which I have had in my head for a few years. I always knew I wanted to have a saxophone in the chorus.

‘Blow The Beat Down’: The song is a fiction story filled with anger. I started out with the vocal melody of the chorus. Then I wrote the rest of the vocal melody and the lyrics. Then I made the saxophone/trumpet riff melody which ended up being at the end of the first chorus. The guitar riff was added by StudioPros (which I love)!

I draw inspiration from my everyday life, and also from anything else. I really enjoy experimenting with the production and arrangement of my songs. No rules – anything that will convey the emotions in my music goes!

To follow Chase Forces musical endeavors and to read more:
http://www.chaseforcemusic.com/

Get Your Songs Produced with StudioPros!

If you are interested in getting your songs produced professionally, don’t hesitate to contact myself: Kati O’Toole, or my co-producer Robb Hutzal.

Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon!

Featured Artist: Philip Jenkins

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

philjenkins

Philip Jenkins is a UK based songwriter with a knack for writing catchy pop lyrics and hooky melodies. Teaming up with StudioPros production team, we collaborated on his recent song “In Pieces”. Jenkins communicated the ideas he had for his production with a well developed demo showcasing his production ideas.

With the help of our talented drum programmer, keyboardist, guitarist, session vocalists and engineer, we re-produced his song from scratch bringing it up to radio ready Broadcast Quality. Since the final production, Jenkins has had success landing a publishing deal for this single. Just what we like to hear!

Check out Studio Pros final production:

In Pieces:

Interview with Philip Jenkins

SP: How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

I first got involved with Studio Pros when I wanted to get my songs recorded and sounding professional.

SP: How was the StudioPros process for you? Was it difficult to work online?

Working on my songs with Studio Pros has been a joy and really easy. The communication with Kati O’Toole my producer has been first class.

SP: What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?

I’m sending my songs out to music publishers and have just had a publishing deal for my latest song‘ In Pieces ‘.

SP: Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

My favorite songwriter is Max Martin who has produced and written for major artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Pink and more.

SP: When did you begin songwriting? What instruments do you write with?

I began writing songs from an early age but have taken it more seriously the past couple of years. I play keyboard.

SP: What was the inspiration and writing process like for your song?

The inspiration for the song ‘In Pieces ‘ comes from a heartbreak in my personal life and it can relate to many people who have had their heart broken. I hope that people can relate to the lyrics of the song as well as enjoying the great melody of the track. The songs I write are taken mostly from my everyday life but I also write songs based on a story I make up in my mind.

SP: Besides music, what else do you enjoy?

Away from music and writing songs I enjoy spending quality time with my two young daughters. They’re my biggest fans of my songs and put a smile on my face when there singing away to my songs in the car.

SP: What is your plan for your final recordings?

I hope to build up a publishing portfolio of my songs and then get them on major artists albums or tv/film placements. That’s the dream anyway!

Get Your Songs Produced with StudioPros!

If you are interested in getting your own songs professionally produced, don’t hesitate to contact myself: Kati O’Toole, or my co-producer Robb Hutzal.

Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon! Happy Songwriting.

 

Featured Songwriter: Charles Stiefel

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Charles PicCharles Stiefel is an aspiring songwriter hailing from North Carolina. Charles clearly had writing influences ranging from current to past songwriters which evidently shined through his first production with us. When we first started working on his material I knew that we would have a great final production on our hands. Charles had a clear vision for how he wanted the song to sound, and with our great team we were able to give his track a solid groove and vintage flavour which makes his track stand out from the pack.

It has truly been a pleasure working with Charles on his first production and look forward to doing many more in the future!

Check out Studio Pros final production:

“Too Bad For You”

Charles sent us a basic demo and we produced his song from scratch using our Full Music Production PackageKelsey on vocals, and a Custom Horn Section.

(more…)

Featured Artist: Crystal Mia Hinds

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

crystaldemopicI’ve just had the pleasure of completing a project with the talented Crystal Hinds. Crystal is a young singer/songwriter based out of rural Lytle, Texas that has been frustrated by a similar problem that a lot of us singer-songwriters encounter. We have the material, we have the vocal chops, we’re missing the band and local resources to get a quality recording.

After having a few conversations with Crystal, she decided to give Studio Pros’ production team a shot on her first single to be produced with us: So Do You. Throughout the process, Studio Pros production team helped transform Crystal’s vision of recording her song step by step with live band instrumentation. She had very distinct references and knew exactly the sound she was going for. She was even able to provide instructions for each musician so we were sure to capture the final recording that she had been waiting for, for so long! (more…)

Featured Artist: Megan Rathwell

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

megheadshotSince the snow is starting to fly in certain parts of the world and winter is upon us, I figured, why not send out a little bit of sunshine your way? We’ve recently finished the production of a really catchy pop/upbeat summer song called “Summer Break”. It seems a bit odd to be writing about a summer song in the dead of winter, but our songwriter Megan Rathwell was thinking ahead by getting her song produced and finished well before the summer season kicks in next year!

Too often, we have people wanting to produce a seasonal song which doesn’t allow for the amount of time it takes to release, promote and get the song digitally distributed in time for when the song is actually appropriate. For that, I give Megan kudos. (This is also why you’ll find me encouraging you to get your Christmas productions started in the off season rather than in the heart of winter). (more…)

Featured Artist: Philip Lindholm

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Philip4Dr. Philip Lindholm is a client we have come to know really well over the years. He has been collaborating with StudioPros since the beginning of our company’s development. If anyone knows how we’ve grown as a production team and what it takes to get your songs recorded online with our team of session musicians, Philip does!

Over the course of the past 6 or so years, Lindholm has collaborated with StudioPros’  on at least 20 projects, ranging from full fledged music productions, custom instrumentation, backing vocals, mixing, mastering and more. He has had success as an independent singer/songwriter having songs licensed for independent movies, as well as releasing recordings independently. Currently, he is the singer/songwriter for the Seattle-based band Whisky N’ Rye. (more…)

Featured Artist: Kimmo Olavi

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

kimmo-olavi-tear-down-the-circus-album-art-3-umAwKimmo Olavi is one of those clients that always manages to brighten my day. I have had such a pleasure helping him collaborate on his recordings now and we’ve developed a great relationship since I first spoke to him last February.

First contacting me on our Free Consultation page, he had described that he is based out of Finland and has never had his songs professionally produced. Mentioning reference pop singer/songwriter artists such as Missy Higgins as inspiration, someone that I’ve actually had the pleasure of touring with personally, my interest was sparked from the start. Soon after, I gave him a call and we began discussing ideas to help him get started with his first production “Tear Down The Circus”. (more…)

Featured Artist: Rachel Savitt

Friday, September 6th, 2013

rachelsavittRachel Savitt is a 22 year old California based singer/songwriter. She sparked my attention from her first time contacting us for a Free Project Consultation at StudioPros. When I first hit play and listened to her guitar/vocal demo, I could hear the unique tone in her vocals and catchy vocal melodies that came through in her recording.

As a producer, I was able to see through the quality of the demo and introduce some production ideas to help Rachel transform her project into a fully produced professional recording. With our team, we produced her first single “Take Me Higher” with full band pop/country instrumentation to take it to the next level for pitching and publishing opportunities.

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