Recording, Mixing & Mastering
This record has been in the works since October of 2017 when HA & I first stumbled across the producer "GHXST" on YouTube. Excited about the record we sent the song to GHXST and he was such a fan he offered the full wav track-out. This gave us a new way to open the mix giving it more room for the vocal layers. While making a precise automation I played the song back in halftime and came up with the idea for the second half of the record. Follow @itsonlyha
You know a record is a hit when it doesn't feel quite long enough and it is clearly over the 3 minute mark. It's such a pleasure to write this piece about two of my favorite artists. The Free Nationals dropped a self titled album that is hands down my favorite of the year featuring an "all star" cast (Anderson Paak, Daniel Caesar, SYD, Callum Connor, Kali Uchis, T.I., Callum Connor and many more) and Rae Khalil has been releasing critically acclaimed singles all year. Many of the artist I work with have a relationship with Anderson and the Free Nationals so it was just a matter of time before one of them collaborated with the best band of our generation. In the official lyric video we even get an appearance from Leven Kali & Luvk!! This one supplies smooth bass-lines, talk-box, and a rhythmic drum kit providing the perfect bed for Rae's vocals to put us in a place of bliss. She truly is an ALL STAR and I am looking forward to her future invite into the Hall of Fame.
I first stumbled across bLack PARty in 2019 when a friend showed me the "Dancing" music video. I was immediately intrigued by his unique vocal style & calmness that his music brought me. The visual is equally as powerful as the record itself depicting love as a battle field. The metaphors in this song are nonchalantly delivered making you enjoy them that much more and believing how effortlessly the artist delivers.
As we all know tides are controlled by the moon and within the second phase of the quarantine we've been blessed with the follow up to Leven Kali's debut project "Low Tide". Previously featuring SYD & MXXWLL we are blessed this time with collaborations from Ty Dolla $ign, Smino, Topaz Jones & (once more) SYD from "The Internet". Providing a solid bed from start to finish we are met with the smooth sounds of Leven's band "The Moon" (composed of some of the best musicians Los Angeles has to offer). I've had the pleasure of seeing this band at multiple shows and every time they are so in pocket and show such good chemistry. After every Leven release I find myself more inspired to reach for that next level of production. As a mix engineer my two favorite songs have to be "Rich Girl" & "Day After the Rain" because of the sonic qualities they share. Syd's follow up collaboration "Made 4U" is everything we could have ever ask for delivering the smoothest vocals to accompany Leven over a 90's inspired RnB record with groovy guitars and bass-lines. The next notable feature comes from Ty Dolla $ign on "Perfect is Boring" highlighting the ways everyone seems to praise the imperfection in life and how they can provide the most light and love in a dark grim world (This record also includes a ripping guitar solo). From every release you can tell how much time Leven puts into his craft and how each project is even more special than the next. There is also a special feature sung by Leven's mother on "Vida's Song (Stillness)" who I've had the pleasure of meeting. I want to wish a happy Mothers Day to her and thank her once again for once welcoming me into her home. Shoutout to the whole Palm Studios tribe and every listener out there supporting this amazing artist! Go follow @LevenKali.
Put on your turn signal and hang a left at the next green light to join MXXWLL's funky function featuring John Gives, Rae Khalil & Carrtoons. With a grooving foundation of analog bass (which I can only assume is a Moog Synthesizer) and lo-fi drums this is the perfect track to ride down PCH with one rolled. Givez delivers effortless bars on each verse & perfectly pairs with Khalil's smooth hook highlighting happiness and content about her whereabouts in life. A feel good record for uncertain times is exactly what we need right about now so put on a mask and go take a cruise around town with this on repeat. MXXWLL does his thing keeping us wanting more after the half-timed outro flip almost making us believe we've enter the next track on his non-existent album.
Javan (once "The Savage") is another artist I've been watching progress over the years and I've been able to witness all phases to see each one get better & better. I first met him a few years back working on records for @OGWesWalker and have followed along ever since. This record starts with contrasting sounds of smooth piano & heavily tuned vocals. I love the way the video also matches this formula opening with a keyboard setup overlooking the beautiful city of Los Angeles, CA.
In time of quarantine the only thing we need is songs that encourage us to smoke even more tree. This one with Vinny Virgo and Goldsmith delivers and is steadily becoming a smoking ritual song in our home + a theme song to pour our cereal. Vinny delivers in every bar of this record putting Tampa on and making myself + Michael Pittman very happy.
Right off top we are met with slapping New York style drums & a feeling of standing on top of the planet. Rae comes at us with smooth vocals partly sang & most perfectly rapped. She displays her versatility all throughout this track going back and forth between rapping and singing effortlessly. Every release from Rae gets better & better so be sure to follow her on Spotify so you can be alerted on the latest drops because they are frequent I promise you will get lost in her discography and find yourself bumping Rae Khalil all day & all night. S/O Jared & the whole 310 Sound team for the dopest production I've heard in years and thank for keeping me super inspired every time I hear the next chapter of the Rae Khalil story.