The World Works In Mysterious Ways, Mr. Lowry

There’s something about the way we get through life.  Sometimes we can try our hardest and nothing ever seems to progress.  Maybe we get caught in an endless monotonous loop, standing idle, possibly alone, struggling to throw our feet from under our sheets and work a 9-5 just to get back into that same bed to do it all over again 8 hours later.   It seems too common that people settle for the safest bet, or set goals that are mediocre because fear pushes back anything higher.  We get stuck in a rut, and unfortunately some never leave that rut.  Then when all is said and done, we can’t help but look at others and blame the outside world for where we are.  Fine.  That’s fair once in a while.  Life is a cold hard bitch on occasion and sometimes your boss is just a dick, but also realize that there is way more that we can do to get out of our rut, to go and at least try to improve from the day before.

 

When I was 7  my father told me that I can do whatever I wanted in life.  Now, a 7 year old isn’t thinking about jobs or careers or how the daily stocks are doing, but the funny thing is that we still dream and plan our futures.  The difference is that when we’re that young, our dreams have no limits.  I would have wanted to be an astronaut for all anyone could care because I had no concept of how the world works or what it takes to actually become an astronaut.  At some point that switch gets flipped into a completely different mindset.  Do I still want to become an astronaut?  No, I just always wanted to float around in space and eat freeze-dried ice cream.  We all grow up. It’s a fact of life, but at the same time we lose that innocence of going for what we truly want because we would rather take the steady job that pays the bills, over the risky job that we’ve always wanted.  It doesn’t even have to be a job specifically that you break free from or pursue.  There are plenty of everyday nuisances that may be “grounding” but also don’t allow the space to jump around once in a while and there are many, many goals to set in life.  I’m not advocating quitting your job, breaking up with your significant other, or making irrational decisions as a jumpstart to goal accomplishment but realizing that life-rearrangement isn’t always a negative thing.  It’s a risk and reward system.  Mark knew when he quit his well paying, steady, possibly career job, that it was a risk.  It may not be apparent to many people but being any sort of artist is hard, time-consuming, tedious and not very well paying unless you’re pretty well renowned.  But, sometimes… Just sometimes…  Dreams are worth the risk.  Dreams are worth living off Ramen noodles for a bit.  Dreams are worth the roller coaster of stress and fear.  Dreams are worth waking up every morning, swinging our feet out of bed with a smile on and pursuing a life that you designed.  I always remember that the lowest of the lows make the highest feel that much higher, and it’s something I hold close to me.  If you don’t plant your feet on the ground, grit your teeth, and go for it – How would you ever know if you would have succeeded?  The normally funny-man Jim Carey recently gave a commencement speech at a University in Iowa and summed up all of what I said in one sentence,

“… you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Take that chance.  Break that monotonous loop.  Jump out of bed in the morning and put time into a passion, even if it’s just a little bit over a long period.  You can achieve your dreams.  I’ve always wondered where would we be if all this music was never created?  Not that it matters too much, because I know that it was worth every second.  The world works in mysterious ways, and you’ll never know what your really capable of if you don’t ever take a leap.

As you ponder what that leap entails, there is also business in this post!!

We’ve been off our blog game lately but it’s not out of laziness!  The Kindest Regards Official Music Video has been released and we cannot express how excited we are to finally share it with everyone!  Mike, the video-visionary and major brains behind the project captured the song exactly how it was meant to be and we thank him endlessly for that.  I’m sure you will be seeing more of him in the future!  All the actors, who were all unpaid friends and family also killed it, and obviously we’re expecting them to be in Hollywood within the next few years.  Lastly thank everyone who has listened, watched, liked and shared not only with peers, but with us as well – We love the relationship we have with our fans, you’ve all had a hand in this and we truly thank you.

Now for the last big announcement  –  Name.

Through much deliberation and endless brain wrecking, Mark will no longer be known as “Witty”.  When he first started, the name fit, it was catchy and simple – it put an (accurately) descriptive word to a face and launched everything you see today.  The unfortunate effect of that was that it was an adjective and unless you want to fly through 20 Go(x20)ogle pages to find us, we had to figure out an alternative.  The music has also evolved to where the name may not fit as well as it originally did, so the only question was what to change?  Ultimately, it was decided to drop the “y” and add “Lowry” to create “Witt Lowry”.  The addition stems from the name “Laurence” which is Mark’s middle name, after his Grandfather, and holds a great meaning to him.  If you’d like to learn more about the name change and why, there is a lengthy Facebook post that goes into glorious detail that I’m not even going to attempt to touch!!

Be sure to watch out for another single to be posted in the near future and also… VERY LARGE UPDATES coming for our upcoming album “Dreaming With Our Eyes Open”.  Thanks for reading ya awesome crazies & keep on keepin’ on.

Eyes to the sky,

Dan

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“The Times They Are a-Changin'”

As some of you may know, I have been away from home and music for quite some time now.  I left Connecticut in late August to continue my career in the military, all the while still attempting to find time to produce music, promote our art and work business involving our “Witty & Dan Haynes” venture.  A few days ago I graduated the last of my six schools ranging in locations from Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Washington state plus many points in between. The times have been rough over the months, always attempting to balance education, music, friends, family, and personal needs, and now, about to board my last flight to pick up my car and head home I’m so excited to see what the future has in store.

If anyone asked either Mark or I where we would be between last summer and now, we could have never imagined where this music would take us.  Our mindset, goals, and even who we are as people has radically changed whether we like it or not.  I’m happy to say that we have surpassed our expectations. No, soared past our expectations. Even through the hardship and unable to actually create music together, I think we are finally ready to take this on full force with 100% dedication.  All of this popped into my head recently working on a remix of “Wake Up”, which was originally released almost 18 months ago. 18 months. I have been away from home for 9 months, and holy crap, that really puts everything into perspective. Time will just keep on flying by and neither of us want to waste another second! In the near future we are planning on scheduling a tour, continue our work with DWOEO, and even some special secret squirrel items hopefully to be released in the next few months! Now it’s time to rock out – back to business!

So, obviously, this post isn’t just for me to ramble on about how the time goes by, but to ask some questions to you the fans! We always want to know what our supporters would like to see in all spectrums of not only music but everything involved in what we do! Want merch? If so, what kinds of things would you like to see – hats, tee’s, sweatshirts, bracelets? What songs would you like to hear when we play live? Where did you first hear our music and what song was it? Do you play Xbox Live? If so shoot us your gamer tag and Mark and I will blow some stuff up with y’all! Anything at all, hit us up!!

The main purpose of all of this is to really get in touch with our fans.  Whether directly or indirectly we both want to bring all of you guys and ladies with us on our journey to the top. If you want to contact us, feel free to hit us up on Twitter or Instagram (linked in the “About”), even comment right on here and we’ll do our best to get back to every single person with your questions or feedback!

 

Eyes to the sky,

Dan

 

… Lastly, keep an eye out.

Wake Up (Original Re-Work) - Witty X Dan Haynes

Wake Up (Original Re-Work) – Witty X Dan Haynes

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Dreaming With Our Eyes Open

So after almost two years, Mark and I have played shows, been through highs, lows, wrote beats, lyrics, composed mixtapes and singles.  We figured that we were ready to take on something full force together, a complete project from start to finish.  We really wanted to push our style of a “no-genre” type of duo and really not give ourselves any boundaries when it comes to anything musically.  We always want to keep people surprised when a song comes out, something unexpected but still have our classic flavor and sound.  Dreaming With Our Eyes Open is our answer to that.  It’s an opportunity to start a project from scratch and mold it into our own style.  Mainly we wanted to have a no-boundaries project to push the envelope with what we do all following one rule; Music first.

We decided early on back during the writing of “Kindest Regards” that no matter what we would always stay true to ourselves.  We both agreed that no amount of money could buy our passion, no one can convince us to change our style, and we will grind as long as it takes to pursue perfection.  I feel we’ve stayed true to that, especially working on DWOEO.  At the conception of the project just under a year ago we figured we’d do 5 or 6 original songs to kick out a small EP that could be finished considerably quicker than a full length album, then release it for free with an iTunes/purchase option.  The idea stayed this way until we realized that we would be blocking ourselves from copyright samples and acapellas if we sold any of our music, mainly with a beat currently called “Tourist”, which samples Tourist’s, “Your Girl”.  It had the whole peppy feel, the epic chest bumping, hands in the air volume to it, there is no way to not include it on the album.  So the plan changed; We’d produce a 10-15 song album and solely give it away for free to un-bar us from samples, leaving us to create music the way we wanted to create it.  What purpose would it serve to throw limits on the music we create?  For an extra few pennies in the bank?  No, we’d be breaking our only rule; Music first.

After “Kindest Regards” and now working on DWOEO we’ve had to step back and reflect.  A lot has changed over the years and its escalating quicker and quicker by the day.  There is so much that we are grateful for because not every artist has the same opportunities we have had or even dreamed of.  We are lucky to have thousands of fans spanning the world, fans that can’t wait for new music and will actually come out and see us perform.  We have an ever-growing group of dedicated blogs and channels that promote us – and through them, with your help, we were offered a deal from a major record label last week.  It’s unreal to both of us the magnitude of all of this – the fans, the support, the opportunities.  A few weeks ago we were worried about if our most recent single would buzz enough and now we are grinding to find lawyers and traveling to LA to meet with labels.  The music has gone from just a fun hobby to a job.  Not a dull, boring, necessary job but a truly enjoyable venture that we cannot wait to build.  Through it all we will continue to model and create music that we enjoy so, hopefully, all of you can grow with us and enjoy what we have to give.  We don’t want a record deal; we want opportunity.  We don’t want to change our style; we want to build and evolve in our own way.  In the end we want to follow our dreams the way we see fit.  Through all of this madness and change there is still always one rule.  We will settle for nothing less than perfection.  We will create nothing less than the best we can give.  We will always follow our hearts and our number one rule; Music first.

Eyes to the sky,

Dan

DWOEO

Dinner For Two Lyrics

(Verse1)
You see you’re just a waste of time hidden behind a pretty face
And if I was making you mine how much of my heart are you gunna break
I’m stumbling in in and out of all this love to find my way
I’m sick of you breaking me down now all I’ve found is empty space

And I’m searchin, I’m hurtin, I’m workin
I’m tryna prove to y’all that I’m worth it
I’m here to show you music can be so much deeper then surface
I’m nervous the verses I’m spittin for y’all never sound perfect
I’m learnin that workin a nine to five was never my purpose, I’m certain

How can you tell me that I stand above the rest
That would mean that I’d be standing on the guy you choose next
See I would wait, now it’s too late, you walked away from the best
It’s up to you to wear the weight of that regret like a vest

And It’s hard, I’m stuck here trying to follow up my kindest regards
I’ve been staring at this fuckin blank page for 24 hours
I’m going crazy, or maybe that’s what they made me, or maybe I’m sick of fake
See I was dumb to think that one girl could save, me

I should be saving myself
I can barely afford my rent that got me questioning wealth
My sister’s really really sick that got me questioning health
I wanna save the world, but couldn’t save her from herself, damn

Now she’s laid up in the ICU
That made me realize all the fake shit that I see through
That made me realize all the power in an I love you
We would pray everyday hoping that you came to

We’ve come through, the trenches
I’m set on spreading a message
I’m staring up at the sky and I’m praying for my acension
I’m counting all of my blessings, you’re counting all of your mentions
See focus on what you love not this drug we’re calling attention, that’s real

So who’s fuckin with me

(Hook)
So tell me what I am right now, Now tell me what I’ve got to loose
You try your best at breaking me down
Well you ain’t never been in my shoes, shoes, shoes
I’m tired of being used, used, used
So take me as I am, I don’t what to loose
Cuz you know that if I’m eating
Y’all are eating too, this is dinner for two

(Verse2)
See I’ve been stuck searchin for motivation, probably in all the wrong places
Like girls, girls, girls, and girls, you see I’m searchin in basic
I want someone to build with me, not just someone to take it
I want someone to feel with me, not just someone to fake it

I’m over this fake shit, still worried sick if I’ll make it
Now everybody has a dream, see I’m just willing to chase it
Let’s take a look around your cubicle, see talent that’s wasted
This is your life, it’s your life, so don’t just copy and paste it

Now open your mind but not your legs, give them the mind but not the head
This is your story you decide how it’s gunna finally be read, And these are lyrics that I think about late night in my bed
If I never pursue my passion then I’m already dead

So when they try to break us down, that’s when we stand up
We were the kids who weren’t supposed to win so they can’t stand us
I’m standing on the stage, lights glaring, people staring with their hands up
They told me I could never be the man, and now I am, what?

So who’s fuckin with me

(Hook X2)

DINNERFORTWOART2

-Witty

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And now here we are…

The title track, “Kindest Regards” took both of us by surprise.  The original beat, written in late April, was only two minutes long and we really didn’t know what to do with it.  I wrote the first chords and essentially made the intro to the song in the passengers seat of a car heading to a music festival, and I almost forgot about the beat completely.  Eventually it was developed more and we used it in the first promotional video for the mixtape, but the song you hear today stood as a two minute speck for a long time.  Did we want a chorus?  Should it have more of a hip-hop feel to it?  What should the overall goal of this song be?  We eventually landed on the idea of it would be the title track.  It will close the album out and bring the whole experience of the past year and a half together in just under 5 minutes of sound.  I can actually remember sitting at my desk in my old apartment and wondering how Mark is ever going to rap over this as I’m doodling on my keyboard.  There wasn’t a whole lot of structure to the song, it had awkward pauses, it had a nice sound to it but it definitely was a weird style. Regardless, I believed if anyone could run with it it would be Mark.  Early on most of the versions I gave him he sent back something along the lines of “more epic”.  So I added floor toms, “more epic”, so I added horns, “more epic”, more claps, harder bass, I’m literally looking like the Phantom of the Opera in my room playing my keyboard.  Finally, I think he got the point that the “epicness” wasn’t going to come from my end.  By that point I heard most of what Mark wrote for KR, he was over my apartment with some friends and he looks at me and says “It’s done”.  KR was the last song written, it was the only thing left between us and just recording and releasing the tape.  All of the drop date extensions for beats, lyrics, song order, album covers, just a whole mess of things was all set in stone at that point.  Record. Release.  We were done.

I couldn’t wait to hear it.  There were a few previous times in the writing phase where Mark performed pieces of KR, in cars at parties, in backyards using our iPhones for speakers, up in my home studio, and he’d always stop at a point and explain how he has a few lines here and there that he’s not sure about and how he’s still writing the last bits.  So he says that its done and immediately we gather up to big-speaker palace (my room/studio area) with a few friends that happened to be over.  Just like performing “Goodbye” – Mark really put his all into what was probably a 10-person crowd, this time huddled on beds and various furnishings in my room to sit on.  As the song wrapped up everybody just went nuts.  Absolutely bat-shit nuts.  The tape was done and “Kindest Regards” was the icing on an already sweet cake.

Since I had to venture out to San Antonio and then Little Rock which is where I’m currently dabbling on my keyboard writing this (also watching the Final Four, go UConn!), Mark was left to release the project back in CT.  He sent me the mixtape a night early once everything was mastered and finalized because – yeah, we cut the drop dates that close.  I listened to every song, in order, in a ball on my couch in my apartment in North Little Rock, Arkansas probably smiling like a lunatic.  It was weird listening to something that we worked so long on, at some points it felt like the mixtape was never going to drop, nobody would ever hear this, and all of the sudden I’m hearing the finalized versions of everything.  I had a frog in my throat and pressure behind my eyes the entire time.  Every song had its place, we had a specific order, a specific way we wanted everything to be, tiny tiny details that will most likely would never be heard or noticed.  The intro is actually the beginning of another version of “Goodbye” we wrote (hopefully used for a music video), the darkest track on the tape, while the tape progresses to end with “Kindest Regards” which ends with hope and clarity.  The little blips at the end of the title track is actually morse code spelling out, you guessed it, “Kindest Regards”.  “Rescue” was completed on a hotel bed, “Kindest Regards” was started in the passenger seat of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. “Wake Up” was the first song Mark and I wrote together, the first beat I ever produced and Chris (Trippz) Michaud’s verse in “Go Big or Go Home” was written and recorded months and months before Mark wrote for it.  The girl that Mark wrote about in “Wake Up”, “You” and a little of “Won’t Be Me” is the same girl who is the focus for “Goodbye”, and the girl that “Rescue” was written for, also has a verse in “Kindest Regards”.  There is only one fictional story, “Wasted Away” which is over a beat that our sound engineer produced, which is a new album to old album brother track of “Haunted”. “Look Alive” and “Cyborg Casserole” were recorded early on as singles, only to be released on the album re-recorded with new vocals.  There are EXACTLY 100 bounced versions of various “Kindest Regards” beats on my hard drive (See below).  The people in the voicemail are our friend and video guy, Chris, Marks friend, Matt, Nora from College Of Music, our friend Jill (who is referenced in “Youth”) and myself. Mark recorded the whole album inside of a closet in his room, I produced the bulk of most of my beats in my apartments in Storrs, CT.   All of our outside work, Twitter accounts, sound engineering, videography, management and agency for shows, the single feature artist on the tape, music blogs and YouTube channels and so much more has been provided for free by friends, solely because of the dedication to music.  There is really an unlimited amount of information, a lot of it can’t be written, a lot of it can’t be said or even recounted.  The whole experience of working with an artist like Mark is truly an honor, and I feel that we compliment each other not only in music but also as people. We can’t wait to continue on this journey, especially with all of you that make it all worth while.

 

And now here we are…

 

Working on our new project “Dreaming With Our Eyes Open” within months of releasing “Kindest Regards” and looking back from “Wake Up” to now its incredible how much has changed.  In fact, almost everything has changed, the people, the locations, the experiences, but there is one thing that will always stay constant and that is our dedication to continue producing the best art we are able to provide.  So, cheers – Here’s to the future.

 

Kindest Regards,

Dan

Only a few of the 100 bounces of KR beats.

Only a few of the 100 bounces of KR beats.

Collaboration for "Rescue"

Collaboration for “Rescue”

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Highs, Lows, and an Awesome Lack of Auto-Tuning.

Creating “Kindest Regards” from the first songs, “Piece of Mind 2” and “Wake Up” to the last songs “Rescue” and the title track took what seemed like forever. Mark and I were both college students at Springfield College and the University of Connecticut respectively, working jobs, and following our dreams in music all at once. Music, specifically “Kindest Regards”, engulfed us. We’d spend countless hours and days working not only with the music itself, but everything that comes with it; promotion, personal emails to blogs, preparing for shows, I feel a lot of the time KR took priority to a lot of things that it shouldn’t have but we had our sights set – and not much was going to come in the way. I’d create the shell of a beat, Mark would critique it or give it the thumbs up, I’d clean it up and he would write to it, along with all of the other beats on the tape. We would sit in one of the three apartments that I lived in over the course of the total 15 months it took to complete the mixtape and plan. Sometimes we would just talk about life, what we wanted for our goals as artists, whatever. I think it was that time we spent together that made our styles and talent meld into something we never thought was possible. Tracks like “Goodbye” and “Rescue” were songs that stick out in my mind the most. Two polar opposite songs in almost every aspect, yet they were written at key points in our lives that I feel we couldn’t have accomplished with a satellite rapper/producer mentality or without the friendship we have. Though, regardless of what instrumental Mark goes over, there’s something about his writing and emotion that just takes the cake – but it doesn’t come without a price.

You could say it seemed like the stars aligned for many tracks on the mixtape, some were bright, but on the other hand, some were the darkest days of that year. Mark and his girlfriend at the time just broke up around April and we can safely say it wasn’t a very easy time. I myself have been in some pretty bad break ups before but it really took a toll on Mark. The mixtape was put on hold… The world stopped that Spring. I kept telling him to put his frustrations into music, take all of that emotion and let it out on paper, and I think looking back, that writing was what really brought him back and more driven than ever. Now – When I say the stars aligned, I mean that I was getting super into “Breaking Bad” at the time that all of this was going on. That is where I heard “Goodbye” by Apparat. It was dark, dirty, intense, angry, everything that this break up was, so we went to work. The song was written relatively quickly, I finished the beat up in a few weeks while Mark wrote along the same timeframe. Originally there was never even a last verse, just the glitchy outro and a double chorus. We both felt that it would close out better if Mark wrote a third ending verse instead of a chorus that already doubles itself anyway, and I don’t think we would have nearly the same song today without it. With the amazing writing came a lot of recording pressure on Mark.  He spent almost 18 hours on the mic in the first version, just wrecking his voice and becoming frustrated with the whole song in general.  He felt it needed to be absolutely perfect, no breathing, all screaming emotion, though obviously that’s not how the final turned out.  It was finally re-recorded in less than a quarter of the time, and listening to the last minute of “Goodbye” I don’t think that anyone can complain. Honestly, the first time I heard it I didn’t know whether to clap and jump or just hug Mark.  It was touching the emotion of “Otherside”  and combining a lot of the anger of old Eminem, it was just powerful.  In fact, I remember we we’re at a small party of friends and everyone wanted to hear some songs off of the tape.  Mark performed one or two, but saved “Goodbye” for last.  For five and a half minutes Mark put every ounce of emotion he could into his performance.  The song ended, we looked around, nobody knew what to do but everyones reaction was the same.

“Wow.”

There was even a few people with tears in their eyes, actually, one girl specifically with a lot of tears in her eyes.  It was something we never really expected. We knew there was emotion there and to be honest there’s been a few times where I’ve teared up myself listening to Mark, but to get a room full of people to become that awkward – yet amazing – combination of silent and sobby?  It made us reflect on what we were sitting on, this album, this vision, what our goals were,  and how close we were to completing it.  Besides the title track, I feel that was some of the most emotion that was ever put into a song of ours, and it came from some of the darkest times writing the mixtape.

Lets journey to the flip side – Most of the beats that I wrote for “Kindest Regards” were made in the span of that year with the exception of one.  I wrote “Rescue” the summer of 2011, recorded it acoustically and added my own vocals and instruments to match. Almost two years later I was playing my roommates guitar with a cheap acoustic pickup going into my computer. I recorded a rough version of “Rescue” and figured I’d just mess around with an acoustic beat for fun. I don’t even think I planned on using the recordings for anything serious but Mark heard them and wanted to turn it into a pseudo “love” song. So, here’s my two year old acoustic sob story and here we are going to turn it into a hip-hop love song and I had no clue how we were going to make this work. Mark started writing and I tried polishing the beat the best I could and moved onto the next project. What he came up with was outstanding. It was very different from any of the other songs on the mixtape and showed a completely new dynamic of his musical ability. I, on the other hand couldn’t even listen to the beat anymore. I didn’t like it, I didn’t think it was quality and didn’t think that it was caliber to sit on the tape with the rest of the songs – Keep in mind I did record the guitar through a $10 acoustic pick up (rookie mistake). I tried re-recording the song a few times with proper equipment, had most of the pieces sitting in Ableton, everything was looking pretty well.  Then the stars decided to just go haywire when I receive a call from my job, I need to get on a plane to San Antonio for 9 months with less than a days notice. Things were just not going our way. Especially since we have already pushed the drop date of the tape four times, I didn’t want to be the reason we had to push it a fifth. Luckily, I buckled down and finished “Rescue” in late October, laying on a hotel bed, using pieces of the original beat and the new guitar parts I recorded before I left Connecticut. I actually had to cut a lot out from the guitar parts and replace them with piano since I only had old recordings, or even double up parts (listen to the intro guitar and the verse guitar for instance).  In the end I had enough pieces to combine, mix and match with other instruments and recordings to get a solid beat. “Rescue” was originally written in sorrow back in 2011, only to take its final new peppy journey as the last song completed for “Kindest Regards”. Even through all of the roadblocks and setbacks, I think we are both more happy with the outcome.

– P.S. / Fun Fact: The first recording I heard of “Rescue” was 100% auto tuned, T-Pain style.  Be thankful that doesn’t exist on earth anymore.

Kindest Regards,

Dan

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“Wake Up” and smell the coffee

If “Wake Up” was produced today I’m sure it wouldn’t sound remotely the same. It was truly the first beat I produced that was actually finished from beginning to end and listening now its almost alien to me. It’s almost funny how little I actually knew about producing but at that time it was enough. There was no mastering, the percussion was almost completely dry, but Mark took it and ran. We released “Wake Up” as a single January 2013 not really expecting much.  A little time went by, a few friends heard it and shared it on Facebook, it was cool getting a few hundred views on YouTube.  Then almost overnight it took off.  We we’re ecstatic, our friends at College-of-Music.com were going to be posting it which brought thousands of views, other blogs and YouTube channels were getting on board.  There was jumping, hugging, it felt great to create something that people actually wanted to listen to.  More and more blogs posted it, more and more channels, more and more Facebook likes – It was incredible.  “Wake Up” may not have been the cleanest or best projects of ours, but it was the first to get our hearts bumping, and the first to show ourselves that we may have a chance.  It gave us confidence to push forward, even harder, in a direction I don’t think either of us expected.  We realized early on that Mark could actually be a soft emotional story teller as opposed to the off the chain line layer that he was more accustomed to.  In both areas he definitely excelled, creating some music that could rival the best, no matter if it was a Bruno Mars serenade or and Eminem “Kim” rant, but the most passion came through his life stories. We started to receive messages that “Wake Up” had helped or touched them in some way, maybe it was because they were going through the same struggles Mark was or just a hard time in their life.  Thats when it became more than just creating music, we really did wake up.  We had a new passion, to not only make music but help our listeners, just as all of you have helped us.  Whether its though a Facebook message, or a little Twitter reach out, we are very humbled that sometimes the music has the ability to do more than just be music.  We may not have the largest fan base but we darn sure have some of the best and well hearted people that follow us, and that is way more meaningful.  Really just the fact that you are reading this is wicked and mind-blowing to me.  The fact that “Wake Up” was spread the way it was is mind-blowing, the way that everyone has supported us, many from the beginning, is mind-blowing.  So, high-five and hugs for everyone!  You woke up our passion, and we couldn’t be more grateful…  Especially through the missed drop dates, the broken promises of new music, and the incredible amount of time it took to work through “Kindest Regards”.

“Wake Up” was obviously just the beginning – We haven’t even gotten started.

Kindest Regards,

Dan

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Let’s start from the beginning.

     Mark Richard Jr. was just a kid from my high school.  We had a few classes together, I think gym or science, a “hey” here, a “what’s up” there – but for the most part we were only acquaintances for those four years of our lives.  It wasn’t until some time later that we realized we both had a deep passion for music, ultimately creating something that we never could have imagined.  I remember the day – not so much the date – but the exact moments that we just happened to cross paths again some years later.
     It was January, 2012, I was DJing my sophomore year of college as a hobby, listening to any music I could get my hands almost to solely clog my iTunes library with songs I’ll probably never listen to.  I hear through friends that a kid from ol’ South Windsor High School came out with a new rap mixtape, and even has some shows lined up in the local area.  I imagined a scrawny white kid, quickly rapping over some low quality rip of Wiz Khalifa’s “Real Estate” (I later found out this actually happened, good luck finding it!), loaded with all of the corniness and lame metaphors many of the other bigger rappers of recent years played out.  So, I downloaded the album “Headphone Hero” for kicks, hell, maybe it’ll just be something to talk about the next time I see someone from home.  I plugged in my iPod to my little shower speakers and listened to the mixtape from beginning to end – my previous assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong.  I started thinking that maybe this guy had some talent, maybe he actually had some drive to stick with music because he actually had some passion for it.  I strolled over to my computer and opened up Facebook – and just by chance there was a message from Mark Richard Jr., and he needed a DJ for his next show.
     At the time I wasn’t really producing music, I always dabbled with recording acoustic guitar in Logic, a little singing and songwriting since I was young, but I was still interested in it nonetheless.  I actually was taking an intro course in college for electronic music which, along with Mark, kickstarted it all.  When Mark first came and asked me to be his DJ I had no idea what it entailed, I was used to working alone, playing at parties with my own equipment, and a completely different genre.  Needless to say it didn’t involve much, really just pressing play, so we both toyed at the fact that I could start making beats, too.  I figured why not, maybe a few here a few there, no harm in trying!  I downloaded some samples off the internet, bought Ableton Live, a few virtual instruments, and got to work.  Unfortunately everything has a learning curve so the first few projects weren’t very impressive, so I figured maybe I wasn’t cut out for production.  The turning point came when I was at Mark’s condo after a show, going through beats and samples seeing if anything stuck.  I’d play a sample, he’d nod, sample, nod, until it almost looked like we weren’t going to get anywhere and his ears perked up and he said “That’s it, dude!” I agreed, “Aquatic steel drums it is.”
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    Every week I’m going to try to get on here and post a little about our experiences with “Kindest Regards”.  Some may be song specific, some may have to do with something funny or interesting that happened during our time creating the mixtape – Just a little inside look from my personal perspective on something that usually doesn’t get too much light.  We’re here to interact with you, feel free to slam some comments, good or bad, and both Mark and I will do our best to reply to all of your questions, concerns or, best case scenario, any pictures of cats.  I wish everyone a very happy Friday, a solid weekend, and a safe St. Patricks Day, I’m off to celebrate my awesome Pi day birthday!
     Keep on Keepin’ on.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gql9220Qon8
Kindest Regards,
  Dan
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What we’re all about…

  Hello everyone, my name is Dan Haynes.  If you don’t know who I am, I’m sure you’ll find out very soon by reading this here fandangled WordPress.  Mark (Witty) and I have always wanted the same thing out of music.  We wanted to break boundaries, not only musically but also the artist to fan boundary – Music should not only be heard but seen, too.  In this case, it’s going to be mostly words, pictures, whatever comes into our brains!  For the most part we see music as a shroud of secrecy, rappers and producers hidden in a studio, with no interaction between those creators and the listeners.  We wanted to change that.  We want to show an inside look at the past year and a half from our perspective, the problems we faced, the hardships and the most exciting feats and triumphs through the time we were creating Kindest Regards, and even our future projects.  This will be a straightforward place to throw posts about specific times, songs, places, and things that we created or experienced while pursuing our passion.  It is by no means a professional writing gig, theres no editors or supervisors, just the two of us writing candidly about our experiences as artists. We both truly hope you enjoy reading about what we have to share.

Kindest Regards,

Dan

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