Music Empire

Souls of the musical dead will rise


This is the first song that I wrote and produced on my own.

The organ was the basis for the song, but then I wanted to record the soundscape of outside my house at night and blend it in with the music. I found an electronic drum and played a beat on my keyboard that I liked to play on repeat with the organ.

I played around with bell sounds on the keyboard a lot writing various parts. I wanted the song to evolve, but from the perspective of what was happening on top of the track, not the drum beat and organ backing the track. So I kept writing various parts on the keyboard with different bell sounds on the track.

The main lead part switches from one bell sound to another midway through the song. At the end of the song, a magical star shower sound is created with another bell sound and running my hand down the keys of the keyboard. I developed an ethic very early on to make everything sound organic, so I played each part in one take as perfectly as I could. That’s something I would continue to do in future songs.

That ethos of making things sound organic made recording vocals very challenging for me. I had lots of noise from my family at home, so I had to ask for privacy. I was constantly scratching out lyrics and rewriting things if for any reason, then it was because what I was singing didn’t fit the beat. I was glad with the outcome, and I learned a lot with the process.

My grandpa loved this song a lot. When I showed it to him he said it reminded him of a white tiger roaming around the forest at night, as if the lyrics were written about this tiger.

Since then I’ve basically decided that this is what the song is all about. And I keep this song in tribute to my grandpa. Love you grandpa.

Around the Corner (Happyness)

This is probably the best song I’ve wrote and the one I worked the hardest on.

My dad brought home an electric-acoustic guitar, and oddly it was a Fender. I was obsessed with how it sounded with its stock strings and decided I had to write a song with it. I had an electric-acoustic Takamine nylon guitar, so in my head I visualized using both of them together in the song.

The drums and guitar came first. I think this was my first time trying Logic’s drummer, and if I remember they only recently released the feature at the time. I was so determined to record this guitar track, after a few hours of working I had the drum track I wanted, and I had a rough idea of the guitar. I kept practicing the recording of the guitar and managed to get a final take of the track.

The magic that happened with this track came with working with the rest of the song in bits and pieces. I tried out a bunch of synth sounds at various places in the track, and one rotating synth just worked in the first chorus. I also needed a lead-in to the song and the Fender wasn’t sounding right, so I tried the Takamine by arpeggiating the main chords for an intro and it worked. Again, the Takamine came in handy during the bridge when I played sparse notes with a delay, it added the perfect ambiance. I also found some loops in the Apple library that when cut and placed at the right place added the perfect kick to the song.

My sister heard the instrumental for this song as I was composing it from the living room. She came in and basically took over. She liked the track so much, she started writing to it right away and was telling me to cue it back to parts so she could hear them again and think of what to put down.

That’s pretty much how this song came to life, save the mixing and mastering process, which was quite a lot of experimenting.

Hopefully you enjoy listening to this. It haunts my memory pleasantly, and I hope it’ll be a good haunting for you.

Rockabye Baby

This song is dedicated to my nephew. I took care of him a lot as a baby and I always wanted to write a lullaby, so this was my chance to do that, and to show my nephew how much I care about him.

As I remember, this took 6 months to complete, and it was a struggle because initially I didn’t know what I was doing at all. It didn’t actually occur to me that this song could be a lullaby until I meditated on the synth chords and I felt it going in that direction.

The drums came first and I played them using MIDI and with an MPC 1000 as a drum controller. I played the drums with my fingers and I got the natural feel I wanted, and I focused on finding a synth part to work together with it. This is where things got messy. I tried things and thought they worked, but they didn’t, and I decided to throw away everything and start again. Rinse and repeat.

Eventually I found a synth pad part I really liked, and I stuck with it, and it made me feel like writing a lullaby. I recorded the guitar plucks to add some character to the track, and then I felt like the song needed something bombastic. I searched a lot and found a heavy bass sound and tried it out. The song had its form, it just needed something special, so I added a sample from Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64 and EQ’d it to blend it into the track.

This all sounds like it happened linearly, but it was very scatterbrained. It took me a while to write the lyrics and get the tune down and sing it to my satisfaction on the track. Mixing the song was also a task, but I just tried to trust my ear and pay no matter to anything else.

My nephew loves NASA and outer space things, which is why the video has footage of rockets and outer space. The other video footage is just supposed to bring up lullaby-like feelings. I hope you enjoy it!



Jamie Woon.

I’ve been obsessed with this guy’s music ever since I played a modest show at a local library, where after my set, my friend’s older brother told me chords I was strumming reminded him of “Spirals” by Jamie Woon.

I was offended; why the hell would I want to hear that chords I thought were original to me and my personality were already out there elsewhere? Especially coming fresh off a stage where I was experiencing all kinds of emotions in front of people.

But if there’s an element about me that shines through, it’s that I have respect for others when they have things they want to share with me, and I have an undying curiosity that will get me to go home and look for “Spirals” on YouTube.

And what I heard was beyond unreal- probably ‘the’ song I would want playing if there were a beautiful, sophisticated lady in the room with me, lit by those black standing lamps with the semi-spheres diffusing light upwards, her in a black dress, glasses of red wine in hand, on a black leather couch next to one another, staring into each other’s eyes and getting ready for that magical kiss that turns into passion, yeah..

That’s this song right here.

Click on the words ‘this song’ and go right into that vision.

It didn’t end with Spirals though.

I heard a style that was so polished and well-articulated, yet at the same time, I had to think Jamie had a knack for experimenting just given by his choice of chords and how he accented his percussion while strumming and playing licks.

I picked right up on that vibe- I checked out related YouTube links, including this one for “Spirits”.

He did it again- this time turning his voice, mouth, and larynx into his instruments through a looper and echoes, reverbs, and delays. I was blown away by his technique and yet again by his style, leaving the video feeling inspired and like my spirit could fly free and towards its calling.

Somehow this small adventure into a new artist’s territory turned into listening to all of Mirrorwriting, and finding songs unpublished on the album by him on the net.

This is definitely a musician I would be looking forward to working with, when I manage to get to that level of recognition, given I can compose and evolve my sound to that point.

Clearly, this post isn’t here for nothing- if you’ve read it then you have more than enough incentive to retrace these steps and listen to Jamie Woon.