So, my new single, featuring longtime friend and collaborator Jennifer Fouché,
is basically an ode to voting rights: "Could it get colder than it’s been / the past four years of her chagrin? / Or will she finally draw the line / here at the end of summertime..." National Voter Registration Day seems like the perfect time to announce the project. Draw the line, folks. Seriously. #PullUpAndVote
Watch for "The End of Summertime" on October 6.
As we continue to grapple with the realities of creating art in a pandemic, I must first give thanks that I am well and able to share messages of life during this time. I continue to pray for all who are struggling with COVID-19, especially those encumbered by systemic racism, economic injustice, and the health disparities they bring. I hope that my music can in some way heal the heart and inspire positive social change.
This project was especially fun and unusual for several reasons, beginning with the songwriting process. The single contains two versions of "The End of Summertime". One is an electronic jazz-funk mix. The other is a deep house mix. There is no original mix, per se, because I worked on both versions simultaneously. The music bed for the deep house mix came first. However, as I began crafting lyrics for the deep house mix, I started to reminisce on jazz legends like Shirley Horn and, in particular, the Verve Remixed version of "Return to Paradise" and the vintage silkiness of that record. I was concerned that the deep house mix might influence the lead singer's performance too much, rendering it difficult to achieve the relaxed, almost improvisational feel of the vocals I had been referencing. So, I wrote the jazz-funk mix primarily as a listening reference for the lead singer.
No one does vocals like Jennifer Fouché. So, I was ecstatic when she accepted my invitation to sing on the track. The only question was how. We were in separate cities, still observing physical distancing. Needless to say, we had to devise a way to record remotely--a process that took nearly two days but was well worth the extra effort. Jennifer sang to the jazz mix and really nailed the richness and vibe that the project needed.
Finally, I laid the jazz vocal onto the house music bed, and voila. To be continued...