We’re already almost through January. Man, time is flying. I just wanted to give everyone an update about what’s been going on recently, what I’m learning and what I’ve been up to! It’s been a second since I’ve taken the time to write and update, so here we go!
In producing world, I’ve been off to a busy start in 2019. This month, I’ve been working on Zac Crook’s new single “Waves,” The Little Strong’s single “We All Need Loving,” and Elijah Johnston’s first studio EP, “Wonderful.” I am so thankful to be able to work with these people I get to call friends. Their music is honest, meaningful, and are going to do some real good out there. I am encouraged as I continue to dig into the art of producing, engineering, and mixing. I feel like with each project, I grow just a little bit more, gaining new insights and experience into the craft. It’s sometimes frustrating because I wish I could apply the things I learn retrospectively, but this just isn’t the case. Always the next one. A good reminder that I keep telling myself is that the road to being able to master a craft is a process, and that all I can really ask of myself is to be teachable, humble, and improving with every project. And the process is also supposed to be fun and wonderful (full of wonder). So, I continue to remind myself to enjoy the ride no matter what. Anyway, Zac’s single has already released on all platforms. You can stream it here! I feel like I was able to hit a new level in the mixing game with this one, and am super proud of it. As far as future projects, God is providing just the right opportunities in just the right time, as he always does. I’ve got some really exciting things lined up over the next few months that I can’t wait to share. Here are some photos from this month!
The album is coming along. Slowly as ever, but surely too. I’ve been really busy producing other projects, so I feel like I haven’t had too much time to continue working on the record. But, I chip away at it most chances I get. Yesterday, I finished a new song that I think will make the record. I’m really excited about this song, as I feel like I’m saying something worthwhile that hasn’t been said in this fashion too much. I am continuing to stick to my mission as an artist and as a person - the share the truth no matter what, and I think this new song “Reasons Why” does that for me. I can’t wait to start digging into this song and its arrangement.
There’s something different about this album I’m making. It just feels different. I think there is just a little more weight to this one than the others for some reason. I am typically a really quick worker. I like to throw things down and not mess with them too much after that. But I find myself really thinking deeply into every detail and every facet of this project. I am considering each word and part. I haven’t struggled too much in the past with releasing music and being afraid that it isn’t me, but for some reason, I’m really struggling with this one. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned is that resistance often proceeds something really important… so I’m just going to stick with that and keep grinding.
Again with the extra credit. This is the section at the end that I like to share some of the things I’m navigating and learning through. Learning is hard. Lessons are hard to learn, but they’re so worth it. Today’s extra credit has a lot to do with the song I wrote this week. The song is called “Reasons Why” and was birthed out of a pretty frustrated place. Sometimes, I get really down about people - our hypocrisy, our weakness, and our inability to do completely good. I am sure to emphasize that I say “our” because I’d consider myself first on the list. But it happens from time to time for me - where I see another person I look up to fail, or I hear of yet another divorce, or I see people being deceived or abused… and it just makes me wonder about all this hope, love and faith stuff. All this God stuff. Like, is He even real? is He even there? How can He be real if Christians look like this, or if the world looks like this? Wake up Stupid! Or is faith one big illusion I live in? Like some weird joke played on the gullible and childlike parts of my spirit? The pain I experience makes me want to throw in the towel and stop trying, cause why even hope or try when I know I’m going to fail, or the world is inevitably going to fall short every time? These are important questions. We shouldn’t be afraid of these conversations. I’ve come to learn that my faith grows deeper as I process these doubts and fears and actually, grace and love grow on the other side. One of my prayers recently is for a pure heart - one that is far from bitterness, envy, or dishonesty. And as I’ve pursued this, I feel like it has forced me to face all the loose ends in my life and in my past, forcing me to forgive them. I think the trick is, to be free to enter these questions, doubts and pains, while remaining hopeful and open to how God wants to move in them. What I’ve observed is that people tend to identify problems without offering solutions, and this just makes them bitter and closed off. I think it’s easy to point out whats wrong with life, with people, and our societies/cultures, but it takes true strength, courage and love, to offer solutions and work through those solutions. And what I was trying to process through the writing of my song “Reasons Why,” is the resolve to continue to have faith, hope and love, no matter what darknesses I experience, and no matter how many illusions of “good things” are shattered in my life. One of the ending lines, I sing, “I’d rather be a fool, than bitter and afraid, I’ll stumble through the gates.” And this, is my current course, to keep my head up, work through the issues around me through a lens of belief, even if it kills me - and not letting brokenness dictate my views. One thing I’m learning for sure - when we are broken, God draws near. He’s really close in those times, and it’s our shattered lives that have the most potential to be used.
Keep your head up, AB