“One of the best songwriters I’ve heard in nearly 15 years.” - Timbaland. Worked tremendously with Polow Da Don and his artists including hit songwriter Keri Hilson. Fresh. Timeless. Current . Hit.
“One of the best songwriters I’ve heard in nearly 15 years.” - Timbaland.
“One of the best vocalists in the industry.” - Toby Gad
A unique songwriter & powerhouse vocalist specializing in timeless hit sounds. From power ballads to pop hooks and rap hooks and verses to country melodies and lyrics. Self taught Songwriter & Pianist & Producer. Beat Battle Panelist & Music conference panelist.
Invited guest speaker & Freelance professor teaching songwriting & the music industry at UCLA Herb Alpert School Of Music
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Interview with THE RACOON KID
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: A 14 song acoustic album I had written over time but had recorded in two days at world rebounded Studio at The Palms, Studio X in Las Vegas, Nevada titled The Opus Unplugged. It was recorded by Thee Jason Patterson, Mixed by the legendary Rafa Sardina & Mastered In Analog by Bob Lanzer. It was a body of material that was dying to be recorded and the accomplishment alone was what I was most proud of.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Various pieces of music at once. Momentum is important.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. They both have the abilities to make incredible music however, nothing comes close to either one if the song isnt right.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will treat your work the same I would for my own personal album.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It heals people.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Only songwriters and producers with major labels or publishers are the best ones to work with. My career has been one of personal choices. I have been offered many publishing deals even when I signed my artist deal, I managed to keep the beauty of the term independent. Setting your own rules can hurt you, if you do them right they can also be the best choice of your career.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: No questions. Only to make sure you're sure of what you're sending out to have worked on. Even if it's just an idea, make sure the simplest thing is solid because you should never underestimate the ability of the person you are hiring. Your greatness will give them the chance to return something incredible.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If your work is prepared for me, I will be prepared for you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Four Steinway & Sons Grand Pianos. Model M, Model B, Model D, Model K52 & One Telefunken Elam 251.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: All around self taught Singer, Songwriter & Pianist. My ear as a producer came over logging thousands of studio hours. Initially, Singing at 2. Self taught pianist at 4. Songwriting at age 8. Having been in the music industry for 20 years I have kept the sound fresh, current, young with a sense of timelessness. This today, is hard to come by. Not a selling point, just an observation.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Unique. Pop. Cool. Timeless. Fresh. Dirty. Clean. International. Domestic & Dope.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Fresh, clean, talented, honest, smart & well spoken. I like writing for sophisticated and fresh people. Whether it be a major label, international or independent. It's got to be properly packaged and branded along with the musical talent because most of the time it's more about the entire person than solely based off of their art.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Here is an extremely important one that I will gift to you. If you are a producer or making a beat, even simple piano and guitar 4 to 5 chord progression, make sure to have your music properly structured for the songwriter so there does not have to be any edits to the music itself. This is a common mishap that producers don't understand. Creating something for the writer to write one. The common knowledge of structure.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, Hip Hop, Country, Rap, Piano, Guitar, Beats.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Songwriting, Lyrics, Melodies, Editing Melodies, Editing Lyrics, Listening, Feedback on a beat, Feedback on Songwriting, Vocals, Lead Vocal Arrangements, Background Vocal Arrangements, Hooks, Vocal Production, Music Industry Education. Currently writing a memoir, a supplemental text book titled [The Art On How To Try; In The Entire Industry.]. If you'd like to book me for Music Industry Advice, you're welcome to ask.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Writing over a simple piano or guitar progression to top lining over a well produced beat that is properly structured, edited & if not professional at least a workable mixed. I have the utmost respect for voice notes. I would send the grandest of ideas to some of the biggest producers in the world because sometimes working with a raw sound gives the chance to hear the potential and there is no price on that.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Steinway & Sons Grand Piano, Yamaha S90 Studio & Touring Keyboard, Mic.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: The music I was surrounded by as a child gave me the chance to create strong catchy melodies. From religious songs to middle eastern instrumentation, today, these sounds became some of the most sampled pieces of music in the world. Listing artists will only share my taste but not my sound. Nina Simone, Fats Domino, Billy Joel, Queen, Sting, Seal, Sade, RIhanna, Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Missy Elliot, Bill Withers, Eric Clapton, My Mother, A.R. Rahman,
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: [Truthfully, I don't dig interviews or questionnaires, however, I hope this brings you a glimpse of who I am and what I do.] Strong melodies are the core of every song even if it's in a synth. Vocalists such as myself who is also a pianist, producer and co-producer, have a super special way of approaching a song. Whether it stems from the piano or top line over a beat every single inch of the song matters even the placement of the background vocals, which in my personal opinion constitutes as two songs blending into one. Conversationalist. Storytelling happens to be one of the greatest catapults to an incredible lyric. Although some people may argue the melody is the most important, the lyrics should never suffer. As a masterful editor, I pride my super unique ability to fit the lyric and melody into one special sound without it ever having to sound forced.