I grew up in the music business.
My father had a music store which gave me the exposure to all expects of the music industry. I started playing the piano at the age of (5) yrs., and a couple of years later I started learning other instruments. When I was (12) yrs., I picked up the guitar and never put it down since. When I started on the piano I learned through the Royal Conservatory, but I ‘really learned’ music from my dad who could also play all kinds of instruments. What I mean by ‘really learned’, is that through the conservatory I gained the tools so to speak of music, but my dad is the one who showed me what to do with it. During my exposure to all genres of music, I was drawn to the jazz style because of its complexity in interweaving of chord patterns and interpretation of melody lines, etc. This type of music inspired me to explore further in regards to the freedom of interpretation without boundaries as opposed to that of classical music which was what I had to learn while playing the piano. There is no doubt that classical music leaves open for the performer to play with passion and expression, but you’re playing within the confines of the written script. It wasn’t till years later that I took those experiences and musical thoughts and started writing my own music.
Link to play: http://www.reverbnation.com/open_graph/song/26386049
Support Artist: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/steveparisien111
As with most of my songs I write,
there’s really no story behind this particular tune. I all of a sudden have a thought and start creating, letting the music take its course. Usually I don’t know how it’s going to end and when I’m finally finished, whatever thoughts of feeling I have of the tune is what leads me to thinking of the title. For some reason, ‘OverLoad’ popped in my head. It was originally written as a total guitar piece as with everything I write, but this time around I thought it would sound cool with horns in it. I got a hold of Wayne Kozak (formally of Powder Blues Band) who I was introduced to in Puerto Vallarta last February through my cousin who lives down there. Needless to say we go down to P.V. every winter because the music scene is absolutely fantastic. Anyway, Wayne listened to the piece and said he’d love to lay down some tracks. I should mention that he’s a sax player and a damn good one at that. He hired a trumpet player (Paul Sparrow of Island Big Band) who did a wonderful job and in fact, I removed my guitar solo break in the original recording and used his trumpet solo instead. I also think it breaks up the tune in not having to hear me on the guitar all the time. It’s about the song, not my playing. I’m happy with the result and at the end, I owe Wayne a couple of margaritas and dinner when I meet up with him in P.V. next year. Lol
Frankly, I have no idea what to expect of this or any of my music.
It’s odd, I write something and think it’s going to do great, only to find out that it did ‘okay’. The next song I write may take only (5) minutes, do a quick recording, clean it up a bit and the next thing you know, it’s a hit song. Go figure. I’m my own worst judge of my music I think. Perhaps the difference here and as mentioned, the collaboration of musicians puts an extra element in this tune and I think that it’s going to do well. It’s already had some very positive feedback on my sites and also critiqued from people in the music industry via MusicXray. It’ll be interesting to see what happens down the road.
I live in Ottawa, Canada which is the nation’s capitol.
The music scene is not bad, but the summer season is fantastic with all the different music festivals going on. As mentioned earlier, in the winter months we head down to Puerto Vallarta which has a fraction of the population of Ottawa but the music scene is amazing. Musicians from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.A. seem to all converge and share their music. It’s cool. This place inspires me to write when I return back to Canada. The result of that is a Latin flavor to my tunes which eventually fades away as the year goes on only to come back when we return the following year from P.V., and the cycle starts again. Neat huh? That shows you I guess how experiences and surroundings affects ones creative thoughts.
My feelings of the music business and industry is mixed.
Over the course of the last couple of years particularly, I found that it’s very ‘cut throat’. I’ve turned down a few exclusive contracts which seemed great initially, only to find out that some of those publishers will basically rob you blind. This gives a bad name to those publishers, producers, etc. that really are looking out for you and them of course, to a long term business arrangement in which everybody benefits. The other thing is how the music itself has changed particularly in the ‘pop’ scene. The emphasis is on beats and a great music video, nothing to do with music substance. I listen to a lot of the music released now that has no passion to it. It’s what I call ‘conveyer belt’ music. I feel for those producers and publishers looking for music with substance and not being influenced by the visual aspect of it. It’s music written for now, make big bucks and get the heck out. In saying all that, there are amazing artists writing and performing trying to make headway in the scene. It’s hard to compete with the mentioned expectations. That’s my feeling anyway.
In my situation I’ve been very fortunate.
I’ve won various music awards through the Akademia out of L.A. and Poze Productions out of Chicago. I’ve earned (5) #1 hit song awards with various radio stations and their affiliates, worldwide. As well, several magazine interviews, the latest just released with Marquix T.V./Magazine http://www.marquix.tv/features/SteveParisien2.html which concerns the success of one of my songs, ‘As Time Passes’ that had won (2) instrumental awards. This by the way is a tune I wrote while down in Puerto Vallarta this past winter.
I think going the single as opposed to the album route is what most people are doing.
These are people that listen in and purchase who I’m referring to. I had co-released an album ‘Shadows of Light’ with Laurel Moore who had written and performed lyrics. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/steveparisien. This album while it did well in recognition (Akademia Award for Best Jazz Album Oct.’14), found that over the course of time, some of the songs is what did well. ‘Another Gray Day’ as an example, twice earned a #1 hit song award with different radio stations worldwide. The song ‘Shadows of Light’ is now a highlight song on a GOA compilation album with WOA Productions out of London, England.
The social media world is a must tool
in order to get anywhere in the music industry or anything else for that matter. With typical social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. offering enhanced exposure packages, you would be losing out if not taken advantage of. People set up social groups (music in this case) on some of these sites in which communication such as experiences, musical ideas, the creation of collaboration, etc. are developed. It’s an amazing way to go and one has to think of the frustration in travelling and phoning which was done not that long ago in trying to get recognized. Gotta love the internet.
To answer this question, I don’t pay attention to current or trendy.
My feeling is that in order to write your best music, you have to write from your heart. It’s what connects with you that bring out the passion in your song. If one wants to go commercial so as to make or try to make big bucks, go for it. But sometimes there’s a line to draw in what you find most satisfying. In many cases, you’ll hear of artists that have made it big in the ‘pop’ or big commercial scene and eventually revert back to what really connects with them. The end result may not show in dollars, but in the satisfaction of writing what they wanted to write in the first place.
My motto has always been, not to be afraid of failure.
Learn from your mistakes and keep going. In the music industry one had better expect that every now and then there will be rejection to your music. It’s going to happen. You can deal with it two ways. Either you let it get to you or except it and keep writing. Learn from these situations and improve on them, it’s that simple.
I think I’ve always lived life on my own terms.
I’ve always been self employed and have set goals and stick to them with determination. I think if one is smart and plan ahead, anything you set your mind to, within reason of course, can be achieved. It’s patience and persistence that I feel is the key element in this.
Wow, this is a tough one. I think and sticking with the whole music thing,
I’d like to have a bit of time with the artist, Sting. This guy is an amazing complex writer of not just the music, but lyrics as well. I like to think my music has a level of complexity to it but I can’t write lyrics to save my life. Heck, I can barely put a sentence together. lol. Sting however writes music that I can certainly relate to because of the musical passages that weave in and out and blend beautifully. The thing is, he also writes the lyrics which in itself, requires an equal amount of thought. I’m not a lyric guy to start off with and usually when people listen to a song, they’re talking about some lyrical line. I on the other hand listen to the instrumental stuff behind it and make a judgement call based on that. Yeah, I’d like to sit down with him and get an idea of his approach to writing. I just thought of something, wouldn’t it be cool if he wanted to write lyrics to one of my songs? Yup, I think I could go for that. lol.
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