Wednesday, April 4, 2012

American People

I'm going to be doing more interviews for a political documentary...
Its a bit small to read but if you want to check out more info go to:

Shoot with Shane

Hey peeps! Here are some shots from my shoot with Shane Russeck...Special thanks to the team...Sam Russell(Stylist),Carolina Eastwood(Makeup),Viviane Linica Jacinto(Hair)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dub FX & Stamina MC 'Only Human'

 Stamina MC is a buddy of ours from way back. He needs no introduction if you are in the DnB scene but also had some mainstream success along with DJ Marky and XRS with their hit 'LK' back in the day. We caught up with him to talk about his sleeper hit 'Only Human' which is all the rage at Link to the video below. You've got to check it out!

What you been up to this year so far?

Precious little, truth be told. A little recording, but mostly trying to push along/finish productions of mine. It is only March though...

What is the state of the music scene like in the UK? DnB and in general??

It's in a state that I'm not certain how to describe just now, tbh. It's very much a "watch this space" sorta vibe just now.

How did you hook up with Dub FX? what do you find interesting about his sounds?

I sorta knew of him through people's infuriating propensity for comparison, so for knowing Beardyman for some time I'd invariably hear Dub FX's name mentioned in the ensuing sentences. We were on the same bill for a NYD party in Melbourne a few years back now; in an intensely drunken state I bumped into him outside the club just after the festivities finished, and had the bright idea of singing one of his songs to him (which I'll hate myself forever for, as I thoroughly detest it when people do that to me). Anyway, he was on the same bill at a Hungarian festival later that same year too, and after making my apologies over dinner I watched his set, and me & Shy FX played afterwards on the same stage; I even got him to get on the mic for a bit with us. I guess that's where the hook up was.

What made you guys do something ad hoc on a roof that fine day?

That seems to be pretty much the way both he and Ben Dowden, the filmographer, seem to work. Not too much calculation for any idea had, set up, shoot, one take, no editing, capture the moment. Raw. That sounded good to me, and something I'd not done before.

Were you completely freestyling?

Not at all. I'd written the verses some years earlier but due to the often chaotic nature of some D&B plus the high energy nature of the sets composed by my two main DJs, there was seldom opportunity to really ever use them. Two 32 bar verses and a chorus of sorts = the best part of four minutes of recital. There really isn't much chance to do that in a club environment let along be heard/acknowledged... so when the filming thing was mentioned I figured I'd just use them seeing as they have an immediate theme to them, and by being a topic I have spoken on in person with a lot of people over the years I didn't feel like it was too old/no longer relevant.

Do you really want a mortgage?

I don't think anyone really WANTS a mortgage. Means to an end, innit.

Speaking of learning skills, what kind of technical advice can you give to up and coming mc's?

Erm... how to use apostrophes, perhaps?! :p

TECHNICAL advice? Wow, uh, I guess a knowledge/understanding of sound waves and frequencies would always help more than hinder. Where the voice 'sits' within the spectrum, what EQ can do for a voice. Learn how best to hold a mic and why, and what feedback is/its causes. Learn the importance of breathing and vocal projection.

Do you have any recording plans?

Plenty of plans, whether they bear fruit or not is a whole other thing. Due to having talked myself into corners in the past I no longer announce stuff I'm working on, only that which has been seen to completion. So yeah, all in good time.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Macy Gray

Happy Chinese New Year!

Just a quick blog in between my film shoot about a Tsunami relief song that Macy Gray, Chan'ele and Carmit were working on a while back.  Big time producer Jared Lee Gosselin was at the helm at Zappa studios while we helped film the video.  We're hoping to get a copy of the song for you guys before our launch in March. Ironically almost exactly a year after the Tsunami hit Japan. Can't go into much detail about it but here's Carmit taking with Ann and Emma from HK on Skype.
 Elan Morrison doing some tweaks on a very nice Rupert Neve Console.
 The girls having a good time. A then very pregnant Carmit gave birth to Keala Rose since.
We'll be sure to have more exclusive studio stuff for you guys this year. Stay tuned.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Joey Yung - Mayfly (容祖兒 - 蜉蝣)

It was a very exciting day for all concerned when Joey Yung (容祖兒), who has consistently been one of the top 2 selling music artists in Hong Kong for what must be around 10 years now, decided she wanted to come down to the studio to listen to some of Kelvin's music. The introduction was organised by Jun Kung (恭碩良), an extremely talented musician and songwriter who often works with Kelvin.

At any rate, she came down to the studio and was extremely happy with what she heard and immediately announced she would like to get one of the songs he had produced and written for her upcoming album. From that moment, things went quickly into motion and in no time she was in the studio recording the newly written Cantonese vocals for the song.

Here's a photo of me and Joey in the studio:

Once the song was recorded, it was chosen to be the 1st song on the album, but unfortunately would not be a plug song (so no radio play or video) as it was a very last minute addition to the album and the three plug songs had already been confirmed. However, something very surprising happened once the song was released... Lots of fans started writing into the company and complaining that there was no video for the song, that they wanted to be able to sing it in karaoke and hear it on the radio. In online forums, it was consistently getting chosen as the most or second most popular song on the album, even though it was getting far less marketing and exposure and similar comments were appearing all over the net.

End result? We got a call from the record company saying that due to high demand from fans they had changed their minds and decided to shoot a video for the song and put it into karaoke. Not only is it very unusual to have 4 plug songs on an album, but to the best of my knowledge it is the first time in HK that fan demand has led to a record label changing their minds and producing an extra music video!

The song is called Mayfly (蜉蝣) and here is the video they shot, quite attractive and artistic:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fall Formal at the Opheum

Hey Guys,

Wanted to get a quick post up before the holidays. My producers invited me to the Fall Formal hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  A lot of big names were there as guests and some of his co-stars from the new Batman movie got up to perform. Hitrecord is a super cool transmedia project which promotes collaborations from all over the world. My knees buckled a bit when Gary Oldman got up so excuse the camera work. That was me shaking! I mean come on Gary frikin Oldman!!!
We also got to see Neil Patrick Harris do a skit and Anne Hathaway sing a song written by a collaborator.
It was great to see so many people participating and kudos to Joseph for putting it all together from scratch. It inspired our team and we're ready for 2012 with some big names coming on board to support all of our work from music, to film and to raising awareness for good causes. 

Special thanks to Dave, Dean, Spencer and all those who made 2011 rock. Can't wait for the launch in March...Happy Holidays from Hollywood!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Sandy Lam (林憶蓮)

Getting to work with Sandy Lam on her new album was a real honour and an incredible experience. Sandy has been a major star here for over 20 years and is known for having probably the strongest voice of any singer in HK. Here she is in the studio with Kelvin:

Beyond that the album itself is a total departure from anything she has done before, or in fact any project that has been released here that I am aware of. Having recently left her label, she decided to make a totally independent, self-funded album of her own choice of music (a very unusual thing in Hong Kong). What she decided upon could be described as experimental with influences from Bjork and hints of Tori Amos in the softer parts. Heavy synths and other electronic music are combined with full string sections and huge drum and percussion sections. Producer for the album was Stone Chang (常石磊), a young, cutting-edge producer from China best known for having arranged and sung the theme song for the Beijing Olympics. Kelvin did the mix for the entire album, as well as some of the vocal recording and re-arrangements of some of her older songs for Sandy's release concert.

This was a hardcore project! Songs would come in with over 100 tracks recorded and almost 8 months was spent on the production & mix (quite rare to spend so much time in the local industry). The final result is something totally different than has been seen come out of HK before and hopefully will play a strong role in continuing to open up the scene here. Seeing Sandy perform the songs in concert with an incredible stage-set and stunning dance pieces created by Jennifer Chiang (Kelvin's wife, business partner and highly successful choreographer) was an incredible round up to an outstanding project.

Here she is in concert:

And here are a couple of images from one of the highly original pieces that Jennifer choreographed for her: