Mix Factory

Went to the studio last night and it was 110% a night to remember.  Theres a ton of reasons why this was a night to remember, and I know I'll look back at this night when I am a successful and established artist and say to myself that was one of the nights that pushed me and my career to the next level.

I think the best way to explain this night is to start from the beginning and play it out for y'all.  I'm going to describe the night from my POV starting with when I got off work at 5pm.

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I left work at 5pm with plans to go to the studio at 6:30pm to work on the final mixes and masters for my album and a single called "Really Something" that I plan on releasing in the next couple weeks.  I also was hoping to see the legendary DDT at the studio so we could get started on putting together and editing the music video we shot about a week back. 

On my way home from work I caught myself in an amazing mood and turned off the podcast I was listening to.  I was in the mood to listen to music.  I put on Travis Scott's new album and some Drake songs but they weren't really doing it for me so I put on some of my tracks.  I caught a serious vibe.  I saw the vision coming together faster than I expected.  Things were falling into place one step at a time exactly how I envisioned them.  The music touched my soul.

I got home at around 5:30pm and got out of my work clothes.  As soon as I got off them shits I immediately rolled up.  I didn't even get dressed I just rolled up.  I chiefed the bleezy, watched some YouTube, and then hopped in the shower.  I ended up leaving the house at 6pm and getting to the studio at exactly 6:30pm.

Once I got to the studio I spent some time talking to Velvet.  Velvet is top of the food chain at the studio.  She is married to IV Duncan and co-owns the studio.  Velvet and IV are lovers and business partners.  Not only do they own multiple studios, including Mix Factory One, the #1 studio in Michigan, they also own a publishing company, an independent record label, and various other small businesses,  After shooting the shit with Velvet I asked her where Johnny Storm was.  If you don't know, Johnny Storm is my guy.  He's my main engineer.  He's my 40.

Velvet told me Johnny was downstairs in studio 3000 or 4000.  I checked 4000 and didn't see him so I went over to 3000 where I found him, DDT, and this young man I never met before named Troy.  We hung out there shooting the shit for a little bit until Johnny broke the news to me that he had forgot his hard drive at home so we couldn't work on the mixes, and he also told me that he ended up getting booked for a session.  I made the trip out to the studio and I was feeling good so I wanted to work on something while I was there no matter what it was.  My natural next choice was to see if DDT was free to work on the sequencing and edits of the music video we shot for "Waves".  Low and behold DDT couldn't pull up the footage because he lost some converter he needed to upload film from his camera to a computer.  At this point I kind of accepted I was shit out of luck but I didn't feel like leaving just yet so I decided to chill.

Shortly after being shot down by Johnny and DDT a producer named Fam walked in.  Fam is a veteran in the game and has been around the game for more years than I have been alive.  Fam ended up being cool as hell.  He rolled up a joint and went outside.  Naturally Johnny, DDT, Troy, and I followed.  We smoked up and got to kicking the shit for about 30-45min.  Once we weren't as faded anymore I told them I'd roll up a blunt and that I wanted to do a 1hour session.  I told them I could get a song done in an hour easy.  Thats everyday shit for me, and I don't say that to sound cocky, I'm just talking matter of fact.  I finished rolling the blunt after about 15minutes of me being ADD and getting distracted.  Just Troy, Fam, and I went outside for this.  DDT went home to his girl and Johnny's session arrived so he was caught up with that.  While we were outside smoking Troy asked if I wanted to hear a beat.  I'm an artist so of course I said yes.  He asked what kind and I gave the answer I always give.  "Play me the beat you are most proud of".  I ask this specific question because it allows the artist to play a song with low pressure.  It puts the artist in a position where they feel comfortable.  They feel like they are sharing their art and not being judged.  Many people love to ask the question "Play me your best song".  I used to be one of these people.  This leads to many artists setting themselves up with a barrage of excuses and flaws they personally see in the track.  This just ruins the experience for everyone.

Troy played a beat called "Birds of a Feather".  It reminded me of the Mario, Nintendo 64, Gameboy Color vibe.  I was pretty faded and feeling good so I started freestyling.  I got Troy and Fam head nodding and vibing and my confidence shot up.  Troy played another beat and the same thing happened.  When he was getting ready to play a 3rd beat Fam beat him to the bunch and played a beat.  I really snapped on Fam's beat.  After spitting on these 3 beats Fam asked for my number and told me we need to work together.  He had a vision for the type of song we are going to make together, a studio to record at, and the skills to engineer and create a beat.  Fam is true producer.

Aftering getting Fam's information we made plans to get the song done before the end of August.  He then left to go hangout with his girlfriend, his son, and his son's girlfriend.  Trey way shit man for real.

Troy and I were left alone now and I told him I wanted to do that 1 hour session still.  He said okay.  For whatever reason I thought he was a engineer, but when I asked if he could engineer the session he was like "I thought we were gonna make a song on my beat".  It wasn't what I had in mind but I said fuck it lets do it.  I just need an engineer.  Troy called up this local legend named Tone to produce our track.  I'm not sure what he said to Tone but it must have been some good stuff because Troy handed me the phone and said Tone wants to talk to you.  We had a super casual conversation and ended up deciding on a 9pm-10pm session.  

Tone, Troy, and I walked into Studio 1000 to try and complete a song from scratch in an hour. I had nothing written for the song and didn't even know the structure of the song.  I was completely out of my comfort zone but I was confident and I love performing under pressure for a crowd.  I've found its one of the best ways to bring out parts of you that would have probably stayed buried away.

Tone loaded up the MP3 and he said just spit over the entire track a few times and we'll chop it up.  Once we get a structure and idea we'll add lyrics and get the final done in the future.  Tone played the beat and the chorus came to me instantly.  I started humming in and then I started snapping.  I busted through 7 takes, each one better than the last.  Every take I had Troy and Tone VIBING.  Johnny came in to see what was popping and I got him VIBING.  We ended up getting the chorus and verse done and had everything ready for me to put the sprinkles on the track.  I just needed to spend a little time writing the lyrics and perfecting some of the flows and melodies.  I plan to release this track very soon.  I have the cover art being created as we speak.

After this session I took my ass home.  I had spent half my day and my whole night at the studio and I was starving.  Hungry as I was though, I didn't rush to get home.  I listened to some reference tracks and some tracks off the album and felt a magic I've felt before.  The magic of seeing your vision come to life.  

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In the beggining of this TITAN of a blog I made a bold statement.  I said this day, August 4th, 2018, would be a milestone mark in my career.  This is for one reason and one reason only.  This was the day I was able to impress all the executives, engineers, beatmakers, producers, and artists with my talent.  For the first time since I started this journey I was able to let everyone see what I've seen from the very start.  Having all of these people try to work with me and seeing them vibe to my music felt amazing.  Not only did I get to make some awesome music, but I got to become friends with people who influence the sound and style of music in our hometown, Detroit, MI.

Now that I've gone on way too long like I always do when I get into a blog, let me end with a quote that we've all heard a million times and still haven't heard enough.

Justin Don

Justin Don