Written by: Julie Morris
Life comes at us fast. Between work, family
Invest in Yourself
Sometimes you need to take a step back from life and do something that you enjoy. A good hobby can become a powerful tool in helping you cope with stress and unwind. As you continue your pursuit, it can lead to learning a unique skill. It can also be a gateway into opening new social connections and increase your confidence.
This is why it is common for those suffering from depression or recovering from addiction to be recommended they take up a hobby. Often hobbies provide a sense of structure in their lives and give a sense of purpose. It is a great way for them to feel like they have control over their lives.
Sketch it Out
Drawing can be an incredibly soothing outlet. For many, it becomes a form of self-expression and a way to unload thoughts that might otherwise be too difficult to form into words. Not to mention, drawing is known to improve motor skills and creative problem solving.
If you are new to drawing, be patient, especially if what is in your head is not translating to the page. Art takes time to master properly. Try taking a class to boost your skills or turn online. There are numerous resources from step by step tutorials to videos that teach you the basic techniques. However, one of the best things about art is that there is no wrong way to do it.
Feel the Beat
Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late to pick up an instrument. In fact, adults may have the advantage over children. They are able to quickly grasp more abstract concepts and are self-motivated to learn.
Setting time aside each day to practice can feel like a large commitment, but it is one that is well worth it. The sense of accomplishment you will feel from finally mastering a song is unrivaled. Not to mention, playing music is great way to sharpen your memory and enhance cognitive thinking. Whether you are picking up an instrument for the first time or renewing a childhood hobby, you can still reap the same benefits music provides to the brain from just a few months of practice according to National Geographic.
Poetry is a great way to loosen and unload your thoughts. It is an amazing form of expression that forces you to become more introspective, which can help heal emotional pain through reflection.
Do not be intimidated by poetry. There is no wrong way to write it. If you want to stick to highly structured poems, you can. If you prefer more freeform and less rules, you can do that too. Creative Writing Now is great resource to help you get started.
Turn Up the Heat
Some of the best hobbies are the ones we share with others. Cooking is a great way to incorporate your friends. You can cook up a delicious meal for them or invite them into the kitchen with you to cook together. This is an excellent opportunity for you to bond and grow closer.
Sharing a meal you’ve made can be immensely satisfying. Cooking your own meals is also a great way for you to eat healthier and save some money, according to the Chicago Tribune. Teaching yourself to shop and prepare your own food will reduce the amount of processed and unhealthy foods you eat.
Protect Your Time
While hobbies are amazing to share with your friends and family, keep in mind that a great hobby is one that you do solely for yourself. You do not want to feel any pressure to satisfy someone else when you sit down to do your hobby. This is why it is so important that you pick something that you’ll love.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.
Wow! What a trip... It started out fortuitously but not without some typical last minute "oh, shits", a rushed amazon delivery and the realization of a 20 hour drive to attend. With a co-pilot, a Prius, plenty of snacks and a 4am departure, we made good time all the way Nevada on day one. The second day completed the travel to the fest where we showed up just as the first act was coming on stage. We rushed to get our tent set up and then strolled onto the dance floor.
The festival had three main stages, each decorated with care and finesse. The Knoll stage seemed to be dedicated to a lively variety of genres, and featured some of my favorite sets of the whole fest including 'Diggin Dirt' 'Dirtwire' (no there was not a dirt theme), and Ozomatli. The main stage, aka the Groove Stage, was settled into the forest in a nice natural clearing. The stage was framed with beautifully cut wood circles and shapes that rounded the LED walls into an aesthetic art piece. The Saucy Spa, the late night stage, pumped the music through a quadraphonic sound-system into the sunrise hours. Check out our photos to see the stages in action.
Every stage had great sound quality but two of the three stages had 'Funktion-One' speakers. If you have never heard of Function One's or have heard of it but never experienced music played through a Function One sound system, it rocks, rumbles, and rips through the air with surprising clarity and vibrance. This is the current state of the art speaker system. Enchanted Forest even took the sound quality even further. At the Saucy Spa, the late night stage, four stacks of Funktion-One speakers positioned at every corner of the dance area, all angled to the center of the dance floor. Why is this special or notable? Damn, I am glad you asked! A quadraphonic speaker setup enables artists to shape sounds in a 3D environment and can 'pan' audio to all four speakers (front left, front right, back right, back left).
Below was a brotherly collaboration in an attempt to translate the musical event through photos.
Shambhala Full Lineup Announced
What do Claude VonStroke, Feed Me, Justin Martin, Destructo, Snails, Malaa, Gramatik, REZZ, The Glitch Mob, Mr. Carmack, Boombox Cartel, Brasstracks and more have in common?
Shambhala Music Festival!!!
Shambhala Music Festival Announces 2018 Headliner Lineup With Claude VonStroke, Feed Me, Destructo, Mr. Carmack, REZZ, Justin Martin, Malaa, Gramatik, Snails And More
The festival previously announced Canadian DJ and record producer REZZ and the pioneering electronic trio The Glitch Mob as the first two headliners, and now Shambhala has returned to announce their full headliner lineup for 2018 which includes Dirtybird founder Claude VonStroke and his hip-hop leaning project Barclay Crenshaw, legendary UK dance music aficionado Feed Me, renowned DJ and event promoter Destructo, San Francisco based DJ and Dirtybird favourite Justin Martin, and hip-hop meets electronic producer Mr. Carmack.
Other highlights include mysterious bass music producer Malaa, Slovenian electronic musician Gramatik, UK drum & bass duo Camo & Krooked, ubiquitous UK hip-hop artist Dizzee Rascal, Montreal dubstep duo Adventure Club, the electrifying 2¢ project from Craze and Four Color Zack, Mad Decent duo Boombox Cartel, turntablist legend DJ Qbert, masked Canadian trio Black Tiger Sex Machine, Montreal bass music phenom Snails, Grammy winning live duo Brasstracks, glitched out Australian act Opiuo, and a collaborative set between Ooah and Boreta of The Glitch Mob under the name 29 Palms.
Following the headliner lineup, Shambhala will soon be launching the lineups for each individual stage: Pagoda, Village, Fractal Forest, Living Room, Amphitheater, and The Grove. Keep an eye on the social media channels of Shambhala Music Festival throughout the next week for more info.
Don’t miss out, tickets are almost sold out and won’t last long. Purchase your #Shambhala2018 tickets here. High-end camping packages are offered in addition to some other accommodation packages for those travelling from afar. Carpool options and additional travel information is available on the Shambhala website.
The Freio Music Podcast
Episode 02 - ProJect Aspect
This Episode's Featured artist is ProJect Aspect AKA Jay Jaramillo, a high-energy electronic producer, and guitarist from Colorado. ProJect Aspect is a collaborator and an instrumentalist. He reveals how he is able to play live instruments on stage while synchronizing everything to a computer. Each performance is unique because he is able to mix his instruments and software live on stage. Keep an eye out for this young artist!
This Episode's Featured artist is ProJect Aspect AKA Jay Jaramillo, a high-energy electronic producer, and guitarist from Colorado. ProJect Aspect is a collaborator and an instrumentalist. He reveals how he is able to play live instruments on stage leveraging the power of multiple computers to produce complex and high energy sets with a full band. Jay reveals how he is able to tame the complexity of playing with several musicians with several computers live on stage while leaving room for spontaneity and unique events. The same song will never sound the same and he decodes the mystery behind it all. He discusses how he was able to get started and how is unorthodox education helped him become the creative powerhouse that he is today. Stay tuned!
Start out by introducing yourself
Thanks for having me, man. It is good to see you. My name is Jay Jaramillo, I go by Project Aspect. I am twenty-nine years old and started playing guitar when I was about ten years old. My dad gave me a guitar with a built-in amplifier on it. Previous to that I had never thought about being a musician or even playing music. He kinda shoved me in that direction and the rest is kinda history. I just kinda picked it up and played by ear. I started joining bands and putting together my own bands. I made t-shirts when I was like 10 years old. That kinda progressed and snowballed into producing music, which is what I got into at the end of HighSchool. After high school, I took it to the next level. Me and my friend, Zach Karuza, aka Kruza Kid, one of my best friends, we went to high school together. We started the mile-high-sound movement which is a collective of artists and promotional record label that we have kind of like grown into what it is today. It is becoming bigger and better. It is developing into what we want it to be. Instead of throwing together random shows, we put time into it and we curate events. We make sure that our friends have a chance to vend their jewelry and their merchandise. We like to bring everything to the table, as much as we can.
A full-service event.
Ya, for sure. So that has kinda been the focus for a while, other than pursuing trying to be a full time touring musician. So that is where we are at now.
Now tell me your vision a little bit more with Mile High Sound Movement… How many artists are involved currently and where do you see it going in the future?
Our roster right now includes about eight artists that we are fully committed to. But it is always open for interpretation. If you are in the Colorado Music scene, don't hesitate to reach out. We are always open. It is an open invitation. We are always down to expand the family. The vision at first was to just kina help hungry musicians who had a product that they are passionate about. Give them a chance to showcase that on a bigger level rather than a local cafe show. When me and my friend Zach were starting out we had so much trouble getting shows. It was such a struggle and we really didn't have that much help. We were doing a lot of show at Herman’s Hideaway on south Broadway because we had a hip-hop band at that point. We wanted to bring something together that helped people. [Like us] when we were in that situation that we wished we had. We just want to put people on, and get people in front of crowds and enable them to do their thing.
Kinda help them get to the next level.
Exactly. It has transformed into a record label which has always been the vision. For about a year now it has been an official record label. So we are really excited about that. We want to keep that going and make it as big as possible.
Clearly, it sounds you are sharing what you have learned along your path with the next generation, or at least with your friends and the artists around you. So you have mentioned your dad already who was an influence on you early musically. Are there any other artists that kind of helped you on the path?
Not really, man. Just kinda my peers and the people who I went to school with and started these early bands with. Other than that, I was just heavily influenced by Punk Rock and Classic Rock. My dad raised me on Classic Rock. I eventually got into alternative music and punk rock. That was a major influence to me and molded me in the early years. I did a lot of power chords on the guitar. But it was all self-taught. I just kinda played by ear.
Picking up tabs online?
Ya, Picking up tabs online. Honestly, I can just listen to something and replicate it by ear. Obviously, I wish I had a little more classical training. This way it is fun. I like to let my mind do the work for me. Do the work for my hands. And just freestyle. That played a huge role in the beginning too. Then When I started producing music I just took that knowledge and put it into arranging and making sections of a sound.
Can you remember your first musical memory as far as performing? So not just hearing a song but the first time you either jumped up on the table in front of your family and started singing or the first time you played for your school...
One memory sticks out vividly. I played at this coffee shop and it was just an acoustic performance with me singing. I was probably 11 or 12 years old or something. I told my whole family and all of my friends. My whole family came out and we packed out this cafe. It was just this little coffee shop. I did a couple covers but it was mostly original. I have always just written music and performed it. But I remember covering a Staind song. Remember that song ‘Outside’? [singing] “I'm on the outside. I'm looking in”. I played that song and a bunch of other songs. That was just the beginning. That was the first musical memory. It was pretty well received but I was just a kid. That was the very first time I had showcased what I was working on. It was gratifying. It was tight.
That's awesome. It is also… I think very telling, that you had a family their that really packed the venue. You had a sold-out crowd on the first show.
Right. Ya, my family has always been a huge support. Huge support. My mom, my dad, my brother, my siblings. Everyone has had my back from day one and believes in my dream. It really helps me and influences me to keep going.
So guitar was your first instrument? Is that correct?
What about artist have influenced you by ear or meeting them in person, touring. I know you are very active in the music scene, and you get exposure to lots of different artists.
Like I said I was really into punk-rock back in the day. We were talking earlier about my Offspring remix. Offspring was big early… Just kina listening music influence for me. I liked Blink 182 a lot. Blink 182 was the first concert that I went to that I vividly remember. Apparently, I was at Michael Jackson when I was a year old… but yeah seeing Blink 182 when I was around 10 years old, just after I started playing the guitar. Bad Religion opened for them. A lot of people back then thought that that was kind of strange because Bad Religion was a huge Punk-Rock band and Blink-182 surpassed them playing pop-punk music. That was a sweet experience. I really didn't start being inspired until, by music, until I started joining bands in high school. My peers were huge influences for me. I had a band called “Street Light Symphony”. It was an Emo band. The members in that band were a huge influence for me. But I ended up going to a show at Red Rocks in 2005. That was what really opened my eyes to a whole new world of music.
What show was that?
That was 'Big Summer Classic' a two-dayay event. String Cheese Incident headlined both nights. They had a stacked lineup, both nights with Umphrey's McGee, Keller Williams, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Yonder Mountain String Band. That two day event was a major turning point for me. I went from liking alternative music, hip-hop, and rap music to this hippy jam-band happy go lucky scene that I had never imagined participating in but it opened my eyes. It turned my brain around and made me want to explore that more.
Great. So we were talking earlier, and I found it interesting, somehow it came up in conversation that you went to an atypical school and it really impacted your life or trajectory. If you could go into that a little bit and talk about why the change of school was such an impactful event for you. And how old were you roughly or what grade?
So, I left traditional school in 6th grade… Actually ya I think it was 6th grade. It was the transition from 5th to 6th grade. I was going to Green Mountain Elementary School. I had transferred over to Jefferson County Open School, which is an alternative school in Lakewood Colorado, that my sister had been going to because she was a “Problem Child”. These schools were meant for kids who weren't excelling in traditional schools. It kind of helped them find more meaning in their life and pave their road for the future. Which was huge for me. This school, they made you create your own curriculum. So you did six passages; Adventure, Global Awareness, Creativity and so on and so forth. Each one was a different challenge for you to research and make a paper and do hands on work. For instance, my creativity passage was making an album.
My plan was to make a full album and I only got to three tracks. Just doing multi-track recording. It was a huge learning experience for me because I learned that recording doesn't come easy. You can't just knock something out, just like that. It takes time. It takes so much time. Yeah, it takes so much time. It really opened my eyes to what the world of music had in front of me for the rest of my life. For my adventure passage, I became a vegetarian, for two months. I learned a lot about the facts about meat and healthy living. And how it made me feel. I got a little irritable.
With meat or without it?
Without it. I made me kind of learn that I do like meat. I like it in my life but I am still open to trying it out…
That’s great that you are open-minded enough to totally radically change your diet.
Ya, it was a great experience for me.
And that was part of your school! That is so interesting... Coming from a western mind, an American Mind, thinking about diet in school is very far down the list of topics.
The school was more so getting you ready for the life ahead of you rather than more school if that makes sense. Instead of molding you to get ready for college. They mold you to get ready for the rest of your life. And it changed my life. It made me realize I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life. If it wasn't for that school and my advisor Daina, I wouldn't be the man I am today. So I am thankful every day that I made that transition.
That is great! Out of curiosity, do you think that this school is great for everybody or is this kinda a creative outlier school that's...
I think the school is good for anyone who applies themself and really uses their tools to take on what you want to do. I think if you are really passionate about something. I think that if you want to get out of the traditional learning situation and focus on your life, I think that’s a good move.
Ok, moving on from that. You collaborate frequently. There are many different vocalists on your tracks. You mentioned Kruza Kid [earlier]. Tell me about collaboration why you choose to do it and if it is important to you, why?
I think the most fun thing about collaborating is that you are not limited to your own ideas. So when I collaborate with someone, it’s fun because you can take a pallet that someone else laid out and manipulate it. You kinda already have something to work with. When you are doing something by yourself you have to start from scratch. It's all you. You are kinda limited to that. When you are working with someone else it sparks off so many more light bulbs. It makes you… It brings more influence to the table. For instance, when I collaborate for Unlimited Gravity, we feed off each other. We bounce back and forth. We do what we call the “Hot Seat”, and that's when we are in the mode, and one of us is going to be producing and the other one will be kinda chillin in the background. When we are the one producing we call it the “hot seat”. We just go until we feel that we did something substantial then we switch it out. You know, we eventually we come up with this orchestration of sound that we would have never been able to accomplish on our own. That's the beautiful thing about collaboration, is that you can use both minds to create something bigger.
That’s great! You said a lot of awesome points that I hope young musicians hear and really take to heart. As you said, when you are working with yourself, you are limited to yourself. And you've got to recognize that you everyone is finite and we are all limited. I love the “hot seat” idea. Both the fact that when you are feeling the flow you have got to be in the driver’s seat, in the control center, in the cockpit, or behind the mixer, but at the same time you have got to yield way to the other, for their turn in the hot seat and kinda sit back and listen.
Sometimes you have got to let… I assume you guys are working with loops and you have got to let the sound kind of soak in.
And eventually, maybe an idea comes out. From not the hot seat but the dude chillin in the back who has been there with his eyes closed.
Exactly. There are two important roles for sure. It’s fun to sit back and listen to what you have been working on and listen to what they are working on.
Truth. Because one person is actively trying to slay the dragon and the other person is just kinda being more passive and being more reflective.
Yah. I like that. I like that. Yah, that is definitely the approach for sure.
But I think it actually takes a lot of discipline to sit back and let someone else do some work.
That's true too. But you would be surprised at how anxious we can get too.
Yah, sometimes you have to speak up.
Haha, sometimes we are like you've got to let me in there [the hot seat], I've got this idea. Like I said collaboration is like another level of creation.
Tell me about your album.
I am working on a full-length concept album called “Sync About It”. This is kind of my baby right now. This is what I have been working towards and putting all my energy towards right now. Did you want to talk about “all we dream”?
No, let’s talk about your new album.
So this new album is called “Sync About It”. It is a full-length concept album which means that it flows from beginning to end and there are no breaks in the tacks.
So it is meant to be listened to in order?
Correct. So it is just one long story. I have always wanted to create something like this ever since I was a kid listening to Pink Floyd albums and stuff. So this is a really important project for me. This is actually breaking me outside of my comfort zone. When I was a kid and I was in and out of bands playing guitar and singing, I did a lot of singing and I did a lot of writing. I wanted to get back to that. I am not the greatest singer in the world but I like to sing. I did a little singing on this album and I did a lot of guitar work. I wanted it to be something that lasts forever. The Idea behind this is to make something that has substance and holds true for generations to come. I just want something that’s going to stick around. That people will be listening for a long time.
Are you collaborating with other artists on this album?
Ah, I do have Kruza Kid featured on a track.
Is it fair to say that this album is, in a way, a different path than your others in the sense that you are getting back to your singing and writing?
In a way, yes, but it also stays pretty true to the traditional Project Aspect sound. I don't want to do something completely different that it is unrecognizable. I just want to expand on what I have already got. So it is more complex I would say. It just has more substance to it. I want to branch out my sound. I don't want to limit myself to just making dubstep, or bass music, or electronic music. I want it to be real music that anyone could listen to. So I would like to head in that direction. But I'll never stop making heavy bass music because I love playing that at shows. It is always be something that is important to me. So I just wanted to branch out on this album and kinda create something that has a lot to it and I would like to reach different demographics.
So it is going to be a wide-ranging album?
Yah, definitely, There are going to be some rock-n-roll inspired tracks in there. And I do a lot of intricate guitar soloing and harmonizing my guitar. You will find some hip-hop sounding tracks like the one that Kruza Kid is featured on. There are ones that follow the traditional Project Aspect sound that I have always stapled into my music. I am always going to love to make the glitch-hop kind of grimy bass music. So there will always be parts of that scattered throughout the whole record. I am excited for it man. This is something that I have been working on for almost two years. I haven't released a full-length album since 2016. So this is a big one for me and I hope it breaks some barriers.
Ya, I believe it will. I'm excited to hear it and we are all going to have to stay tuned. Where will the new album be released, just for our listeners? Where can they find it when it comes out?
You know we are still in the early stages of it. I have a lot of promo work that I am trying to work on. But I am shooting for the end of spring.
Ok. When it comes out… ProjectAspectMusic.com?
We are also working on launching the Project Aspect website. So stay tuned for that. So it is going to be a process of things leading up to the album. First, we are going to launch the website. Then we are going to launch the videos for the singles. Then the album is going to drop. Then we are going to do a whole album release party in Denver. So it will be one thing after another leading up to the album.
Nice, that is a good campaign. So some of the people listening [to this podcast episode] will likely be listening in years to come. So in a way, we will be in the past when they are listening. Am I correct with the URL ProjectAspectMusic.com?
Ok I just wanted to make sure because when it is launched, someone will be new to it and it will be already out there.
That will 90% likely be the URL.
When you decide to market your music... First of all, how do you balance your time between creating new music, performing your creations, and at the same time hustling, for lack of a better term. You have got to get the next venue to call you, you have got to get on the next bill, you have got to collaborate with these artists… not only that but you have got to launch your website, you have got to get your music videos, you have got to get your apparel. So how do you balance those demands and do you have a team working with you?
Um, really it is just deciding what to do next. It is just one day at a time. We try to not look too far into the future because you only know what is going to happen today. So we are steadily game planning, me and my manager Chris Bockman(spelling?) and Ronny, Unlimited Gravity. We are really just scheming towards what we are going to do next. We are going to be releasing a new Unlimited Aspect album “Bass Ass Volume II” which will be coming out in the next few months. So that will be the beginning of that route because me and Ronny love making music together and doing the Unlimited Aspect thing. So we want to do that as much as possible. But as far as finding balance, man, its like I said. It is just taking on one thing at a time and not overwhelming yourself. We do everything in-house, we are not working with an agency right now. We are doing everything ourselves. It makes it that much harder but at the same time, the reward is that much sweeter. We are trying to organically create this snowball, this tidal wave that is going to eventually crash, and its going reach everybody. It's going to be something special, man, because we are working on something unique. It's going to be something that I hope people are going to be behind for a long time.
When you release an album, let’s say you and Ronny are making a collaboration… Do you then finalize it, stamp it, bounce it and you are done or do you send it to a mixing / mastering engineer? Can you walk me through the workflow after you have produced a song?
So when me and Ronny produce solo tracks we usually do our own mastering. It is kind of an unorthodox method we just use plugins and do it our way. Sometimes we send it to into mastering. Sometimes we create mixdowns that are at a lower volume and send them to someone to master. But for the Unlimited Aspect album, this was kind of a unique situation because we tracked drums for this album because Unlimited Aspect has become a live band. So our drummer Steven Kuzma is going to be featured on the entire album. So that was another challenge because we had to track all the drums. And our engineer who ended up moving away and we were not able to finish it with him. So we kinda had to take it on with what he had and finish it ourselves. So that is where we are at right now. Just kinda putting on the final touches to it and finishing it ourselves. We like to do a lot of it hands on. It is not the most professional method but it sounds good in my opinion. We like to have it completely our own.
And you get the final say. You get control over it. No one is going to send it in a different direction that you didn't foresee.
Ya. I have sent my own masters to some pretty good labels and they have accepted it, which felt pretty good. So I think we are on a good track.
So if you don't mind, can we jump into some the equipment that you use, either on stage or in the studio. What types of software, plugins, mics, guitar, whatever you want…
I produce in Ableton. We perform all original tracks. So I break down all of my songs into stems. That’s like pieces of the song that I play simultaneously. So I can affect every piece differently. So we have highs, bass, drums, vocals. So we play all of that simultaneously and we use APC 40’s by Akai. When we are using the APC 40’s we can literally manipulate pieces of the song and mix in different pieces of the song. We can jam out and toggle back and forth with anything we make. All the songs that we make are split up so that we can do this crazy interactive hands-on DJ technique that not a lot of people do. I think that it is really unique. A lot of people use stems but the way we use it is unmatchable in my opinion.
You are talking about the live performance, right?
So if I am not mistaken, we are talking about a beat pad that has translucent buttons.
Ya, its a midi controller.
And that hooks up into Ableton.
So you are slicing and dicing your song on the fly.
Right. We produce them. We export them all into pieces [stems] and we put them all into the live set and we put it all into the live set and we slice and dice on the fly… correct.
Beyond the computer and how you are interacting with your tracks [APC40], I have seen you perform and you frequently have a guitar and everybody has an instrument on stage with you.
How are you mixing that in? And tell me about what instruments you play and what is on stage.
Like I said. I started out playing the guitar when I was a kid. Then I went into the producing game and I kind of put down the guitar for a while, for about three years. Eventually, I realized I wanted to bring it all back into the music. And have it all together, the electronic and the analog. So for the past three or four years, I have really been hitting the guitar hard. Bringing it back into the live sets and recordings. So when I do the live set guitar, I do live looping. So I have the guitar plugged into another computer, which is also on Ableton, and I sync the two computers together via ethernet. That enables the second computer to slave to the first computer so I can quantize and loop my guitar on another controller. I can manipulate the guitar record on the fly [live] with the controller. So that’s been a really fun adventure to bring that in and also have it be part of the live set. Where I can still manipulate it like the other tracks. It can be all like one huge live workstation. It is really fun. It is fun to improvise and bring it in now and again and just rock out. For Unlimited Aspect, I play guitar, Ronny plays keys, and we have our drummer Steven Kuzma, and Ronny does live looping with the keys too. Eventually, he is going to bring his vocals again. Which we were doing for a while. He was doing live vocals and looping live vocals. He is working on a new album as well, which is showcasing his vocals because he was in choir pretty much his whole life. So he wants to go back to his roots and showcase that. So I imagine as we start doing more Unlimited Aspect shows he will start singing too. So that is exciting. Sometimes we bring up a saxophone. Sometimes we have other sit-ins. I dabble with pretty much any instrument, except for brass. I have never really messed with Brass. Anything I touch I can play a little bit. Not great but I can dabble.
Enough to be quantized, spliced, and put into place.
Ya, the guitar is the main instrument that I feel like I can handle.
I appreciate you revealing how you have two computers running and one is a slave to the other
Ya, I feel like people don't get to know that or see that during the live set.
As an audience member, I am always thinking how are they doing this!? Trying to decode what is going on onstage. As a sound engineer, myself, I am always thinking about monitor mixes and I see people with in-ear monitors and someone has a click track somewhere. It is a complex signal path. So I appreciate you demystifying what is going on on stage.
Ya it’s a pleasure for sure.
It is certainly interesting and I think it will help people get to the next level. A few more questions… One regarding your music and distribution. Your music is out there. I can stream you on Spotify, on Apple Music… I can find you on SoundCloud. You are doing a great job getting your music out there. So first of all, how did you decide where to put your music and how to get it there?
Oh, man that is a really good question. Basically, with music that I have come to the conclusion of, you just have got to get it out there, regardless of how you do it. Whether you are pedaling burnt CDs or putting it on SoundCloud, or you are doing a professional label release. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter because it is going to be out there and word of mouth is going to circulate. That is what I am coming to the conclusion of… If I have music to release I need to get it out there regardless of how it happens. One of the first Sonic Blooms that I attended… Shout out Sonic Bloom by the way. That is my hometown festy right there. I burnt a bunch of CDs. Me and my homie Ronny actually, Unlimited Gravity. We burnt a bunch of CDs and handed them out to people. And to this day people will come up to me, and that was about 8 years ago, and say “hey, I've still got that CD you gave to me at Sonic Bloom”. That is crazy to me because that was such early on music that we made.
And you were there as a fan. An attendee, non-performer.
So you really just showed up to where the music is and hustled your music. And give it a few years...
It was the dopest campaign too! We would be like “do you guys like free music?” People would be like “ya”. Ok, “Here, take this”. It was easy to get into people’s hands. I might start doing that again, you never know.
What is amazing to me is that a few years later, a few cycles around the sun, you are playing at Sonic Bloom. That’s awesome.
Ya. It really came full circle with that one.
That is interesting and I appreciate you sharing the hustle. You have got to be Guerilla Marketing…
That’s true man. You have just gotta think outside the box. I mean people have been hustling CDs out of their trunks forever. When you are giving out free music it is kinda hard to say “no”, you know? That was definitely the early hustle.
Ok, a few more quick ones [questions]... First of all, describe your music in one sentence… or a word. A rough sentence, it could flow into a few.
All original, high energy, high octane, electronic bass music with guitar.
Booya! This one is kinda far out, big, philosophical question. I went to school for Philosophy so you have got to forgive me. But… What is music?
Music is what feelings sound like.
It is the best I could come up with right now.
That's great. Do you have any odd or interesting pre-performance rituals before you get out on stage?
We like to get down on the spliff game, me and my bro Cam. I love smoking spliffs so that's always been something I like to do before a show. Other than that, man… I get anxious before shows honestly.
Is it just nerves coming up?
It is nerves but also just wanting to get up there. And being backstage and having to wait to go on. It’s something that I have always… Not an issue with… but it always kinda happens, regardless of the situation. I am excited. I want to get up there. I want to play. I don't want to hang around and talk about nothing. I want to do my thing. But I love connecting with the people. That is one of the biggest parts of this scene is the people. It’s all about making those connections. So that is a big part of the pre-ritual is having your family there. Having your friends come backstage and hang out and just kick it. That really calms the nerves for me too. Just hanging out with the homies too is a big thing.
What advice would you give to a musician starting out today?
Go with your heart. Make music that you want to hear. Make music that makes you feel things inside. Don't do it for somebody else, do it for yourself.
Moving towards the end. Some label questions if you don't mind?
You are on 1320 Records, GruntWorthy Music, and Adapted Records. Can you tell me about how you made those connections and how you got signed to a record label? There are lots of aspiring artists out there who think that “I just need a record label and the doors would open for me”. I just want to hear your experience with the different record labels that you have worked with and why you chose to collaborate with them.
As I mentioned before, It is not a huge impactful thing regardless of how you release your music. But it is an honor and always a privilege to release your music under an established record label. It is just another form of collaborating. As I also mentioned before, collaboration is one of the most beautiful creations we have. It's fun to work with other people on your music and work on distributing it and getting it out there. 1320 was a huge one for me because it's Sound Tribe’s record label. Sound Tribe was a huge early influence for me. They were the first band I saw using Ableton. That was before I even knew what Ableton was. They made me research what Ableton was. Eventuall,y I got signed to their label and I got to open for them. That was another full circle thing. Shout out Sound Tribe for everything they have done for me. 1320 Records was a huge step for me. It was cool just to be under… not only under such a huge touring act and someone that I looked up to but also being alongside of other people who have released music under that label. That is another cool thing. When you release music under different labels you are alongside all these amazing artists. There are so many artists out there, and most of them I have never even heard of but they make the dopest music. It's an honor to be alongside people with similar interests. The Adapted thing was cool because it is an Australian label. It was cool to get my music internationally released. That was kind of the fun part about that. Like I said, it is just fun to work with other people.
So how did you get to Australia?
Man, we just submitted it and they liked it and they released it.
Walk through a young artist… What do you mean you submitted it? You found something on their website and obviously you had some tracks that were fire and ready to be released.
Ya, so most record labels have a demo submission page on their website. If you make music you can always send it to labels it's not an issue. Whether or not they will listen to it or like it, that’s up in the air. But must labels have a demo submission page. Even the biggest record labels in the world have mailing addresses that you can send it to. Ya, it’s just submitting your demo and hoping that the right person hears it and likes it. It helps having word of mouth and having friends on the inside too who have worked with the record label also. That is a slightly more helpful way but if you have the right music and you submit it, there is no reason that it won't be picked up.
But you chose them out of a group. There are thousands of record labels. I would imagine that you targeted some and I guess that you did not send your record out to every label. So how do you choose and what do you look for when you are working with a label?
Just look for professionalism. That is the one thing that you try to find in anyone that you work with in the Music Industry. Just professionalism because there are a lot of shady people out there and it is important to find people who are doing it for the right reasons. People who are in it for the music and willing to work to help you get your brand out there. Being on top of dates and royalty checks. Just being communicative. Communication between the artist and the label is really important.
Reflecting back on your younger self… What would you tell yourself then that you know now?
Get ready for a hell of a ride buddy! You are about to meet a lot of people and see a lot of things. I don't know, man. I think that I was prepared for what I am doing today. I think that the school that I went to and my dad and going to shows has molded me into the person I am today. I think I knew what I was in for but not quite the fashion that it’s in right now. So I think I would just tell myself to “get ready for a good ride”.
Well Jay, aka Project Aspect, thank you so much for being on the show! Is there any last parting words of wisdom that you would like to share and or links / plugs for your upcoming album or social handles that you would like to share.
Ya, keep on touch on the Facebook man. Facebook and the Instagram are the number one resources to find what I am doing next. So Facebook.com/ProjectAspect Facebook.com/ProJectAspect Like I said, I will be launching my website soon so keep an eye out for that, along with starting my promotion for my new album. Keep an eye out for the new music videos coming in the next few months. Just keep in touch and don't be afraid to reach out. I love to connect.
And Fans can learn of your new tour dates and upcoming shows on your facebook page?
Great. Well thank you so much for coming on the FreioMusic Podcast.
Thanks Mike, Much Love!
Jamaica’s TMRW.TDAY Cultural Festival Is Here!
If I need to convince you that a festival in Jamaica filled with Reggae, Yoga, and Beach-Parties is worth your time, this is probably not for you. However, if you are the adventurous type who is ready to sink your feet into new beaches, dip your body and soul into the oceans of reggae and invert yourself into yoga postures, this is for you! To learn more, keep reading….
Tmrw.Tday Culture Festival – Negril, Jamaica – Taking place on the glistening beaches of Negril, Jamaica this May 17-23, Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest forays onto the international festival landscape, with the aim of enlightening those who will voyage into paradise. Inspiring attendees to embark on a weeklong journey into consciousness, conviction and energy work across the grounds of one of the world’s most coveted travel locations. Tmrw.Tday curates an intimate, blissful destination festival experience bound by alluring music, delicious food, captivating activities and miles of pure, pristine coastline pulsating with positive island vibes.
Designated environments at Irie Soul Beach, headquarters for Tmrw.Tday, will host an array of beachside entertainment, wellness activations and delectable culinary feasts, spearheaded by some of the most distinguished innovators in the world. Featuring headlining musical acts Protoje & The Indiggnation Live In Concert, Wolf + Lamb,Toddla T and the festival’s official Reggae Ambassador Chris Blackwell, Tmrw.Tday has mastered an eclectic fusion of local and international talent, celebrating Caribbean heritage and global sounds alike.The Reggae Revival Concert and Crew Love Beach Party Showcase are among top festivity highlights, in addition to nightly sunset Drum Circles at Irie Soul Beach featuring Sam Maher & Acro Buddhas plus intimate Dub & Reggae Lounges to showcase Jamaica’s most talented and respected artists. Among those artists joining the beachside party include: Gabre Selassie, Yaadcore, Nick Monaco, David Marston, Teflon Zinc Fence, and Echomatik.
Daytime activations will offer a series of wellness programs led by world-renowned instructors. Various practices of yoga, fitness classes, health & medicinal healing workshops, guided meditations and conscious lifestyle speakers will guide attendees through a transformative experience found nowhere else within the festival realm. Championed by international wellness ambassador and superfoods evangelist David Wolfe, self-care teacher, motivational speaker and Irie Soul Program Co-Director Gillian B. and conscious lifestyle coach, meditation guide and founder of Irie Soul Stacy Chang-Christoforou, Tmrw.Tday’s wellness offerings will provide a diverse selection of educational activities to cleanse the body, detoxify the mind, and heal the spirit.
Andrew Christoforou, Managing Partner of Tmrw. Tday, elaborates: “The most unique part about Tmrw.Tday culture fest is that its ultimate goal is to have people go within to better themselves and find true happiness…The planet is at a very critical stage and we believe that you must take care of yourself first before you take action to better the world.”
An island that is known for an explosion of flair and flavours, Tmrw.Tday will take foodies on a culinary quest through Jamaica’s famous food scene – a flavorful blend of influences from Spain, Britain, East India, West Africa, Portugal, China, France, and The Netherlands. Adventurous spirits can feast on tantalising traditional fare while celebrating the importance of sustainable agriculture and organic eating. Led by cuisine curator Ras Iyah V Ital, the inaugural gastronomy program boasts the 7-Mile Organic Food Festival, Farm To Table & Experiential Dinner Series, Hot Sauce Competition, and will incorporate both vegetarian and vegan offerings prepared by internationally-acclaimed chefs such as 16-year old motivational speaker, youth health activist and vegan chef Haile Thomas.
Tmrw.Tday’s beachfront paradise will also host a variety of pop-ups and extra curricular activities, including the pioneering 7 Miles of Green, Marley Coffee Beach Café with Premium Blue Mountain Coffee, Organic Juice Bar, massage & spa offerings, essential oil treatments, Arts & Crafts exhibit and, of course, endless amounts of beachside activities.
Encompassing music, wellness, gastronomy, and adventure, Tmrw.Tday presents an impressive, fully immersive schedule designed for self-discovery, and encouraging above all things a chance to find inner peace and purpose. Creating a mindful and loving community built on values that challenge the current political, economic and environmental state across the globe, attendees will encounter an oasis of unique daily offerings designed to help achieve a more conscious lifestyle.A better TMRW starts TDAY.
Full Schedule Below or Visit the Website
A special thanks to the 2017 Sponsors for their support – Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Experiences & Red Stripe
Plan your journey to a better Tmrw.Tday – Tickets for the weeklong experience are on sale now!
In recent years, our hearts have become heavy, so too has our planet. The earth continues to nourish us as best she can, but instead, we abuse her through pollution, hate and entitlement. Now is the time to strip it all back and discover how you can help. The inaugural Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest aims to tackle some of the existential challenges humankind faces by stripping back materialism and focusing on core values such as mindfulness, through its unique wellness, gastronomy and music programming. A movement for change, attendees will embark on a weeklong personal journey of consciousness, conviction and growth. Free yourself from society’s intolerance through yoga practice, music, dance, mindful eating, sustainable cooking, art, nature and alternative therapies.
See you there!
~Arise Music Festival 2016 Video | Loveland, Colorado~
Now that 2017 is in full swing, we figured it was about time to release our video from Arise Music Festival 2016. We are thrilled to have teamed up with our good friends at Dead Leaf Arts for this one.
This family-friendly festival has grown over the years and we are thankful to have been a part of it every step of the way. Every year, the festival has grown in attendance and maturity. It is hard to believe that this festival was born just a few years ago, and has already become one of Colorado’s most musically diverse festivals. The venue is nestled in the valley on the beautiful Sunrise Ranch. If you still have yet to attend this event, 2017 is your year to shine!
Arise Music Festival 2016 includes a dedicated yoga tent, several musical stages, aerial areas and resides in a little nook of the foothills which makes the whole event seem nice and cozy. We were thrilled to see some young native Coloradan bands share the stage with some big names from around the world. The team here at FreioMusic is extraordinarily grateful that we once again were able to contribute, in our small way, to capture this artistic event as it unfolded.
A huge shout out to all of the artists, friends, and family who made this event happen. Without further ado here is our video featuring music by Ziggy Marley.
Arise Music Festival 2016
RIDE Festival 2017 = Diverse Lineup
RIDE Festival is in its sixth consecutive year of world-class music, camping and mountain adventure that only Colorado can deliver. Event headliners include BECK, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, The John Butler Trio, Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Kaleo, Jackie Greene, and Boulder’s own Rose Hill Drive among many others.
Set to take place in downtown Telluride’s Town Park, the event features an unparalleled backdrop of Telluride’s idyllic landscape, world-class musicianship, Colorado’s finest microbrews and daily adventures for outdoor enthusiasts and music aficionados alike. Past RIDE performers include Pearl Jam, David Byrne, The Lumineers, Cage the Elephant, Widespread Panic, Jonny Lang and many others
The undisputed gem of south-west Colorado, Telluride is well-known by Colorado locals to be among the very best mountain destinations and has been called “number one for both scenery and character” by Forbes and Ski Magazine. With world-class hiking, rafting, climbing, fishing, mountain biking, and hot springs all within 40 miles of the festival, as well as a perfectly integrated farmer’s market downtown on Fridays, RIDE Festival is the can’t-miss mountain festival of 2017.
RIDE Festival will feature another star-studded lineup in 2017 including a rare Telluride performance by the Grammy-Award winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, BECK. Celebrated for his sonically experimental and lo-fi style, BECK rose to fame in the early 1990’s for creating musical collages encompassing a wide genre of styles. With a highly anticipated release on the horizon for 2017, fans may be treated to an early taste of the producer’s latest tunes during the 6th annual festival.
Known for his high-energy live performances, prominent activist and American singer-songwriter Ben Harper will perform for the first time in Telluride since his 2012 performance at the RIDE Festival. This year, Ben will be appearing with his talented band The Innocent Criminals. A rousing performer, Harper has taken home numerous awards including Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album in 2005 and Best Blues Album in 2014.
With additional performances spanning multiple genres of music including rock n’ roll, reggae, gospel and soul, RIDE Festival has something for everyone.
For more information about the RIDE Festival including ticketing and official festival details check out www.ridefestival.com
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
The John Butler Trio
The Temperance Movement
Rose Hill Drive
The Marcus King Band
The Domino Room-February 17th, 2017
Last Friday at the Domino Room in downtown Bend, Oregon, we were able to catch Leftover Salmon’s opener, World’s Finest. Featuring an electric banjo, saxophone, and vintage guitar, they had a rustic and organic vibe. Blending elements of ska, bluegrass and reggae, they were able to touch on several familiar sounds while adding their own character and a bit of a twist.
Juggling genres and different styles, it was obvious the group drew inspiration from assorted backgrounds. There were many moments of feel-good-bluegrass easily associated with Portland and The Pacific Northwest. Both upbeat and rock influenced it reminded me of groups like Fruition. Other times they would tone things down and switch over to reggae and ska. Some highlights included “Rub-a-dub” reggae and well timed breakdowns to group acapellas. With flexible musicianship, they were able to showcase a few covers as well. My favorite was their funky-bluegrass cover of “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band. The nostalgia of the song, accompanied with their provocative saxophone, was a great way to close out the set.
Full of fun energy and a feel good vibe, World’s Finest had very personable crowd interaction and seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time on the stage.
Check out the links below for music and more on the World’s Finest!
The Volcanic Pub Theater-February 12th, 2017
Wildly entertaining, eccentric and funk-nasty. The words that come to mind after last nights show at The Volcanic Theater in Bend, Oregon. I knew to expect some funk with an East Coast jam band influence. What I didn’t expect was a roller coaster of spacey interludes, mambo break-beats, and jazz waltz noodling. And yes, of course there was always a sneaky funk breakdown to tie it all together. On point transitions and tight coordination amongst the group allowed for fresh switch ups and genre blending. It’s hard to explain exactly how I would classify their style, but just take my word for it, you don’t want to miss them live. Its beautiful, musical madness at its finest. With a packed house on a Sunday night, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong definitely have a following and were a perfect fit for the wacky Bend crowd, looking to get the most out of their Sunday night.
It’s rare that you come across such an animated front-man as lead singer and guitarist Greg Ormont. Sporting pajama pants and a frizzy Afro, I’m pretty sure he never blinked. His wide array of facial expressions were both engrossing and humorous. My initial hesitation slowly grew into captivation and it became hard to look away. Incredibly skilled guitarist Jeremy Schon really took it to the next level. It was clear that this type of seasoned musicianship demanded a bigger stage. With a calm, natural presence on stage, Ben Carrey laid down filthy, funk bass lines to back the group. Drummer, Alex Petropulos playfully transitioned between different tempos, genres and moods with ease. All together, this group was a tight knit team. Their raw and playful energy on stage really reflected their confidence to push their music to new boundaries.
This group is big news and word is spreading fast. They had so much support that they were able to fund their new studio album “Pizazz” through contributions from their followers. It should be releasing sometime this Fall. Also, make sure and check out their new live album “The Great Outdoors Jam” coming out February 17th!! For those of you out in Colorado, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will be playing at Red Rocks, August 13th with Moe and Twiddle!
Written by Greg Powell
Photography by Molly Buckiewicz
For more info on upcoming tour schedule, music and the band check out the links below!!
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