Our first full album for 92 Keys is finally out in the wild! Okay, I’m like 6 weeks late making this post haha. The album released on September 4, 2018.
There are three people that made this album come to life and I am very happy and grateful they spent the amount of time and effort they did working with me on it. Stephen Anderson, Shane Mickelson, and Giles Reaves. These guys blow me away with their skill. Stephen’s sound design and orchestration, Shane’s violin writing ability, and Giles mixing and attention to detail, it makes a huge difference working with people who know what they are doing.
And of course, the nine violinists who agreed to record for the album! As you listen to each song, you’ll hear a very good representation of just how different and varying the violin can sound. Depending on the player of course, but also the instrument itself. Each sound has its own personality and it was really fun mixing this album with Giles and going through the process of blending each player’s sound with the song they are featured on.
Honestly, Spring of Fire ended up being a really great networking project working with all these violinists. I also had the opportunity to go down to Texas this last August to film the Rolling in the Deep music video with Chloé Trevor and it was really great to meet and work with her for a day.
Filming day with Chloé Trevor in Texas. August 21, 2018
That sweet data
You’ve probably heard this somewhere. But there is an area of the brain that gets fired up when you get a notification on social media. It’s some sort of quick, temporary, excitement. I’m not on social media a whole lot, but I definitely experience that rush of excitement when new data comes in for Spring of Fire! Sometimes it’s more fun than the music itself.
Between SoundExchange, Songtrust (45 global PROs, 226 territories), various DSP data, and a whole host of other sources where I can see engagement with our music, I get excited by all of it. Even individual platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami (a huge Middle East streaming service), and Pandora all have artist portals where you can see all sorts of engagement with your music (number of saves, playlist adds, retention, etc).
Since releasing Spring of Fire, the data on all these platforms has spiked dramatically compared to what it was when we just had our six-track EP up everywhere. Not that we are some mainstream group or anything but the percentage growth has been stark and it’s great to see a lot more thumbs up on our tracks on Pandora, saves and playlist adds by the hundreds on Spotify, and everywhere else.
I guess when you go from 1 stream to 10 streams, that’s a 1000% increase haha. But it’s still progress!
So what happens now?
Well, after doing this full album in addition to our demo in 2016, I feel a lot more confident about 92 Keys as a brand with a future. My confidence in my own ability to write arrangements is getting stronger, and working with all the people I mentioned above has given me confidence in our ability to produce a lot more content while still improving the quality and creativity that goes into each song.
Over the Summer I’ve already begun working on a full Christmas album for 2019. Shane Mickelsen will also be doing a mountain load of work for that project with both full orchestrations and helping me write complete violin parts for my piano arrangements.
But I’d also like to get other projects in the pipeline and have also started a full Church Hymns project. If you listen to the Be Thou My Vision track on Spring of Fire you can get an idea of how I like to arrange an old hymn.
So the goal is to have two full albums written and produced by June 2019. Yikes! Gotta get moving.
I’d also like to produce a full album of video game covers! There have been so many amazing songs created for games in the last ten years, where even if you aren’t a gamer, I know it would be music many in our audience would love to hear.
All subject to change, but as of right now that’s what is percolating.
Every night I get to spend a few hours writing new music. Do you like my teeny tiny house? 298 sq/ft!