Produced by: Dutchyyy, Kaelin Ellis
Released: December 30, 2015 (Bandcamp)
Released: January 1st, 2016 (Streaming)
Released: December 2nd, 2016 (Cassette) via GrandGardenRecords
Backstory (ACT I):
"Chill Gawd, Chill" [It's all connected]
In summer of 2012, shortly after permanently converting from FL Studio to an Ableton Live main. The homie Kaelin Ellis (f/k/a Mr. Mockwell) sent me a few drum loops to get busy and chop over. I was still new to using Ableton, but I was able to quickly execute ideas from start to finish in a way and at a speed I was never able to pull off using FL Studio, Logic, Mpc2000, Mod-Edit, etc...
I wasn't in album mode at the time, I was just having fun quickly making beats and exporting them without over thinking. (2012-2014 Soundcloud Era was a magical time! all the legends uploading microwave tracks daily they just finished making)
I ended up cooking up a track super fast, sitting on the floor of my (at the time) unfurnished new apartment in San Pedro, CA overlooking the Port of Los Angeles. As per protocol of the times, I didn't overthink it, exported it and immediately uploaded it to soundcloud. Shortly after, I did become much more comfortable with Ableton Live, which was reflected in the crazy amount of output I had during that 2012-2014 Los Angeles Arc of my life. This particular track for me personally, didn't feel up to par since it was basically a quick warm up track. At that time, there was an upload limit on soundcloud (before pro was introduced) so this track ended up getting deleted from my SC page along with many other tracks made before I finally decided to pay for more upload space haha. Years later, it resurfaced when I decided to release a 120 minute Cassette of a lot of those old loose tracks created during that 2 year Los Angeles chapter of my life.
Backstory (ACT II):
(Origin Story) "The Uproot" [The End of the Los Angeles Chapter begins]
The very first track created for "The Uproot" titled "The Firelighter" only exists because I was at my wits end about to get evicted from my 2nd Apartment in Los Angeles for the same reason I got evicted from my first apartment. "Love?"....
After a long stressful day at work, where I did Master QC for Film, TV, Stream, DVD & Blu Ray Warner Brothers and absolutely loved it and was the best at my job. The guy who worked the night shift and took over my bay to do a different job than I do never showed up so I had to stay late (un-paid) doing back to back Ad-Pub for the movie "The Hangover 3" which for reference was 180 variations of the movie trailer, where you had to carefully monitor multiple scopes i.e. CIE Chromaticity, Histogram ,Waveform Monitor, Vectorscope, DB, LUFS, while also watching and listening for audible and visual errors, Only different regions have very different and strict regulations around specs. 2 hrs in, my direct manager called and said my co-worker was fired, and told me that I would need to switch to night shift starting the next day, because Ad pub was the highest priority due being it generated the most revenue and he couldn't trust anyone but me to do it. I'm a team player but my deal with warner brothers was I don't work nights (because I was also a musician that (at the time) did a lot of DJ/Beat set gigs) and asked if I could just do them in the day, He told me that they are purposely delivered to us to be done overnight, plus he would still need me to do my normal master QC work in the day. So basically I was just informed, for the unseeable future I would need to work my normal shift 9-5, go home and come back before midnight every night for at least 4 hrs of unpaid work. Which meant no more doing shows, or events. My world was just rocked, since I already had shows lined up. I told him, I'm going home now and we'll talk about this in the morning if that's ok. Shut everything down, and rode my bike home in silence... Just as I carried my bike up the stairs and went to open my door at like 9:30pm, my landlord (who just happened to be one of the neighbors my apartment shared a wall with) w/o a hello or any context or small talk told me very compassionately. I know [Redacted] isn't here right now which is why I stayed up to make sure I caught you. He said that he understands and sympathized with my situation and loved having me as neighbor and tenant but he couldn't sit by any longer and show her grace after sharing a wall with us and all the neighbors witnessing and complaining how chaotic my (ex) GF was time and time again and told me I can only stay if I promise to never let my (now ex) back into the apartment or property again or I would also have to be evicted. He knew we moved in together as a couple, but remembered that when we were trying to get approved, putting her on lease drastically raised our deposit, so he did us a favor and let the lease just be under my name, but allowed her to live there. (For context: He was a super nice, sweet guy, very rare in a landlord) He had already given her warnings and too many neighbors complained for him to not take action and since she wasn't on the lease and he was just trying to be nice letting her stay.. It was now on me to make a choice. What a day this was turning out to be.
I was alone, losing my mind, feeling stupid and embarrassed that my entire apartment complex knew what was happening and all felt bad for me or thought I was a sucker for putting up with that madness and kept letting her come back. I was spiraling pretty hard taking this all in once. My phone rings, and my heart drops, dreading who could be calling. I was ugly crying in the middle of breakdown. I'm pretty disorganized so I tend to forget to save peoples names on my phone. I picked up the phone and it was Kaelin.......I didn't have time to switch modes and play it cool. He could tell immediately I was going through something heavy. He asked what was going on, He already had previous context so he wasn't surprised to hear any of what I just was told by the landlord. and he didn't try to give me any advice, or bad mouth my ex or try to sway the choice I had to quickly make. He calmly told me to be quiet, breathe, Open up ableton, and focus all that rage and frustration into a song.. He wouldn't get off the phone until I actually opened up ableton. Once I said it was open, he said, Love you, everything will be alright, as soon as I hang up don't waste any time, focus this energy you're feeling right now into music....
The next morning "The Firelighter" was uploaded to Soundcloud and people went nuts. (this was also deleted from sc) but exists as the first track that plays on demo version of "The Uproot" album
A few months later, I had a show with Soulection and Ahwlee, My boss was cool with me requesting the night off since I did it weeks in advance. But the new boss at Warner brothers above my boss fired me for calling out. I found out a few weeks later from my old boss that 40% of the most integral people were laid off with no warning. Told me, I would have lost the job even if I didn't call out so I shouldn't feel bad, and told me not to worry that he will always be a reference for me. (He kept his word, which is how I ended up doing Master QC for Netflix in 2016 very briefly)
Obviously... Lost my income so I lost that apartment shortly after haha, but that ties to other backstories for other songs so we will pick up on the rest of Los Angeles Uproot backstory when we get those songs.... Now let's tie this to the song all this world building leads up to directly shall we?
Backstory (Part 3)
[Uprooted? Let's Pivot...and Traverse through the trees of New York]
Ejected from Los Angeles, pit stop in Tampa quickly rejected, a week later. New York is where I'm headed.
Winter/Spring 2014: Welcome to Yetiville
So I'm alone at my friend Sam's house in White Plains NY which is tucked away in the dope secluded area surrounded by lush forest (A welcomed contrast to Los Angeles, but once again feeling lost and angry and untethered, too much trauma back to back, any sense of comfort or home feels temporary... I don't like this energy but I'm thankful for the blessing I was given to escape Tampa.
I'm in album mode finally. I have the life experience to meaningfully translate, I have the theme, I know the purpose I'm aiming for, Let's hyper focus and harness those intentions.
As I'm sitting alone in the house while everyone's at work, I'm recalling the path that led me here and wondering where I will eventually end up where I can call home and feel comfort that doesn't feel fleeting... I remembered that conversation with Kaelin from fall of 2013 where the album first began. I still had the original drum loops he sent me back in 2012 and always felt I never did them proper justice, so I wanted to use them again and work Kaelin into the album he unknowingly set in motion. But channeling negative emotions into music wasn't the route I was trying to go. So I charged up my laptop, rolled up a spliff and hiked deep into the forest until I found a clearing I could set up this little red folding chair at, lit my spliff... took about 15 minutes just staring up at all the trees swaying in the wind... It was super peaceful and healing... It was very important that my energy was calm and grounded before I began touching this track. Nature is healing.... I put on headphones, Loaded up the drums..... and created a soundtrack based on the motion of all the trees around me swaying in harmony... I worked on this track from afternoon non-stop (with a short battery recharge intermission, back out into the forest, sun was gone, but the moon was out and was full and bright enough to dance off those swaying trees in the dark.
from Uprooted, to the UP root. Nature had the answers. Tree Traversal.
"Lua Cheia" (f/ Kaelin Ellis)
The song first debuted on the Hot Record Societe Compilation paying homage to Brazil.
HRS Vol. III: Lá Vem A Onda
Fast Forward to fall 2015, After moving to Nature Preserve on the mountain w/ my Pops in Upstate NY, After creating so new songs they wouldn't even ft on double album, After my friends GF spilled water on my Laptop in my hotel room while I was working at The Hospital in Manhattan, that had all the finalized sessions of The Uproot album on it, We now land back in Tampa, FL where I once again had to pivot, lose comfort, and harness that energy and those life lessons into a conceptional, very intention driven album.
It's all connected.
The Uproot + Traversal
and thus, "Lua Cheia" was born.