Just a quick update while I slack off at work:
I'll be heading to Shattered Wings studio on April 26th with members of Sonburst backing me up. This album will truly be my baby and has been a long time coming, with all kinds of delays while improvements are being made and I get my shit together.
Thanks to all for your patience and continued support, I believe this will be the next big step for me as far as opening some new doors, meeting new people and visiting new places. Everything I want with my life. I'm in a good place.
As I have had no vocal training but a severe passion for music, I’ve developed a few of my own guidelines to becoming a better vocalist and a more productive artist, through trial and error and tricks of the trade from many random sources. Try and work with as many of these as possible and see how much you improve, even in just a weeks time!
1. Get LOTS of rest… I can’t stress how much sleep strengthens your voice, as well as fixes up you brain and muscle tissue so you can tackle the things you need to do and the things you WANT to do without straining your vocals or over exerting yourself.
2. Always find new inspirations and learn the songs you love to listen to! Pie; equally as easy.
3. Vocal warm-ups really do help… you can youtube some and check out which ones work for you best. The voice is a muscle after all, so it’s like yoga for your chords. Circulate blood flow, increase flexibility (range) and create more balance (tone and accuracy).
4. Don’t get discouraged. I try to remind myself that having a bad vocal day or lac of inspiration is as common as a bad hair day and the more you stress over it the worse it gets (even if it’s all in your head). Also, for women, during the time of our monthly cycle we actually have a way tougher time singing and hitting notes with complete accuracy. It’s not you, it’s Mother Nature.
5. Just always sing! Hum on the bus, as you work, as you clean, wherever you may be. It can be nerving to sing around strangers but it actually spreads positivity and you will start feeling more comfortable with yourself and create a healthy adrenaline. You’re probably more likely to send someone a smile or start a friendly conversation too.
6. Have jam sessions with yourself where you are convicted by every note and every word… convince yourself no one else can hear you, even if they’re in the next room. Surrender your 100% to that exact moment and immerse yourself in the excitement of it all.
7. Have a Ricola lozenge and sip on some tea! Reward your voice for it’s hard days work. That being said, drink up your whiskey, smoke your stuff and have late nights with shouting and other sorts of debauchery, for your soul needs just as much attention as your voice, but make sure it doesn’t get the better of your progress. Tom Waits can rock it, but we’re not all gods. Learn about your voice and work with it.
8. There is AWLAYS ALWAY ALWAYS room for improvement. You will never be “the best”, so stop pouting and become a warrior. All of us have different skills and limitations and that’s what gives the world it’s beautiful salad of diversity. Its how there are so many different genres and subcultures and how everyone finds art that stirs something within them, prompting them to feel they are not alone in the world and can move forward, chin up.
9&10. “Be Freddy Mercury” days. All I’m missing is the one piece spandex suit. This goes back to staying inspired and having jam times. Pick your favourite artist or whoever happens to be really doing something for you at the time and really listen to them… watch their moves, try to grasp their drive, sing along as if they needed you embody their character entirely. Don’t try to become them as a musician or person, rather learn from their craftsmanship to really find what you love and what your good at, to aid in the definition of who you are as an artist. This is another way I do vocal warmups.
Hope this helps. Got other tips? Share the wealth!
Blog with pictures at: http://keturrjay.tumblr.com/
We're still waiting anxiously to get in the studio, however "Shattered Wings" is still in the process of renovations so I've got time to keep writing and play a few shows! Hopefully we can start camping out there in late February or early March.
I've gotta say, I'm incredibly excited about this album and the entire experience that lies ahead of me. Playing with a band, making songs come to life that I've been jamming for either years or just weeks, trial and error, experimentation. I'm starting to dream about it. It will be the next step to something different and great in my life, taking me on some foreign new adventure, just what I've always wanted.
As for shows, the next is in a little over a week at Saw Gallery on December 16th. More Details on that to come... but also later on that night I get the pleasure of seeing a truly brilliant artist, Annie Clark, perform with her band "St. Vincent" at Ritual! Holding onto my socks...
And the other show lined up is on Tuesday, January 10th at (my fav) The Rainbow in the market avec a few of Ottawa's finest and my extreme pleasure to perform with; C.c Trubiak and Derek Connely. Again, more to come on the details and links to these fine artists music (you will not regret treating your ears to a listen, I tell you this).
Goodnight for now, and have a little St.Vincent before you catch a cold.
HOORAY; for the day hath come where studio hours have been booked and it is officially GO TIME.
The plan is to record a full length album with a few acoustic only tracks and the rest with guest musicians for a full band. I'll be collaborating with members of Sonburst (progressive metal band from Ottawa) as well as some other extremely talented friends to give it the roller coaster feel of many styles; from doom, to folk, to blues.
For anyone who is familiar with my some of my songs, the tracks will include tunes such as "Spare Change", "Go Away", "In My Dreams" and "Organics", to name a few.
Still trying to figure out the funding of this project so likely there will be a few shows going on in the next couple months to help it along! STAY TUNED, and thank you all for the generous support!
The past few months have been very productive and exciting.
I'm writing much more new material that I'll record in late August. Still looking for cost efficient places to record, please message me if you know who I could contact!
I'm also starting a video project with Darren Holmes, a Gatineau based photographer who is out of this world brilliant. Do yourselves a favour and check out his stuff at http://www.darrenholmes.com/ ...you won't regret it ;) I'll post updates on our project in these blogs.
Now to send you off with the song that kept me company on this breezy summer afternoon, tranquil and catchy. I wrongfully dismissed this band for a few years only because I hand't heard the right stuff.
Incubus- Aqueous Transmission http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s8YK4R5qa0
So after much procrastination but with great anticipation, the Ket blogging beggins!
This will be a way for me to keep everyone updated on what I'm working on musically, what other artists are inspiring me, my take on our local talent, and other random thoughts I think would be fun topics for discussion. Follow along and share your thoughts, I love talking art!
On February 15th I had my frist EP release show with friends Jersey Hurtt (acousta-punk), Maccie Paquette (blues/soul) and the Northers (psychedelic rock, blues, indie, everything else good melded into one genre) all at the Rainbow Bistro with a packed house! We sold tons of cd's, however I had actually recorded the EP just about 2 years ago with a friend (Miguel Gautier) in Sault St. Marie. Needless to say, since the recording, I've evolved quite a bit as a person but have also developed my voice and found more of my own sound... it just took the experience of being in a studio for the first time as well as playing lot's of live shows. I know I'll always be growing and changing, so I can't wait to get back in the studio and record all of my steps! Hopefully Rosa and I make a bit of money touring across Ontario this summer because that money will go into the "get Ket recording again" fund- I will make a jar... I will fancy her right up... and I will save my penny's. GRAND.
In other news, I was super excited to start a blog to share music, videos and interesting sites and articles... SO I begin my first with a band that's been holding my attention a fair bit this month; CocoRosie. Two sisters who together sing, play the guitar, piano, harp, electronic and percussion instruments, as well as other exotic noisemakers. Their style is like nothing I've ever heard before, and it was bitter sweet getting used to them. Their genre is considered "freak folk" which is what drew me in, and though they are girls, in their art they prefer to remain genderless... google pictures of them and you'll see what I mean.
This photography inspired music video of theirs is absolutely breathtaking. It may take a bit to chew on their sound... lot's of people find their voices fairly irritating. Watch for yourself though and try to see how this is absolutely beautiful it's its own unique way.