101691 interviews created 

What is your creative process?

I start with lyrics. I have always had a poetic leaning I suppose so for me it is always and always has been the start. After that I usually get a hookline into my head for the chorus, the rest flows from that and then it is all usually taken apart by my producer who fills in all the rest and creates sounds and feelings that I could never imagine. 

Gotta see eye to eye with the producer (or director, or whoever I'm working with). Gotta make sure I can legitimately bring something to the project. Don't want to be dead weight. Want to enhance, weave magic.

I have refused jobs before because I thought I couldn't bring it.

Once producer and I see the same world, then the Muse talks to me and the magic happens. Dunno how - it just somehow always works.

I get most of my creativity while listing to other music and also watching movies. I like playing with different sounds as well and that helps me to produce something unique. 

A lot of my writing comes directly out of worship. Usually in the morning after morning prayer and worship and sometimes during. There is no ONE way really.... sometimes I sit down and write a word or a sentence, and other stuff seems to evolve out of that... other times I think about a particular theme, like, Sept 11, and begin to free associate. Other times I write lyrics in a book , forget about it and come back days or weeks later. Ive learned NOT to PUSH or FORCE the creative process. It's elusive when you do that... I DO find its important though, to move forward. I try to write SOMETHING every day, or at least perform something even if it means going over my old stuff and reciting it. 

I usually look for sounds or harmonies that will move someones imagination. I try to combine elements for many different areas around the country when it comes to hip hop to create a song that hopefully anyone can appreciate. 

I just try to write and collaborate as much as possible with as many different people as possible. 

Sometimes I hear a melody in my head, I record it and I start building a song around it.
Sometimes I play something on the piano, I record it and start building a song around it...but the mixing process takes a lot of time, a lot...

i don't really have one......sometimes a guitar part comes to me or a melody or just a general idea but theres never one definite way to go about it 

Listening to music, seeing a band and having someone creative to workshop ideas with gets the juices going. I generally write down everything I need to do and add things while I'm out to do when I get into the office in the morning. Coffee helps in the mornings and a beer helps in the evenings! 

Simply get together in a room and jam. 

when i play guitar i always come upon new ideas and melody, riffs,etc. so there is always music ready and waiting. then when i feel the mood i write the lyircs and pick from the music I'v written what sounding music goes best with the lyrics. 

The night inspire me. I love it. 

That depends on what I'm trying to create!

If it's a studio session, for example, and I'm playing drums on someone's track, the process tends to be fairly loose and fluid, with a lot of improvisation and interpretation... (Although also, quick - because, of course, time in money!)

If I'm writing my own music, I spend a lot of time at the piano, and I tend to go for a "trial and error" approach...

Ideas come from the most unlikely of places, but tools and theory and continuing to experiment and learn how to do new things and play new instruments are the most important part of it for me. Trying to do something fresh with the same old formulas that others have used, it gets a little confusing sometimes even to me. But yeah, it's always a search for new inspiration, and I read voraciously so I definitely think that sort of thing helps as a writer. As they say, train hard, train long, then chuck all the rules out the window and just let it flow from some other part of your consciousness, let the machine take over. Some friends have called me a mad scientist or said that I do extraordinarily strange things sometimes that don't always make sense when they start but then when the plan comes together and they understand it then it always makes sense in retrospect. I guess sometimes I'm not really able to easily explain everything that I want to do at the start of a project and it's more about the journey than it is about the destination... 

The creative process - wow - for writing and composing it is fairly similar, but to actually nail it down, that is something that I have tried to do many times over the last 20 years. Essential, when I approach a composition I like to have an idea of where the piece is going to go - the form and structure of the piece, for example - before I begin composing. So, if I'm writing a piece for solo flute, for example (an upcoming commission that I'm working on), I will first make decisions as to the large framework so that anything that comes afterward can find its place within that frame. This piece will have a short arch form - it will be in three sections with the A section being somewhat related to its mirror on the other side of the central B section (though the piece is NOT an "ABA" because each section depicts a painting, so it will definitely be a truncated arch with the second A having its own themes with a return of some of the first section's ideas.

One thing that I use, and always keep handy, is a sketch book - I find it indispensable as a tool to my craft. Writing down musical ideas, melodic gestures, harmonic ideas, rhythmic ideas, anything like that for future use is so important if I'm not able to put the music down in the notation software that I use.

Until about a year ago I wrote all of my compositions out on paper - in ink - with only the occasional piece being directly composed into Finale, the notation software that I've been using for about 15 years (currently using Finale 2010). Lately, however, I've found that there are some advantages to composing directly into the program - working on my laptop rather than on paper. One great advantage is that Finale allows for instant playback of what has been entered into the program, providing the opportunity to hear the piece with the instrumentation. It doesn't sound exactly as it would if played by human performers, but the rendering is decent enough to provide a composer with an excellent idea of the direction they're headed in.

When I write on paper - something I still do when "doodling", or if my computer is not handy (or if using my sketchpad) I am able to tell what the music sounds like, so when using the playback from Finale it is only a confirmation of what has been entered - and to confirm that I haven't made any mistakes (such as leaving out any accidentals or things like that).

Other than that, the process is often unique for each piece that I'm working on. The inspiration that sets the piece going is what will define the process in many cases, but, for the most part ... I compose - I hear the music in my head and "transcribe it", trying to capture the essence of a sculpture in sound the best way I can.

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