Someone once asked me would you do if you had just a year to live? My answer without hesitation was to finish my music CD of the songs I had written through the years.
Let me give you a brief background on this. When I was much younger in my mid-20s, I was a musician and had a rock band for a while called Time Zone. We were mostly a garage band with guys I had gone to high school with. I was the drummer and the lyricist for the band. When the band broke up in the late 1980s, I continued to write my own songs would record the karaoke versions on my home studio from time to time. I loved my songs and I would listen to the karaoke versions in my car for almost 20 years.
I always dreamt of being able to record them at a professional level someday but it’s not easy recording your own CD. You need musicians, a recording studio, money, time and unfortunately, I didn’t have access to most of those things at the time.
Once I was having lunch with a few friends of mine and share with them that I really want to record my own CD. My friend Doug said that RJ, I know a guy who might be a great fit for you. He is the media director to my church so I called him up.
His name was Jered Schuerman. Jered had a small studio which was just 15 minutes from my office. He had a recording degree, his rates were reasonable and on top of that, his friends were also super talented musicians would could play on the CD. It was the perfect opportunity!
We started recording 6 songs and when I heard how good everything was sounding, I asked if they would be willing to record 12 songs? They gladly said yes. But I made some huge mistakes along the way. Nothing new for me!
I told them I didn’t want to hear my voice on the CD until we were done with the mixing. They were apprehensive about this, but went along anyway. You see… I didn’t like my voice and I was afraid that if I heard myself, I wouldn’t follow thru and complete the project.
Well it turned out that after we finished the recording and the mixing, I felt could have done better and wanted to re-record the vocals and remix. Since it was so time consuming and expensive to do that, they suggested I can re-record the vocals on the karaoke tracks and they could mix that for me. I thought that sounded reasonable so we did that. Unfortunately, I didn’t like that either. When you record on top karaoke tracks, you lose some of the dynamics of mixing a full track.
I asked if we could do it again and they thought it was crazy to record and re-record the same songs over again so they suggested we record some new songs. I really enjoyed recording with Jered, Phil, Hector so I agreed. We recorded 6 more songs and I gave them all full freedom to produce with modern tones as they felt appropriate. The CD turned out great but still hasn’t been released yet.
I really wanted to re-record the first one with the original 12 songs. A few years later, Jered finally agreed to let me re-record the vocals and we re-mixed, mastered and release the CD you have here.
This CD has gone through a lot of changes. I am not a professional singer or a musician. I have been pretty much self-taught as a musician and only know a handful of chords. I just had the will and not much of the skill.
Thanks to the super talents of Jered Schuerman and his buddies (Phil Rogers, Hector Arocho, Brad Long, Shan Wallace and Jeffrey B Scott), we finally have a CD I can be proud of. Special thanks to my friend Aarti Pandya for her beautiful vocals on our duet on the Worth the Wait, and her background vocals on Have Faith and The Prince.
The number one goal on my bucket list has been accomplished.
I hope my songs bring you as much pleasure as they have been for me.
Go Carpe Diem and Seize the day!