Our driver is a comedian and the passengers a funny mix including a couple quarreling over lost beverages and a balding man who is growing out his waist-length ponytail to compensate, constantly touching it like it might disappear any moment. Weird what one fixates on with hours of road ahead. 12 hours to be exact. The bus ride from Leeds to Amsterdam.
The free wifi connection on board is also known as 'no internet', a hack. I'm trying to download the finished collab track that Mus.hiba just sent me, but I can't even pull up gmail. Annoyed, I sit and focus on the tasks ahead. Red Bull Studios in the morning, I better get to writing this song..
Our bus boards a ferry to France around midnight. Passengers are passed out everywhere on deck and still the place feels eerily empty. Like sitting in a lonely diner with some lonely locals. It's 1am and I get a flashback to Gameboy Pokemon battles on ships. Where is my Squirtle to keep me company? Sigh. The constant sway of the ferry affects me a little more than I thought it might. Moving back and forth like a metronome trying to find time to an echo bouncing off the walls of a cave. No cantor to follow. Those waves.
Oh god I made it, the sun is shining again, and hello Amsterdam: 9am. Red Bull Studios session starts in an hour so I better wake up from these three hours of lumpy bus seat sleep and get lively.
I walk into Red Bull Studios and am immediately home. Can this be my always? I throw my 40 lb. bag down onto the sofa and have the wonderful realization: I have eight hours of time in this beautiful place to make music. Yes! We also have two engineers on site with us all day to help us with mixing, recording, laughing, anything.
Still dazed from my overnight journey I down a coffee and a Redbull; the wing-effect. Frank Los a.k.a. Frenquency and I have actually never worked on a track together before. We met online through Niek Kulpers who is part owner of Swtch, a music agency, label, and blog based out of Amsterdam. Niek and I actually became acquainted through STYLSS, a label based out of Portland and he put me in touch with Frank when I told him I was coming to Amsterdam. What a tangled web the internet weaves, eh? And now we are here with a track and full day of professional recording ahead of us.
Frank had sketched out a song a couple weeks ago and sent it to me, a footwork track called '5 years'. I ask if it had any meaning and it does. His dad passed away five years ago and that was the time that really pushed him through a transformation to make music as more than a hobby, to really go after what he wanted to do in life. I tell him my dad passed away six years ago. The looks on our faces have a similar sense of shock, reflecting how coincidental it all seems. We work five and a half hours and have a finished product, gleaming, beaming. It all came together so well.
During the end of the session I see a twitter notification from Mat Randol, our music video just dropped! I show the room. Such a great feeling to share a collaboration from PDX to a room full of musicians in Amsterdam.
Music encompassing every part of my every given moment. I could get used to this.
Next stop Soundcloud HQ - Berlin.