Why Dark Music Is Popular In Hip-Hop: A Producer’s Study

With songs like Migos’ “Bad and Boujee,” 21 Savage’s “X,” and The Weeknd’s “The Hills” gathering millions of streams and views across the online musical spectrum, the question eventually arises: “When did dark-sounding music become so popular?” Sure, sad songs have always been on repeat on the radio stations, especially for country music, but one genre in particular has been capitalizing on minor key music, hip-hop. And it’s not just about sounding sad, rather, dark. Hip-hop producer Metro Boomin is the biggest hit songwriter of 2017 so far according to Music Business Worldwide, but the majority of his beats feature ominous, eerie melodies, with lush minor chords that feel both sad and menacing. Isn’t popular music supposed to be, like, happy and fun? Well, happy and fun have found a place in dark music. For example, Drake’s song, “Energy,” is built around a dark, minimal piano line — but when he performs live, the crowd isn’t sitting there sulking; they’re jumping up and down and screaming the lyrics jubilantly. So, we wanted to dissect what makes this new wave of dark music so popular from a producer’s point of view.

TylerWhy Dark Music Is Popular In Hip-Hop: A Producer’s Study
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3 Songwriting Partnership Lessons From Lennon and McCartney

Arguably the most prolific pop songwriting duo of the 20th century, John Lennon and Paul McCartney crafted some of the best known and most beloved tracks of all time as the major powerhouses behind the Beatles. Although each would go onto have successful solo careers — McCartney with Wings in the ‘70s and largely by himself thereafter and Lennon, along with wife Yoko Ono, helming politically charged outfits during his tragically short post-Beatles career — many insist they were never as good apart as they were together.

When boiled down to the basic status of “co-writers,” however, Lennon and McCartney aren’t so different from you and your writing partners. They dealt with many similar issues that, hopefully, won’t crop up too often in your own career, including copyright disputes, claims over who wrote what, and the public deifying one half over the other. It’s indisputable, however, that their combined power created a musical benchmark few other have risen to.

Although there are many, many lessons to learn from Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting partnership, here are three key takeaways that will get you and your present and future co-writers on the right track to crafting musical masterpieces.

Tyler3 Songwriting Partnership Lessons From Lennon and McCartney
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10 Steps to Easier Touring

Touring is a huge endeavor, even for experienced veterans. A music tour requires months of planning, saving, and contacting other bands, promoters, and venues – and making sure everyone in your act has the time off to go on tour plus the funds to pay for food, sundries, and amenities on the road (*cough*beer*cough*).

But effectively planning a tour doesn’t have to be immensely difficult or near-impossible, even when it seems so. Here are ten steps you can take to make touring easier so you can focus on playing music.

Tyler10 Steps to Easier Touring
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5 Steps to Achieving the Perfect Mix (Without Expensive Gear)

When you picture professional producers, mixers, and mastering engineers like Dr. Dre, Bob Ludwig, and Rick Rubin, what are they usually working with? Massive mixing boards? Huge state-of-the-art speakers? Thousand-dollar headphones? Priceless vintage equipment? That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

If we all had access to gear like that, you might think life would be much easier — and you would probably be right — but there are still many ways to achieve a great mix on a budget. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you’re already well on your way to achieving a good mix.

Tyler5 Steps to Achieving the Perfect Mix (Without Expensive Gear)
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Artist You Should Know: Hy Brasil

We caught up with Hy Brasil to get the lowdown on their new single, “Let Go,” creative process, live shows, and the story behind their mythical band name.

Hi guys, before we start off can you please introduce yourselves?  

Absolutely, my name is Wyatt Hull, I’m the chanteur of refined bellowing for Hy Brasil, we are a mostly alt-rock specific band but at times genre confused. Currently we reside in Ventura California, about an hour up the coast from Los Angeles.

Where did you come up with the name Hy Brasil?  

Hy Brasil was the name of a supposed island once on all the ancient mariner maps but now has vanished. Its mythology is very similar to Atlantis but more fascinating because of the numerous eyewitness accounts of the island. The word was derived from “Breasal” which means “High King of the World”. I could nerd out more on the history but its ties to extraterrestrials are what really attracted me to the name. In one of the most famous & well documented UFO encounters, at a US military base in the UK’s Rendlesham Forest, Jim Penniston touched a grounded alien craft & received 16 pages of binary code burned into his mind that were later translated to “EXPLORATION OF HUMANITY 666 8100 52.0942532N 13.131269W (Hy Brasil) CONTINUOUS FOR PLANETARY ADVANCEMENT.” Which in a nutshell says that Aliens will someday return to the coordinates of the island of Hy Brasil for planetary advancement. Also if you rearrange the letters in my name Wyatt Hull the anagram is Hy Brasil.  

TylerArtist You Should Know: Hy Brasil
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Artist Session: The Upset Victory

Set to release their first full-length album, Cincinnati-based quintet The Upset Victory is turning heads with their uptempo, high energy brand of alt-pop. We recently got up with the band to discuss their latest single, “The Weekend (Bad Habits),” stripped down songwriting process, and more.

Hey guys, thanks for catching up with us! You just premiered “The Weekend (Bad Habits)” on MySpace Music and said, “”The Weekend” is a bit of a satire, urging one to embrace their inner demons or desires (bad habits).” What’s the story behind the track?

You’re absolutely right. Jason, our lead singer, said it best, “‘The Weekend’ is a bit of a satire, urging one to embrace their inner demons or desires (bad habits), whilst poking fun at the status-quo of “morality” — church and confession of sins. The song also points to our innate attraction to chaos, and our tendency to lust after something/someone despite knowing or being told it is “no good.” Lastly,  I feel, “The Weekend” is a reflection of my own life and the menace I have been.”

TylerArtist Session: The Upset Victory
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