The Great Changes in 2018

   It's been 1 year since I released my solo jazz EP Hot and Dry. A lot has changed since then. I've loosened up a bit and I've let my hair grow out. More importantly, in a very organic way, I have been writing tons of pop songs. It then, kind of, occurred to me that the songs on from my jazz EP were written for The Hollywood Cabaret show that I used to produce. And even though I love jazz and will continue to sing jazz, that whole classic-gentleman persona that I had cultivated for The Hollywood Cabaret show, was a stage that I was going through. 

   After releasing my jazz EP, and as I became a better piano player (I started teaching myself piano 3 years ago!) it really became very liberating, and my natural instincts and pop music influences just started emerging from me in the new songs I was writing. I, kind of, had a revelation that showed me that I have developed so much as a songwriter, and and as a musician and singer, too. I am amazed by what happened over that time, because it wasn't planned -it was completely unexpected.

   Things have been going so well with my pop songwriting, that I just feel humbled and fortunate. Like, how did this happen? I couldn't have hoped for a better scenario to have played out. On top of all this, a number of other fortuitous things that have happened that have helped my development as a singer songwriter.

   I was invited to join LIFE Choir gospel. The experience and music knowledge that I have gained are invaluable. What a blessing. Another incredible important thing is that the choir director and founder, H.B. Barnum, whose generosity knows no bounds, has become somewhat of a music guide and mentor to me. He is a music master and behind the scene legend in the pop music world, having worked with pop artists at Capital Records, and R n B artists at Motown Records. His infinite talent related to songwriting, orchestrating, composing, music directing and producing is something that he shares with musicians everywhere, and I am fortunate to have found a great supportive friend in him.

It's 2019 now! The potential for what can take place is being laid out for me. Now it's up to me the make incredible things happen



I Got Schooled in the Recording Studio

I got schooled in the recording studio yesterday. And I knew it was all part of learning and growing as a musician. 
I was asked to sing back up vocals with 4 other male singers, by a behind-the-scenes legend that has recorded with many big names at Motown and at Capitol Records. Co-producing the session with him was a woman that has produced and written seven #1 hit songs. 
I sang well on the first 3 phrases that were recorded, one at a time. But I had trouble with the 4th and last phrase. The simplest phrase that was recorded in the session. I seemed to get lost in the vocals mix, had trouble hearing myself, and tensed up, and started going sharp, so the woman producer asked me to step out. I was disappointed, but when you have the opportunity to work with and learn from legends, you just value the experience and keep working hard at it every day, and ask for guidance and tips whenever you can. 
I will have many more opportunities to work with them, maybe even on my own project of pop songs that I am so eager to start recording. 
One final note. Even great singers sometimes sing flat or sharp, live or in the studio. Brian Wilson once had to tell Paul McCartney and Carol King that they were singing flat in the studio, and to step their game up. 
All that matters for musicians is to work at your craft every day and learn as much as you can every opportunity that you get. I am blessed to have this opportunity. 🙏🏼🎼❤️☮️

Catching Up with Sylvan

2018 is rolling! There's so much going on! I hope you are all doing well!
I'm still promoting my EP on social media and getting more lyric videos made and posted up everywhere. You can see my This Day lyric video here on my website! I wish I could play more gigs with a full band, but it's so costly that I'm not quite able to do that, but hopefully, I'll be able to figure out how to make that happen again real soon. Playing live is vital,not just for the exposure, but for my getting better as a performer. Obviously, I also want to get much better at piano, so I can perform solo, or even with some back up singers. But for now, I'm just trying to get creative and get my music out there, meet new people, and learn more about the music business hustle, while I keep working hard every day to become a better pianist, singer and songwriter.

Speaking of songwriting, something really exciting is happening now. But first, I will say, when I started playing and writing jazz songs a few years ago, I just thought that that's what I was going to do, that I was just going to be a jazz music artist. I didn't really think about writing songs in any other way or style. But in a very natural and organic way, my creativity is growing in a way that shows the influence and my love for other popular music that I grew up with.  I love so many different styles of pop music from the past, and it's really just emerging in the newer songs that I'm writing. I'm still writing jazz songs, but I'm also mixing jazz with pop and groove, and I'm even starting to write songs with strong pop melodies, with cool R n B or funk grooves. And I think these songs are the best songs I've ever written. I'm already excited about the idea of recording and releasing these songs.  And even just as exciting is that there's a good possibility that I'll be doing that with a big producer that has worked with many big names at Capitol Records and Motown Records. I really feel that it's going to happen, and that we're going to record some truly great music, that will appeal to a wider audience of music fans.  I now just have to remind myself every day to just be patient, focused, and to keep working hard at practicing every day and becoming a better artist. 

I'm just about finished paying off the production costs of my EP Hot and Dry, so I'll be able to catch my breath, and even take a little trip up to Vancouver, BC, which I'm really excited about. Can't wait to get up to Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Horseshoe Bay, and Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Nature to rejuvenate me, and feed my soul!

After that, I turn my full focus and energy to working with my producer on my next release!

Love & Peace to you all!!


An Indie Update!

   After a very successful record release party at Taix in Echo Park, I have turned my focus to social media promoting, reaching out to college radio, and songwriting. Things are going as well as I could realistically expect, for the most part. It's challenging building awareness in a style that isn't that popular with mainstream audiences. Especially when your starting at the bottom, as a virtually unknown music artists in your own city. But it is what it is. I've accomplished what I set out to do, and I'm building upon that foundation. There is no where to go, but up!
Another big challenge is financing a back up band of professional musicians. Good musicians need to get paid, and that's only fair. It really pays off during rehearsals and shows. You can really trust talented trained musicians to learn songs fast and lay it down really well.

The band that I had for my record release party were my producer Marc Bosserman on piano, bass player Eric Garcia, drummer, David Cowan, and saxophonist Julie Sax. We rehearsed twice before the show, and did a one song sound check the night of, and that's it. They did a great job that night. I would have preferred to have been a little more well rehearsed, but the show went off really well, we had a great turnout, and the audience response after each song was both overwhelming, and humbling. It was an incredible experience, that left everyone feeling high from the excitement of the event. 

Now the question is, how do I keep it all going? That is another challenge I will face head on! 

Facing My Fears, and Charging into 2018!

I'm heading into the new year, and a busy month, where I'll be putting myself out there for the whole world to see. 
While sitting alone on a bench 2 nights ago, at Malibu pier, I paused, in panic, and thought, what was I thinking, how could I do this, who do I think I am?! Maybe I should cancel the event! lol But I suppose self doubt creeps into the minds of even the most confident of people. I then heard Adele singing on my iPhone, and I realized, I have an OBLIGATION to put my music out there and perform live! 
-I see no connection whatsoever between me and Adele, she is a world class talent and the best pop music artist in the WORLD! I am MUCH older than her and an unknown music artist in my own city. The only thing I have in common with her is that I, too, have something to say! And I will say it, I will sing it! I will play it! So what if I get scared, I don't give a damn, I'm going to release my music, and go into my record release party and take charge when I hit the stage with my backing band. I will seize the moment, and I will own it! 
Without music, my life would be empty, dull, boring, stale! Fear be damned! 
Life is one long series of risks, where you experience every human emotion imaginable. Fear and self-doubt are just as much a part of it, as are those rewarding, fulfilling moments of personal exhilaration, joy, and triumph. And with every remaining minute I have on this earth, I will live positively, and with love, and respect and openness, and I will make music. I will contribute to the culture of our city. And I will do my best! Because I have an OBLIGATION! 2018, Go Get It!!!

An Introduction

Debut EP available January 26, 2018! 

It's been a very long journey, and I am very happy about my upcoming debut being released on January 26, 2018, on The Hollywood Cabaret Music label. 

From demo-ing songs, to recording and re-recording, and lots and lots of learning along the way, I am very lucky to have been working with producer/arranger/pianist Marc Bosserman. It was a strong, loyal partnership, and we're jus about ready to bring it home.

The 4 songs on the EP are traditional Pop Standard style, jazz based tunes, fun songs, lyrics, melodies, you name it! It's the beginning of a great musical journey, that already has me delving int the pop music realm. And I'm looking forward to promoting this EP, and immediately jumping into lots more songwriting, performing live, and recording more music to release.

Please follow me on social media for real time updates, and to see what I'm doing and what I'm up to. It's a great way to learn more about me and see what I'm really about.

Thank you!!!