Un fait méconnu sur moi


I love the ability to express my traits in a way that is accessible to many people; it is so important to me as an artist & musician to have this freedom of expression so you, the faithful Pal, have a good idea of what goes on in this crazy brain of mine. As I've been working my way through my network of amazing creators & musicians, I've discovered something interesting and a bit troubling in their collaborations with me. It really came to light recently when I started working with several close colleagues of mine. It was their impression that it was 'beneath me' to want to sing or perform with other artists, due in part to the fact I have so much going on with my own project and co-productions in place, but mainly because I've evidently been giving off an air of extreme self-reliance in music & art. This air is the troubling part of the previous musings; therefore, let me once again state my feelings on working with others, specifically as it pertains to vocal work.

First, I L.O.V.E. singing. As I stated before in blogs prior, of the several gifts with which I've been blessed, singing & performing is at the top of the list. If I could do nothing else artistically or creatively, I would still be satisfied so long as I could open my mouth and have beautiful sounds come out; it's why I try to take the best possible care of my voice and encourage all other vocalists to do the same. I love singing, I love hearing other talented singers, and I love hearing new voices as well as new songs for those voices. Just wanted to state that.

Secondly, I REALLY, REALLY LOVE to sing with other people. Whether it be a duet, a background vocal, a chorus, an "ooh" or an "aah," it's always great to sing alongside folks. I've found (as I'm sure many vocalists have) that collective vocalizing carries its own specific & special energy. My High School teacher & composer, Jerry Ulrich (amazing musician, FYI; he's now at Georgia Tech teaching), would always quote, "singing is one of the most intimate things two people can do with each other." I couldn't agree more, and I think it is essential that ANY solo artist venture into some form of collaborative or ensemble singing as part of their development and musical growth.

Having typed that, let me state again that so long as the people I work with are focused, talented, and respect my time & education, I have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER singing with/for you. If you need a background vocalist, I got you. If you're looking for someone to help with your vocal arrangements for a live show, I'm definitely down to do that. And of course, if you're interested in doing some duet work for your upcoming performances, just let me know! I state again that all I ask is for you to keep a good schedule & be a good singer; we can take the rest from that point. Believe me, those requirements alone help to eliminate alot of people, heheheh...

Thanks always for hitting up my blog-thoughts, feel free to comment, and if you'd like to hit me up, you already know I'm a tweet-head for real!




Here comes another show! Presenting: POP-HOP


Register for P. Murray: Pop-Hop in New York, NY  on Eventbrite

**Jay-Z Voice** YUP!

We're doing it again, P. Murray pals, less than a month from now, I'm going to be giving you a 45-minute mashup of some of Pop music's biggest records, skillfully placed over, inside, and under a handful of Hip-Hop's most praiseworthy beats & hits. Believe me when I tell you THIS one's gonna be alot of fun. I've been commissioned via Tweets by Lil' Mo to make sure that no matter what happens, that the songs are SLAIN and served to you as only musicians can do it. I'm ready...are you coming?

DATE: Thursday, August 19, 2010

TIME: 7pm EST (We will be starting ON TIME)

LOCATION: 87 Ludlow Street (btwn. Delancey & Broome St.), NYC

COVER: $10

You can click the links, or visit http://PopHop.Eventbrite.com/ for more info


ANNOUNCEMENT: My Music is on iTunes! YEAH BABY!

So who is more excited than me today about my big news?


I'm so happy to announce that after working with the great folks at Tunecore.com and some prayer alongside some crossed fingers, my debut EP, "First Draft," is on iTunes! Frankly, I was very surprised that the process was as smooth as it was for me. Kudos to Tunecore for really coming through for independent artists. I know there are folks out there who, like me, are religious about using iTunes as their music purchase site and will not download from anywhere else. While I'm not THAT anal about it, now all you people who are have to at least check out the store! I hope that what you hear will bring you to click that "Buy Album" button :-) .

If you'd like to hear a full HD-quality preview of the EP, it is always available at http://firstdraftonline.com/

SO...if you wanna get that iTunes EP poppin RIGHT NOW, simply click the conveniently created icon below this text. Whether or not you've purchased, make sure to rate the music on the iTunes store, as well as comment on the music so we can get the buzz factor up. You Pals have been more than awesome about taking the initiative to spread the word about the "First Draft" movement. All that love you show me I send right back to you 1,000 times over! Take care, until next time...



Self-Evident Truths.


[This was a commentary response I made to an article in the NY Times about my generation regarding a young man who allegedly turned down an entry-level job w/a $40K salary in the hopes of something better. You can read the article itself by clicking HERE. After writing this tome of a reply, I figured it was blog-worthy. I would love your thoughts.]

Folks, I hate to be the bubble burster for everyone, but I don't mind doing it. Before I say anything else, let me state that I do fall into this 'millennial' category, being in my 20's, unemployed, and at home. Now if people were to take a scrutinizing, very detailed look at the shape of the economy, you would discover two things:

1.) The system, as it stands, was never meant, nor will it ever be meant, to help a 'so-called millennial' achieve anything but enter and remain a part of the seemingly endless cycle of debt that is to be fostered by these dead-end jobs and non-mobile employment opportunities.

2.) Said system, as time progresses, is only becoming progressively worse. The value of a college degree has fallen to that of a High School diploma, and those continuing on with their education looking for higher wages will find themselves unpleasantly surprised, when the fruit of their labors leaves them in a position similar to those of us who stopped the college-train at a Bachelor's Degree. And with decidedly more debt.

I suppose I can't speak for other millennials, but my personal experiences have led me to believe that earning money and providing for oneself are two entirely different agendas. One can very easily find themselves in a cushy six-figure job with benefits and still be living a terrible life or lifestyle. On the other end of that double-edged sword, one could be like me, confident in my goals [as an aspiring musician], working towards something greater and with more value. In my case, that thing of value is the pursuit and perpetuation of the arts.

I don't deny that we as citizens of a capitalist society are programmed to be on the hunt for financial stability; it may as well be the other American creed next to the opening lines to the Constitution. What society in general has lost, in my opinion, are the values behind that type of stability. I refuse to demean myself or lower my set of standards chasing the 'Almighty Dollar;" to me, that is a deplorable kind of chase, best suited for dogs and their chew-toys. Many of you will read this and surmise that I'm ungrateful and riding a very high horse; I've thought of you all too.

I know how very lucky & blessed I am to have a family who not only supports my dreams, but allows me the space to pursue them. I do not feel that I retain a sense of entitlement, and if such a feeling does exist, it is grossly overshadowed by my desire to do something better with my life (i.e. music). I do understand that a musician's life falls into its own special category, but the same goes for any millennial wishing to create a life for themselves that has purpose and meaning. We desire more because we know that so many before us have settled; we have more patience and planning skills because we don't want to fall into the money-traps and career-pitfalls our parents and grandparents have fallen into; we know that we can do better because even though tomorrow might not be promised, the future still looks brighter than we could ever imagine, and I for one am not about to give up those possibilities, or trade them in for a sweet 401K or hedge fund.

With all of this said, I have no problem holding down a job to cover necessary expenses incurred as a young American citizen; I am in the midst of heading back into the work force within the next 90 days. I have no problem creating a sustainable lifestyle so as to be a functioning member of society. I likewise have no problem passing on that ideal to my peers or my descendants; simply put, sometimes you do what you gotta do. But all this is serving a higher purpose, which is to create a life that is fulfilling, meaningful, and provides society with something more than just a tax ID number.

The American Dream is indeed elusive, because all it will ever be is a dream. Property, wealth, and prosperity are all material and temporal ideals; such things do not equate with being content in one's living. The reality of life is that it is filled with hardships and trial. The truly 'elite' of our society live lives knowing that the best moments are found in the good times sought in between those hardships while in pursuit of common truths and veritable happiness.


On my own two feet...yours too.


SO...evidently, the trend in the past 5 years (approximately) is this compilation of major label artists taking big spills on stage. I'm not talking about pouring out liquor for a lost homie either. I'm speaking of the various slips and falls that we've seen swimming around cyberspace. From Beyonce, to Kelly, to Michele, to Jazmine, to Drake, to Rihanna, to Lady GaGa, and the most recent Alicia Keys back-buster, for some reason, many of our mainstream folks can't seem to keep it together. Either that or we've just recorded alot more of these folks' mistakes than we used to. However, I'm more inclined to lean towards the fact that Pop culture has forgotten to teach alot of the newer artists basic stage movement before throwing them into a worldwide tour w/full-out choreography. As they say, you have to crawl before you walk, and in this case, before you dance or strut across a proscenium. So, as someone who has studied Body Movement, Stage Movement, and Stage Deportment under professional tutelage, allow me to import some common-sense pointers for anyone looking to step foot on a stage any time soon.

We'll break this down by sex, but all of these could apply to both genders. I just noticed these traits amongst men & women respectively.


1.) USE A NORMAL WALK: Stop attempting to use anything but your normal gait (that means stride, folks) on stage. In other words, if you don't already have a West Coast pimped out swagger-walk, your show or tour is not the time to start one up. Physically, once our bodies get into a movement routine when traveling, breaking out of it in some asinine way is only asking for trouble, particularly when we're already having major distractions thrown at us (e.g. the crowd, the band, the DJ, etc.). Assuming that you're that nimble on your feet will only have you end up on your face.

2.) KEEP YOUR KNEES BENT: This may sound stupid, but it's true. If for some reason you're at a point in your show/gig where you have to stand still and straight for an extended period of time, locking your knees while doing so can cause your legs to weaken, and in the occasional case, make you fall out. Keeping a slight bend in the knee forces your leg muscles to stay attentive and retain your good balance. Like I said, it's common sense, but clearly it's not that common.

3.) WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHING: I don't care what genre your working out of, your show is not the time to attempt physically restrictive or obstructive clothing. This means your pants should NOT sag below the cuff of your shoe, the cuffs themselves should be properly cut or taken up, and your shoes should have a SOLID grip on the ground. Just because your Louis Vuitton sneakers are fresh out of the box, doesn't mean they won't give way during a step-turn or short-stop.

4.) EYE-OBSTACLES: OK fellas, I get that maybe before your show you might've had a drink or five, and possibly taken part in some medical drug use, and that this would prompt you to put on your 'stunna' shades. While ultimately I thoroughly detest obstructive eye-wear for many reasons, if you're going to put on sunglasses, make sure that they fit comfortably on your head and have the best/clearest visibility possible. The same precaution goes for hats; pushing your brim down halfway in front of your eyes is your way of saying, "Well, I can kinda see, and I really don't care if I bust my ass." Give yourself a chance guys, seriously.


1.) BE A STICKLER ABOUT YOUR WARDROBE: Ladies, chances are you all will be getting the more involved end of the stick when it comes to stage fashion. As such, now is the time to be that b***h (politely, if possible though) about making sure that every article of clothing or accessory that is put on you for your gig is generally comfortable (and that's a BROAD term I'm using, I know how it is, LOL), and that you're COMPLETELY comfortable in it (THAT'S the more important part of this). The point of this advisory comes down to this: if you're on stage performing and simultaneously worrying about your couture spangled belt slipping off, your brain is no longer focused on your performance or your balance. It's an open invitation for a slip-and-fall disaster. If ever there was a time to be a diva during your career, wardrobe and costuming selection/fitting is definitely it.

2.) WEAR YOUR HAIR, DON'T LET IT WEAR YOU: Gals, whatever style they have your mop in, again, make sure it's something that you can deal with during a full show. Many of you will be dealing with hair extensions, weaves, wigs, and various hat wear. Take some time to really work out your hair/hat choices, and if you have time to rehearse in them, do so. There's nothing worse than getting a flyaway track in your eye, only to remove it AFTER you've plopped your butt on the stage because you were trying to remove it while performing.

3.) LIVE IN YOUR SHOES: This is probably the most important point I wanted to make for the women. Whatever shoes & footwear will be a part of your set, **REHEARSE IN THEM**. If you can't get a hold of those specific shoes (due to their high cost or availability), do yourself a favor and purchase a few pairs of character shoes. Start walking in them in and out of rehearsal to increase your comfort level of being in heels during a performance as opposed to your day-to-day routine; I promise you it's a far different experience. If they are closed-toe heels and you can swing it, pick up a pair of Dr. Scholls inserts: you may not have any foot problems to begin with, but no one said it was illegal to provide yourself with some added comfort during your show (they ARE heels after all). Finally, if you are NOT comfortable in your shoes...and this may shock some of you...DON'T WEAR THEM. PERIOD. Your foot care and posture are not worth you dealing w/excruciating pain or toppling over in some 6-inch Loubitin spiked-heel platforms if you don't have that kind of foot control.

Overall, the main sticking point to ensuring a fall-free gig or tour set is being aware of your body and your surroundings. Even after your full dress rehearsal, take a moment to yourself to walk around your stage area and observe everything that will be a part of the set. I can't tell you how many times I and so many others have bumped into a piece of scenery or wing that we could've SWORN wasn't there during rehearsals. As noted above, it is NOT uncommon for the modern-day entertainer to enjoy a pre-show drink...or whatever. But getting completely boshed, toasted, zooted, wasted, trashed, twisted, faded, to the point of incoherent movement doesn't help anything about what you're trying to do in your show. Finally, if during your show, you find that your senses are telling you that you're in danger of bodily injury due to a missed step, missed cue, or faulty props, STOP and REMOVE yourself from that danger. Singers in particular, please note that: If you miss even 64 counts of your choreo because your legs felt like they were giving way, but kept on vocalizing properly and delivered the song, it would be hard pressed for someone to really complain about it (other than maybe your choreographer, but you can fire him)...so long as the song is delivered. We know the show must go on, but not at the expense of your health, well-being, or embarrassment.

I hope this helps some of you, and I wish all my colleagues and fellow entertainers safe shows and amazing performances. I guess it would be really tacky to say, "Break a leg?' Oh well, I just did.

Womp womp.