Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Art of Collaboration

As an artist, creating is what I do. I’m inspired and translate that mental inspiration into a physical expression to share with others. For a creative soul such as myself, there’s nothing like it. When the creative juices are flowing and you’re in the zone, creating new music and making something out of nothing is easy. Then to see a new song resonate with fans is an indescribable feeling because it's so personal that it feels like a sense of validation for me. But this creative process is a much different experience when I collaborate with someone.

Recently, I was fortunate to be able to work with Bryan Stratman of Capricorn Studios on my new single All Night Long (Stratman Remix). The experience was awesome and we shared so many new things that have helped me progress as an artist. Collaborating always shows me a different creative method, and seeing how another artist works gives me a new perspective and well to go to for inspiration. Plus, it prepares me for working with other artists in the future. Practice makes perfect!

The key word here is inspiration. I’m a firm believer that there’s a difference between being inspired and forcing inspiration. For artists, just like with any other job, there are deadlines. So at times artists have to go to what I call their “familiar game,” which is their comfort zone of creativity. For a rapper it might be the catch phrases and subject matter they’re most familiar with. Or for a producer it might be the chords and melodies they’re most comfortable using. I believe creative inspiration is when a creative mind is exposed to a new stimulus and the result is the artist’s repackaging of this new experience and perspective they deliver back to the audience. So working with someone else you are exposed to their world and their perspective. This process gives you a new perspective and you can’t help but be inspired. Collaborating helps you grow as an artist, but remixing songs is not an easy process.

The first thing you’ve got to have to ensure success is a unified sense of direction for the project - what do we want the final product to accomplish? My recent collaboration with Stratman was a process in developing music, so we sat down and asked each other, “How do we want people to feel when they hear this,” and went from there. Once we began getting into it, I found that the hardest part of the process was to try not to do everything. Being a songwriter and producer myself made this especially difficult. I had to hold back and try not to take the reins or grab full control. Technology was a big help because I could physically distance myself from the project but still have direct hands-on involvement. All in all, I’m stoked on the final product.

Overall I had a great time working on the new single, which is available on Amazon and iTunes, because it lets fans experience something new through my music and I got to grow as an artist. Vibing with another artist, letting go of control, having a narrow focus, and channeling inspiration - these are all part of the art of collaboration.



Check out Krys’s website.
Listen to Krys on his free streaming radio channel
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Create Music or Blog About it? Let's Talk About It at Anthology

Create music or blog about it? Well, my being honored this week by becoming a Best in Entertainment Finalist at the InfluenceSD Awards on April 7th has made me think about the balance. I guess the question is more the choice we all make every day about doing stuff or talking about the stuff we’re doing. In my case, you probably see the irony here that I’m talking about the talking about, ha!

For an artist like me, it’s always a challenge. On the one hand, I love to make and share my music, and everything that goes with that. And there’s always a ton to do! But on the other, I love to talk to my fans that want to know about it and me. So I have to strike a balance, and it isn’t always easy.

From the very beginning though, I knew that if all I did was create music but no one knew about it then there wouldn’t be much point. So embracing social media has been critical, and in this age is critical for any new artist. For me, this means this very blog you’re reading, talking with fans on Jango, MySpace and other social media platforms, doing media interviews whenever I can, and of course being on Facebook and Twitter what feels like constantly. None of this creates music or is even performing it that are the things I love most. But I also love hearing from fans how they connect with Dream Your Life Away or This Life in a very personal way, or how All Night Long gets them pumped for a night out. And I wouldn’t know any of that without a two way dialogue.

I’m really excited about performing the pre-show for the 2010 InfluenceSD Awards at Anthology. The InfluenceSD organizers are great people with great vision pulling together a great night recognizing the very best in the region’s social media. Recent performers at this awesome venue include Michael BublĂ© last month, Natalie Cole, Melissa Etheridge, Jason Mraz, Kevin Rossdale, Sara Bareilles, Alanis Morissette and so many others I’ll be honored to join as Anthology performers. With me will be my great team of DJ Noel, SoCal’s hottest I’m honored to have support me, and my awesome Dark Edge dancers Lora and Siino led by my amazing choreographer, Darkie Simmons. Red carpet arrivals start at 6:15pm and I should be on around 7pm performing Juggernaut album tracks including Dream Your Life Away and This Life that I think really fit the night. If you haven’t got your tickets better get ‘em now since they’re nearly selling out at time of writing.

To finish up, for all those who think they know San Diego here’s a shot from a couple weeks ago to see if you can figure out where it was taken. Tell me if you know, and tell me how you find balance in your life between what you do, and talking about what you do. Let’s keep it a two way dialogue!


Check out Krys’s website.
Listen to Krys now on his free streaming radio channel
Friend Krys on Facebook
Follow Krys on Twitter
Check out Krys on MySpace

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Southern California "live" debut

For my Jango fans around the world and my SoCal homies who couldn't make the show, check this video. It's got highlights from last night's debut performance in Orange County. That's in the heart of Southern California for you people who don't live on this continent! Happy to share my new music from JUGGERNAUT *live*!

Thank you DJ Noel for the introduction and cuttin it up last night. You are the best! And my Dark Edge dancers, Siino and Lora, you are amazing. It was a great night. Darkie, you keep me laughing and you keep me moving. Best of all was all the support from our audience. Thank you guys! We'll be doing it again soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#1 & #38 Songs, Choreo, First Show... Gettin busy!

With my album out and songs doing well on Starfleet charts a lot has happened in the last few weeks. Cut To The Chase hit #1 with more than 4,000 club and mixshow DJs worldwide, All Night Long just moved up to #38 on the Top 40 Indie Urban R&B chart and I've been hearing from so many great people in so many countries through Jango (mentioned my last post). And through it all, I’ve been focusing on my upcoming performances and choreography. The whole process of getting a show together is pretty interesting (and intense!), so I want to share this experience and keep ya’ll updated!

My choreographer, Darkie, is an awesome artist who created Dark Edge dance company. He’s created original routines for me and my back-up dancers for songs including All Night Long, Cut To The Chase and Not Stoppin’. I’ve been humbled to see how much practice and endurance it takes to learn these moves! Practices can last 3+ hours and sometimes we’re there past midnight… But, it’s making me get in even better shape which is great for my endurance to be able to sing and dance well at the same time. In all, this process has really made me respect performing artists more than I ever did before. I’m seeing first-hand the physical, mental and emotional energy that goes into performances that’s so easy to take for granted. It’s fun, but draining for sure!

I love how pairing the visual and audio aspects make the music more real, and seeing the visual interpretation that Darkie brings to my music makes it more than just a song…it makes it possible for me to really try and share through a live performance all that I hoped the song might be when I wrote it.

My first show is March 5th in San Clemente (details below). While the larger show continues to come together, since fans have been asking we decided to go with a smaller venue for an initial performance of a few of my songs from the Juggernaut album with the rest of my team - Dark Edge dancers and DJ Noel, San Diego’s hottest.

Ok well this was a long one, but I’m glad to be keepin’ you in the know about how the whole process is going!

By the way, if you haven’t been to free Jango online radio yet, check it out, it’s kewl!


Show Details:
Krys Justice Live
March 5, 2010
9pm, 21+
OC Tavern
2369 South El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA

Thursday, January 28, 2010

CTTC Hits # 2 on DJ Charts

This week CTTC (Cut To The Chase) charted #2 (behind only Jay Sean’s song Down) on the #1 DJ charts in the nation, after entering the chart straight into the #6 position last week. Starfleet handles about 1,300 top songs at any given time, and more than 10,000 in 2009 alone. So while it’s not Billboard yet, it is a great start and exciting to see my music resonating with so many others.

It makes the whole experience more than worth it and I’m stoked about getting even more of my music out there. I’m getting messages from fans all over the world every day and I read and am grateful for every one of them. Please, keep them coming, I really want to hear from you!

And if you haven't checked out my Jango channel yet give it a try. It's kewl! Free streaming commercial free radio where you'll hear me and your top favorite artists 24/7, can check out other people's channels, or really easily customize your own. And of course follow me on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace... whatever works for you!

From here, to get KJ on the Billboard charts my great team and I are going to keep pushing forward with further development of my live performance, announcing shows soon, and touching more and more listeners with the help of all outlets and most importantly my fans that I appreciate SO much. We’ll do this journey together, and I couldn’t ask for better fans to do it with. Thank you!!!


Check out Krys' website here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Make Life Richer

I think many of us take a look back at the previous year around this time, and I have to say I am so excited with all the amazing things that happened here at KJE.

We completed Juggernaut, had an HMMA nomination for This Life, had the first experience of hearing my music played on the radio, got great media coverage with more coming, and have had Juggernaut songs heard by people in at least 101 countries so far.

Things keep moving forward. We are working on creating a show to bring life to the music, looking forward to announcing live appearances soon, and are already playing with new songs ideas for the next album. With all that's happened in 2009, I am truly excited to think of what's to come in 2010.

But the best part of everything that has happened thus far is being able to share it all with those closest to me, part of what makes any experience special being able to share it with someone else. Without that it’s almost a wasted moment.

So I think for this New Years it will be my new goal, and I invite anyone else to try as well, to make sure to involve those closest in every special moment. It makes life that much richer.

Peace to all in 2010,

Check out Krys's website, hear him on free online radio, Friend Krys on MySpace, Download any Juggernaut album tracks or the entire album from iTunes or Amazon, and check out Krys on YouTube.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Music That Moves You

So earlier this month I talked about Real Work and being told that making the music was the easy part and once the album was finished the real work would begin. I never truly knew what was meant by that until now, so here's another blogpost on it having moved from album creation to promo and show development - fun but hard work.

This week we met with choreographers to start to bring the music to life and give breath to what I have envisioned all along as the visuals to my songs.

It is extremely exciting for me personally because I am curious to see how a professional choreographer interprets my music into dance moves and how the music moves them.

At the same time we are also debating which song from the album we should be creating our first video for. I am leaning towards All Night Long but Not Stoppin', and Dream Your Life Away are contenders too. Maybe even This Life since it's so different from the others. I would love to hear from you... which do you think?

By the way, the photo is me being interviewed on the red carpet at the HMMAs last week. Totally unrelated to this post but just what else is going on!
Happy Thanksgiving and Peace,