Song 1: Brian Tracy
Welcome to the first song from my album. It’s not about one particular book but instead about the author Brian Tracy. He is a motivational public speaker and author with over eighty published books. This guy is a living legend.
His books have inspired me and given me workable methods in the area of personal development and business success. Plus they are a really smooth read. If you’re a success driven person then I recommend any of his books. In particular “Goals” and “Eat that frog”
Making this song started out with me freestyling over the instrumental of “Holy Water” by Game. I love the switch ups on the drums and I tried to produce something similar. The flow of Game on that chorus is cool so I also tried something similar. For the lyrics I summarized some of the main points that Brian puts across.
Song 2: Think Big
You don’t need to be talented to be successful. Rather instead you need to behave and think in certain ways to succeed. The Magic of Thinking Big. This book is a timeless classic and inside you will find tons of actionable advice. Not only will it help to improve your thinking but as a direct result it will influence career success, goal achievement and a more fulfilling life.
I can’t remember exactly what or who turned me onto this book because I probably wouldn’t have chosen it. It looks quite dated and hype. Anyway it’s probably down to the fact that so many people rate it highly. For good reason. True it is an old book but as I mentioned before old advice lasts the test of time. This book helped me to enhance my mindset which gave me bigger goals, results and a better outlook on life. If you want to step up a level then check it out.
I remember this song coming together from the chorus. I was just freestyling over some trap instrumentals and the chorus just fit. So I then built my own trap beat. I wanted the verses to be very simple so that the musicality and chords could open up around the chorus. Lyric wise I focused on summarizing the key principles of the book such as remove doubt, negativity and complaining. Set your goals to be something bigger, this is the book of the magic winner.
Song 3: The Power of Now
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle presents a way to end suffering and achieve inner peace. Once you can learn to become more in the present moment you can effectively reduce the amount of pain you experience and enjoy a better life in general.
Personally this book made a huge impact on my life. I came across it as an audiobook which I listened to on one very long bus ride. To be honest before listening to his book my thoughts were very confused, depressed and out of my control. After listening to this book my thinking made sense. It helped to relieve me from a lot of bs and mental fog. Realizing that you are not your thoughts is one of the most powerful lessons in there. Everyone should read this book once. Yes it can be a little bit hippy but it is also really practical and will give you a better understanding of yourself. As the oracle says “know thyself”.
Recording and producing this song was a labour of love. Instead of having a standard chorus I wanted to use samples of Eckhart Tolle talking because his voice made such a huge impact on me. For a long time I couldn’t quite find the right beat for how I wanted to map out the song. Finally I stripped things down and constructed my own beats and melodies. I enjoy making music that way from the ground up because it gives me a more satisfying feeling.
The song ended up becoming a monster and I had to really push my vocal performance. It took so many takes but what stuck was this recording of mine from back in July. The performance was really strong and raw. Even when I tried to do better months later I couldn’t beat it. Maybe it was because I was completely in the moment!
Song 4: How To Win Friends & Influence People
Power is in people. Think about it. Everything good in your life came from a connection to someone. Dale Carnegie wrote this book back in 1936. That’s a really long time ago! But it shows you that if knowledge can last that long then it’s good knowledge. So many people get caught up in the next best new book or motivational speaker and so on. Really we need to get back to the basics. The time-tested advice in this book has been quoted by thousands of successful people. Inside you will find proven ways to make people like you, win them to your way of thinking, get them interested in you and much more.
I’ve read this book a few times and each time it freshens up my social life. Most of the advice is really simple such as be easy going, smile, listen and so on. But it’s profound and it works. I highly recommend this book if you have or want to improve your social life.
A classic book indeed and one I didn’t want to leave out. It was in fact the last song I wrote for the album. As a UK guy I wanted to represent with some UK garage. The song construction was a really simple 4/4 ukg beat with minimal instruments. Lyric wise I simply summarized the main parts of the book. To help with this I went through a few blurbs online as well as referring to my own book notes. Once I had the chorus down I sent it off to my singer Jessona to try a few versions of some basslines I had.
Song 5: Norman Vincent Peale.
Born way back in 1898, Norman Vincent Peale grew up to become a bestselling author of many books including the inspirational best seller of The Power of Positive Thinking. In 1984 Peale was awarded the Presidential medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan. Pretty legendary guy. His books are quite short but they are very motivating and inspirational.
I’m really inspired by the message Norman left and I wanted to put that inspiration into a song. Since he has so many classic books I thought it would be better to dedicate the song to him and his most famous quotes, sayings and so on. Plus when I was coming up with lyrics his name just had the right amount of syllables to go over a beat I was working with!
For the song I worked mostly with samples. To start I was freestyling over old school nineties house beats. I love that fusion of soul and classic dance. For the verse I didn’t want to go too hard and so I went with a “De La Soul” kind of laid back vibe. There is also some of my singing on here for the backing vocals.
Song 6: Awaken The Giant Within.
Are you the one in control of your life? Or are you being swept away by the forces of life? In his powerful self help book “Awaken The Giant Within” Tony Robbins the most famous self help guru presented a way for the reader to take control of their life.
To be honest I waited sometime before reading this book because I was skeptical of Tony Robbins. To an outsider he comes off a little bit too hype. However around the same time I also felt like direction was missing in my life and so I tried it out. Turns out Tony is popular for good reason! I was really blown away by how much value was inside this book. The book presented me with life vision, emotional control, how to set goals and much more. To this day I still use it. If you’re looking to improve yourself and your life then give this book a shot. That means trying out everything Tony suggests even if it seems weird. Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.
Making this song was really difficult, probably because there is so much knowledge inside the book. It was really hard to condense it down without leaving important things out. So much wisdom! Starting out I was freestyling different lines based on parts of the book. Then I had to condense all of my lyrics down to get the right flow and message. It really went through so many versions. Towards the end my voice started to improve and also my recording setup had an upgrade. So I recorded again, and again!
The construction of the song was really inspired by producers like Flume with their future bass styles. That production was really comlex and took ages. For the chorus I hired a singer called “Tashabu” who I had sung my lyrics to. We played around with the phrasing and got a cool take.
Song 7: Alchemy.
The Alchemist. Most of you have probably heard about this book. It’s a short story about a shepherd boy named Santiago. After recurring dreams he travels across the Egyptian desert in search of treasure. Along his way he meets a woman, a king and an Alchemist. No one knows what treasure he seeks or if he will be able to overcome the obstacles along the way. But rather along the way what starts as a journey outwards becomes one inwards.
I’m not usually one to read fiction because it’s difficult to find a good book (if you know any tell me). Plus I’m a very goal driven person so having purpose in my time is crucial. However The Alchemist came highly recommended. Most people would say that the book’s main theme is about finding one’s destiny. If you’re not too into reading then this is a great little book to give you some inspiration.
Making this song I was influenced heavily by the current hip hop. Right now there is a ton of cool hip hop merging reverb vocals, guitars and 808s. I wanted to try that and I had a lot of fun with it. The lyric writing came very naturally to me. My goal was retelling the story, in highlight form. Verse one began with the outset of Santiago’s journey and culminated in verse two where he finds his purpose and the real meaning of treasure. The chorus was fun to do too and I actually hired an Arabic singer, Yassiridrissi to create an eastern vibe. The guitars are sampled. I was lucky to find two in the same key that had this great contrasting effect.
Song 8: Psycho-Cybernetic.
We all doubt ourselves too much and most of us don’t live upto our full potential. From working as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz realized that most people after surgery still had unresolved emotional scars, and that these could be removed by changing their self-image. Inside his book are techniques based in science which are timeless. Psycho-Cybernetics essentially means to direct your mind to a productive, useful goal so that one can reach peace of mind.
Everyone should read this book. For sure it will help you to remove many of your blocks towards the success you want and deserve. It’s really only you in the way.
For the songwriting and production process of this song I really wanted to have something dance floor style. I was inspired by this cool song “Jean Juan – Sauce”. I love the switch up between house and rap on it. He also used a vocoder for the singing and since I can’t sing I thought it would be awesome to try a vocoder. For that by the way I used Izotopes vocoder and you can rent that on splice.
To be honest this song was very difficult to produce and record. Creating a minimal vibe that also sounds big is challenging. Plus trying to bridge that gap between technology and passion is hard. My voice kept evolving during the album recording stages so I kept coming back until the last minute. Lyric wise I’m super happy with how I managed to capture a good flow and a well summarized account of the book’s main message.
Song 9: The Luck Factor.
Have you ever wondered why some people easily lead lives of success whilst others struggle through failures? What is it that separates them? Professor Richard Wiseman decided to investigate the actual experiences and beliefs of so called “unlucky” and “lucky” people. The results of his work are presented in his book “The Luck Factor”. Using four simple points that are scientifically proven to increase the good luck in your life. Yes unlucky people can become more lucky in all areas of their lives.
Now this is probably my favourite book ever because it is based on proven science. The first time I read it was before going on a holiday, it was one of the best! Since then I re-read this book once a year to refresh those principles in my mind. If you want to become more lucky and have a generally more positive life then you should read it too.
The production of this song was inspired by Skepta’s song “It ain’t safe”. I love his flow and voice. Plus the structure of this song seemed to match my ideas for presenting the message of this book. Since the book has four principles I decided to write four verses summarizing each principle. It’s a lyric heavy song so I kept the choruses and instruments simple. I went for a Nirvana style rock beat and instruments to create a grungy feel.
Song 10: Millionaire Mind.
The secrets of money. Most money issues are due to the wrong mindset. Inside this book you will find some eye opening insights into the ways people unconsciously develop attitudes and behaviors towards money. Most of which are learned from parents and most do not serve people well.
For me this book was a game changer. It helped me overcome many financial blocks that I had. Nowadays most of my income is passive and I don’t have a boss. Which is exactly what I had wanted for many years. This book helped me to set the right state of mind. I regularly re-read it to refresh those insights. If you have been at the same level of financial success for a long time and are looking to earn more then read this. Go ahead and challenge your beliefs.
Writing this song was a blast! Originally I cut up and edited the song “Wild Thing” by The Troggs. Problem was when uploading it to release it kept getting flagged due to copyright. The only way round that was to recreate the whole thing. Now that is impossible to do with just samples so I hired real instruments and singers. Eventually I found Ariel Delgado, who killed it on guitar and Tomitemp for vocals.
For my lyrics and performance I went with an aggressive vocal take. Again it came from that session in July. I loved the rawness of it, you can even hear my voice crack on verse two! It’s very rock and roll, unpolished and raw! The lyrics summarize the book and tie in with the song sample nicely. Enjoy.
What started as a joke and as a way to pass time during corona lockdown turned into passion. Freestyling over music everyday I discovered that consistency and not talent = results. Everyday I was freestyling, practicing and doing covers of songs. I would then freestyle and write lyrics about the books. Each day or week would be a different song to focus on. Post recording I would review it and maybe record again. I did so many versions!
I had this vision of merging my lessons learned from self development books with lyrics. I know many people might be turned off by books and this is a way to share the message of those books. This album is a summary of what I learned from some of my favourite books and authors.
I’m no rap god and I’m not trying to be. I was super anxious to share this album and I still am. I hid it for a while, sharing only in private until I felt confident enough. Finally after one year of hard work I’m putting it out there. Hopefully some of the messages in my album will inspire you as they did me.