I can do anything lyrically, top-line, vocally. I am a singer/songwriter/vocal producer/engineer. I was a linguist for 10 years, so I understand "language" in a way that, for me, is not just about the words, but how they feel when leaving your mouth; or hitting your ears. There's a psychology. It's about how you deliver them. Intention.
I believe I can help you get your best product, and I can do so in a number of ways:
I have worked with several Grammy-winning & -nominated songwriters over the years to include Steve Diamond, The Jackie Boyz, PK Digital, Brian Soko, Tim Gatling, Luigie Gonzalez, and Cindy Valentine to name a few. For K-Pop, I've placed multiple songs with a major YG Entertainment artist in the past month, working with amazingly talented writer/vocalist Julia Ross and producer Luigie Gonzalez.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
Interview with Idrise
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am normally hired by producers to come up with the topeline and lyrics of songs.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Many other musicians inspire me; especially those that can think outside of the box.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have both a home studio and a recording studio that I work at (as an engineer) that I can use at my leisure. I have access to multiple interfaces (Lynx, Apogee, Digi 003, Apollo) and Microphones (U-87, Manley Reference, Slate) as well as pre-amp and compressors (BAE 1073, 1176/WARM WA76, Focusrite ISA430 MKII) and as far as software I have the entire Waves Mercury bundle, UAD Legacy plugins, IK-Multimedia T-Racks 5 Bundle, Eventide Anthology X Bundle, iZotope Music Production Bundle, Voca-lign, Melodyne, Auto-Tune, and more.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually write topline and lyrics simultaneously, but the topline will almost always be completed first, since I am a stickler for lyrics. For instance: If you have a track you want me to write to, I will sit with it and let the track speak to me. As it speaks to me I formulate topics/concepts and begin creating the topline based on what I feel SHOULD be there. ABy the time the topline is finished I usually have also finished a a few lyrical lines of the song and the general concept. I will then record that, and as I record I will hear the background harmonies and stacks that should be there and begin to build it out. While doing so my brain is usually also working out more lyrics on it's own, and I come up with ways to make the song make more sense, deciding then what voicing/emotion/tone would be appropriate to convey the message and feeling, I would also even decide if it should be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person when the audience hears it. Depending on the impact the song should have and how the artist should be connected to the song and/or the audience via that choice of narrative.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring realism to a song. Authenticity. I can make a song that is conversational, with assonance and alteration if/where needed to draw in a listener, even deceive a listener. When reading the lyrics to a song I write, I like for it to be read as if you were actually speaking it, or writing a letter. However, if that is not what is desired, I can do whatever the song calls for, to ensure the best song in the end.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would say that I am lyrically inclined, writing lyrics comes quite easily to me, and I enjoy spending the time to "tighten up" lyrics after a few read-throughs so that I can ensure I am choosing the best vocabulary for THAT moment in the song. Melodies come to me quite easily as well. I usually write the topline and lyrics at the same time, I am sort of conditioned to do so. Each record is different, it's not always by genre. When writing I like to consider the intended audience, the artist delivering the song, and the overall emotion of the song, as well as at different points in the song (or the delivery of the message); I do this because not only do I like melodic dynamics and contrast, but this can create lyrical dynamic and contrast in a song as well.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am usually hired to work on commercial music. Pop seems to be my forte, recently I have been doing K-Pop....but pop is obviously just whats POPular so sometimes I am doing Indie-pop, R&B, Hip Hop, or pop rock, depending on whats needed.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Go with what feels right.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Ed Sheeran, quite simply because I like his writing.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is "edgy" when it comes to writing Pop music. I think it's because I bring my "urban" roots to the table every now and then to spice things up, and people seem to love it.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My career path? Well those who have been in this industry long enough will tell you that "you never know" ... but my DESIRED career path would be one of successful songwriting that can fund my career as an artist.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A sleeping bag, a flint, a military uniform (with boots), bug spray, a tub of vaseline
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: You mainly regret the decisions you DON'T make, so take risks.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Are you doing this for fun, or for life?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Most people think that songwriting is easy, well, it is for some of us. The difficulty comes with writing GREAT songs, consistently; and that can take years to develop YOUR craft. We all have a way of doing things that come natural to us, and through co-writes we sometimes learn new tactics that help our own songwriting when we get stuck. I know for a fact that I have learned from other and taught my fair share of techniques through my co-writes. Another thing people don't realize is that writing is mentally draining. If you do it with effort, it should be. Using your creative mind for hours at a time. Sure, we like doing jigsaw puzzles, but you get tired from completing one, it's still fun, but if your want to be better at anything, you have to push those limits and get a little uncomfortable sometimes... I believe songwriting is no different. Singing on the other hand, well.... some of have it and some don't. The "it" can be whatever the listener wants it to be. It could be timbre, rasp, range, note choice, runs, etc. Being able to hear and sing the correct pitch when and how you want to takes time, control. You can't go bench press weight for the first time and not expect to be uneven and shaky. That control takes time. The confidence too. ALSO singing live and recording are very different. Not ever good singer can record well, and vice versa.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: So I need XYZ .... Do you think you can do this? Yes.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I am a pleaser.... so when I please someone, it pleases me. An even exchange of positive vibes!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to help you create the best product that we can create together.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Either. The general public (most of our listeners) can't tell the difference, and digital has come SO far along now that they are emulating Analog to sound almost identical. To the naked ear, in a full mix, it is almost impossible to tell. Analog sounds great, but so does digital, with today's technology. It's all in the mix, and the end goal.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Julia Ross.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: An alternative rock album and a K-Pop records. I am also writing songs for pitch to artists and music supervisors for sync.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I was recently hired to be the lead writer on a project to submit records to a major Korean Pop artist with YG Entertainment, and we hit the nail on the head with every single song they asked for. It was a proud moment for me, especially because the caliber of our competition, the other writers also submitting for placement on the album; we beat out 2 grammy-winning writers. It just re-affirms for me that my self confidence is well deserved and shows me that I am of that same caliber, regardless of the fact that I have no grammy. These days the market is so saturated with music and artists, I KNOW there are thousands of grammy worthy writers sitting in their bedrooms daily, writing and recording beautiful music into their laptops.