In 2014 I drove around the United States for 10 months, working on an idea called “The Light Nearby Project.” I traveled to 10 major cities in the US and produced a song about each city that reflected that city’s culture, vibe, ambience, musical influence and vibe. After an incredible year, my debut album, The Light Nearby, is finally released! Listed below are different parts of my album for download: The album itself, the ebook encapsulating my journey, stems to the album, and descriptions of each track.
The Light Nearby Project E-Book, which is the full story I wrote about my experience creating this album (Free Download): The Light Nearby Project E-Book
The Light Nearby Stems Free Download (for Remixing, etc): The Light Nearby Stems
Purchase via iTunes: iTunes Link
Purchase via Amazon: Amazon Link
Free Download via Bandcamp: BandCamp Link
GPS is a bonus track that combines all the elements, from each city, into one track. In combination with the musical elements I had a GPS voice stating major streets from each of the 10 cities I visited. Considering I drove 25,000 miles throughout The Light Nearby Project I heard this voice a lot (maybe a little too much). Here are the cities and major streets mentioned:
Boston, MA – Newbury Street
Miami, FL – Calle Ocho
Austin, TX – 6th Street
Las Vegas, NV – South Las Vegas Boulevard
Boulder, CO – Pearl Street
San Francisco, CA – Lombard Street
Portland, OR – West Burnside Street
Chicago, IL – Magnificent Mile
Columbus, OH – High Street
New York, NY – 5th Avenue
2. Boston, MA | Hot Damn Baby | Complextro
Boston has a very unique environment where it’s very peaceful during the day but completely crazy at night. Therefore, I decided to make the verses very calm and trancey to mimic that peaceful vibe. However, since Boston got ranked the drunkest city in America two years in a row, I made a bass-heavy complextro drop to represent the craziness (aka drunkenness) of the city at night. Right before the drop is the lyrics “Hot Damn Baby I Like Brown Whiskey!” which was a sample I recorded from some homeless person screaming at the MBTA (the public transportation in Boston). I even got a video of me recording the sample, which you can view here: Hot Damn Baby.
3. Miami, FL | Dale | Melbourne Bounce
There is no question what the Miami track would sound like. With Miami always being non-stop and having the biggest EDM festival in the world, the track had to be a pumping club song with upbeat, bouncing synths. I decided to call the track “Dale” because it’s best word to represent Miami as a whole – there isn’t a word for Dale in English, but the best way to describe it is “go get it.”
4. Austin, TX | 6th Street | Dubstep
The slogan of Austin is “Keep Austin Weird” and that’s what I made for this track. The verses are a combination of ambient and psychedelic synths to mimic the weirdness of Austin, which quickly changes on the drop. In Austin there’s a street called 6th Street which has an insane amount of bars & clubs, and every weekend the cops block off the street because thousands and thousands of college students come to rage there. To properly recreate that environment, I made an intense dubstep drop to showcase the insanity that happens on 6th Street.
5. Las Vegas, NV | ID | Electro House
Vegas is…Vegas. There’s nothing like it. With the insane club scene there, and arguably the biggest spot for EDM in the world, the Vegas track is a bumping electro house banger. Right before the drop is the words “WHAT THE F#$@,” except F#$@ is replaced by a Pryda Snare because the amount of Pyrda Snares heard in Vegas is astounding. I decided to call this track ID because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (for those who don’t know, when a tracklist is released for a DJ Mix, any track that is unreleased/unknown is labeled ID).
6. Boulder, CO | Escalate | Glitch Hop
Boulder is an extremely peaceful town with some of the most beautiful nature around. To emulate that, the song starts off with a Soundscape/New Age feel and then builds to a hip hop/glitch hop groove. The fitness scene is huge in Boulder, so the hip hop/glitch hop section is representative of how energetic and active everyone is. Right before the switch up is vocal “Let’s Get High,” which represents both the vast mountain scapes and legalization of Marijuana.
7. San Francisco, CA | Liquify | Chillstep
San Francisco is very chill for a city environment, which is unique for that type of demographic. In addition, it has the craziest fog that is so popular it even has its own name – Karl. To represent both the chillness of San Francisco and the intricate Fog, I called the song Liquify and made it a combination of chill hip hop and chillstep. The song has hip hop/soundscape melodies in the verses and then a heavier, yet slow, dubstep groove in the drops.
8. Portland, OR | Dream | Psychedelic
Portland has the most creative city landscape, intertwining city/human made elements with nature. As a result of the incredible scenery, I called the song Dream because of the non-conventional layout. The song is a psychedelic track that mimics the stages and feeling of dreaming to further represent Portland. It starts out with a unique, trippy arrangement and then shifts into psychedelic/progressive groove that moves through various stages.
9. Chicago, IL | Light It Up | House
Chicago is an amazing city that combines numerous elements from other cities and towns. Interesting enough, the lighting in Chicago is very vibrant and fluorescent, hence the track name Light It Up. In addition to the lighting, the people in Chicago are very welcoming and optimistic, which is represented by the warm nature of this track. The sound elements in this track further add the the house vibe that really represents Chicago.
10. Columbus, OH | Day Drink | Trap
Columbus has a very paradoxical vibe: The most calm ragers in the country. People in Columbus party like crazy, hence the name Day Drink, and yet they are very calm and collected. To represent both elements of Columbus I made a bass-heavy trap/hip hop song with a calm, upbeat groove. The song is both chill and raging, moving through different elements and stages to showcase Columbus’s diversity.
11. New York, NY | Dirty Grind | Jazzstep
The city that never sleeps is really the city that never sleeps. With numerous 24 hour stores, the MTA (New York’s Public Transportation) running every minute, and an insane club scene, New York is truly non-stop. To accurately demonstrate the fast paced environment of New York the track has very little breaks and is constantly moving from one section to the next. In addition, with New York being one of the biggest hubs for media, the song has jazzy elements fused with gritty, grooving synths to fully demonstrate the environment.