The L.A. Project “From the Algarve to L.A. ” part 2: How to produce your first album..?
The L.A. Project is an album recorded and produced in L.A. In this series of articles I will take you back to the start of my music career, back to how it all started.
After a bizarre trip to Portugal, we got back home with a slight hangover, the idea of going to L.A. to record our first album, which would mark the start of our musical careers… and a lot of questions. Our holiday high made way for stark reality. How do you actually go about producing your first album..? How do you get the right contacts, find the right musicians and a producer? Oh, and… what kind of music are we going to make?
1. Writing the music
If we, a pair of unknown novice musicians from Limburg, were to get ourselves ‘in the picture’ in an entertainment metropolis with around 5000 (!!) passionate, hopeful songwriters, we would have to come up with something special. For our first album to become a reality, we needed music. Very good music, and lots of it. We immediately started gathering and improving our best songs, and writing new ones, of course.
Hugely satisfied with the results of our fanatical efforts, we ran into the next, considerably bigger problem: how do you get in touch with the right people in the music business, the producers, the musicians and the record companies on another – for us completely unknown – continent?!
2. Looking for contacts
We decided to start close to home. At the time, Frank was studying at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. He had become friends with his teacher there, the American pianist and composer Irv Rochlin. Irv had an impressive track record and a wide international network. At his home in The Hague, he frequently entertained American musicians who were touring Europe or just stopped by for a friendly visit. This was where Frank met drummer Chiz Harris (Charles Harris, drummer in the big band of actor and comedian Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, among others), and trumpet player Tony Guerrero, whose band was and is very well known in the US.
3. Getting lucky!
Through Tony Guerrero, we managed to get in touch with a couple of American producers working in Los Angeles. They included Tony Guerrero’s own management and producer Gary Wagner. They liked our songs so much that, before we knew it, we were invited to record an album of our songs in Los Angeles!
A group of great musicians was gathered in one of the best recording studios in L.A., were our very first album became a reality.
One song that spontaneously came to us soon after that message, and was added to our first album, is ‘Let’s Party!’. No need to explain what that’s about….
How to produce your first album and start a career in music? Keep dreaming, work hard, and grab every opportunity, because sometimes, dreams really do come true!
Listen to the L.A. recording of the song Let’s Party! and order a digital copy for €2