Monday, December 22, 2014

M SQUARED's Love for DJing & EDM....

As person who has always been involved with music since a young age, and coming from a family who is ingrained in music in some sort of facet, it was only inevitable that, I would take my place in the family legacy and continue the tradition. From playing the Alto Saxophone at the age of six, then switching to drums during my middle school years, and then finally picking up the turntables in my late teenage years, my love for music was quite evident. 

Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, during a time when the "Baltimore Club Music" sound was so prevalent and dominated the club scene, dance music was a very popular thing. This sound, was my first real taste of dance music, which caused me to dig further deeper into uptempo music. Along side my love for DJing, and music as a whole, my love for music expanded even further as I got into the radio industry as a DJ. 

Working for a college radio station, I got to experience a lot of music that was underground and not as popular as the mainstream sound. This sowed early seeds for me to later become a music producer, as my radio career led me to Dallas, Texas to become a dj on one of the biggest radio stations in all of Texas. Today, producing and DJing is not only my passion, but my career as well. 

Focusing on dance music as my main inspiration for creating, I also try to make sure I consume as much music from other genre's as well to help keep my thinking/creativity "Outside The Box", and keeps my perspective fresh. 

So for me, a love for all music drives me as a DJ, and my love for creating music drives me to become the best EDM Producer and Artist that I can be. 

Until we meet again, continue to Love each other...


M SQUARED "Next Level Anthem" - Anthem

M SQUARED's Electronica Mix -


Friday, November 7, 2014

Album Review:The LoBros "defy the usual music"

When embarking on a musical career in college, you never know what it will bring. So when asked to review an album that has been in the works by friends from college who you know are talented, it has come down to this post.
Disclaimer: Yes, I could be a little bias as I have a respect for hardworking musicians, and the Saxophone.

The LoBros can be found on Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube.  They recently just celebrated the release of their album "defy the usual music".

Let us just dive right into the sound, shall we? The "Prelude to Funk" introduces the album nicely with the emphasis on the groove by the rhythm section, but highlights the horn players through their intricate solos. "Friends" shows the range of creativity as much, as ease between the music as well as vocals to bring the theme of the song to its head. Congrats on tempo changes to switch between genres on this song!  "Little Symphony" is basically an ironic classification of this song as the sound is huge, yet sustained. The Bass solo is a great way to "defy the music" in this song.

"Too Pooped to Pop" is a funky song with great saxophone features, and "perfect" vocals to tie the melody to your ears for that continuous urge to sway or even dance to the music. The control of sound from the trombonists matches the grooves from the saxophones. How can you NOT want to dance to this song? "Agnus Dei" hit your ears with a Latin feel, yet the melodic lines from the lead saxophone keep you guessing on each genre the song highlights. The overall sound, or in this case, the "defy of the usual music" showcases the ease to which talented musicians can transition between sounds. "Final Bow" sounds like a song that you would hear on the radio of popular music. The grooves keep you on your toes, and the dark yet optimistic tones from the flawless horn sound of each trombone and saxophone. (I urge you to listen for yourself, and interpret the song.)  This song highlights the keyboards and piano well adding just that much more to the overall sound.

"Castrum Osse" is that ballad you would expect on an album to begin with,  however this isn't your average ballad. It's much more than that. It's has a Jazz infused intro, followed by a funky groove, with instances of Blues to keep your heart yearning for more. The groove change to the Bass, with another melody hit you with surprise, but that good kind of surprise.

What sets this album apart? The arrangements of each song!

To this point, there has been a breakdown of each song, however, YOU need to pick up a copy of this album. This album really shows that labor of love between honing on your craft, and passion to produce an honest album for all of those authentic music seeking fans out there. Too many a time an album like this can be swept under the rug with the state of the music industry these days.

Congrats and shout out to The LoBros for reiterating how important studying, practicing, and collaborating with like minded individuals can create an album that needs to be listen to again, and again!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

L*A*W Talks: Creative Recording Process

When I go into the studio, mostly everything is thought out
I know what I want & have the tools to execute. Before even going in, I made sure that I fed off of enough legendary artists to draw from to fuel my original songs while most artists just blatantly copy without giving credit or homage or just straight rip-off a song which is never good. Robin Thicke is learning that the hard way.

For example, Stevie Wonder influenced me to use the Clavinet while Larry Graham influenced me to use a Jet Phaser pedal for my bass & guitar. For vocal harmonies, I look to The Sylvers, Debarge, Jackson 5, New Edition, The Beach Boys,The Temptations & a wide variety of 1950's Doo-Wop groups. It all depends on the style of the song or whenever my will feels the need to interpolate in a song. Rick James was a master at making 2 or 3 music styles existing in the same song so sometimes I take that approach too. The possibilities are endless when you have music history knowledge & put it to extensive use. So like the stage, the studio becomes my playground.

 On stage, it's almost the same deal. I do prepare after hours of dancing, acting it out  & configuring shit but what I do is leave the door open for God to come in which means anything spontaneous & magical can happen which is why I rehearse my band the way that I do so they can be prepared for where I may go at given time on stage. On both of my albums, you can see everything I mentioning come to life because for my studio album, I played all the instruments on every song except for 2  songs & for my live album, it's me & my multi-talented band showing them how its done.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Album Review: 'A Town Called Paradise' by Tiesto

You may or may not be a fan of EDM (Electronic Dance Music), but due to the recent surge of popularity of the music spawned from the Freestyle of the 1980s in past 30 years, you have heard this music. For some reason, this genre has become one of my favorites over the years. Connecting with the beats to dance freely, enjoying the great vocals, and the atmosphere created by like minded individuals.

Many different collaborations of DJs, producers, musicians, and artists have made sweet, sweet music. Could be a reason why many "hardcore" fans of this genre has been mad recently as it has become more "Pop".  Yes, it is popular music. Just remember all of those years the EDM community fought hard to be taken seriously, and now that is has, there is that fear of losing authenticity. Think that debate comes down to the point of being able to enjoy the beats at your own leisure.

Tiesto has become one of the most prolific DJ's in EDM today. He along with Avicii, Calvin Harris, Benny Benassi, Paul Oakenfold, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, and more! Despite the many DJs/producers fighting for your attention, they all appreciate their genre and marvel at the fact of collaborating or using their skills to remix a popular song for the masses.

Knowing this Las Vegas has seen a shift to this type of music throughout their many high profile nightclubs and lounges in the past 8-10 years. Miami and of course Ibiza are home to many hosting venues as well. Most of the above mentioned DJs have had or currently have a residency at a nightclub in Las Vegas.  The draw of night clubs these days have gravitated towards the EDM community. Perhaps the adoption of EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival), East & West Coast Groove Cruises, and the demise of Berlin, Germany's Love Parade in 2010, there needed to be a shift of geography.

'A Town Called Paradise' is Tiesto's first studio album release in 5 years. Makes sense considering his success of residencies, EPs, and collaborations. The music landscape has been adapting over time. Tiesto describes this album as,

                "This album has two sides to it. Part of me is always trying to innovate, and that's half of the                          album. The other half of me is always a crowd pleaser. I love giving the audience what it                              wants.I put all of the experiences I've had over that past twenty years into this. This is my                             sound. Of course, it's dance, but it's melodic. There are strains of indie rock, yet it's very                               happy.These songs will make you smile. They'll make you dance. They'll make you want to go                       out. It's everything a Tiesto song should be."

Haven't listened to the album multiple times, the only thing to do is agree with Tiesto. The point is to smile, dance, and marvel at the emotion of this album. That's just what anybody with a sense of soul should do when listening. Highly recommend adding this album to your fitness, party, road trip, or any other playlist readily available to you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Album Review: 'Paula' by Robin Thicke

If you have any shred of awareness, it shouldn't be new news that Robin Thicke has released an album titled "Paula" after his heavily publicized separation from wife Paula Patton. Despite the couple being together since they were 14 years old, have a son, and what had been known as an open relationship; this separation seemed to be shocking to many.

Despite what fans, the media, and well what you believe to be the truth, remember you aren't Robin nor Paula. The details of their relationship is their business. Well, until you heavily start plugging your album with her name, launch social media campaigns, and take over the ABC network. Not to mention the performances on Billboard and BET Awards.

Let's keep in mind that the wildly successful album and song titled "Blurred Lines" seemed to be controversial despite what the Thicke camp claims as to be innocent. Many accusations of misogyny, weird performances (Miley Cyrus and the twerking at the VMAs), and overall huge departure of the sound established from previous albums ruffled the feathers of fans and newly sought out fans.

Keep in mind, most musicians grab from their life situations and circumstances for inspiration. The best music  appeals to emotions or how you can easily relate to the lyrics not to mention the backing soundtrack. No matter the genre, music is unique to people. Robin Thicke has been able to keep the R&B feel while collaborating with other artists and producers to appeal the masses.

The titles of the songs of the album tend to be self explanatory, and when you listen to the album all through, 'Paula' tells the story of the recent demise of their relationship. "You're My Fantasy", "Get Her Back", "Still Madly Crazy", "Lock the Door", "Whatever I Want", "Living in New York City", "Love Can Grow Back", "Black Tar Cloud", "Too Little Too Late", "Tippy Toes", "Something Bad", "The Opposite of Me", "Time Of Your Life", and "Forever Life". Isn't storytelling the backbone of music?

Let's set the lyrics/storytelling aside for now. Robin's voice still has the soultry R&B quality, and in a surprising fashion the back up vocals from women add to the sound. Each song has feel of innocence, which in his position could be a selling point for "getting her back".  The lighthearted beats, additions of strings, and other instruments add to the sound quality. Perhaps because 'Blurred Lines' was so popular with fans and critics alike, the announcement of 'Paula' seemed to pop up quickly. Nonetheless, Thicke used his personal life as a muse. Whether or not you agree with taking this route shouldn't be your decision.

The over publicizing of his plea to get Paula back has been received differently. Many claiming Thicke is taking this too far. Many are probably wondering if Paula is okay with this, and if this will work. The results of 'Paula' remain to be seen, but coming from listening "cover to cover", this album is worth listening to, and isn't that what an album is designed to do?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Concert Review: Dave Matthews Band in Saratoga Springs, NY

Being a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band has had its consequences of not seeing them play live all of this time. Many people have mentioned how great they are to see play live, and what a great venue Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center happens to be.

After a roadtrip from NYC to Saratoga Springs, NY May 31st, it was FINALLY time to see them live. The venue is connected to a well known state park/area. Plenty of green grass and interesting buildings were surrounding the venue. You could feel the excitement of the SOLD OUT concert radiating from the tailgating in the parking areas. It was clear that DMB appeals to many different ages or that this was a weekend of concerts from DMB that everybody wanted to be a part of. No matter the reason for being a fan, joining the many other people in the lawn crowd was exhilarating,

There were the concert essentials of alcohol, and well you guess. There was the excitement of no opening act, and two sets. Set one being acoustic, and set two being electric. Many people in the crowd attended the concert the night before, and had expectations. Yet, you learn quickly that those expectations change as the set list can be completely changed or revised from the previous concert. The social media accounts of Dave Matthews Band, post the set list the next day. You would think this would be a spoiler for future attendees, but you are wrong.

The talent of Dave Matthews Band is just astounding. It's clear when you watch them live, and see their reactions to the crowd, that they truly enjoy being a band who gets jam out every Summer. From singing along with the crowd as well as Dave to every lyric was an out of body experience. The more many classic songs of their anthology were being played, you could tell that the vibe was very...well...electric. Waiting many years to see them, and hoping to see/hear "Crash" played live was accomplished. Being that it is one of my all time favorite songs, you can just imagine the joy I felt while seeing/hearing it live. Many other great songs like "Pig", "Ants Marching",  & "Pay for What You Get" were played.

This type of general surprise for the crowd on what song is next, makes them an amazing band. The atmosphere of the night was amazing! Highly recommend seeing them LIVE in concert!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Concert Review: The Wanted, Midnight Red, & Cassio Monroe

It's that time again to review another concert attending experience. It did not disappoint at all.

After plans to meet my partner in crime for this event very early at the venue, grab lunch, then get ready for our REALLY affordable VIP experience. For those who are unaware of VIP entails, a artist usually sells VIP for you to get either a meet & greet, merchandise, autographs, lanyards, and amazing tickets close to the stage. VIP varies from artist to artist as well as money amounts. Let's just say some artists price their VIP higher than others. 

Our VIP with The Wanted included meet & greet photo op, autographed picture, and lanyard all for the bargain price of $115. Trust me, this is a bargain. Then if others wanted to, they could meet & greet Midnight Red for just $20.   Followed by the doors opening an hour to concert start, gave plenty time to buy merchandise, take pictures with friends, find seats, hydrate, and otherwise get ready. 

Midnight Red went first, which was surprising in the predicted order all of us had. Their performance was filled by great dancing, great vocals, and to be honest surprised me with their talent. I had them seen them open a concert before 3 years ago, but due to where my seats were I couldn't pay as close attention then. All I know with their image, haters are going to hate based on just that. I suggest you look past that, and judge for yourself. 

Next up were Cassio Monroe. Let's be honest, most of us did not know who this duo with talent backing band were before this concert. However, with their great songs, great vocals, rap flow, and sarcastic personalities, I quickly became a fan, probably like the rest of the room. The pure musicianship of everybody involved during their performance shined through. Their passion for the craft was felt by everyone as we all knew were in for an amazing Friday night.  I encourage you to follow Cassio Monroe on social media, and visit their website on information on their debut single!

Last, and most importantly the reason for the concert was The Wanted. This "Word of Mouth" tour has morphed from being world to just UK, Europe, and U.S. legs. So granted the popularity of The Wanted has gained from social media plus word of mouth. Hence, the brilliantly titled album and tour. The set list was everything them and us (TWFanmily) could ever want as the recent announcement of an impending "break" as a group will happen at month's end. After 4 years of grinding, I mean school tours, club tours, appearances, top 10 hits (including World #1), and over 10 million records sold, they are pursuing solo endeavors. Being second row for this concert made everything even better than expected.  Excuse me why I get a little verklempt as I am going to miss these guys!!

Yeah, the last time a band like this said they were taking a break, it was a 15 year break. (NKOTB) So bittersweet.

Oh, but the night wasn't over. The after party featuring Tom from The Wanted's guest DJ set! Yes, being the over 21 crowd of the fan base has it's advantages. After trying to find a parking spot in this busy party area of Old Town Scottsdale to finally end up at Maya Day/Night Club, we made it in right as most of The Wanted, and then ran into Midnight Red in line. Good times. Of course, the bands and their entourage had a VIP table. However, the crowd was not as crowded as I expected. This was great, and as the alcohol and then Tom's DJ rang into the night, the more fun was had. It was really chill to mingle and dance with them. Compared to other after parties I have attended, this was the best one to date.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Concert Review: Ellie Goulding

First, let's travel back to the year 2009. I was still in college, exploring music has I have done pretty much my entire life. I discovered Cherrytree Records through the launch of Cherrytree Radio via a radio show offered to a member of beloved band of mine.  I quickly began to see the launch of great talent out there in the music industry, but with an independent feel. Cherrytree Records is a small subsidary of Interscope Records, which gave it that feeling.

This was how I discovered the sultry voice of Ellie Goulding. Not to mention the songs were well written, and different from the "Top 40" that was being overplayed by radio and other avenues. As it happens in the music industry, breaking into the U.S. music market is a tough act to accomplish, and Ellie became more popular over in Europe, UK, and other countries. However, "Starry Eyed" began to gain some steam from radio stations, and other avenues such as mall playlists.

Now, let's fast forward to the success of songs such as "Lights", "I Need Your Love" with Calvin Harris, and the big hit currently "Burn". Yes, you have probably heard one of these songs by now whether or not you are a fan.  Needless to say, after all of this, it was beyond time to see Ellie in concert.

Last night (April 9th, 2014) at Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona, was finally the chance. After a late start by her opening act Conway, it was time for Ellie Goulding. By surveying the crowd, her fan base spans from the very young, to way older. ;-) Men & Women thoroughly enjoyed the well known hits as well as great songs off of her album "Halcyon Days".  Ellie's voice was on point, her performance quality was awesome, her back up singers were entertaining, and her band were obviously accomplished musicians. The constant touring Ellie has endured has certainly paid off to produces such a great concert for all ages.
Highly recommend seeing Ellie in concert if you ever have the chance!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Music For Relief

Wondering how to get involved in a music related cause? Did you know there is great work being done for areas suffering natural disasters?

Well, then I suggest you getting involved with Music For Relief. They are "artists, music industry professionals, and fans working together to create a positive change." Their mission "is to support disaster relief and reduce global warming."

Can't directly get involved? Then consider donating! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Support New Artists: Burn The Gallows

Burn The Gallows was formed when brothers David Cardenas and Andres Cardenas starting playing music together with Andres originally playing drums. They soon found a bass player, Dee Jarvis but were lacking a singer. After finding out the talent that Andres had as a singer, David and Dee convinced Andres to move his talents to the front man position. They soon found Lars Kocherhans to play rhythm guitar and Aaron Cordes to play drums and the line up was complete. For the past year BTG has spent almost every weekend, (and sometimes full weeks) traveling and playing high energy shows all while spending weeknights writing and recording. Burn the Gallows just released the new full length album "Promises, Promises" with producer "Bucket" Stetson Whitworth (Chelsea Grin, Hearts and Hands, The Used) you can find this album online on iTunes, Amazon and CDbaby or you can stream it on Spotify and Youtube.

online merch store:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Talent from the UK... Trips Inc.

"They have created a nail biter, that so diversely tells a story via party anthems and beautiful songs alike, that could so easily be a Hollywood blockbuster, yet alone a best selling album.
They are unlike anything you will ever see, or hear."

James Evans - Clear Cut Pictures.

Combine the hard-hitting, slickly polished and continental beats of producer Chuck Creese, with the haunting melodies, smooth tone and unique story-telling abilities of Christian Grace, and you get Trips Inc. 
Hailing from the UK, a distinct vintage, and almost Spanish undertone to their work has already caught the attention of production and mastering heavyweight Colin Leonard (Justin Bieber, Leona Lewis, Madcon, Kelly Rowland), and the result is Trips Inc.'s debut single 'Do You Want To Dance?'.
Set for big things, the single is now available to download on iTunes, with the duo's eagerly awaited debut album set to follow early Summer 2014.

Trips Inc.'s debut single 'Do You Want To Dance?' available to download on iTunes and Amazon:


Or from:-


We have just been approached to submit an entry towards, and drum roll please.........Glastonbury's very own EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION!

We were asked to record a live video to help with our attempts to play the biggest music festival in the UK!!!

Below is a link to the video that has been submitted for our new song 'Diablo' to give you a little insight into more of the album, and what we are like as the original Trippers, with a 100% live vocal recording!

And to get a glimpse of our newest track, 'Diablo', have a look at our SoundCloud:-

And always remember Trippers.... thoughts become things.

*Side note: Take a listen and watch their videos. You may be surprised to find you have a new music love. This blog is about The Love of Music. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Does Music Genre(s) Determine Music Longevity?

One of the question sure to get you thinking, if not for what exactly is the question referring to, the answer itself. Perhaps a few examples should be given.  Exclude one hit wonders from this topic for now.

 Let's travel back to the years 1988-1994. A popular "boyband" that was once considered to earn more than Michael Jackson and Madonna ran it's course in the world music scene. Yes, the band was New Kids on the Block. Yes, a lot of what earned them a spot on Forbes' list, was the merchandising and endorsements as well as the music that was produced at the time. However, their break into the music scene was not met with open arms, and if it wasn't for a radio station DJ playing one of their records on a different demographic than they originally intended, they might have never happened. 

Let's fast forward to present day. The years 2009-2014. Another popular "boyband" recently announced that they are going to take a break after their what was originally called a "World Tour", but reduced after dates were cancelled. All members stating they have solo projects, and life goals they want to accomplish just like the band mentioned above. Yes, the band is The Wanted. Some maybe celebrating and rejoicing just as many did back in the day, but fans are seemingly devastated.  Of course, as history has taught, life does go on, and perhaps that band can make a comeback someday.

As you can see from the years listed, their longevity was really short in the grand scheme of things. Today (January 28, 2014), Motley Crue held a "press conference" on their website announcing their upcoming tour is going to be their last. Those who consider themselves a realist might claim this as a way to sell more records and tour tickets. Time will tell. Yet, when comparing this rock band to the bands mentioned above they have had a much longer career in the music business. Could it be that they took "breaks" without formally announcing them? Could it be that the genre of music they represent can withstand the chaos and demand?  All valid questions, but all have loyal fans as well as maybe some of the same fans.  Loyalty can only do so much as these examples have proven. 

In terms of genre vs. longevity originally tested, it seems what is popular isn't always in the "pop" genre. Feel free to add your thoughts on the subject in the comments! 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Recorded vs. Live

As any music enthusiast would say, there is a difference between listening to music via a recording or enjoying a live performance. You really don't even need to be the most prominent music enthusiast to make this statement.

History of music has tended to write itself. For instance, the music business has evolved with the evolution of technology.  Generations used to go to "record stores" to buy records once released. The value wasn't contingent on the price, even as it is a business. From research and stories from people, the excitement of owning the music was just as much as exciting as hearing it on the radio or being lucky enough to see a live performance.

Music evokes emotions in people regardless of what you consider yourself. It has become a staple of life, through religion, pop culture, and sports. Try to think of a time where music isn't involved some way. The change in music itself over the years with new genres and collaborations has, regardless of your favorites it is important to acknowledge.  Being passionate about a artist or band or genre is great, but we must not lose sight of the beauty of differences.  

The reason there is this comparison between recorded vs. live is due to bands and artists failing to be honest with their fans. The band KISS is known for putting on a GREAT live show, and such their albums sales reflected that. The claims about lip syncing from artists since the 1980s continues as those in show business are being exposed. There seems to be that struggle between fans and artists to preserve the purity of music.  Perhaps that is why the present music landscape is not the best. It has become about smoke and mirrors, and why there has been a resurgence of bands and artists who were popular, left the limelight, and came back.

Experiencing a concert or live performance with friends, family, or fellow fans can be a rewarding experience. Appreciating the art of a live performance, and making it sound the same or better than the recording is a great reward of loving that art.

What do you prefer? The recording or live performance?