+Dream land+

+Dream land+

Finally Myself

I’m so willing to say anything that i stop myself from saying mostly everything I want to. While that’s still something I will do more-so about negative things, I want to feel free enough to say the simple things on my mind. I’m a kid with a laptop and hopes of success just like most of you reading this. I think i can finally be myself and musically be open to you guys here and there. 

      Apparently I’m a ‘rising star’ but i don’t view myself that way. Everyday i just think of what i can do to get out of the bottom. I’m the type of guy that if i’m winning by 30 at halftime, I work like the team losing by 30 that still has a chance to win it. I work like no one has heard of me. In reality, with much respect to every person who currently listens to me and loves me, no one has really heard of me. Billions on this earth, but only about 4,000 of them consistently listen to me. That’s huge in the sense that i’m plus 4,000 since June of 2012, but it’s also very small when arenas seat 18,000 and stadiums 90,000. With music being an extension of my passion to personally help people, helping 4,000 is awesome, but there are artists who are in it for themselves that stand in front of 6 times that number on a standard basis. So even if i am a ‘rising star’, it’s halftime and i’m losing by 30. 

      I remember sitting in my room as ‘Xay Crosby’, the soulful R&B crooner, watching LMFAO videos. The entire time i thought, “I use to do that. I wanna have fun again.” The dilemma was my soothing vocal style, versus an electronic sound. How possible was it going to be to make it work, yet still do smooth records? I mean you can’t genre mix on a consistent basis, nobody has ever done that. wait…..nobody has ever done that.

boom.

With God’s grace, i’ve been able to build an entire brand off mixing genres. Our (STRT TRBL) next challenge is to make it a mainstream success. Could a cross genre artist, with my content,  build a loyal fan base when the artist changes their base sound so much that they have no base sound? 2 things could happen. Either I will have sporadic fans who just like a few songs, or i will have one of the world’s most diverse fan bases. I want one of the world’s most diverse fan bases. That means you’ll be at a SPZRKT show (after you finally figured out how to pronounce it) and realize just how many different people you have something in common with. All brought together by songs of love, hope, & TURN UP.

I’ve set impossible goals, but i’ve also reached a handful of impossible goals as well. I’ve had plenty of help along the way. (Sango, Soulection, Stwo, Live Mixtapes). They all saw something in me. But there’s nothing to see if i never put in that work. Impossible as my goals may seem, i’m committed to the work. 

I want the #1 Pop album spot.

Likely the toughest genre to reach that spot in, but whether with Bonfire, or the next album, i will achieve it. And it will be because of God, my hard working team at STRT TRBL, and each and every one of you who have supported me for so long, or who have recently given me a chance. Isn’t it amazing, that other #DREAMERS make your dreams come true?

- rocket!

SPZRKT SXSW 2014: Day 4

hey guys. i’m sorry i’m so late posting about SXSW day 4, but it was rather anti-climatic. At least i was feeling that worn physically, though amazing was till happening around me.  Well heres what happened.

March 15th

Specht (@musicademateo) and i did that whole 7 mile walk again, whether the 7 miles is hyperbole or not is neither here nor there. We walked forever, all the time. We landed at Dickie’s Roadhouse, was given wristbands at the entrance, and waited outdoors under the patio roofing. It started to rain rather consistently, but eventually passed. Right on cue, without warning, the band we came to see was suddenly on stage. Everyone scurried out from indoors like roaches towards the stage. We we in front. Perfect view of the beautiful Sydney, lead singer of Echosmith. The band most known for their pop rock, tv commercial hit ‘Come Together’, did many more songs in that vain. Specht and I had the CD in the car and were both underwhelmed with house copy and paste everything sounded, but live you got to see their personality. A teenage sibling band trying to find their niche, and they put on a great show in the process. The rather chill and soothing ‘Cool Kids’ was my favorite tune, as well as whatever the outré was. They all played an awesome ending on percussion that i’ve only forgotten because it wasn’t on the album. I really enjoyed the show. 

     Yaaaay more walking. We headed to 6th street as Specht wanted to see his new band crush, The Arkells. It was a wristband only show so i could not attend but I remembered Soulection had showcase at Barcelona at that time. As fate would have it, it was directly across the street. Esta, Lakim, Whooligan, and Andre all chillin outside. I greeted them and they took me right in. Abjo was on when i entered. I remember really enjoying his set but also trying to find a space to sit and enjoy it. I found a spot near the back where i’m sure many cocaine lines have been done. That place was so sketch hahahaha, but duuuude the sound system was grade A. 

As I’m heading back into the fray, Joe Kay introduces a rapper named Goldlink. This. Kid. Killed. The most confident performer i have ever seen. He literally did whatever he wanted, including randomly dapping me up asking if i feel him,  twerking on a girl, a Salsa. His flow style was sick, his beats were sick, his performance was sick, and he is a star. I was happy to be there for that. 

   Specht hit me up and we were pooooped. We headed back to the car and said goodbye to Austin. it was a memorable and fun time.

Short vid of me @ Vulcan Gas Company.

SPZRT SXSW 2014: Day 3

March 14th

A little after noon, Specht and I are on the road. Parking was much easier to find, but a little far from our destination. Once again the hope is to see Warpaint. Well, I didn’t know that but Specht did. He goes, “you want some BBQ?” I said, I want breakfast. He goes, “no you want BBQ.” Almost smacked him, but he said that because Warpaint was playing at this BBQ spot. We get there, and it turns out it’s a badge only event, so we ended up just eating there instead. We chilled there quite a while til we figured out next move.

On the way to the next spot, we ran into my best friend Elhae, who had a couple showcases of his own to perform at. It was a dope moment, randomly running into your friend of 20 years, in a state he doesn’t live in. But back to Specht. He wanted to go to what he believed was a wristband only event. I was so tired from walking that I stopped at some completely random street corner and told him to go ahead. I sat down. It was glorious. I stayed there a good 30 minutes happy to be off of my feet, then got up and walked a few blocks. My right calf quickly began to cuss me out, so I had a seat on the steps of a building on 5th & Lavaca, about 100 feet from The Belmont. No lie, I sat there or in that area for 2 hours. The Soulection crew passed by twice, this guy sang horribly and played his guitar for about 40 mins, and I just sat there. I eventually called Mike Luna. He answers, “wassup man.” I respond, “get me outta here doe.”

Luna scooped me up, we went to Chipotle, Best Buy for a new charger, then Headed to Promiseland Church. There was a CHH showcase there. I wanted to see a few people I respect and admire. The homies Steven Solis, Canon, Kadence, Fedel, R-Swift, Phillzilla, Je’kob, Deraj, and others. My friend Hillary Jane asked me to come see her perform her new music, so we waited for her to perform. As SOON as she said “thank you!”, Luna and I hit the door and headed to my next performance at Vulcan Gas Company on 6th street.


VGC is a brand new two level building and it looked awesome in there. I ha JUST missed DPat’s performance and Lakim had just begun. It’s only around 10pm and I went on after 1am, so we mingled and jammed. Along the way we say wassup to Sango & his Fiancé, Waldo, Seventh & Lena, video director Vash, Nadiaa from SoundScan, Soulection founders Andre Power & Joe Kay, My beautiful girlfriend Sanetra made her way in, followed by Elhae, and Carl & Nikisha Brunson. The vibe was incredible. Lakim, Mr. Carmack, ESTA, Exile & Aloe Blacc, all were fantastic. Finally it was time for Sango.

Though I had just seen him perform at The Madison, this set was slightly different and much more amazing in that new sound system. It was obvious the talent difference between Soulection & other DJ/Producers. The place was jumping when Luna told me they needed me to get in place now. Little Simz & Waldo performed ‘Mandarin Oranges’ and rocked the place as usual. Then it was my go. They sang every lyric, and gave me so much energy. You can see from the video I posted…or maybe can’t SEE but it sounds good haha. The night was amazing.

No big ending, we have daps & pounds and went home. As a performer, SXSW was a success.

SPZRKT SXSW 2014: Day 2

March 13th

We woke up in the guest room of some random ladies house that Specht had already arranged and paid for. Mike Luna arrives within an hour of my waking to take to The North Door. It’s my big day. My first ever solo set at SXSW, and it with Live Mixtapes & AnimalxHouse. A rather big deal.

We park and walk a few blocks to the venue. Both of us in STRT TRBL gear, me with a backpack and suitcase with my show wear inside. We get there and are greeted by Thomas and Pash from Live Mixtapes. (Those guys where incredible towards me). they made sure we had all we needed and kept us updated, as the show was running about an hour late now. I’m reminded of the line up by a post on a door and wonder how my name is on that list. What a contrast. Fast Forward 30 mins or so and I go outside to see the line. It was great to see a few friends lined up to support, and even a guy in a SPZRKT shirt. (Waddup TJ!) I head back in focused on not letting anyone down.

The event began and after much confusion was cleared up, it’s my turn. I followed the livest performance of the day thus far, by Denzell Curry, so the pressure was on. The DJ pressed play and my music was pitched up about a whole step. I asked him to pitch it back down and to re-start. (It’s a very high song haha) I started with an acapella that caught people’s attention. They applauded and I felt that I possibly had their support. Maybe I did, but duuuuuuude it sure did not sound like it. They were stonefaced through the entire set. BTW here was my set

Drown (acapella) [new]
The Feel II
Queen Of England
-break-
Greatest Ever [new]
Reassurance [new]
Spazzy Party

I knew nobody knew me but daaaaang, it was tough up there. The feeling was much different off stage. People with great connections, people who are those connections, and people in the crowd came up to me one by one it seemed and expressed how dope they thought I was. Even a few of the performers. And here I was thinking I stunk up the joint being so different. Live Mixtapes went on to tweet out how well they thought I did. It was a much better feeling off stage.

As I was leaving I was asked to do an interview. The cameraman asked if I wanted to grab a beer but I asked for water. I grabbed one out of the fridge and sat down next to a young lady who says to me “I’m usually a videographer but they asked me to interview”. Then says “Can you hold up this beer, they’re sponsoring.” I said, I don’t drink but I just grabbed this water. She responds “Well can u fake like you drink it cuz they’re sponsoring.” So I did. I held it through the interview and at the end she says “cheers” and taps her cup OF WATER BTW with “my” Lone Star beer can and she sips her water. I put the bear down and threw up the West Side W. Take that.

I meet up with my friends and I have yet to eat so we hit a Wendy’s. Most of us split from that point. Specht and I walked 2 years to the parking garage to put my suitcase away, then back 2 more years to the same area for Spotify House. The objective was to see Warpaint. It seemed as if this line never moved, and the evidence of that is Warpaint was introduced as we were still in line. We listened to two songs, in the same spot, then left. We eventually met back up with Tory & Sanetra, but Tory decided to split again, so Specht, Sanetra, and I went looking for some fun. We found none. Everywhere was overcrowded. We eventually rested at the HandleBar for close to an hour. Luna calls and decides to meet up with us.

It’s the evening now and we are hungry again. Sanetra suggest this area of food trucks and thank Jesus she did because it was directly across from the MTV Woodies Festival. We all ate from The Waffle Bus and watched the screen as Iggy Azela killed it. The 1975 also performed, where I very much became a candidate for fangirl of the year.

With no wristband, money, or desire to stand in line for 3 hours, there was nothing for us to go enjoy. Specht had his wristband and went on to see a few bands, Luna called it quits, and Sanetra & I headed towards the Convention Center to charge up and watch Workaholics on my laptop til they closed. Didn’t see many artists perform at all, but the night ended perfect to me.

SPZRKT SXSW 2014: Day 1

March 12th

I wake up around 10:46am in a beautiful condo that we had to be out of by 12pm. We being the Lunas and my friend Specht. It was my first SXSW. I had no wristband, no badge, and basically no money but I was excited to start the day. Specht and I said bye to the Lunas, picked up our friend Victorya, Torchy’s for breakfast, (the lemonade and brownies are crack infused), then we headed downtown.

It literally took us an hour and a half to find parking. Austin was New York’s twin brother for the week it seemed. We found cheap parking and WALKED. FOREVER. WE WALKED SO MUCH MILES BRUH. I immediately began to rethink all things SXSW, especially on the famed 6th street. Despite my theatrics, we walked across the late to Embassy Suites where Erik Hutchinson was playing. He did a beautiful 45 min acoustic set at a restaurant area which was just as beautiful. He made the walk worth it. NOT THE WALK BACK THOUGH. Bahaha

The evening was near so we found an overpriced bite to eat at a food truck and figured out what we would do next. Specht had a guy he deeply wanted to see, I can’t remember his name, but with his ID and wristband, Specht got in. Tory and I were wristband-less bandits and low on cash (to pay the cover charge). I found an ATM (where the fee was $5.85 to get your money!), try to get out a $20 and couldn’t. Insufficient funds. The next check came in two days Specht offered to pay for us both, but I told Tory to go ahead and I would call Mike Luna to pick me up.

I sat on the curb of 5th street wondering how the biggest time of my musical career could still be one of the lowest times in reality. Humbling to say the least. After about 20 mins of sitting there, I remembered Sango had a show during the hour. Type the location in google maps and whaddaya know, it’s literally 2 doors down. I’m walking towards the venue and there is the whole AGO & Soulection crew. Waldo greeted me in a way that lifted my spirit, followed by Sango blasting through his crew to say wassup. We went into The Madison where Sweater Beats performed, then Sango. Little Simz was in the building to rock with him & Waldo. Sango was setting up on stage, leaned over to me stage left and said “lets do Middle of Things/Kobe’s Room.”

Fast forward and the performance felt like just what I needed in that moment. The crowd was over the moon, singing every lyric, and I couldn’t believe it. Soon after, Waldo proceed to kill with a mini concert I stayed on stage for. He was incredible. Just when I thought the night was at it’s peak, I get off stage and the first person there waiting for me and smiling is my beautiful girlfriend Sanetra. What a day, right?

Story Behind the Song: ‘Middle Of Things, Beautiful Wife’

With over 1 million plays on Soundcloud and YouTube combined, Stwo’s remix of Sango’s record ‘Middle Of Things, Beautiful Wife’ is far and away the biggest thing i have EVER been a part of. The recent success of the song given new life by Stwo, made me a little nostalgic. Here’s the story behind the song.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

In January of 2013, Sango sent me a beat titled ‘Middle Of Things’. it had a weird vibe that i had never worked with before, as my ears were rookies to the style of production Soulection artists were creating. I had no idea what to do with the record, but liked it, so about a month later i recorded to it. My brain blank of ideas, i decided to use the beat title as the song title. 

I literally wrote the song with no main goal or clue of where i would go next, but it began to flow. A King with big dreams, living them out in real life with his beautiful wife. Not concerned with dominating from their thrones, they travel the world that they believe God created. Living their luxurious dream, they never stay in one city overnight, but instead they make love on their private jet as they fly to the next destination. Whether London, Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Sydney, or Spain, they knew that one thing was consistent. Right there in the middle of their laughs, success, and joy was Jesus. 

Not thinking all too much of the song, i lazily recorded the lead vocal in one take, (which I’ve done 0 times before and 0 times since). All the while I had no true understanding of who Sango was or that this record would be a big deal to anybody. I finished recording and had it mixed for my 3 song project releasing that March, which is also when i revived my Soundcloud. My post alone gave the song about 1,000 plays. Good stuff for a fairly new artist. Then Sango reposts the record, plus 37,000 plays.  At the time, most ever plays for me seeing that my account had 2,000 total plays to that point.

THEN SOULECTION POSTS IT AS A SINGLE FROM SANGO’S ALBUM AND WHAT THE HECK 200,000 PLAYS, I THOUGHT I GOT FAMOUS.

That was the end of the song until Stwo’s remix. I owe him so many hugs. I just never thought my song about a happy marriage, success, and Jesus would ever be a big deal to people. For that song and many other reasons, the SPZRKT stock is steadily increasing in 2014. And right there in the middle of things is Jesus.

another brilliant take away show from La Blogotheque

this time featuring San Fermin. from New York.

Keep the fire.

Keep the fire.

Aspiring Artist Tips: I

Every now and then, i think of a few things to share with artists looking to make their mark in music. I want as many good artists as possible because that means good music, and i LOVE music. This not only helps you, but it will eventually help my ears. Posts like this will be pretty sporadic but somehow still consistent…don’t ask. 

1. MAKE THEM PRESS PLAY

How? It’s kinda easy because most people are really nosey or want to dig deeper into something they like visually. So Do your best to have awesome cover art. I’ve failed here and there but i managed to make up for it with an awesome artist name. (At least i think so!) But really Let’s think about it. Who would u rather listen to?; Tittyboi or 2 Chainz?

TWOOOOO CHAAAAAIINNNNNZZZZZZZZ. 

Tittyboi was his old name and not nearly as fun (or appropriate) to scream in public.

For me it was, “How can i make them press play?”. I had to chose my name. Xay Crosby, Spazzy Rocket, or SPZRKT?

crossed out Xay Crosby cuz no.

Spazzy Rocket or SPZRKT, which will make me press play?

SPZRKT.  Cuz you couldnt pronounce it and wanted to know how to and why is there a panda in space and you got trapped into a nice song in the process. Now you’re here reading this blog post.

Without features, without placements, without major help, that’s how you come up. Just make sure the music is dope when they press play.

——

2. Listen To Multiple Artists.

We are no estupido and can tell who you’ve been listening to the most…unless you sound like a bunch of artists in one…..which somehow makes it your own unique and personal style. 

If you listen to too much Kanye, Lupe, Drake, (ladies) Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, WE CAN TELL.  It bleeds through the music. It is much more flattering to be compared to multiple artists in one and much better for your career. Because you will be compared! That’s how bloggers and friends get people to listen. “He/She sounds like _______ mixed with________ and a new version of _______ .” 

You want people saying you have a fresh and unique sound. Why be just another artist? Truly be who you are, even if who you are is 7 diff genres of music….*raises hand*.

peace brehhhh.

- rocket!