Aaaaaand here's the final blog I wrote in the Movin' Up From Down Under series...
Week #8: The Mix
There’s nothing better than the feeling of ‘accomplishment’. Well, maybe there are ‘better’ feelings but it’s pretty damn good, you gotta admit. We were starting to feel like we’d accomplished something just by booking flights for the trip and locking in a bunch of meetings, radio spots and other various musical activities. But in reality, we’d barely started.
So the flights were booked. Accommodation was in the process of being booked. We’d locked in radio spots and stuff. Sweet. This sorta thing would be easy from now on, as it’s just more of a maintenance process, constantly adding to the framework that we’d set up – more meetings, more radio, more everything. Now that we have our dates, we’re good to go.
The one thing that this trip was based on, though, was to promote our latest mixtapes – Notion’s ‘World Domi-NoTiOn’ and Cee & Bekah’s ‘The Soul Movement Volume 2’ – and the fact that The Movement Fam was officially a crew. It was like our ‘coming out’ party. Pause. So around the time we decided to do this whole trip thing, we had both mixtapes in various states of completion. None of the tracks were mixed, we had no DJ’s confirmed to blend the songs, no artwork, Notion had no logo, and we still had a bunch of songs that needed finishing. For folks that work full time, and are trying to plan a trip, that is a huge amount of work to get through in the space of a few months.
Notion is the engineer of the crew. He doesn’t even really like that term much just yet, as he’s still technically only learning. He’s killin’ it, but. At the time of arranging the trip, he was working nightshift four nights a week. This in itself was insane, as generally nightshifts are split up so as not to make you go crazy. He was originally doing five nights a week but cut back, which was a great move. So he’d work Sunday night through Wednesday night, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday off. The catch was he had to convert back to day time hours in those three days, then get back to staying up all night by Sunday. Definitely not good for the body.
So while we were all spending every spare moment writing and recording and finalising all the songs for the pool to select from, Notion had to fit in the mixing of every damn song. In total, he mixed well over fifty songs (which took on average three hours per song initially, and then the changes would average an hour or so per song) in the space of two months. I had us on a tight schedule – as I knew we had so many other things to arrange, we couldn’t afford for the music not to be ready. Dude was sitting on like four hours sleep a night for a while there. Poor bastard.
The mixtape stuff turned out great in the end, but damn it was close. Australia’s only platinum DJ, Nino Brown, kept his agreement with us from the year before to still mix our mixtape, which was a blessing as he did a great job and it was dope to attach his name to our project. The kid DJ Crusador, a DMC finalist, came through in the clutch to mix Notion’s project, and he killed it. The artwork was the problem. The homie who does our artwork is in the UK (haha we worldwide, baby!), so that was difficult to arrange. We had many a long night on MSN finalising every small detail of the cover art and logo, which got changed a gang of times.
Because we pushed it right to the last minute, we weren’t able to press up a full run of mixtapes for the trip – we ended up doing 100 of each with an ‘Exclusive International Edition’ stamp on them to make ‘em something special just for this trip. That worked out pretty dope. But the stress was constant from June until September. Something always went wrong. People always bailed on us. It was a headfuck. Sometimes we felt it would all fall apart. But I think we’re the kind of folks who push things to the last minute and end up coming through with the goods.
The whole preparation stage was an amazing learning experience. I can only imagine what it would be like arranging a huge tour. Fuck that lol. But what came out of it was I solidified my networking skills and am now confident that I know what I’m doing. I know that the Fam can work to deadlines, and that I can rely on the people in my crew to make things happen – they’re as hungry for this as I am, which is one of the most reassuring feelings you can have in this business.
Next up, the trip…
Plug of the week: Gotta shout out our blog, www.TheMovementFam.com. It only really got started in early December, and already it’s killing the Cee & Bekah blog, which we never really pushed but utilised as an information source for The Fam since 2007. It’s got a bit of everything – stuff about The Fam, music in general, comedy, videos, fashion, sport, models…whatever you want!
So until next time, listen to Jazmine Sullivan. One of my Top 10 albums of 2008 (check the ‘Best of 2008’ post on www.TheMovementFam.com blog). It’ll change your life.
The Movement Fam.