This week’s video is for the song “Fairytale or Nightmare,” produced by Arsha Asteraki.

AVAILABLE ON A.P.T.’S “Welcome 2 Cali” Mixtape! Click HERE for download info!


Usually, the first part of the song explanation process starts out with me giving insight into the song.  However, this is one of those rare times where I actually filmed the video BEFORE I had an entire song written.

What happened was, I opened up a new Facebook page soley for my music, and began posting up some of my older videos.  I posted up video number 4, “Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father),” which is one of my more serious songs.  In looking back on my videos, though, I realized this is one of the few serious songs I’ve done.  Most of my stuff tends to be either hilarious or light-hearted, and I do that because I feel I’m at my best when I’m being funny or sarcastic.  However, since I’m near the end of this year-long project, I figured it would be good to switch things up and do a more dramatic song and video.

Then, while surfing YouTube one day, I clicked on one of the videos suggested to me by the site itself: a video of a remix instrumental from one of the tunes from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.”   I like when beat-makers use video games as source material for their beats, so I HAD to listen to it.  When I clicked on it… well, the song itself wasn’t posted – just some guy named Arsha Asteraki going on about how people could download the beat in the link next to the video.  I clicked on it, and when I got to the site and heard the beat…

Two words: pure heaven.

It was mixed perfectly.  He sampled the Great Fairy’s music (for non-Zelda fans, it’s the music that plays whenever you get near the Great Fairy’s life-healing pool), added some drums and DJ scratches to it, and made it sound like a hip-hop beat!

I downloaded the instrumental, then left it alone for a while. (I think I had to go out of my apartment for something.)  When I came back to it, I listened to it a couple of times, and a chorus started popping up in my head, something about “fairytales or a nightmare,” which I found brilliant since the song is sampled from a beat used by a Great Fairy, and my song could be about “fairy”-tales.

I decided to focus the song on a break-up.  I don’t know why, but the beat just seemed to take me in that route.  I began writing down a few words here and there, and by Friday afternoon I had half a song together.  However, while in the midst of writing the song, I began thinking about the exact type of video I could shoot for it.

The main catalyst for the video? Simply put: my place was messy.  My roommate went out of town for 5 days, and since I had the place to myself I purposefully allowed for it to get messy. (Hey, five days of no cleaning is FANTASTIC, I don’t care what no one says!)  I figured the place looked similar to how it would look were a person going through a bad breakup, where they just stopped caring about doing ANYTHING, especially cleaning!

What’s cool is that, because I didn’t have the entire song written, I could use the parts of the song I  had written to correlate with actions in some parts of the song, and then go back and write the rest of it in correlation to whatever else I decided to film.  I had the first verse written, so I just filmed according to that.

I filmed parts of the kitchen, table, living room, and bedroom that were messy, then filmed myself lying down on my futon bed moping.  After getting up and pondering what went wrong in the relationship, I go to brush my teeth, then attempt to clean my kitchen and write a new song, but with no luck.  Finally, I take my frustrations out on… something… lying around the apartment before breaking down, crying, then going back to my room.

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. The pizza box was courtesy of Lil’ Ceasar’s pizza I had just gotten that day.

2. Part of the reason my room was so messy – and part of the reason I was wearing swimming trunks – is because my roommate, prior to leaving town, had lost the laundry room key, and I didn’t feel like lugging my laundry down the block, so stuff just piled up.  Don’t worry, I’m doing laundry today!

3. Most of the shots I took for this video were cut WAY down.  There’s an extended cut of me brushing my teeth, staring out the window, and sitting at my computer that were about 40 seconds long each, but wittled down to less than 10 seconds.  It’s better to over-film than under do it!

4. Me attacking the… thing that I attack in this video was spontaneous.  As a result of me filming it, though, I had to add an “angry” part to the song to make that part of the video more effective.

5. At the end of the video, I go to my room and close the door to go to sleep, while it’s still daytime.  As the credits roll, it looks like it’s nighttime.  In actuality, it’s a post-edit effect of an earlier shot, only I gave it the “Night Effect” lighting.  God, I love having a MAC!

6. Editing time for this video: 2 hours, from start to finish.  God, I LOVE HAVING A MAC!!  This video would have taken me at least 5 to 6 hours on my slow-ass P.C.!


Once I had the video shot, I went back and did tweaks on the song.  I kept the first verse the same, but I had started on the second verse prior to filming, and the opening parts sounded too slow-paced to me.  The first verse was purposefully slow-pased, like I was in a daze over being broken up with, but I didn’t want the whole song to sound that way because then it just starts sounding boring.  So, I scrapped whatever it was I had, and changed the words and style of how they were said so the delivery would be more like, “okay, I’m starting to realize what really happened here and I’m angry about it.”

As the second verse hits the 12 bar, the beat changes into a frenzy-sounding remix, and I wanted the emotions of the song to match with the sound at that time.  Thus, my idea to go completely crazy (also matching with what I do in the video), then calm back down when the beat goes back to normal.  And, of course, since this is a “broken heart” song, I added some crying in for good measure.  Ah yes, all those years of theatre classes are finally being put to use!

This song is beautiful.  The beat sounds good, and, with the clarity of my new mic, the words sound great as well!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Like I said before, I wrote out the first verse first.  Although most of the second verse was scrapped, the “angry” part of the verse was actually completed before the other parts were.

2. I didn’t actually know what angle I was going to write the song towards until near the end of the first verse.  I knew it would be about a break-up, but I added the “cheating” element to make the song more dramatic.

That’s all for now – only 6 more videos left to go! See ya next Sunday!