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Overworked

Another week, another video in the can…

Oh, but the week’s not over yet! I’ve still got to record 2 more songs for “The Great Black Hope,” not to mention the fact that I’ll be mixing and mastering the entire album tomorrow and part of the release day.  I’m going to my Grandma’s house on Wednesday to see her before I move out to California,  so I’m in serious grind mode right about now.

To top it off: I have a radio interview tomorrow moring via phone at 9:15 AM.  That should be pretty fun. 

But wait – there’s more! You see, my goal for the New Year is to be able to survive off my creative endeavors so that I won’t need to get a “real” job.  Ironically, the job of putting all this stuff together in a way that can be shown to the public takes more hours out of my day than a regular 9 to 5 would.  I’m willing to do the work because, once it’s set up, I know the hard part is over…

…but until then: I’ve got not one, but TWO books I’m setting up launch for (one’s already done, the other one is in the editing stages right now), which means reconfiguring web sites, putting together media kits for the press, typing up book summaries and press releases…

Needless to say, I’m feeling over-worked.

It’s not even the fact that I’m doing this stuff all at once, because I’m not.  It’s the fact that I want to get it all done NOW, because I see how the success of each of these things should pan out even though they haven’t happened yet.  So, when I’m editing my music, I’m also thinking of ideas concerning my books, and when I’m editing my books I’m thinking about song ideas or edits I can make to my songs.

It’s the gift and the curse of being a divergent thinker.

On the plus side, I’ve already got at least 3 to 4 video ideas for songs from my NEW album, “The Great Black Hope,” dropping Wednesday, January 7th (a.k.a. MY birthday), so at least that’s one less thing to have to think about.

Okay, I’m taking a break from all this stuff.  See ya on Wednesday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

SoundClick: www.soundclick.com/APT

At the beginning of each year, I like to make goals for myself for accomplishments I’d like to achieve for the year. At the end of the year, I like to look back on what those goals were and see how far along I got in terms of reaching or nearing my goal.

In 2007, I had a set of goals I made that were similar to this year’s goals. I made grand statements about what I wanted to do, but forgot that sometimes, in order to reach a big goal, you have to first reach smaller goals. So, for 2008, I took those goals and decided to make them a bit smaller and more specific.

So, how’d I do? Here is a brief synopsis of each goal, and how I did on them…

GOAL #1: To find at least ONE wholesale source of goods I could use to further expand my eBay business.

HOW’D I DO?: Terribly. At the beginning of the year, I had more than enough money to buy a huge supply of what I thought were authentic iPods, only to find out they were fakes that didn’t have enough resell value to get all of my money back. I also found a supply source of DVDs that I thought were legit – turns out, I was wrong on that, too. I didn’t want to lose any more money on sources that would turn out not to be legit, so my eBay business was nowhere near as active as it was in the 2 years prior.

THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: I still think eBay can be a very profitable business for me like it was in the past, and I still want to find a legitimate source of products I can buy inexpensively and make a profit from. I also have some of my own creations that I’ve sold successfully on eBay – specifically, my eBook – and there’s stuff available on Craig’s List, which should be an even better source of supply once I move to California.

Speaking of California:

GOAL #2: To save up enough money to move to California.

HOW’D I DO?: At the beginning of the year, I actually had enough money to move. Then, I decided that I should try to double my money before I go by purchasing items from the wholesale sources I found and sell it on eBay – that way I’d have a car to drive around L.A. Seeing as I lost all my money on the eBay fiasco, my goals for California seemed quite dim.

But God had other plans. I think I needed to stay in Atlanta a little big longer – who knows if I would have come up with the great idea of doing one-song-a-week had I not been desperate for a way to be noticed by record companies in Cali? And, as it turns out, by the end of the year, God made a way for me to afford to move to Burbank, CA after all. So… YAY!

THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: I’m moving to California on January 9th. My next goal? The same goal I have every year, man – HAWAII!!

GOAL #3: To get at least ONE of my songs played on ONE radio station.

HOW’D I DO?: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

I’m laughing because, the question is not, “Did I get a song played on ONE radio station,” but rather, “What radio station HASN’T played my song??”

Last year’s goal was to try and get signed to a major record label. Again, this goal, while admirable, was a bit too big, especially considering I hadn’t really performed that much and people hardly knew me. Okay, that’s being modest – outside of my friends from college, NO one knew me.

So, I decided to scale down the goal, from “trying to get signed” to focusing on getting ONE song on the radio. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I started making songs for fun, in my apartment, in the hopes that one of my “original” tunes would have enough oomph to get on radio.

Ironically, it would be a song that was already released, combined with the popularity of a Democratic Presidential hopeful, that would help my goal get reached – and SUPASSED.

In short: I started this web site called “One-Song-a-Week, by A.P.T.” where I would post up a new song every Sunday for a full year, as well as a music video for that song. Song/video number five was a parody of a popular Lil’ Wayne song – “A Milli” – that I took and turned into “O-bama O-bama,” where I talked jokingly about all things related to Barack Obama’s campaign.

Once I post the video on YouTube… it was a wrap.

The song not only got millions of hits on YouTube, it also played on radio stations and at clubs around the world, was quoted and/or remade by major and minor celebrities, and – most importantly – helped Barack Obama win more votes in the election than his rival, John McCain.

SO… yeah, I’d say this was one goal that I FAR surpassed this year.

THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: Amazingly, the reason I started doing music in the first place was to display my beat-making abilities and writing skills to others so they’d hire me out to make beats or songs for their artists. I’m really more of a private person – it’s the reason I haven’t really done many performances (I don’t want the fame, I just want the money). For next year, the goal is to shop my music around to artists in California (both underground and major). I want to sell a beat to at least ONE major artist, and write for/perform on a song with at least ONE major artist and ONE underground artist with buzz. I’ve already done collabos with a few underground artist this year, so I know it’s possible!

Oh – and I’d also like to get at least TWO songs on radio, either as the performer or producer of the songs.

GOAL #4: To quit my job and live off my own creations (books, music, etc.)

HOW’D I DO?: Eh, it was a mixed bag. I purposefully spent this year focusing on my music. Once I had a popular song – “O-bama O-bama” – I released mixtapes and, eventually, an album – “The A.P.T. LP” – that I made people pay for. Lo and behold, I actually sold about 30 to 35 copies at 4.99-6.99 each. I also sold quite a few copies of the “O-bama” single (96 and counting – not bad, considering I also had it available as a FREE download!) All in all, I didn’t make enough to quit my job, but enough for me to know that, were I to have the right advertising, it would be possible.

I also have an e-Book I wrote a few years ago. Back in 2006, I was able to successfully sell 10 copies of the book in one month at a good price range (29.99 – 39.99). But again, my focus was on music this year, so I didn’t promote this book at all.

THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: My main issue was figuring out how to advertise myself to a wide audience. Had I known that the “O-bama O-bama” video/song was going to get as big as it did, I would have mentioned my website & E-mail address at the end of the song so people who downloaded it would know where to find me. (I did for the video, but some people only heard the song, not knowing their was a video for it.)

My main goal for next year is to create advertising that will bring better focus to my musical endeavors. I’ve finally figured out one way of doing this – by sending a press release out to the major media – and I will be sending out two PRs within the next 3 weeks: one for my book, and one for my album, “The A.P.T. LP.” It has the “O-bama” song on it, and since he’s being Inaugurated on January 20th, I have a small window of time where my song will be popular enough for people to want to buy it again. Yay!

And that’s it! Overall, 2008 had many highs and lows for me (with the end being mostly low, seeing as my current living situation sucks ass and our electricity just got cut off – thanks a LOT, you landlord a-hole!), and I’m SO glad 2009 is only hours away!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

That’s 33 videos so far, and only 19 more to go.  Yesterday’s video, “Hooptie,” was extra special because, in order to have the 9 hours needed for me to edit it, I decided not to go into work!

That’s right – I quit my job today! (Well, yesterday – but the word “today” sounds better in the title.)

Honestly… I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I mean, physically, I could do the job… but the last time I worked, one of the managers was acting like a jerk and treating me with disrespect.  And people, I’ll be turning 27 next week – at this age, I don’t feel I have to take that kind of crap from anyone, ESPECIALLY some manager who’s in constant PMS mode and wants to take it out on people at any given whim.

It’s funny – I called my Mom yesterday and told her about me not showing up to work.  At this point, she doesn’t ever say “shame on you” or “how could you” since I’m a grown man.  Still, there was a slight pause of “oh… okay.”  I knew she didn’t approve.

But I didn’t feel like I had a choice.  One, I committed to doing this “one song/one video a week” think WAAAAY before I got the job.  And two, I didn’t feel any passion in what I was doing. I was more excited about finishing up my video and putting it on YouTube to get a few hundred views than I was about earning a few bucks doing something where I’d be miserable the whole time.

And three – quite honestly, life is too short to be doing something you don’t want to do.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, people will give you crap about “well, you may not like doing such-and-such, but you gotta do crap sometimes to support yourself until you get to where you want to be!”  My question is, at what point are you able to start working towards where you want to be?!?

I’ll be 27 on January 7th, but I’m already looking at the next big age milestone: the big 3-0.  It’s only 3 years away, and I always said that I wanted to have enough money in the bank by then to (a) retire comfortably, and (b) do whatever the heck I want to do.

I guess that’s why I’ve been so rebellious lately – getting fired from my last job, then walking away from this one.  Okay, for ME it’s rebellious – I tend to be the responsible one who does stuff by the book.  Now, I look at my life and I say, “I’ve BEEN following the book, and the times I was most successful was when I was doing what I REALLY wanted to do, not what I thought I should be doing or what others think I should be doing.”

This move to California should be good for me.  As such, I don’t have a job out there yet, and, in my mind, I keep telling myself, “as soon as you touch ground in Burbank, you have to start looking for a j-o-b (which, in case you haven’t heard me say it before, is short for “Just. Obey. Bitch.”).” 

At the same time, there’s another part of me that no longer wants to have a job ever again.  Actually, my entire BEING says i don’t want to have another job ever again.  At least not one that feels like a job.  Making songs isn’t a job to me.  Making videos isn’t a job to me, despite the long hours of editing.  Writing books isn’t a job for me.  And I’m learning how I can make money off all of these things – so, why get a regular job, then?

I guess what I’m saying is, I know what I want to do when I get to California – the only matter now is actually getting it DONE.  I have no idea how that will happen – but for me, that’s usually the best part.  That’s about the time that God intervenes and figures out a way to make it happen, so I try not to worry about it too much.

That’s all for now.  Tomorrow, I’ll be doing my year of the end “so, how’d I do” summary, so stay tuned!

-A.P.T.

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Well, surprise, surprise!

I thought I’d be working down to the last minute to finish up my newest mixtape, “The Next Black President (aka Back on My Grind)”… but lo and behold: it’s done!

It’s not supposed to come out until December 2nd, but it’s actually done NOW!  Well, about 98% – I still have to edit about 3 minutes off one of the tracks so it’ll clock in at under 80 minutes.  Don’t worry, it’s not 80 minutes of music – I included a podcast interview I did with a guy named Rhymestyle, which clocks in at about 18 minutes, plus there’s a track previewing “The A.P.T. LP” which I’m going to shave down so the whole thing will fit on a CD (should someone want to burn it).

I’m also going to have an option where people can order the CD for FREE, provided they pay the 2.99 shipping fee.  No sense in not letting people have a mixtape if they want it!

As for this week’s video… I finally figured out the video I want to do for the “Hooptie” track… but I won’t be able to film it for at least a week.  Why?  It requires me being in a car (which I don’t currently have), and I have to rent it but won’t have the money for it until after I start my new job! Yes, I finally got hired someplace.  Actually, I could have been hired a while ago, but I really needed the month off from working to do whatever I wanted to do.

With that said, I will be doing a video for a song off the mixtape.  I have a few ideas for some of the songs, but I probably won’t really know until tonight.  Stay tuned, people!

-A.P.T.

Email: aptsongs@hotmail.cmo

Myspace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: http://www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

And with video #26, I am officially at the half-way point of my “One-Song-a-Week” experiment. What a perfect time for my equipment to start breaking down!

Oh, what do I do, what do I do? The plug for my laptop is down, and, as of right now, I have no way of charging it up to load up new videos. Boo, I say, booooo! (Note: in case you’re wondering, I’m using someone else’s laptop now to type this. And they have a MAC, which makes me insanely jealous.) So, I have no idea how I’ll manage to upload and edit something for this Sunday.

Meanwhile, I think my camera is on its last leg – it’s got dings on the casing, and sometimes it won’t stay on, even when there are fresh batteries in it.

All of which makes for yet more hurdles I’ll have to try and figure out in order for me to finish up this whole project. I’ve been pretty diligent in terms of posting up a video every week, and, while I do not yet know how I’ll manage to get one up, I figure I’ll be going with my “by any means necessary” attitude and getting it up somehow.

As for the video itself… well, I have two more tracks from my album to do videos for. I know which one I want to do it for… but it really depends on if I can get my laptop working, as I have things I want to introduce in the video that I’ll be able to sell on my site. Assuming that will happen – all I really need to do is either fix the plug or buy a new one (which I don’t want to do since it would cost me a whopping $90 from Wal-Mart) – it should be interesting to see what I come up with…

That’s all for now – see ya Sunday (hopefully)!

-A.P.T.

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT
Soundclick: http://www.soundclick.com/APT

I’ve been in D.C. for a week.  I still have no place to call my own, and the only place I can seem to afford is in the ghetto.  I have a job, but most of money is spent traveling around on the train during my days off so I can look at apartments.  I’ve been staying with my bro for a week, but I can’t live here and have to be out this weekend.  I have a temporary place I can stay, but it’s far from the train station, and the money I’ll spend on cabs will eat away at the money I could be saving up for my own place.

Right now, life is sucking a big fat one.

I’ve barely been here a week.  Last week I was chillin’ in my apartment in ATL.  I had enough money to get by, but no mobility.  Here, I have a bit more mobility, but it eats up the money I need to get by. Blah blah blah, complain complain complain, you get the idea.

Part of the reason I wanted to move, though, was because my life had become too routine.  Yes, its secure to get into a lifestyle where you’re doing the same thing day in and day out everyday – in my case it was “go to work, go immediately home, watch TV, create something, surf net, go to sleep, and repeat” – but it also gets BORING, and it doesn’t allow a person to grow.

So, I got up and moved. And now my life seems to be in disarray.

As much as I hate the feeling I have now – of feeling helpless at times, or not knowing what I’m going to do next – I had this same feeling when I first moved to Atlanta, and was on the verge of having to move back home.  I worked through it then, and I’ll be damned if I can’t figure out a way to get through it now.

Man, I wish I had a publicist or someone to get my stuff out.  The “Obama” song is starting to pick up steam again (thanks to all the debates and the election being less than a month away) and I STILL don’t know how to better capitalize on it.

I think this song will end up being a lesson for me about how NOT to get a buzz for a song.  I should have been charging money for the song from the beginning instead of offering it for free.  I should have placed all my contact info on the video for the song in case people in the industry wanted to contact me about performances.  I should have… well, I dunno – I never thought it would get as big as it did, and I wish my entertainment lawyer would have been more helpful.

Ah well… I don’t really like writing blogs that are depressing or pessimistic.  Complaining about life feels good at times, but it doesn’t really get you anywhere…

On the positive side: through all of this train-traveling and apartment-searching, I DID manage to film my video for this week.  It’s for one of the songs off “The A.P.T. LP” – a dance song – and the video footage I filmed for the video came about by chance.  I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and… well, I don’t want to give too much away, except to say that I’m NOT in the video at all, nor should I be.  Yeah, that’s a pretty good teaser for now…

-A.P.T.

This week’s music video is for the song “Fly Chick” (produced by Hi-Fly), from “The A.P.T. LP!”

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I was looking up beats one day and came across this beat, produced by Hi-Fly.  The beat was called “The Beautiful One,” and, based on the title of the beat, I started freestyling a song scenario where I was talking about a girl.

When I got to the chorus, the words that came out were: “My one and only fly chick/uh huh, she got the keys to the new whip… my one and only fly chick, my one ride or die chick, always by my side, yeah!”

The chorus was really catchy to me, but the last part – “always by my side” – helped me to invision what the whole song should be about.  Namely, a girl that’s always been there for a guy since before he got famous.

I record all my freestyles, and the words I had said were pretty close to the ones I was going to use. However, I somehow managed to accidentaly record over the freestyle!  Needless to say, I was pissed off.  Because the song was erased, I had to go back and actually write the verses.  Good thing I still remembered the chorus!

Writing the song wasn’t really that hard, though.  All I had to do was think back on my own dating experiences, specifically to those girls I dated that didn’t mind me not having a lot of money, or wanting to see me even when I lived at home with my mom, or didn’t have the best job in the world… the point is, these girls were willing to go out with me simply because of my charming personality (and, hopefully, my stunningly good looks).  Although I haven’t dated that many people, there were a few out of the ones I dated who had the traits I talk about in the song, and I figured guys who currently have girlfriends sticking with them through the tough times would be able to relate.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is one of those songs that doesn’t have a regular flow to it.  It has a flow, but a lot of the words run into each other at times, and there are a lot of pauses.  This is actually how I freestyled the original one, and for some reason this flow just seemed to go well with this beat.  I’m sure I could have done the song a bunch of different ways…

2. My favorite line in the song: “Did I mention that the girl can cook? She cooks Japanese, Chinese, maybe even Siamese…”  I just thought that sounded funny!

3. Like I said, most of the stuff in the song is based on a few women I dated.  I did date a girl who would come see me regularly when I lived with my mom who could also cook oriental food; I dated another girl who would be willing to drop whatever she was doing to see me (yet still managed to get her school work done); yet and still, there are girls who I haven’t dated but have made me feel extra-special in our friendship (not in that way, people!).  Ultimately, the goal is always to take those emotions and try to make them relate to others!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

This video is bittersweet, as it is the last video I shot in Atlanta before moving to Washington D.C.!

Since this song is about me giving praises to my “one and only fly chick,” I wanted to have a girl in the video.  My original vision for the song was to film me and a girl going around town spending time with each other.  As you may know, though, getting people to help me out with these things can be a biaaaaaatch!

However, I figured I could try and ask for some help.  My friend Jessi, who I went to Hampton University with, also does music and is constantly filming herself doing random things and placing them on YouTube.  Since she was already doing these types of things, I shot her an email and asked her if she’d like to be in one of my videos.

Imagine my surprise when she said “Yes!”

Of course, this was about a month ago.  She told me she’d send some footage within a week.  2 weeks later… LoL.  Ah well, I had some other videos to shoot, but she finally sent me some footage that she shot from her MAC computer (and I am insanely jealous that she has a MAC!).

Once I had her part, I had to figure out how I was going to do mine.  The scenario I had set up was that I was on the road touring, but had taken time out to send my girlfriend a song called “Fly Chick,” which she then made a video of herself dancing to, along with shots of her doing other stuff around her house.  I had to figure out how I wanted to show myself as if I was on tour.

My first idea was to film myself singing the song while riding a bus around Atlanta.  But, anyone who lives in Atlanta knows that a touring musician who is popular is NOT catching a MARTA train around ATL, and nobody would believe I was using it as a tour bus!

After much thought, I decided I could film it at the Hartfield National Airport, located at the end of the southern trainline in Atlanta.  I could act as though I had a few hours before my flight took off, so I decide to use my laptop to check my email, and – lo and behold – my girlfriend sent a video to me as a “thank you” for the song!

Pretty simple concept.  All I did was go down to the airport, film myself walking around singing the song, then film myself on my laptop.  To my surprise, though, I didn’t even need my laptop.  It turns out, the Airport supplies pay-per-minute computers with internet access.  So, rather than pull my laptop out the bag, I simply filmed myself “using” one of their computers (at an angle where you couldn’t see the screen so that I didn’t have to actually use the computer, and have to pay $10 for something I didn’t really need to use.  It’s called “creative filming,” people!)

I didn’t have time to edit the video until Saturday due to the time I spent trying to unload my apartment and move.  I thought it might be an easy video to edit – WRONG AS USUAL!  Between me catching a bus to Richmond to visit my Mom, then catching another bus to D.C., eating, trying to find a place to live AND finally getting back to my brother’s house, the video almost didn’t even make it up on YouTube Sunday.  But, like I said, I’m dedicated, and got it up on the site with 20 minutes left to go!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. My friend shot her footage on a MAC, and her colors were – no pun intended – imMACulate.  I had to add a bit of color boost to my footage so that it would match up with her color scheme.

2. Yes, I actually walked around the airport mouthing the words to my song.  And yes, people were looking at me funny while I did it.  But what do I care??

3. Incidentally, the song was playing through the headphone set around my neck.  It actually played the song pretty loudly, and I was surprised no one walking near me said anything!

4. I actually brought two suitcases with me to the airport.  I was going to use the smaller one as my carry luggage, and use the bigger one to sit my camera on for certain shots.  When it came time for me to sit at the internet terminal, I stacked the small suitcase onto the bigger one so I could get a good angle.

5. Edit time for the video:  eh, I don’t really know.  I did a lot of moving around this weekend – if I had to guess, though, I’d say about 6 or 7 hours.

That’s all for now – enjoy the video and I’ll see ya next week!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

And, one of the last few videos I’ll be doing in Atlanta.  Awwww!  I’m moving! I don’t want to move! I LIKE living in Atlanta!

I swear, if it weren’t for the fact that I think I have a better chance of getting club gigs in D.C., I wouldn’t even leave.  At the moment, though, I’m getting to know myself a bit better, and I’ve come to a realization…

I, Aaron P. Taylor, am a loner.

Please don’t read that and think of it as a bad thing.  It simply means I like spending time alone with myself, which, in turn, gives me time to create.  It also explains a lot about my personality, like why I don’t mind going places by myself (movies, parties), or why I’m happier hanging with a small group of people (2 or 3) as opposed to a large group of people, where I tend to be less vocal and appear withdrawn.

I don’t mind being labeled as a “loner” because, like I said, it’s not a bad thing.  Loners are responsible for some of the world’s best inventions (i.e. Thomas Edison), entertainment (i.e. Dave Chappelle) and artwork.  However, in recognizing this character trait of mine, I also realize the DOWNSIDE of being a loner:  it’s uncomfortable for me to meet new people.

Why? Because I don’t just rush out and talk to everyone without having analyzed them first.  Unfortunately, this proves to be a hinderance when it comes to having to hob-nob with people in the music industry or making the contacts I need to get to the next step.  Why? Because that’s time I could be spending CREATING instead of TALKING.

Luckily, there are people you can hire to do these types of things for you.  Of course, you have to find those people and talk to THEM about talking to others, which means… well, it’s a lot of talking involved.  With that said, my brother is a DJ in D.C., and he knows how to talk that talk.  We’ve been talking about working together for a while, so I figure now is as good a time as any to see what we can accomplish together.  I figure, between his ability to talk to people and my ability to create… well, I think I’ve said all this before, but you get the idea.

Anyway, while I’m here, I figured I should shoot a few more videos.  I don’t know what locals will be of interest for me to film stuff in D.C. for the first few weeks, and I’ve got 2 days left in ATL to film some stuff, so we’ll see what I can come up with. 

As for this week’s video, it’s already been filmed! I filmed it at the airport, and one of my friends was kind enough to film some clips of her for me to use in the video!  It’s one of the songs off “The A.P.T. LP,” and it should be a hit!

That’s all for now – see ya Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Forgive me, but it’s late, I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I suddenly feel the need to vent.

So, I started this whole “One Song A Week” project in May.  So far, I’ve made 17 music videos (soon to be 18).  I’ve created and released not one, but TWO projects worth of material.  I had song number five – my Lil’ Wayne “A Milli” remake “Obama Obama” – blow up like crazy, to the point that radio DJs and other rappers were trying to create their own versions, and I was getting it played on radio stations and clubs in the U.K., Germany, and abroad.  I’ve spent countless hours racking up MySpace friends and YouTube video subscribers.

All of which begs the question: how much longer will this whole “making a living off music” thing f–kin’ take??

I mean, GEEZ – including the years leading up to this one, I’ve been going at this on and off for about 4 years now.  This is the first year that I’ve really started to make some serious headway, yet I still feel, at times, like I’m being held back.

Part of it is my own circumstance.  I don’t have a car, so I can’t go to gigs (at least not in Atlanta, where the buses stop by 12:37 AM and the trains stop at 2 AM).  I don’t know a lot of people down here, so I have no connections.  I have an entertainment lawyer who, while great at her job, doesn’t really seem interested in helping me.  Heck, I went to her office when the “Obama Obama” song was taking off to get her advice, and while the small talk we had was great, she still has yet to pass any of my stuff off to any of the big-head names she knows and regularly works with.

All of which has me asking: how much longer will all of this f–kin’ take?!?

There are other aspects of this whole situation I could bitch and complain about, but honestly, what’s the point?  All I know is, I’m still not where I want to be just yet.

At the same time, I know all of this takes patience.  At least I was able to get a song played on radio – it was one of my New Year’s resolutions for this year to make that happen, and I’m glad it did, even though it wasn’t in the way I expected.  There are bands and groups that spend DECADES trying to get that done, and it only took me 4 years.  So, in that respect, it’s all good.  

But I want to take this to the next level, people!  I hope my move to D.C. will prove to be a more fruitful experience than Atlanta has been, both musically AND personally.  I’d like to be able to have friends to actually hang out with, people to go to clubs with, and connections to people who I can network with for gigs.  I also hope to finally get a car, so that, should I decide to move again in a year (and I probably will) I’ll be able to have some road power, instead of Nike power 😦

Okay, I’m done ranting – I have a video to shoot (finally thought of an idea for this week), food to eat, and sleep to get.  Adios!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

This video is for a song called “Smile 4 Obama” feat. Luther Vandross!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Yeah, yeah, I know, another “Obama” song by A.P.T., right?  I think this makes Obama song #4, after “Obama, Obama,” the intro song on “The O-bama Mixtape,” the “Hey Jesse Jackson” song, and now this one.  The democrats need to pay me!

I wasn’t going to make another “Obama” song because I don’t want people to think I’m stuck on a theme, or that I’m just nuts over Obama.  What happened, though, was I was having a conversation with my uncle about how I wanted to perform the song, and he mentioned that, due to a few lines in the song – i.e. my reference about wanting to “hit” (i.e. make love to) Michele Obama, John McCain dying of a heart attack, and laughing at Hillary Clinton for losing – there would probably be a few places reluctant to hire me to perform. 

So, I figured, if I wanted to capitalize on the “Obama” thing, I should probably make a more family-friendly song that adults wouldn’t be uncomfortable with me performing.  I was listening to this Luther Vandross song called “Shine,” off his “The Ultimate Luther Collection” CD, and the words to it were so perfect that I figured it would make for a good “Obama” song.

I couldn’t find the beat to the song by itself, but the song’s opening was simply the beat with no words, meaning I could take it and re-loop it.    I also wanted to include Luther in the song, as I felt it would be a song he would allow for use by the Obama campaign were he alive.

Coming up with the words was pretty hard.  All I knew was I wanted to keep it positive, say nice things about everyone mentioned (including Michele this time), and didn’t want to include any mentions of John McCain’s name, though I did end up mentioning him near the end without mentioning him.  Luckily, the Democratic National Convention has been happening this week, and I was able to take notes while watching it that helped me put the song together pretty quickly!

Oh, and I know what you’re probably thinking: “Isn’t he supposed to just be doing ONE music video per week?”  Hey, you know what they say – you gotta take an opportunity while it’s hot, and – seeing as the focus is squarely on Obama this week – I had to strike iron while it was HOT!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Although writing the song itself wasn’t that easy, figuring out what to talk about wasn’t.  Dems tend to speak about the same things: putting back families, better health care, more education monies, etc.  I swear, given the talking points the Dems tend to recycle, I could do the whole convention in 5 minutes!

2. The words for this song didn’t start rolling out until I thought of the LAST verse of the song: “And I don’t want 4 more years of Bush/ So let’s give Obama a push.”  From there, I wrote the song backwards, writing the second verse first and the first verse second.

3. Seeing as I wasn’t exactly 100% respectful with my mention of Michele in the “Obama, Obama” song, I figured it’d be a good idea to mention how she helps her man out and is a classy lady.  Don’t get it twisted, though – I’d still hit!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO:

The idea was pretty simple: do a picture montage of Obama and his campaign.  They’ve been doing it at the DNC all week, and it seems to be a pretty effective way to promote who Obama is!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I tried to find pictures that would match with various words and phrases.  I like being able to tell stories without having to always say them directly into a camera.

2. The edit time for this video was about 4 hours.  You’d be surprised how much time it takes to find the right pictures, place them in the right order, and decide what transitions to put in!

That’s all for now – and yes, there is STILL a video coming on Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT