Tag Archive: job


This week’s song/music video is for the song, “Back to the Future.”

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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I’ve actually had the idea for this song for almost two years now.  I came up with the chorus when I was showering one day, and it stuck with me from them up until now.

I’ve also gone through many free-styled versions of the song, but never seemed to have a microphone around when I did.  Despite this small setback, I knew the chorus was catchy enough to eventually sit down and write a song to it.

Then came this previous week.  I was going to do a video for a song I had already recorded, but sometimes life comes into play and makes you want to write about emotions you’re feeling right there at that moment.  And so it was with this song.

The song is called “Back to the Future” because, in the song, there is a conversation that takes place between my present self – i.e. “previous me” – and my future self – i.e. “future me.”  Previous me is pissed off because his life situation isn’t as glamorous as he’d like it to be, and the people around him – friends, girls, etc. – aren’t as reliable as he’d like them to be.  He calls up future me to vent and ask if he ever succeeded in his goals.

Future me, meanwhile, acts as a sounding board for previous me in the first act, then reassures his former self that, with a little patience and hard work, he will eventually reach his dreams.

I was prompted to write this song after various events that happened to me this week.  I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say, there were parts of this past week where people were either unreliable, didn’t stick to what they said they would do, or just blew me off completely without any explanation.  It happens quite often, actually, as I’m sure it has to all the other people who were ignored or mistreated by others prior to becoming famous.  Oh well – makes fodder for good song material!

I had another beat in mind for the song, one that I would have had to create myself.  Unfortunately, it involved a sample from a Nintendo game, and the company is not known for making it easy to get a sampling license.  Luckily, I found this beat online a while back, courtesy of FreQ BeatZ, and it sounded bouncy enough to get people’s heads bobbin, while at the same time allowing a sense of hope to be felt on the track.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The original version of this song had a LOT more cussing in it than this version does.  However, now that I have family members checking out my page, I figured I should probably keep the cussing to a minimum, and only use it as a last resort (i.e. if the word I’d try to use to replace it would just sound silly).

2. The addition of the “phone voice” was added in last minute.  I was trying to figure out a way I could make a distinction in the two voices when they were on the phone with each other aside from changing the octave of my voice, but couldn’t figure out how to call myself.  It didn’t dawn on me until AFTER I had finished recording it that my phone had voice recorder on it!  I was considering doing the entire second verse in phone voice, but I would have had to re-record the ENTIRE song, and plus it would sound annoying hearing that for a full 16 bars!

3. In making a song, I have to make the scenarios relatable to everybody, not just me.  Therefore, some of the things mentioned out of anger by the “character” in the song – hating the job, clothes being a mess, friends laughing at me – are only partially true.  I like my job most of the time, I do have a few clothes that look decent, and my friends don’t laugh at me for following my dreams (helping me out, however, is a different story).  However, all these things DO happen to other people, so they are mentioned.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I could type about this all day, but I’ll try to make it short.  The video shoot took 2 days.  In the first part of the video, you’ll see me at this restaurant called “Willy’s” which is right down the street from where I live.  Because I had to get three time-periods (day, dusk, and night), I had to go back to the restaurant 3 times and be able to sit at the same exact table each time to film.

Amazingly, each time I went, the table I used was the ONLY table not being used! Thank you, God!

The next day, I filmed the scenes for “future me” at a nearby parking lot.  I did it during the day time because I wanted there to be a contrast between “future me” – who’s career and dream outlook is sunny – and “previous me,” who’s scenes were done at night to contrast with his feelings of dispair. Yes, people, I really put a LOT of thought into this stuff!

I was going to film the nighttime scene that very same evening after I got home from work, but I think I got tired or something, and went to sleep.  I woke up at 5:15 Saturday morning, and thought to myself: “I do NOT want to be filming this Saturday night, and then trying to edit this whole thing by Sunday morning!”

I only had about an hour-and-a-half before daylight would start to hit, so I ran downstairs and filmed the “coming home from the restaurant at night” scene, even though it was taped in the morning 😛

The hardest part of this entire video was the editing.  I went to Starbucks and spent 3 hours editing it, only to have my Windows Movie Maker program crash the program!  I had to start from scratch, and when I did, THAT program crashed also!  None of the programs would play after I saved them, and I got so mad, I had to quit and leave the coffee shop for some R&R.

I detoured to Target to see about buying another editing program, but they costs a LOT of money! Finally, I said “screw it,” and figured I would just post up another video that I’d already done.  Imagine my surprise, then, when, upon getting home, the program decided to up and work (almost) perfectly for the remainder of the evening.

Still, I WANT A MAC!!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1.  I originally had another opening for this video, consisting of me preparing for my date.  This was in the original edit before my program crashed, and after looking over it again, I realized that, although I liked the opening, it took way too long to get to the song.  YouTube people tend to have short attention spans, so I shortened the opening (which included the clips you see now at the beginning).

2.  I usually like to include other pics and/or shots of me doing stuff within the song.  However, I really wanted this to look like a conversation between two people, and felt like adding all those other elements would distract from it.  The only outside bits of film in the video are the train and the scene where I’m asking the girl out – everything else is just me and myself!

3. You may be asking, “what’s with the look of the ‘future me’ clips?” Well, the artsy way of answering it would be, since most people only have an idea of what they THINK their future will look like, I figured giving the “future me” clips an outline look would symbolize the incompleteness of thought this successful future has.  After all, we don’t know what cars, buildings, or other surroundings will look like, but the outline of future progress is always looming.

But really, I just like the way it looked 🙂

4. The car in the video is NOT my car, nor did I vandalize someone’s property.  Atlanta has a ZipCar program which allows people like me to sign up for usage of cars stationed throughout the city.  Since I am part of the program, I was able to use the car as a prop without getting in trouble.  This is called “creative strategy,” people!

5. Lastly, it’s a bit ironic that I mention in the song how friends won’t help me.  My friend, Michele, was more than happy not only to send me a “rejection” text message (at the EXACT time I asked for it, no less!), but to call and leave a “no-show” message for me to use!  It’s also ironic that she’s playing the part of the “unreliable girl,” since she’s always been very reliable to me.  Thanks, Michele!

So, there’s your insights for this week’s song/video.  Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week!

-A.P.T.

aptsongs@hotmail.com

Hey everybody!

First thing’s first: thanks to everybody that has watched/dowloaded my newest video/song, “Obama, Obama (a Remake of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli”).” In just 2 days it’s gotten close to 100 views, and since the Presidential election is a mere 4-1/2 months away, I can only see the song growing in popularity.

So, it dawned on me: part of the reason I’m doing this whole project is to get people to (b) become fans of my music, and (b) request me for gigs… yet, lo and behold, I haven’t left any contact info for people to get in touch with me!!  Duh, Aaron!

If you’re reading this and would like to send me fan mail, request me for collaborations, ask about me making beats for you (I do that too – more of my own beats will be used on songs in the future), or inquire about doing a gig, here is my official email address:

aptsongs@hotmail.com

Not too hard, right??  I’ll be sure to leave this email address in all my posts from now on.

Anyway, this site has really started to take off!  Now that I’m making videos on a regular basis, it’s becoming a bit easier to think of ideas for song visuals.  I still don’t have other people to help me out yet, but I’ve thought of some good ideas involving just myself.  I like to invoke stories into most of my songs, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to represent that even if I’m talking about another person in the song.

Next week’s song is already in the can, and the visual for it is going to be easier to edit than last week’s video, which took 8 hours.  Part of the reason it took so darn long is because I had to be able to match up the vocals of the song with when I said them on screen.  You’d be amazed how long it takes to sync up song vocals with on-screen wording – even the slightest little mouth movement has to be watched to make sure it’s being done right, and even THEN you can still mess up!

For next week’s video, though, I won’t be mouthing to the camera, so it should cut the edit time in half.  The song itself is an MC song, meaning there’s not a story to it, it’s just me talking about how good I am at what I do.  The visual, however, does have a story, and it’s going to be…. well, I ain’t giving it away yet, but it’ll be pretty good!

I’m actually glad I’m doing this whole thing now, as it gives me things to do during the day when I’m not at work.  I don’t really hang out with too many people in this town, mostly because the people I know are usually too busy at their job to want to hang out, and when they do hang out they do stuff I don’t find all that fun, i.e. drinking, smoking, more drinking, more smoking, and partying at places where they can – you guessed it – drink and smoke. 

And frankly, I find none of that stuff fun.  To me, it’s just a life-waster – it’s as if the person said, “you know what?  I’m trapped in my own life and have no goals for myself, so I’m going to spend my down time doing things that will numb me of life’s pain.” 

The sad part?  These people have life goals they once aspired to, and even now they might SAY they want to do something, but, in the words of Lil Wayne (and, for the record, I can’t believe I’m actually quoting this guy), “They just talkin’ bout it.”  They don’t plan to actually follow through with their imagined goals, so they don’t try to reach them.  I’d like to think that, even if this whole plan doesn’t work out, I’ll get at least a lil’ credit for TRYING.

‘Nuff said about that – I got some other sites to attend to, more music to make, and another video to map out.  Peace!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

Man oh man, what a day it’s been.

I just spent the entire day at work, and it was not exactly the best day on the job.  Sigh… I don’t want to complain too much on this blog, though, so I’ll just say: I hate working for someone else, and I can’t WAIT until I’m making money from doing this or selling other things so I no longer have to rely on one!

There, it’s been said. 

Speaking of the job, it dawned on me today that, since I’m looking for people to star in some of my music videos (so it won’t just always be me as the sole star), I could ask some of my co-workers if they’d be down to help me out.

Sigh…

I wish I was famous already, if only so I wouldn’t have to hear “no” when I asked people, “Hey, wanna star in a music video?”  If I was Ludacris or 50 Cent, women would be dropping everything – including their draws – to be in it for even a second, and guys would be rallying up their homeboys to be at my video shoot.

As such, though, I’m NOT famous, so, instead of “yeses,” I get to hear a lot of excuses and “no’s.”  You would think your friends would want to help you on your quest to achieve your dream, but, 9 times out of 10, if it’s not THEIR dream, they could really give a flying you-know-what.  This is how it is in the “Before” life of being famous.  I’m sure when I’m in the throws of the “After” part of fame, I’ll be talking about how all my friends hate me because I won’t let them star in my videos.  Should have been there for me in my “Before” life, people!!

With that said, though, I DID get a few “yeses.”  One girl co-worker seemed genuinely happy to help me out, while a couple of the guys said they’d do it – for FREE.  Gotta love that.  Plus, I have a friend who lives in Washington that said she’d film parts for a video and send it to me – how great is that?  I have friends that live near me that won’t help out, yet people from far away want to?  Sounds messed up to me, but I’m happy to get the help anyway and from anywhere I can!

As for this week’s song/video… well, last week’s video was great, artistic, loved by a lot of people, very moving, etc…

So, this week’s video is NOT going to even try to top it!

Since I’m doing a parody… okay, it’s not really a “parody,” it’s more like a re-working of a song – I’m simply going for trying to make it look funny.  At the moment, I can’t tell you what song I’m reworking or even the title of it, lest it give away the entire concept, but I will say this: it involves me wearing a wig (if I can find the right one), possibly having some tatoos drawn on, and certain events happening this year.  That’s all I can say.

I have to go shopping tomorrow morning, and record the song so I can film the video Friday or Saturday morning.  In between time, I’m going to go see “The Love Guru,” and – if I have time – “Get Smart.”  I still have no idea where I’m going to film the video, but it definitely will NOT be as artsy or complicated to film as the last video.  Set your expectations low, people – that way, you’ll be able to thouroughly enjoy the video when you see it!

I’m out!

-A.P.T.

This week’s song/video is called “Your Mom’s a Ho!”

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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Some of the songs I come up with can take weeks, months, or even YEARS before they’re complete.  Others, like this week’s song, are finished in less than 3 or 4 days!

I’m always freestyling lyrics and choruses when I’m by myself, and I was at work one day when I suddenly thought of a funny chorus:

“Your mother is a ho/and if you didn’t know before, now you know…”

That’s it – that’s all I had.  I didn’t know if it would make a good song or not, but I have a very simple theory to test a song idea: if I sing the chorus, and don’t write it down, and can remember the chorus the next day, it’ll make for a good song.

So, I stopped singing the chorus, and went two full days without singing it.  On the 3rd day, it popped in my head again.  Clearly, I had a hit on my hands.

I actually finished this song last week, and because I started this site I was able to challenge myself to finish writing it by Saturday so that I’d have time to record a video for it.  Once I finished it, I made the video – which took 2 hours – and edited it, which took another THREE hours.  When I tried to publish it, though, there was a file error, and it wouldn’t save the video as I had edited it.

Luckily, I have other videos stored up.  I posted up “Shout Out 2 My Big Girls” which gave me time during the week to figure out the file error.  It all came down to one small clip that was corrupted, which I fixed!

Some Interesting Tidbits:

(1) A few of the shots in the video are videos of videos I found on the internet (i.e. one scene with a girl screaming, and one with 2 girls kissing.)  There was a shot I had of a video of a girl going down on a guy – I had to make sure his member never entered into the frame – but I thought that was going a lil’ TOO far, especially since most people already have an idea of what that looks like!

(2) The line – “but little did you know that she goes both ways” – is takin’ from a Dr. Dre song called “XXXplosive” where one of the guys says: “And I’ll bet u didn’t know that she goes both ways.”  I heard that song so much from DJs playing it at parties I went to in college, so I figured that line would be a great addition here.

(3) My favorite line in the song is: “She got 5 kids and 6 baby fathers/ and none of them brothas stop by to holla!” I was in the shower taking a break from making the song when I thought of that line, and I burst out laughing!  I remember seeing the movie “First Sunday” where LeeJohn says he got his name because his mom said she didn’t know which guy – Lee or John – had fathered him, so she gave him both names.  Things like that happen when your mom’s a ho!

That’s all for now – enjoy the song, and I’ll see you next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com