Walking down the streets of South Central Los Angeles as a kid listening to cuts from Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss as well as the many different styles of music that roared from cars passing by and hifi stereo systems blasting out the windows of my neighborhood, was and is music that inspires the sound I create.
I was a metal head mostly, we can all thank my brother for that. But I did listen to my father and mother’s music as well as what my sister listened to. I came up liking cumbias and boleros and the occasional mariachi track. As I got older I learned to love classical and jazz music. My neighborhood was filled with the sounds of N.W.A. and the Get Fresh Crew. I don’t think I ever heard a style of music that made me want to run and hide then. Today is a different story. I can’t stand that bachata stuff!
When I realized I had the ability and desire to write my own music I was still young. I wanted to impress other musicians more than music lovers so the music was a bit boring. I can admit that. I also kept my music close. Never really worked with anyone other than my guitarist and best friend. I trusted he would also put the same love and passion into our music.
I feel that my music, from the metal songs of my high school days to the hip-hop beats I made for my band MDJ’s about a decade ago, has been influenced by everything that entered my ears from the day I was born until now. Maybe I was a snob in my early days but even then I knew that I allowed other styles of music to become part of what I was creating. One example is Yanni. What metal head in his right mind listens to Yanni? I did. Maybe I wasn’t a true metal head. Actually, I know I wasn’t a true metal head.
Shannon wrote a great post about limiting yourself as musicians that I encourage you to check out. I know that without an open mind we remain the same. If nothing changes, nothing improves. Allow your music to flow out of you intertwined with the sounds that once possessed your mind and your heart. Let that sound that comes out of you become music that inspires others to create even more.