Thanks for stopping by my page. My name is Darren, and I’m a producer, bassist, and DJ.
Music has been such a clear, honest, and amazing part of my life. It’s allowed me to connect with many different people, travel around the world, and learn about myself. Above all, it's kept my curiosity and passion alive.
Future blog posts will contain tutorials and audio/video content, but this one will be a bit of an introduction to give you an idea of where I am coming from.
It all started with one guitar riff….
My first encounter with music, where I felt it to my core, will be a moment forever etched in my memory. My parents were outside mowing the lawn, while I was inside the house, randomly flipping through TV channels. I came across MTV, and heard the first chords to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” kick in. I was already getting chills, and a massive drum fill kicks in (courtesy of the still slamming Dave Grohl), creating a force that felt like an electric jolt through the TV speakers… I was jumping off of the couch, going nuts!
From that very moment, I’ve been absolutely hooked on music.
I started listening to everything. My beginnings were with grunge, but soon I branched out to metal, rap, and funk. My favorite after-school activity was to pop in a tape (remember those?), and listen to it from beginning to end while reading the lyrics.
About 3 years after the Teen Spirit incident, I heard jazz for the first time via John Coltrane... and my life was once again turned upside down. Hearing Coltrane play with such precision, knowledge, skill, honesty, and passion was massively influential. It was the first time that I realized what a beautiful, powerful thing dedicating your life to something could produce.
I picked up the bass guitar at 15 (after seeing tablature for an AC/DC song in a guitar magazine at Target, I figured it would be the easiest way to play rock quickly). Turns out I instantly enjoyed it, and I soon found myself in several hometown bands. I eventually moved to NYC to play with musicians from all walks of life.
Bass is great, and playing with other artists has been a wonderful learning experience. But at some point, I was getting too comfortable… traditional bass in a band setting was becoming my safety blanket. I’ve always had musical ideas bouncing around in my head, but would take the safe road and not act upon them. It’s always been easy for me to show up on time, play the bass part, and go home… but what risk was I taking by doing that?
After all the positive influence I've received from artists over the years, what would I be able to give back in my short lifetime?
Technology and innovation has been changing music throughout history. In my lifetime, I've witnessed the computer evolve in to one of the most important tools for playing and producing music.
Over the past few years, I've been listening to more and more artists who create music with just computers and synthesizers. It was fresh and inspirational to me... and I wanted to be a part of it.
This led to further questions. Should I dabble in production? What software do I need? How can I incorporate this into my existing playing? What if everyone thinks it's a bad idea? Will I forget how to play the bass?
These were serious questions for me, and provided a huge wake-up calI. After much thought, I realized I was being pulled in this new direction. About one year ago, I made a conscious, unspoken, decision to push through my fears and go down this musical path.
Over this year, I’ve started producing tunes (with and without bass), I've picked up the Ableton Push as a second instrument, and I've began DJing.
This blog post is the “grand opening” of my new musical direction and mindset. I’m super excited to present this content to you, and my goal is to hopefully inspire you as well as show you the methods behind my work.
My passion for music hasn’t wavered a bit since I first heard those opening chords to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Since then, music has been my way to see the world and communicate with other people, and I'm so fortunate to be a part of it all.
It’s an honor to have you along on this journey!