I’ve been working on ‘Forguilt’ for ages now and I’m happy to finally say the album is complete and that I’ll be announcing a release date really soon for all those who are interested in downloading it. However, now that my albums production has come to a close, I’ve found that I’m left with a lot more time on my hands than I had previously, so in this time I assure you, you’ll be reading a lot more of what my mind has to offer in terms of stories, behind the scene antics of my releases, and much more. For now I figure I’d start right at the beginning and talking about my first public release, The One Who Brings Happiness.
It has been a long time, just over 2 years in fact since I released this track. I remember it was around the time my concept of Jivan first started coming to light and my blues band Jelly Shot were recording our debut EP this this track was finally released to the public, hailed by a whole bunch of my Facebook friends, but it never really spanned much further out from there unfortunately. Regardless, here is a little ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the writing and recording of the first track that threw me into my solo project, Jivan.
My first single, ‘The One Who Brings Happiness’ was written back in 2011. I wrote this song as a birthday gift to my dear friend Ifrah with whom I shared a love for ambient, post-rock music by the likes of ‘Explosions in the Sky’, ‘God is an Astronaut’ and ‘This Will Destroy You’ and so I figured in lieu of that, I’d write a song that fit that genre of music while incorporating my musical style (which was still very much undefined at this point).
I started writing and recording ‘TOWBH’ on the 10th of June 2011 and it took about a month to complete (keeping in mind that having completed around two-thirds of the recording process in 2 weeks, I lost all of the recordings thanks to the files being deleted). I was very close to killing the whole idea and just going out and buying something, but that wouldn’t be the right thing to do in my eyes, so I persevered and finished the song by July 14th.
The song was recorded in open E tuning, (E-B-E-B-E-G#) using my Liberty 303 Strat replica running through my pedalboard and into Sony Acid where I used Guitar Rig 4 as an amp modeler. The only thing about this track which was (for lack of a better word) ‘pre-destined’ was the melody that served as the main theme of the song. Everything else was originally written out, or tabbed or something, but it ended up almost being improvised on-the-go while recording.
Originally, that main melody was written while I was playing guitar in college hanging out with friends, including Ifrah, who unbeknownst to me at the time made a habit of recording all I played. She gave me a copy of each of those doodles and the inspiration for The One Who Brings Happiness was her favorite of them all, Doodle #3 (affectionately named, The Ifrah Doodle).
As I wrote that track, I kept a little diary which I dubbed ‘The Path to Happiness’ which basically contained my thoughts as I wrote and recorded the track. This diary consisted of no more than a paragraph at a time for each of the 15 days I sat down to record, and reading it now, it is an insightful little read!
When this song was written, my whole concept of ‘Jivan’ and everything that spawned from it was no were near the development it had reached, but after a while, this song ended up becoming a grand theme for my entire story.
I honestly think one of the funniest things about this track was the fact that I recorded it in June and July as a gift for a friend who’s birthday was in May! I gave the song over to my friend the day it was completed, having not listened to it back more than 2 times. On that same day, I released this song on my private Facebook page and tagged a bunch of friends in it. It got a great response from all my friends and as great as that was, I was so curious as to what the general public would think.
It wasn’t until the 4th of November when I opened my official Facebook page that I released this song to the public and lo and behold it was shared on Kuwait-Music.com and uploaded to my Bandcamp and it was out there being listened to, downloaded and commented on within hours of releasing it. It was well received by a lot of people but that being said the release quickly withered away and was forgotten by most.
I still enjoy listening to it from time to time. It wasn’t well mixed, and wasn’t at all mastered (because honestly I barely knew what that meant, let alone what it entailed) but I still listen back on it with fond memories. Something about that track to me is timeless, I don’t know what it is about it, but it seems to always hit just the right tone with me and always make me smile when I hear it (and believe it or not, that’s not out of an ego-boost either). I hope all of you who’ve listened to it have felt the same and for all of you who haven’t, now’s your chance to check it out and let me know what you all think of it!
Click on the picture below and you’ll be taken to the download link on my Bandcamp page:
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the track!