What do you get when 3 extremely talented Producer Dojo Senseis join forces to turn 1 amazing song into 3 amazing songs? Daniel Simmons, 6TH STREET and RIP KENNY shared the deets with me in my latest interview about the making of The Guard Remix EP.
Daniel, congratulations on the new Guard Remix EP release. What can you tell us about the making of this beautiful tune and what important lessons did you learn along the way?
Thank you so much. This song has been on quite the journey and taken me with it.
I first wrote Guard three years ago in LA with Charlie Snyder, who’s an amazing songwriter. I was really excited about the song. We had a rough demo of the track and we went over to a friend’s home studio to record the vocals. It felt exciting recording the vocals, like something good was happening. Charlie laid down the acoustic guitar part for the chorus as well.
With the production, I took the opposite approach to the wisdom of attaining quality through quantity. Instead I bared down for the long trudge of making one perfect song. Guard was a training ground for me to learn and discover how to produce. It went through so many different stages and revisions. My mindset at the time was I’ve got something good and I’m gonna make it as great as I possibly can.
I also had a lot of help on the song. Many sessions sitting with friends, getting feedback or having them go in and add some production or mixing to the track. I was like the producer and executive producer because of how many other people touched the song and helped it evolve.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a friend recommended me to mixer/ producer Mher Filian who took it from 90-100. I got to be in the room and co-mix it with him, which was an awesome experience. Then it was complete, at least for the time being.
I actually released Guard for the first time in 2017 after finishing it over the course of a year. I had a great release but at the time I didn’t have finished songs to follow up with and keep the momentum going. The approach of making one great song served me in opening doors but I didn’t have the skill level yet to follow it up fast enough. That’s what intrigued me so much about ill.Gates’ workflow and production philosophies – teaching quality through quantity and how to overcome the perfectionism demons. I could tell he was onto some deep truths that I needed to learn and apply.
When I first talked with ill.Gates a bit over a year ago he was really pumped about Guard and he sent it off to the Dojo for remixes to be made. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to give this song another chance, especially now that I have songs to follow up with. The Dojo has gotten me practicing quality through quantity production over the last year and a half.
Also I love the remixes on this ep! They breathe new life into the song and the contrast between them is so great! I wanna say a huge thanks to the remixers, ill.Gates, everyone who contributed to the finished song and the Producer Dojo for being a launch pad for me and so many other producers!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
Yes, you can expect to hear a new release from me each month, including a very exciting Sensei collab in the near future… Definitely give me a follow on your favorite streaming service: https://linktr.ee/danielwiththebalance. Also connect with me on Instagram and join the journey! @danielwiththebalance.
If you’re in the Producer Dojo and want to learn more about producing/ mixing/ vocals, songwriting/ arrangement, or even releasing your music, let’s have a lesson! Look forward to connecting with you 🙂
Richie, tell us about your latest collaboration with Daniel Simmons and what did you learn along the way?
Man, when I first heard the original I was PUMPED to jump on this remix. I could almost hear the remix in my head immediately after hearing his vocals! It’s amazing when the spark just happens and the creativity just flows. Daniel Simmons is the master at creating catchy, ear-worm melody top lines. Mad respect to him!
I think one of the things that helped the whole process flow was his excellent mixing of the vocal stems. That made crafting the rest of the song that much easier. I learned to not get in my own way and let the vocals lead the way. Allow the melody to do the talking and find a way to inject the sounds I love to use the most to recreate the original.
I mostly just feel extremely lucky to be a part of this project. Creating this remix was just pure fun for me!
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Yes! I have another EP I’m working on these days with another singer songwriter that will be released in the upcoming summer months! And also another secret sensei collaboration that should be coming out in one month. Shhhhhh.
Definitely follow “6TH STREET” on either Spotify or Apple Music and stay tuned! Follow me here.
Also recently I became a sensei in the dojo so if you’re in the Class of 808 and looking to book a one-on-one lesson with me to ask me about my sound design or workflow, feel free to do that! Also my track feedback section of the dojo can be found here. I’m here as your production resource and would love to help out in any way possible! I’m excited for what’s ahead for all of us!
Evan, your track really brings the heat with your scorching guitars and sound design. Tell us how long it took you to make this song and did you learn anything new in the production of this track?
Oh man, I’ve been working on this tune for ages. It’s crazy how quickly the bones of the remix came together, and how long it took everything else to get detailed out. Hours and hours and hours. I’m surprised I didn’t ruin the whole thing by the time I was done, seriously!
Certainly did try a few new things in this one — all of the sound design was a really experimental process. I resampled through a bunch of guitar amps which caused a lot of heartache in the mixing stage, but resulted in a really cool tone for everything. All of the textural stuff was actually added out of necessity to fill in the gaps from the crazy distortion.
Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?
Absolutely! First of all, make sure you’re keeping up with everything coming out of the Dojo right now. Seriously so much talent and there’s some crazy tunes in the pipeline.
Release-wise for myself there’s another remix & a new single coming out around the end of this summer, both tunes I’m really excited to share with the world. I’ve got so many songs that are really close, so you can expect a big string of originals to be released this fall.
To stay up to date with me, the music, and all the adventures — be sure to link up on insta & all other socials @ripkennymusic and at ripkenny.com