If you are reading this you may want to know the story on why I have made all kinds of original music and not only remixed videogame music, which is why many of you discovered me. I won't only tell you that, I will tell you all. I have been too quiet lately, and it's time I break out of my shell a bit.
The story goes like this. I had a bad relationship for a long time and felt like I lost out on A LOT of music making time (era 2007-2015). I have basically spent the last 5+ years making up for lost time. I was able to do that because I am now loved by my wife and had the freedom to pursue my passion.
I am now 36 and can feel proud of all the music I have made on my bandcamp. I will continue to do this as well. I have made TONS of content and because of that I have fallen in love with the process of creating. I don't make much money from my music itself, I mostly make my money from doing sound design jobs. Occasionally an indie game dev comes along and hires me for a large sum, but those are more rare for me and even more rare is a game taking off. Because of the landscape of the internet and the nature of the business as a creative, I have had to adapt. I adapted by becoming really good at making things sound really good. Because of that, I have managed to survive financially by making sample packs for companies, as well as making synth presets, Hollywood trailers, teaching students my process, writing an ebook, making several kontakt libraries for a fellow remixer friend and of course composing for video games. How did this all start anyway?
Originally I made an album called "Brak's NESBeats" in 1998. Yes, I was called Brak, as in Space Ghost Coast to Coast Brak
I got this name because I used to go to Lan Parties and play Quake with friends. They all told me I needed a handle so the first thing that came to mind was that goofy guy Brak from Space Ghost. Don't ask me why! haha. I wasn't good at strategy games so when they played Starcraft, I made beats, so the name stuck with my beat file names.
I was sort of a goofy kid, but man was it fun to add drum beats I made to Nintendo songs. Here is some pictures of me doing my worst.
That is literally the day I made my first song ^ Nice setup right? lol I still have the mp3 file which you can listen to here
That's what started this whole videogame remix epic. It lead me all the way to this
2k people at MAGfest 2014 and this
That was about 5K people and the last time I DJ'd my game remixes live at Magfest in 2016 (5 years ago now)
Tons of geeky kids jamming out to my videogame beats. WOW!
It started by me remixing all this music on a website called Overclocked Remix. You can check out the profile I have there and see that I still occasionally have tracks come out.
Basically, this lead me to working with Gamechops and DJ Cutman. We sort of had a falling out but we patched up the holes over time. However, we don't work together anymore which has lead me to start some new project ideas, like HDVGM. HDVGM stands for "High Definition Videogame Music" and will be covers and remixes going forward.
Because of the last 5 years of issues with remixing game music, whether that be a bad relationship or a bad business decision, I hadn't fully healed from all the scars I had gotten from putting myself out there the way I did. I was sort of a yes man, in a bad way. I hadn't learned healthy boundaries yet and because of that I was taken advantage of by my ex-wife and by a few business partners.
My ex-wife was a fan of my music for years, and I won't go into it too much, but basically we both married for the wrong reasons. All the turmoil I was feeling during the 7 years I was with her lead me to holding myself back and not making much music at all. In that time though, I got the attention of Ferry Corsten and later deadmau5, on 3 separate occasions. Ferry had played a track me and Leifo ( a friend from that remix website) had written together on his older podcast "Corsten's Countdown" episodes 5 and 9. It was a huge confirmation to me that my music production was actually good. deadmau5 was on an old streaming platform, long before twitch, I can't quite remember the name, but I had an account too. So I sent him a song I did and he favorited it on my old Soundcloud account (which is now deleted).
Later I submitted a track to his label and got in the top 10 for we are friend5 volume 2. Another time I talked with him on twitch about talking with him on twitch lol. He didn't remember me so I stopped pursuing mau5trap as a label opportunity. Still, it was more confirmation that I was good enough to compete in the electronic music world, outside of game remixes.
Since then I have produced about 50 albums. That's a lot of content. Why? So I could fill out my personal DJ crate for DJing all of my own tunes, in almost any style. The result? My bandcamp page I didn't submit ANY of this music to record labels, and because of that I have plateaued with my fanbase. I'm glad I didn't submit this stuff to labels honestly, I'd rather people discover me later on and hardcore fans go back in time to see where I came from. A few of your are like that and I call them "Superfans." More than once Superfans have gotten me out of binds financially by buying my stuff.
Moving forward, however, I want to do more of what my fans want, not so much only what I want. The reason a lot of you are reading this right now is because you discovered me through my game remixes. As it goes, the original stuff never does as good, numbers-wise, but I know those few of you that support it, really enjoy it, and that's all that matters to me.
My plan going forward is to make bLiNd a focused electronic project. I honestly don't know what it will be yet or what that even means yet. I have been spending the last 2 years producing my big beat electronic album, and some of you supported me on indiegogo for that, and in the process I didn't realize I was reviving an entirely dead genre, but I care so much about this dead genre because I feel like it's part of who I am. Big Beat music was the breakbeat rock/pop of the mid to late 90s that The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and The Crystal Method were known for. Think fast hip hop beats, tearing acid synthlines and a true "electronic" vibe. In almost every album I can find an example of a song that portrays hip hop, rock, rap, electronic, and rave all in one genre. To me this is the future of the EDM scene and one of my dreams is to revive it. Not sure it will happen as, the nature of the scene is, the crowd decides. But I can dream can't I?
The best examples I can give you of a mix of this music would be the Hackers soundtrack or the Wipeout XL/Wipeout 2097 soundtrack. These soundtracks are the reason you are reading this. It's what convinced me to LOVE electronic music, and why I remix videogame music, produce trance, and make all the styles I make today. Had I not been touched by this electronic revolution, I wouldn't be as inspired as I am today. The music still inspires me now and has guided me towards most of my purchases in the studio. I haven't forgotten about that indiegogo album, I am still working on it because I want it to be perfect.
This is me now, with my dream job of working on music projects for money and my dream setup. I am also happily remarried. I got hooked up on a bLiNd date with a girl I knew as a little boy. My 2nd grade crush (my first girl crush ever) who happened to be the girl down the street from me as a child. She still lives in the house she grew up in, which I now live in. Which means I live in the neighborhood I was born to, I can walk to my childhood house in 2 minutes. So yea, I married the girl next door. The pizza joint I grew up with is still there (Verrazzanos Pizza) and the owner remembers me since I was 3 years old. I am living the real dream...The real dream is to be happy isn't it? I have never been happier in my entire life.
All of this came with LOTS of suffering and sacrifices. I feel as if I am being rewarded in my 30s for my suffering in my 20s. The reward is for not giving up or giving in and finally making good decisions for ME!
In 2008 I got diagnosed with the most severe case of UC my Gastro doctor had seen in 38 years. I also lost my job at the time in the same week. The website Overclocked Remix put together this album for my recovery which I later joined and contributed to. It was some of the most intense physical suffering I had ever experienced and I would wish it upon no one. After that, in the next 10 years I would experience some of the most extreme traumas of my life as a result of a bad marriage. That has changed now however. But the traumas haven't ended unfortunately. I suppose that's reality.
My wife and I had a house fire 3 years ago and we lost 9 pets. It was heartbreaking but we recovered. Our house has been rebuilt, our hearts have been mended and this is us now with my new studio and our 2 new mutt rescues Penny and Charlie.
My message to anyone still reading is to never give up on your dreams and not give in to failures and traumas. Let them strengthen you, and let them grow you so you have hope for the future. The reason I have everything I want is because I prayed and asked for it, with my lips out loud. I made it known to the universe that I wanted to be happy and now I am. Be careful what you wish for, because you may just get it! Don't forget to do your part though, dreams coming true does require us to be doing everything we can in our own power to make it a reality.
So my goals going forward are to grow my audience, make more money alongside that growth (mainly cuz I want to have kids), and make more music and sounds all for the purpose of providing an impact on those without hope. I hope this story encourages some of you to pursue your passions and not give up on your goals, dreams, projects, hopes, desires etc. I hope my life can be an encouragement to you.