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I can remember the first time I ever recorded my vocals on to a beat. Cat Coore from Third World - a legendary Jamaican band - had a little demo set up at his house. I'm very good friends with his eldest son, Shiah, who plays with me now. So we were rhyming over a track by the dancehall artist Peter Metro. I've still got it somewhere.
To the casual observer, the Dropbox demo video looked like a normal product demonstration, but we put in about a dozen Easter eggs that were tailored for the Digg audience. References to Tay Zonday and 'Chocolate Rain' and allusions to 'Office Space' and 'XKCD.' It was a tongue-in-cheek nod to that crowd, and it kicked off a chain reaction.
I think I first realized I wanted to be in country music and be an artist when I was 10. And I started dragging my parents to festivals, and fairs, and karaoke contests, and I did that for about a year before I came to Nashville for the first time. I was 11 and I had this demo CD of me singing Dixie Chicks and Leanne Rimes songs.
The nuclear approach I'm involved in is called a traveling-wave reactor, which uses waste uranium for fuel. There's a lot of things that have to go right for that dream to come true - many decades of building demo plants, proving the economics are right. But if it does, you could have cheaper energy with no CO2 emissions.
If you are recording, you are recording. I don't believe there is such a thing as a demo or a temporary vocal.
Every demo I do has a mandolin or resonator on it - some element of the bluegrass or classic country world that I grew up listening to and that first drew me in. And then I always try to find somewhere for a bluesy guitar sound, because that's also what I love. Musically, I'm always finding my way home.
I started writing when I was around 6. I say 'writing,' but it was really just making up stuff! I started writing and doing my own thing. I didn't really know what a demo was or anything like that, so I started getting interested in studio gear and started learning about one instrument at a time. My first instrument was an accordion.
Some people remaster their records six, seven times, remix it three, four times, spend a million hours, then they always go back and hear a demo of it and they'll say, 'Aw that sounds so much better than the final mix.'
I think the true test of a pop song, for me, and I've talked to a lot of other writers about this, is you take your demo, you pop it in your car and you drive down Sunset Blvd. to Santa Monica, and that's the Hollywood car test.
I remember taking my demo to every dance person in London. People were like, 'We don't know what this is!' The first people to champion me were a club in Manchester.
'Can't Get Closer' I originally recorded in about half an hour, just on my bed with a microphone. I actually re-recorded the song with a cleaner vocal take, but I decided to leave the demo version on there, just because I felt that instant where it was created is what captured the most emotion.
At fourteen, I started sending out demo tapes.
LL Cool J
When an Occupy demo in the centre of Frankfurt makes world news, I shall hurry to join in.
I learned a long time ago to be honest when I'm talking to other artists. Up-and-coming artists used to come and say something, they would have a demo reel, and I would try to tell them the truth. I don't go up and say something unless I really feel it.
Every demo I do has a mandolin or resonator on it - some element of the bluegrass or classic country world that I grew up listening to and that first drew me in. And then I always try to find somewhere for a bluesy guitar sound, because that's also what I love.
If you put a demo on the net and people say it was the finished version then they're going to say it sucks. I really hate that.
Mutineer is the first album of mine without a demo stage.
Recording at home enables one to eliminate the demo stage, and the presentation stage in the studio, too.
I always loved singing, but I thought it was like drawing - just something you do in your own little corner to calm yourself down. But when my friend, the French songwriter Etienne Daho, listened to my songs, he was so moved that told me that I had to do a demo, share them with the world.
I was in Studio 54 one time; it was great. But I'm not a discotheque guy. Sometimes, if I had a new demo, I went to some discotheques to check it out - see how the reactions of the people were. But just to dance, I rarely did that.
If people are really excited about their music, and that's their primary motivation, then that comes through in demo tapes. That's the most important ingredient.
I know I can't do everything myself. So I know I specialize in my melodies and I do some of my demo work. I pass it on to my producers who are much better at the production level.
I took temp jobs, recorded a demo in the evenings and eventually shopped a record deal. All I knew was that I wanted to write songs; thankfully, I also got to sing them.
Iggy Pop, or should I say Iggy's people, had reached out to me saying he was a True Blood fan, and if any opportunities come up, to please keep Iggy in mind. We sent Iggy the demo of 'LB&R'. He loved it and said, 'Sign me up.'
I'd do a demo recording by myself, layering instruments on top of one another, and while that's fun, it doesn't have the same impact as getting some great players together in a great studio with a great engineer and producer, then waiting for the magic.
John F. Kennedy
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