By Mwabi Kaira
Ever wonder what it would be like to have a front row seat to the making of your favorite artist’s album? Multiple Grammy-winning vocalist, bassist, and song-writer Esperanza Spalding’s newest album ‘Exposure’ did just that. Making good on an idea she came up with months ago, she recorded a live album over the course of 77 hours, before the watchful eyes of fans.
|Stripped down & ready to go, Esperanza introduces Facebook fans to her studio for the next 77 hrs.|
It was pretty genius when you think about it. A link was sent out to fans to pre-order a limited blank CD that they could watch get filled with 10 songs as she live streamed the creation and recording over Facebook Live. Nothing was premeditated. Esperanza wrote in a statement,
“I foresee that creating before a live audience will add excitement and extra inspiration and energy. Knowing someone is watching and listening to what you’re making seems to conjure up a sort of “can’t fail” energy. Having such limited time to write and record 10 songs will also force us to rely on improvisation and first instinct. Not allowing us to judge, second guess, guess, or alter the initial hits of inspiration that drive the creation of each song.”
It was a music lover’s dream, even for grammy-nominated pianist, and producer Ray Angry, who can be seen banging it out on the keyboards. At one point, it takes him a while to catch on to what appears to be a very intricate run of notes. Was the stress of the moment getting to him?
When we caught up with him post-live recording he said, “No, way. I like a challenge, and no matter how complicated it is, I know I’ll always get it.” Taken from a man who has been a playing music since the age of 7, and has worked with may of today’s top artists.
And how does he feel about the end product?
“Are you kidding me?” he answers, incredulously. “It turned out amazing! I feel so blessed that she asked me to be a part of this project. I actually bought 4 copies myself.”
Fans are happy too, as eloquently expressed by Geoffrey L. Gogan who said in the Facebook comments-
“So never again will a song just be a song. It’s an imprint of a whole process of give and take, refinement, and how being on the edge – tired at times, and the urgency of the deadline gets the ego out of the way and lets you stand there and scream your heart out.”
Not surprisingly copies sold out. Given the current state of music sales and their declining numbers due to streaming options, will other artists follow Esperanza’s lead and create albums live in front of their fans?
Having a virtual front seat to watching your favorite artist create your next favorite album could be all the incentive fans need to shell out the big bucks the music industry is missing. Add to that the exclusivity and VIP aspect to it all, this may be the new wave led by Esperanza.
To watch footage, go to Esperanza Spalding’s facebook page.
Did you watch Esperanza’s facebook live album stream?
Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world. She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993. Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy. She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon. Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/