While many still wonder what made “Chocolate Rain” a must see, I decided to do a collaboration with YouTube sensation Tay Zonday. We met each other at the ASCAP Expo in late April where Tay was speaking about internet, branding and musicianship. We exchanged business cards and Tay mailed me a couple of days later: “I like the tracks you have on you site!” The next night we discussed a potential collaboration. I had my laptop with me and presented Tay what I created on my laptop just that day. It turned out to become the track for “This Is You” by Tay Zonday (feat. Upwords).
Tay invited me into his home studio, where he wrote the lyrics in a couple of hours. We recorded a rough demo on the same day and improved the recording further and further during the following days. The collaboration was a very open, healthy idea exchanging process. Tay even taught me new insights on making individual tracks sound better!
A crucial point in the production process was the insight that the rap part spoken originally by Tay wasn’t the strongest part of the song. Heaven sent Jerid aka Upwords, who came into the studio and wrote his part within 30 minutes. We recorded him (both the sound and video footage). His appearance took the song a step further!
After mixing the track, partly on my beyerdynamic DT770pro headphones, partly on Tay´s not-so-accurate (sorry Tay), monitoring system, there was the question: “What about the video?”
Tay decided that we want to celebrate in the video so he organized some colorful disco lights. We also got four yellow clocks from Target, which I ended up destroying in the video (see 1:14min). We got an additional TFT monitor for making the location more interesting (from a retailer that due to it’s fabulous service probably wont survive 2020).
When Joey Anderton (the film guy) showed up in the afternoon of the shooting day, everything went quite fast. We started with the outdoor scenes. Tay danced on a hill in front of the San Fernando Valley. Then we transitioned to indoor footage; Tay hammering on my drum machine and his keyboard, Tay singing into the mic, Tay talking on couch, and me destroying the clock. (Well, I actually destroyed four of them).
The next day Jack from JacksFilms and Richard Ryan showed up. They both play a short story in the video (the bathroom scene) and helped make the fun scenes look like some kind of party. We shoot further singing scenes. And, of course, the shower scene in the end of the day.
The whole process was fun. We captured what we wanted. It was a lot of effort and very good team work. Everybody did a good job and altogether made it happen!
For me it was very special to see the whole process from playing the first notes, developing the track, helping with the songwriting, recording, producing and being involved in video production, itunes cover creation and the final upload of music and video. Tay is an incredible artist. I hope his fans will enjoy the song as much as we enjoyed creating it!
watch the video:
watch the bloopers: