101 - Ghost_b
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, Ghost_b
Coming from the United States, he really opens up for this interview. In his story, the true power of music comes out. It could be a tool for survival or a way for transformation 🎶
Apple - iPod
Apple - iPad
a charged battery pack.
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Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
My name is Jayson Vidal, I go by Jay.
I’m originally from Revere, MA, a small beach town outside of Boston.
Coming up I was trying to rap before I made beats, started when I was 14. I didn’t have older siblings, but my cousins put me on to HipHop and Rnb (Tupac, Biggie, TLC, the list goes on) and I fell in love. Long story short, I had to move out of my parents house at 15 and got my first apartment. At this time I was enjoying life and partying hard, and there would always be a rap cypher at parties I’d go to so I’d join in. I wouldn’t say I was great, but I could rhyme lol.
Fast forward, I eventually realized I had a problem with drinking, so I went to rehab. This rehab just happened to be located in Philly, which wound up being a blessing in disguise. Philadelphia has a huge musical background, and me being new to the area, I had to explore. While staying at the rehab facility, I would listen to beats in my head or drum on a table and write.
When I got out, someone gave me a smart phone, and I realized I could download music apps onto it. The first app I downloaded was Music Maker Jam, I made my first couple beats on it and recorded some songs. It was a great way to stay focused on my sobriety, and stay productive.
Fast forward 5 years, I got an iPhone and started using GarageBand. It was all downhill from there, I made my first 50 beats on it and uploaded to SoundCloud right away. I came up with the name Ghost_b from my original name Ghost Bumps, just shortened it. I got the name from my favorite book I read as a kid, goose bumps. But also it described the darkness I had to get through to see the light.
My aim, as a beat maker and an artist, is to keep the realness of hiphop and rnb alive. I know I sample a lot, that’s just my way of showing appreciation to the greats. Although I am starting to move away from sampling, to be safe. My aim is to keep the hiphop sound evolving, but never forget where it came from. Mad love to all the emcees and dj’s before me
My main source of income is working with my old landlord renovating apartments and landscaping. I started working with him three years ago as a way to make extra money and to pay rent, a pretty cool job. I have a big thing against working 9 to 5, only because I’ve been working 9 to 5 jobs since I was 15. I always felt like everyone has the potential to do more than just be stuck behind a desk or cashier, but don’t get me wrong, if that 9 to 5 is getting you to your dream, then that’s all that matters. For years I worked long shifts, I would take the bus for hours just to get to a shift I knew I was gonna dread, But I always kept the vision in my head. The vision of what I want my future to look like.
Growing up, My family was very old-fashioned and believed the only way you can make it and be successful is to keep a 9 to 5 and go to college. But since I was young I already felt I was different, and I just couldn’t see my life going that way. Long story short, I love my family but I definitely wanted to see more of my potential.
I would come to understand that it doesn’t matter how much you make or the job you work, what matters is how much value you put into you what you want in life. Because I’ll be damned I work a 9 to 5 till I’m old, and I didn’t get to step outside the box.
Never live your life according to anyone else’s expectations. Oh yeah, I also run a resale store on the side, and I’ll occasionally get a dollar here and there from Bandcamp lol.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
Essential piece of equipment is my iPod Mini.
I’ll wake up and put on something chill to listen to while I’m making coffee, and just throughout the day it helps inspire a lot of musical ideas. I have every song I could ever want on there, so it helps to be able to keep something like that in my pocket.
And when I’m feeling uninspired, I could always play parachute on it lol. My iPod actually never leaves my side, there’s just something about having my music physically with me. It’s a warm feeling. It’s also the best thing to sample with on the go.
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
My least expensive piece of equipment would have to be the BandLab app that I use to master my tracks lol.
It’s awesome because it’s free, it sounds great and it’s quick. I really only use my SP-404, then I’ll master everything on BandLab.
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
I’ll usually start off with listening to music on YouTube or Audiomack.
I like watching other producers and how they go about their process as well, I take a lot of notes. For example, Alchemist is one of my favorite producers, So I listen to his advice and take note of certain things that I can apply to my process.
I like to fully relax to get inspired 💨 then I’ll throw on my iPod and see where it takes me. If I hear a sound or loop I’m really feeling, I’ll pause it and plug it into the SP. From there I can take that sound and chop it up, mangle it, change it up till I get something crazy sounding. After I have a good basis, a good background sound to go off of, I’ll start looking for some nice drums, kicks and snares to build with.
I love being really chill sounds, and throwing a nice steady beat on top. I’ll usually repeat the same loop over and over to myself until I get lost in like an endless field of relaxation.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
One production technique I always come back to is using the 303 vinyl sim filter. It feels like it adds more body to the sound.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my personal style as relaxing, uplifting, heart warming and wholesome. I want my music to remind you of your best most relaxing dream sequence.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
I guess my only challenge right now is finding new ways to be heard.
There’s a lot of people just starting to make beats, and I feel the Lofi sound is starting to saturate. But this also challenges me to keep evolving my sound, so I like this challenge.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
My idea of a hardware setup is different than most. I like to keep it simple, just cook up on my 404 and master whatever I made.
I’m used to making beats on my iPhone, I did that for years, so I love keeping the process easy and convenient.
I’ve applied this to my life in a lot of ways. I used to be very stressed out, and I just felt like everything was too much in life. I started to relax my mind, and this helped everything else to relax. Now I understand that the more relaxed I become, the more fluid everything flows.
One tip on how to spark creativity?
One tip I have to spark creativity is to do something out of your norm. Doing a normal routine is great and all, it can be productive, but I feel until you step out of your comfort zone you really won’t see what you’re capable of.
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
The book series goosebumps was my favorite growing up, that was the inspiration for my name. It’s funny because the book that I’m currently inspired by is the four agreements, two completely different books lol. But the four agreements has taught me so much in life, I highly recommend.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I would like to add to anyone reading this, if you’re just starting out don’t let anyone try to turn you away from your dream.
I’m 34, been on the path for like half my life, and I always had that one person trying to take the glimmer out of my motivation. Always remember, that person is your motivation. The only person that can get you to your dream is you.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
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