Posts from the ‘Life’ Category

This is how we doooo it……

It’s Saturday. My brother from another mother (he has the EXACT birthday as my sister) came in town to get a track written with me and discuss some music biz. So excited. It’s been years since we’ve put pen to paper and I had plenty on my mind to write about. He had a track about a 4th finished and we got to work…….man…this track is FUN-KY. Can’t wait for to share it – sadly, it can only be heard through our headphones since we were in writing mode…..we ALWAYS end up arguing….lol. Guess that’s the fun of collaborating, ha.

Here’s another sneak peak of a song almost finished…listen in the background. This is our song “Bad Love” which will be on our Out Roun’ Back album that we are working hard to finish by the end of this year. Hope you like the little snippet….apparently I like to lipsync to myself, ha! Dork.

 

In other news…..up and coming¬†this week. Singing with The Inspiration Band on the 28th at a private function and got MUUUUCH rehearsing to do for “The Voice” audition next Sunday. Think I’ve narrowed my songs down to Summertime (jazz standard) and/or We Found Love by Rhianna. I’m working on a new website and hopefully later this week I’ll switch to dezdonnell.com!! Will keep you posted. And one more thing……new videos posted on my video page and my youtube channel! If you subscribe on youtube PLEASE go to my channel and subscribe…I would be forever grateful….you can suggest repayment via comments ūüôā Post your youtube channel and I will subscribe to yours…how ’bout dat. Here’s my channel link:¬† http://www.youtube.com/dezdonnell

 

July…..are we really halfway through 2012??

Wow this year is flying by. ¬†Where are you with the goals you set for this year? I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve accomplished to date…but still have a long way to go with hitting my 2012 goals. Now that it’s the halfway mark, I need to kick it up a notch!!

My gigging calendar has slowed down and I am excited to get back into the studio this weekend!!! Looong overdue… Out Roun’ Back is wanting to complete our debut album that’s been several years in the making…you hear 3 of the un-finished tracks on my music tab….so I would LOVE to have a completed project by the end of the year. I’ll be heading to Shreveport this weekend to get back in the studio with ORB and see if we can pick up on the mojo where we last left off. Funk voice….activate.

The end of the month also brings The Voice auditions….gonna give it a go….I’m open to any audition song suggestions! So far I’m thinking about Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best”, Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”, Teena Marie’s “Loverboy” or “Kiss” by Prince. Song choice is key and yet soooo hard to decide on! Thoughts?!

Would love to get some comments from you guys, anyone out there??

Wishing everyone a happy and safe July 4th!

Dez

Home concerts?!

So my brother in law was telling me last week that I should make myself available for home concerts…like, actually book myself to perform in someone’s livingroom. Has anyone ever done this? I’m not talking about a party either, an actual concert at someone’s house. This sounded so bizarre to me, but I started thinking about it and realized when people invite me to dinner…they’re always like…can you sing us something? Or…I’d love to hear you sing this song…blah blah blah. Apparently this is becoming a popular thing….and I think I’m gonna make myself available for it…..as long as you have air conditioning, no smoking and some drinky drinks for me…hee hee. That’s my rider.¬† Apparently there’s an entire website devoted to these types of bookings…..

http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/

Could someone PLEASE invite me to perform at their home in say, Morocco? Or Spain? Or Playa Del Carmen??

By the way, Saturday’s Juneteenth show was incredible! Here’s 2 pics:

Me with The Inspiration Band , Juneteenth Show 6-16-12

Me with The Inspiration Band , Juneteenth Show 6-16-12

Summertime is calling….

It’s halfway through May and already pretty hot here in Texas. Summer is pretty much¬†here…. I am already¬†living in flip flops, sandals and maxi dresses. I also have my favorite foods and music this time of year….watermelon, grilled corn, pasta salads, pina colada cake¬†and chocolate delight dessert is a MUST have at our house!

Certain songs always bring summer memories –¬† some are memories from movies watched when out of school in the summer, some were played at the skating rink where I pretty much LIVED during summers and some are just always on the radio this time of year:

  • Summertime – Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
  • I can’t wait – Nu Shooz
  • Higher Love – Steve Winwood
  • Cruel Summer and Venus – Bananarama
  • Rock The Boat – Aaliyah
  • Take My Breath Away – Berlin
  • Wipeout and California Girls-Beach Boys (I know it’s cheesy, but it’s summer!)
  • No Rain – Blind Melon
  • Two Princes – Spin Doctors
  • OPP – Naughty By Nature
  • All I wanna do – Sheryl Crow
  • Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers – yep, summer I graduated HS, 92!
  • Tennessee – Arrested Development – another out of high school moment!
  • Stay – Lisa Loeb – yep, 92….oh the memories.
  • Praise You – Fatboy Slim….you know you loved it too
  • Ignition – R Kelly

What songs remind you it’s summertime????

The Power of Intention is fo’ realz…

Things are poppin’!!!!¬† At¬†the top of the year I set out to get more active with my music instead of sitting around complaining. The power of intention is NO JOKE!

I’ve flipped through the tv channels and landed several times on PBS to see that bald guy Wayne Dyer talk about the “power of intention”. I’ve always been, by nature, a skeptic and “poo poo” a lot of hyped up super spiritual – new age-mumbo jumbo cliche catch phrases like “visualize it into being” or “bloom where you’re planted”, “just reach out and grab it”!¬† So it’s funny to me that I am just now¬†opening up¬†to “get it”. Intention means nothing unless you ACT on it. I can intend on doing laundry all day long and it will just sit there.

So I acted on my intention by creating this blog and continuously working towards small goals. Baby steps. They may seem like no big deal to most people, but I’m excited. I had a gig last Saturday night, Tuesday night, this friday night, next friday night….the following Saturday….it’s crazy! It’s coming out of nowhere! I haven’t called anyone! Duh, the power of intention. Recognize!

So please come check me out at a show this month! And I promise to post videos soon!!

04/14/2012 РHarwood 609 РDallas, TX  with The Inspiration Band 1-6pm

04/28/2012 – Indigo Jazz with The Inspiration Band 8:30-12:30pm

Bye Bye X Factor, Bye Bye The Voice auditions……

Well, as most of you know I had a little health scare with a large cyst/mass and have been recovering slowly from surgery 3 weeks ago. Me being the stubborn person that I am always tries to do more than I should…I don’t like to moan about pain and always try to keep right on trucking along.

So…I was really hoping I’d be up for The Voice auditions in Atlanta this weekend….but this being my first full week back to work, ¬†going to Atlanta was out of the question, I opted to shoot for The X Factor season 2 ¬†audition next week in Austin. Well, I got a reality check when I sang 2 songs last friday night at Button’s with the K2K band. No stamina, huffing and puffing. The audience really loved me and several people asked if I was going to sing anymore songs that night…which really made me feel great…but sadly I was done. 2 had did me in physically. I had a long talk with myself this weekend and decided I am not in shape for auditions right now. Very hard to admit that. I wouldn’t be giving my best audition and don’t know if I could even make it TO audition after standing in line for hours and hours ….and HOURS. Does standing in line for hours count as “strenuous activity”? Because there is “no strenuous activity for 6 weeks after surgery” per my doctor. Crap, I think that would be strenuous.

2 huge opportunities for 2012 passing me by.

So I am forging ahead. Maybe it was meant to be, right?! Timing is everything.

Goal: Get stronger, healthier. Gain stamina.

Goal: Improve vocal range. *side note* Oddly…..through this surgery I discovered a vocal hinderance I had no idea about. Once they got the camera in my abdomen, they discovered an entire blanket of scar tissue that had pushed organs to places they shouldn’t be…..like pushing on my lungs and diaphragm. So now that the majority of the scar tissue has been removed, I am able to breathe a lot deeper and that should help vocally!

Next goal: ¬†learn an enormous amount of cover songs (like 3 hours worth). I have a couple of bands that want me to gig with them but my reperoitore is very limited from being “out of the game” for 2 years. Now it’s like I’m cramming for a final exam trying to learn new songs, songs from 2 years ago, figuring out the arrangements, keys, etc.

Yet another goal: Record more videos of me singing to amp up this blog and my YouTube channel!¬†This one should be FUN! I plan on some videos with Zetti, doing one with my Mom, one ¬†with my hubby, and some other musician and singer friends I have….collabs are always fun ūüôā

One more music goal and I’ll stop for now…..write some new material! This past weekend my producer friend, G-Jack, let me hear some of his amazing tracks and wanted me to do some recording. Well, one thing led to another and the song about “Young Girls” he had written to this track….well, let’s just say I shouldn’t be singing about young girls. So…that prompted me to get out my book o’ lyrics. It’s been probably 5 years or more since I’ve penned a song. I’ve been dead in the water. Uninspired, depressed, not interested. This was really exciting…..we started working on melodies, got a fully written bridge and even laid some scratch vocals and almost have the 2 verses and chorus written! I’ll be excited to share this with you soon!

So raise your imaginary glass with me to Spring and Summer and all the wonderful things STILL ahead for this year! It’s not too late to get some big things done…..Dez.

Success requires Discipline

So I am definitely writing this more for myself than anymore else, but I’m sure many of you can relate.¬†My track record shows I should not be writing on this topic. I’m not disciplined with my sleep schedule, eating habits, budgeting and spending, and certainly not with consistently working on my music and career goals. Please make me feel better and tell me someone else feels this way too.

Successful people definitely have one thing in common – discipline. ¬†Athletes can’t lay around and expect to work out 2 days before the Olympics and win. It’s the same for artists. You have to be disciplined to work at your craft.¬†Musicians have to focus and repeat until they get it right.¬†¬† Beyonce¬†is a great example of this. I read an article where she said she made a decision at an early age¬†not to do certain things,¬†“No drugs, no eating disorders, no bad relationships. No breakdowns due to overwhelming pressure. It takes a certain amount of‚Ķdiscipline, I guess.”

“It takes discipline, and it takes focus and I think I’m very fortunate that I’ve had gradual success. It’s not something that happened in one day. It’s something that I’ve worked at and worked at,” she explained.

Another article explains how self-discipline relates to musicians in a really easy way. It stated, ” Self-discipline is the willing mechanism to make yourself improve on whatever it is you are doing. It plays a vital part in your musicianship, and if you are real about wanting to be a good musician, this is the heart and soul of your way to be one.¬†It is the process of making the habit and second nature actions to get you where you want to go. In the case of learning to play the guitar, it is not just about motivation and passion. Although those are very important aspects of practice and improvement, they are completely useless and non-existent¬†without having the self-discipline to stick with it.”¬† Wow.

Ok, so how do I develop more self-discipline? I did a little research…and basically it boils down to this:

  1. Baby steps.  Write down your goals and what you know you need to do to accomplish them. Make the decision to go forward with those plans.
  2. Learn what motivates you and what your bad triggers are.¬† If you are trying to lose weight and you know if you see a coke in the fridge you will drink it – don’t buy it.
  3. Make certain behaviors a routine. For me, this is the hardest one. Consistency. Disciplined people always finish what they start. They don’t start new diets every Monday.¬† They pay all their bills and THEN buy a new purse IF there’s anything left over. They set aside a day to rehearse music and make sure that day and time remains sacred for that activity.
  4. Practice self-denial. Train yourself to do what you know to be right, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Think about consequences. When you practice self – restraint, it helps you develop the habit of keeping things under control.
  5. Visualize the rewards. Picture yourself on stage. Picture yourself thin. Think about the thousands in your bank account you saved and the security you will have.

I hope this helps someone out there besides myself! I am definitely going to put this into practice, and practice I will…..

Sources:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/28/60minutes/main6151266.shtml

http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-discipline.html

http://guitarwisdom.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/practice-and-self-discipline/

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