The Upside Eternal musical journey is a long one.
According to 2016 “hip hop” production standards, this record took a lifetime.
While there are many great musical stories to tell, in light of recently releasing the Color Grade Agape video I thought it would be fun to share its creative process and show you guys an alternate version of the song.
The initial idea and feel of the song came from Boogalu’s lyric,
“Brown, skin, blue, eyes…”
My immediate response to Booga’s delivery of the chorus was Slum Village’s Fantastic Intro
Color Grade had to channel this vibe, swing and era – which is the era of Hip Hop that we grew up in and love.
So I went to work.
The first round demo rigorously followed the one/two punch of Booga’s lyric and Dilla’s swing of Slum’s intro.
We continued to write to it, finesse it, and build on it, but we both knew the song wasn’t there yet.
Deep down I was becoming bored with the song and was gonna vouch to scrap it from the record…
But then this record came along, Graham Central Station’s “The Jam”.
This drum break is nowhere near the BPM of the song, but for some odd reason I wanted to hear what it would do to Color Grade, and simply enough it revolutionized it. We sped the song up 7 or 8 BPM’s and all of the sudden Color Grade transformed from a laid - back - reminisce track to feel good vibes with a soul.
The final pieces to the song were our live players Gabe Lopez (my brother) and Aaron Rivera who- as usual- bring vibrancy, humanity and excellence to the songs we ask them to be apart of.
The version of Color Grade I want to show you isn’t the demo version (cause I trashed it, ha) but the near final version of the track. It has some interesting nuances and difference that I think you all would like to compare.
Here’s some things to listen for:
- The piano here is a glitched out Ableton rack that was the heart of the demo from day one, until I replayed them on an actual Grand Piano.
- There are some extra guitar parts that were played but in the final mixes decided to be taken out, we felt they may be distracting from the lyrics.
- An alternate (more laid back) vocal performance from Boogalu that was later re-recorded.
It’s a joy, Godly call, and pleasure to be able to share music with you. We hope and pray Color Grade Agape- and ALERT312 music in general - move you to think about the Gospel and its place in every aspect of your lives.
Remember, you are colored by his infinite love.
- moral one