A few weeks ago, I had the chance to work on a song collaboration with fellow Soho house member singer songwriter Jay Fankhauser(@jayfank). We decided to contribute an original song to this year’s Soho Mixtape project. We wanted to challenge ourselves to create something different: something unique that we had not tried before. As a vocalist, Jay has a smooth soulful R&B vibe that harkens to an earlier era (think Marvin Gaye meets D’Angelo).
While working through, we discovered that we both though have a crazy love of Tech and Scfi. The question was, How do we take what Jay does naturally while modernizing the sound?
We needed an ethos to help shape the sound in our heads. We started talking film & TV references and, of course, we got to The Matrix and I just blurted out, “What if our project was a contraction consisting of Soul and The Matrix?” Hence, our Project name Soultrix was born, a blend of tech and Soul into a fresh category we started calling “Future Soul.”
I started to piece together some ideas for our first song.
First, I played with some different electro-drum sounds and created a beat. It had some trap influences as well as R&B & EDM. I then added “the Soul” in with very R&B/Jazz chord harmonies played on a classic 70’s electric piano: a Fender Rhodes. Moog Synth Bass followed as well as several other inspired parts. It came to us rather quickly, in just a little over 90 minutes. I then sent the track over to Jay for him to and to my delight, he loved the approach and starting working on lyric concepts. The one we landed on was “I’ll pay attention to you.” It worked so well as a chill R&B hook, but over the more EDM beat it gave it this cool sexy urgency.
The first time Jay got on the mic and started singing the hook, I knew it was spot on, 100%. The story took shape around the idea of not taking someone for granted, but not being over the top about it either. The video (link below) was the brainchild of Fashion Designer, Videographer, and fellow Soho member Nelissa Carillo. We met and talked about the character of the song and how we wanted it to be dream-like and romantic. Nelissa took our song and did a beautiful interpretation of the story. She picked out clothing for Jay she had designed and shot live action footage of us performing in different locations. Using that footage and classic old love scenes from cartoons and other old movies, she made this really beautiful collage of images. Truly a magical collaboration between us all…
See it at the following link:
https://www.shccollective.org/artpiece/attention (mobile only)