Before we get into this Q&A, if you haven’t seen my 3rd video album, go check it out now!!! Dare To Be is inspirational and uplifting, I know you’ll get something out of it!!!
So, 3rd album!!! How does it feel?
I know, it’s kind of crazy! I’ve been holding this album since January, well, March but, I started it in January. It was so new and fresh to me then and now it’s even exciting to me as it’s just been a draft in my WP folder so many months! It’s been cool to remember the process and be reminded of it again!! People have been so supportive and all the kind words really mean a lot to me, I’m just beyond touched! I always love the process of releasing albums and this 3rd time around, I really made sure to soak it in.
Why did you hold it for so long? And did this album take you longer to make than the prior two?
So, I finished the album in early March. But midway through making it, I started to look at dates for releasing. Nothing really clicked and then somehow I made it all the way to July 8th in my calendar, which, is my ex-coach’s birthdate. I wanted that to be the release date; he passed away four years ago and was kind of a big part in my journey. These albums always help me grow, so I figured I could tie the two together! But I couldn’t wait that long 🤪, I almost made it! This album is still a mini tribute to him. And yes, it took me longer to make. I was in the middle of writing Her Soul’s Past when I was releasing my sophomore album, FREEDOM. For some reason, whenever I’m releasing an album I get inspired to make more videos. Same thing happened when I released IMAGINE + REALITY. So on top of writing a complicated book, I took up making another album while I was still writing all my poetry and usual posts! So it was a lot, but I seriously loved it. Up until the 10th video, I never really got on a roll with this album. With both my previous albums, I finished them in a week! But this one was a much longer process probably because the format is so different.
So speaking of the format…explain how you came up with this idea and how it changed your video-making process?
Well, I was on my way to Sedona, AZ for the first time back in December and a Human League song came on from their album, Dare. This lightbulb went on in my head and the idea just came to me that my next album could be a video for each thing I dare to be! Then, a day or two after I released FREEDOM, I made Joyous. I was struggling with a relationship and I knew I’d feel a lot better if I made a video. I really went for the theme of being joyous no matter how much you’re hurting etc. The whole album just kind of happened from there! The making of these videos was so different, I had to figure out the theme first and then create. Each process of making videos for all my albums was different. For IMAGINE + Reality, I free styled it and let the video-making flow do its thing. For FREEDOM, I wrote the videos down in my journal and then designed it after. And for Dare To Be, I decided on a theme and then just let the Universe give me the words for the videos! So I guess I combined all styles for Dare To Be; a little structure and flow! You’ll also notice, the second to last slide in each video, has kind of the same design with different backgrounds since all these videos have a little in common. And I repeat the title of each track in a few slides of all the videos, kind of like the chorus to a song! (For example, if the video is called Joyous, you’ll notice at the bottom of some slides it says Dare To Be Joyous…I do that in all the videos!)
This time in your releasing process, you added a single and did a bonus video…why?
Ah good question! I wanted to change up the process and make it last a little longer!! I seriously love love the process of releasing an album, it’s just so fun!!!! Since this album is completely different from my other two, it felt right to change every aspect of it up! The bonus video was literally such a spur of the moment thing! Popped in my head and I decided to do it!! I think it turned out really well, I love the title and it just makes this whole (😉) thing so complete!
So, you said Joyous was inspired from a relationship struggle, let’s dive into some other behind the scenes on your videos…what about Strong and Vulnerable?
Those two kind of go together. I think strength is vulnerability and vulnerability is strong! Strong was obviously my lead single for the album, so, its extra special to me. I always knew when I decided to take on this new project of daring to be something, strong, would have to be a video! And Vulnerable was born from Strong, there’s a slide in Strong about vulnerability and after that I knew I’d do the Vulnerable video! Strength has so many different perspectives, it was a bit of an overwhelming track to make! I love how it turned out though! Vulnerable came more naturally, that’s a topic I have a lot of experience with and my true life lessons with it made writing it pretty easy.
The two unique ones in this album are A Dreamer, A Believer and Silent…talk about those videos.
First, I think all these videos are unique, but, these two videos definitely stand out the most. I’ve always really loved that phrase – A Dreamer, A Believer. I came up with it at some point in my life and it’s always stuck! The two concepts are different but similar and the paradox makes them a really good subject to build off of. And then Silent, I think that’s my favorite video in this whole album. It is SOO different and I hope will really change peoples’ minds on silence. Silence seems scary and lonely, but, it is one of the best places to be and really teaches you to grow. The music is very different on that one too; quite peaceful and relaxing!
Divine has a really cute behind the scenes story to it!
I know, right?! I love the people in my life and the little nudges I got from my cousin and the assistance from my mom together was just so heartwarming! I knew I had to share the behind the scenes tea! It’s those moments that give the videos more depth and meaning.
Kind is your 2nd single for the album…what do you love about that video?
I know kindness is a cheesy topic and seems so simple but there really is a lot to kindness. In this video I wanted to address kindness more than just being kind when it’s easy; more about being kind to yourself and being kind as a lifestyle choice. Again, kindness is a broad topic, so, I was really hard on myself about covering all aspects of it. I think it covers it well and I knew it was perfect for my 2nd single, Strong and Kind go well together and balance each other out!
A Leader and Pure, you said they were tough to make…why do you think?
A Leader is a ginormous topic, for real. So many different types of leaders come to my mind – a team leader, leading your own life, a sports leader, a business leader, a coach, a parent (the family leaders 😊) I could go on and on. Including them all was tricky, but I tried to always circle back to leading your own life and knowing yourself. You can’t lead others if you don’t know yourself because leading comes in all styles. It came out well though, and I was so relieved to have finished it! Pure was tricky just because I had to make My True Self and Pure totally different and they are very similar topics. I really really love My True Self because it speaks to my journey and reminds me of all the lessons I learned to finally be free enough to be my authentic self all the time. But, for some reason, I still had purity on my mind. The difference for me is that purity is not letting life’s hurdles change you and staying purely aligned with love. And being your true self is like embracing all your sides and voices and learning how to always be that person no matter the circumstance. But in typical me fashion, I banged both A Leader and Pure out in back to back days, I love to get the hard ones done!!
Creative is a really neat video full of variety, what connects with you in that video?
The music for sure, I think it’s my favorite music in the whole album. It is so harmonious and beautiful, the flow really brings the quotes to life. Especially because I took the effects out, I wanted the words and graphic design to shine, but the music added that little spark. I was kind of at a standstill for ideas in this album and I was looking at my “Quotes” folder and I just thought, “Why not make this a video?” It literally took me five minutes to add music to it and download it! I think the video really breaks up the album nicely and adds a nice change!
So, the final two videos on the album, Thoughtful and Electric…how did you come up with those themes and can you talk a bit about them?
Thoughtful came to me, well, this might sound cocky, but I don’t mean it in that way at all!! I was starting to think about my personal character qualities as ideas for videos and thoughtful popped right in my head! I feel like I’m very thoughtful, I love showing I care and giving love to others. Anyways, I thought I could put a new spin to thoughtfulness but also shine light on the more normal view of thoughtfulness. This video is about being thoughtful in your own life vs. overthinking. I also have a lot of experience with overthinking and I thought I could give a good perspective about it, it’s a tricky thing! And being thoughtful of the people you love is a vulnerable thing, but, it’s one of the best feelings in the world! And then for Electric, it was easy to come up with that. I wanted to do a new video about energy/vibration/frequency and Electric came to mind! I changed up the slides in that one and got some really upbeat music, I think it’s an epic finale!!
Well, that about covers Dare To Be, any final behind the scenes tidbits you’d like to add?
I think we covered everything! I just want to thank my family and friends for all the love, support and for helping me grow into the person I am today allowing this album to come together! Thank you, Dare To Be, for taking such a special place in my heart and soul and for being a part of my journey! Thank you IMAGINE + REALITY and FREEDOM for allowing this album to be possible!!!! And thank YOU for watching this album and for coming along on this journey!!!
Lastly, any more albums?
This question 😂😂! I’m sure by the time you’re reading this last line I’ve already made another video!! 😂😂😂😂 We’ll see, three albums in one year is a lot! If the people want an album, I’ll do it!! I plan to do a vote very soon for my next project and let the people choose! Honestly though, I’m sure there will be many more, albums have a special place in my heart!
And now for some fan questions!!!!!
What inspired you to make this album?
I think I covered that…in my long stories above 🤪!
If you had a choice between being kind and being vulnerable, what would you choose?
I love this question!!! Shout out to my dear friend, Rishika for these first two questions…she’s a gem!! I would choose vulnerability because vulnerability is always authentic. And vulnerability is kind. I think true kindness is amazing and one of the secrets to the Universe. But, if it’s not authentic, it’s powerless. Whereas, vulnerability cannot be faked, it is true authenticity. And it’s just a freeing thing, it’s something I’ve worked hard for and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
What inspired you (gave you the idea) to start creating albums in such a way?
I love music, and that’s an understatement! Music truly inspires, soothes and comforts me. I’ve always loved the process of artists releasing albums…waiting for the single, or for the track-list and then the fun times of listening to a new album for the first time, it’s just a cool experience! I’d always wanted to make videos, I knew one day my creative juices would venture there, I just didn’t know when. And then back in the fall of last year, the site I use for all my graphic design created a video-making program. I gave it a shot, and even though it was a long/arduous process, I truly loved the flow and zone of making videos! And here we are three albums later! 🤪
How do you get the music?
So, I make my videos on Canva and Canva has to own the music to be able to use it for videos…that’s where I get my music. I’m very serious about music, I’ll spend hours picking the perfect song, or finding the right high pitches in a chorus, or buildups in the verse – I know what music I’m looking for and the perfectionist in me won’t stop until I find it! Just because I don’t make the music doesn’t mean it’s an easier process, it’s still long, monotonous and there’s a million different little things. But, it’s truly an exhilarating zone and I love sharing it with all of you!! Shout out to my friend, kimmagic for these last two questions…so kind of her to ask such thoughtful questions!! Side note – I do play guitar (both electric and acoustic), maybe someday I’ll use that. But for now, with the program I use I have to stick the music they own.
Please comment with your thoughts on this album and Q&A, I’d love to hear!!! Be fearless and free -Ace