The pandemic was a period where many people were forced to reevaluate their priorities and focus more on soul-nourishing activities. For Ralph Curtis, music was what set his soul on fire. In 2020, he kicked off his career with I Was Him & He Was Me. Following the storytelling nature of country music, Ralph Curtis weaved an intricate story of the intimate relationship he shared with his grandfather.
In 2021, he launched his debut EP titled Sandbar Sideways. Some songs in the EP include Whatever’s Left in The Bottle, Life is Hard Living is Harder, and A Yeti and Some Sunshine.
Ralph Curtis is a singer-songwriter based in Naples, Florida. From a young age, he had a knack for music and played in the symphonic orchestra. Other than the cello, Curtis also plays the guitar. He draws his inspiration from artists, including John Mayer and Ryan Adams.
Man You Want Me To Be is a song about what it takes to be a “good man.” Ralph takes us through the promises he makes to his girlfriend, who he ends up marrying, his two little daughters, and his aging mom. It’s easy for a man to get wrapped up in trying to provide a lavish life, but Curtis reminds us that “a shoulder to cry on, a rock you can lean on, a bed you can sleep” is sometimes all that’s needed.
For the live version of Man You Want Me To Be, Ralph Curtis partnered with Juniper Recording Studios and had Hunter McDaniel on the piano. The live version is a quieter, more crisp, and more intimate version of the song. The drums and guitars have all been stripped away to leave Curtis’ baritone accompanied by a piano.
Although it is a bit unusual to have just a piano accompany an otherwise country song, the piano gives this version delicacy and intimacy. The choice of microphone that captures Hunter playing is also brilliant; it captures the small tonal nuances well. Hunter’s playing also shows excellent prowess. He sounds like he is giving the keys just a gentle tap, leaving room for Curtis’ voice to carry the day.
Compared to the studio version, Curtis’ voice in the live version still sounds good, but with more emotion behind it. It is punctuated with little grunts and cracks that are not edited out to make the sound perfect. It makes you identify more with the song, especially when he sounds like he’ll almost shed a tear when he says, “No, I can’t offer much, but I can be the man you want me to be.”
When he sings, Ralph Curtis gets lost in the moment. When he closes his eyes, you can see the song move through him; from how he gently gestures with his hands to the slight furrow in his brows.
If this live version is anything to go by, listening to Ralph Curtis perform should be one of those performances that make a room stand still and listen. Anyone who wants to listen to him live can follow his performance schedule from his social media or website.
Listen to the Live Version on YouTube:
Los Angeles Producer ArjayOnTheBeat Is Pushing the Perimeters of the Music Industry
To stand out in music, especially a genre like Hip Hop, an artist has to have a presence not only the presence but commanding energy to them that makes you invest in their artistry, which they present for us to buy into. That separates an artist who you only give one listen to and who you start to keep up with. ArjayOnTheBeat brings that confident swagger to his approach that makes you want to stay connected, as he has been unfailing when connecting with his audience and executing vibrant and unique records from a career standpoint.
Arjayonthebeat discussed with us and answered our uncommon 11 Questions. Check it out below.
HONK: Let’s start by introducing ourselves. You know the basics, like name, age, and where you’re from, as much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.
ArjayOnTheBeat: Artist Name: Arjayonthebeat /Arjayonthebeat3x
Legal Name: Robert Dickson Jr
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
HONK: What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?
ArjayOnTheBeat: The best advice I’ve ever received concerning music was about mixing. I was honored to have had a one-on-one session with a Grammy-awarded engineer, Leslie Brathwaite, who engineered Pharrell’s “Happy,” which headlined Despicable Me 2. He listened to my beats and told me, “everything was great, but one thing, your mixing.” He then said when it comes to mixing your beats, nothing should be panned to the center but vocals”. In other words, every sound in your beat should be panned between the left and right, never down the middle.
The best advice of my life…
HONK: What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
ArjayOnTheBeat: One thing I would have done differently is take more of the presented opportunities rather than rejecting them due to being overly cautious.
HONK: What is still your biggest challenge?
ArjayOnTheBeat: My biggest challenge is finding an artist with the potential/ talent to take them to the top and team up. Until then, the search continues. Most artists don’t take it as seriously as I do. I instead get plaques/awards with one artist repeatedly than try to get one plaque out of multiple artists… if that makes sense.
HONK: What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?
ArjayOnTheBeat: My daughters (Indiyah & Xia) and my family are the ones I need to be successful. My goal is to leave generational wealth /money behind for them.
HONK: If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
ArjayOnTheBeat: Lil Uzi Vert, Chris Brown, or DJ Khaled
HONK: Could you talk me through your creative process?
ArjayOnTheBeat: When it comes to my productions, I never force them. I only make beats when I feel like it, so I don’t burn out my creative juices.
If I’m not working, I typically listen to various genres to get ideas on enhancing my sound daily. Every genre has something you can learn from…
HONK: How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?
ArjayOnTheBeat: I always try to keep the customer/ clients happy, mistakes can occur, so I’ll always offer something in exchange for the mishap to reach a positive conclusion.
HONK: What are you focusing your time on now?
ArjayOnTheBeat: I’m focusing my time on executive producing more projects rather than singles & building my artist (once they’ve been found).
HONK: How do you currently feel about the state of “Your genre” in general?
ArjayOnTheBeat: We need more substance in the hip-hop community and a different topic to rap about rather than hoes, guns, apps & negativity. I feel it’s time to switch it up, or else we won’t get as successful as other genres like folk rock & country music.
HONK: How can our readers follow you online?
The Italian Composer Aria Releases New Single
Assieme Edizioni from Sanremo, Italy is proud to announce Aria’s new holiday single, “A Christmas Letter.” Aria has continued his tradition of releasing ensemble collaborations with talented singers and musicians. In April it was the call to arms for animal rights, The Next Life, and now it’s a song of recognition for working mothers around the world who can’t be at home with their children for Christmas.
Some may know Aria (real name Mariano Schiavolini) for his work with the Italian progressive rock group, Celeste, but in recent years he’s been traveling the world looking for the perfect artists and sounds to “contaminate” his fusion pieces. In the last few years alone, this has led him to South Africa, Los Angeles, and France.
In 2021 he traveled to Prague to work with the world-renowned City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. What they achieved was nothing short of breathtaking. We’re happy to introduce the first song from that session.
“A Christmas Letter” is a classic soul/R&B tune in the Motown style. It features Sherita O. as a lead vocalist (Boney M.) and North Macedonia’s Heruvimi children’s choir. We’ve also released a beautiful music video.
Christmas is a time of joy, when people come together. But so many can’t be home with their loved ones. Think of the mothers in the military, in the service industry, and what about those in war zones? During this magical time of year, let us all stop to think of those precious to us and take a moment to wish peace upon the world.
“A Christmas Letter” is out now in online stores!
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