productive ray

Songwriter & Producer Rick Nowels Explains How Lana Del Rey’s ‘Lust For Life’ Came Together

Genius: You’ve been working with Lana for a long time now. What’s your songwriting process like, and how has it evolved?

Rick Nowels: Our process has not changed over the years. Lana always comes in with a concept and often, a melody and lyrics on her iPhone. I listen to it acapella, find the exact key she’s singing in and start to create a chord progression around it. We start playing together and define the exact chords and melody. Then she finishes the lyrics. I’m always knocked out by how incredible her lyrics are and how effortlessly she seems to write them. After that, we solidify the verse and chorus. We usually write the middle eight from scratch—that’s the section that comes after the second chorus. It is a construct of classic songwriting sometimes called the bridge. You don’t see a lot of middle eights in songs anymore. I love that we write them because I think they make the songs more timeless and satisfying. Lana usually records her vocals right after the writing process. I play piano or guitar with her and we do live takes. This gives the songs a performance aspect, and I think it contributes to the intimacy in her vocal delivery. I work out my piano or guitar part and accompany her voice. I follow her mood and together we get a feeling in the room. She doesn’t do many takes. She knows when she’s got the master take. After she gets her lead vocal she immediately starts arranging and singing her background vocals. This is a very exciting thing because she’s completely unique in her approach to it and it’s all a part of her songwriting process. When the backing vocals are complete you essentially have a finished Lana Del Rey record. The song speaks with minimal instrumentation and just her vocals. After that, we begin the process of building the backing track, which can take some time and experimenting and inviting some great musicians to contribute.

 Many people have said this album feels like a return to Lana’s earlier sound (i.e. the Born to Die era). Do you agree with that assessment and if so, was it an intentional choice on Lana’s part?

Rick Nowels: Not at all. It’s a constant moving forward. Lana is a prolific songwriter. I see every new song as the next Lana Del Rey song. I’m honored to be the first person to hear many of them in their early form and one that she trusts to help construct them. There’s no other thought than to write the best song we can and then to capture it in a recording. For me, it’s song by song, and because she’s so prolific we have a wealth of really strong songs. The big picture emerges and I know she’s always thinking about it.

Genius: You and Lana flipped what was originally the verse of “Lust for Life” into the chorus. What was that process like and how much did the song change from what it sounded like originally?

Rick Nowels: The original “Lust For Life” is a beautiful art song, it’s quite touching. Maybe someday Lana will release it. We did a rewrite a lot of it during the making of the album. It turned out great and It was a thrill to have The Weeknd and Lana singing together.

Genius: What was it like working with A$AP Rocky for “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love”? Did Lana always intend to have a rap element on the track, and does that change the way you approach writing a song or handling production?

Rick Nowels: “Groupie Love” was one of the early songs we wrote for the album. Lana had the idea to bring in A$AP Rocky. He’s a great guy; very smart and creative. His producer Hector Delgado came in too and did the beats on the song and co-produced it with us. It was a lot of fun being in the studio with them. They are super creative souls. I wasn’t really involved with “Summer Bummer.” Lana went in the studio with Boi-1da and wrote that one. It’s a great addition to the album. I asked Zac Rae, who is a brilliant keyboard player and musical mind, to do some overdubs on it. We spent a few days with Boi-1da and T-Minus working on it together. I believe Rocky and Playboi Carti recorded their parts with Hector Delgado. That was one of the last songs written for the album.

Genius: What are some of your favorite songs on the album?

Rick Nowels: I would say “Tomorrow Never Came” is a really special record. We asked Sean Lennon to sing on it and when we sent him our track, he got so inspired that he ended up playing all the instruments on it. He recorded it in his studio in upstate New York. It was good talking to him over Face Time during it. He did an amazing job and he and Lana sound great together. I’m assuming he used some of his dad’s vintage instruments on it, but you’d have to ask him. “Change” really touches me. We were mastering the album and had to turn it into the label the next day. Lana called me that afternoon and said that she had one more statement to make for the album and that she wanted to record a new song that night. That song turned out to be “Change”. We started it at 8 P.M and by 2 A.M the record was done. We knew it could only be a voice/piano song because that was all the time we had. I think it’s a gem on the album. “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” was special because we got to spend time with Stevie Nicks and have a collaboration with two of the great female poets of songwriting. I’ve known Stevie for a long time and I wanted Lana and Stevie to know each other. I love hearing their two iconic voices together. I think a real friendship has formed.

Genius: Where do you feel this album fits into Lana’s catalog overall?

Rick Nowels: Lana is a career artist, a defining artist of her generation. I see her as a link on the chain along with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, and all the great once in a lifetime singer/songwriters. She’s created her own language and her own genre. She’s always inspired and actively creating her body of work. This album is her next offering.



Fresh from Tsuburaya’s own Twitter account is the news that the first Blu-Ray box for Ultraman Geed will be released November 24, 2017.  It will contain the first 12 episodes of the series with bonuses including Director’s Cut versions of episodes 1-4.  The bonus I am most excited for though is a full episode of the show within a show Donshine, the tokusatsu series our hero watches in his downtime.

anonymous asked:

We’re characters at Disney World and I’mm Tinkerbell and you’re Peter Pan and you flirt with me shamelessly and I’m not 100% sure that it’s just for show anymore and it’s kinda my favorite part of the day help Can you just write this omf I don't care who I just wanna see this happen

((Bro I love this so much cuz I’m such a Disney freak, also I accidentally wrote this for Disneyland since I’ve never been to Disney World, sorry!))

You adjust the blonde wig on your head, making sure that all of your hair is tucked underneath it. Satisfied that you are presentable, you leave your changing room and walk through the Utilidor, meeting up with the cast member in charge of keeping you on schedule.

“Hey, Barb,” you greet as you walk up to the woman.

“Hey! You ready? You look so good!” Barbara exclaims, falling in step with you.

You chuckle, “I always look like this, Barb. This is my job.”

“Yeah, but you always look amazing as Tinkerbell!” Barbara pulls open the schedule on her tablet and starts reading it off to you, “So we’re gonna start in Pixie Hollow for thirty minutes to meet the kids. Ray is going to be there as Terrence and Mica as Iridessa. After that we’re gonna head over to Pirates of the Caribbean to meet up with Geoff as Hook and Jeremy as Smee. Finally, we’ll end up in the Hub where Michael is Peter Pan and then you’ve got a break before the next rotation. Tonight, since the forecast is clear and wind is slow, you’re gonna be flying at the end of the fireworks. Sound good?”

You nod, your face coloring slightly, “You said we’re meeting up with Michael?”

“Yeah, as Peter Pan. Jordan recently quit so Michaels our main Pan now. Haha, get it? Main pan? Sounds like main ‘man’?” You groan at Barbara’s lame pun, rolling your eyes in exasperation. The two of you ascend the stairs that take you into Pixie Hollow and you smile, relaxing your shoulders and adjusting your wings once more before stepping out into the photo/signing area. This is your favorite part of your job. You get to interact with all kinds of people as well as pretend you’re actually Tinkerbell as you joke around and play with the other actors. The thirty minutes passes very quickly and Barb clears a space around you so that the two of you can duck out, heading through the park to Pirates. The guests in line groan as you leave, but Ray and Mica remain to continue signing autographs. Multiple times on the way to Pirates of Caribbean you are stopped to take a quick photo or sign something and you can tell Barbara is getting irritated.

You greet Goeff and Jeremy with a, “Captain Hook and his right hand man, Smee! What have you done with Peter Pan?” Geoff launches immediately into his Captain Hook spiel and Jeremy stutters along. The three of you draw a crowd and are soon taking photos and signing more autographs. As the time grows closer to you heading to the Hub, your heart pounds harder and you grow more and more excited. Michael has been flirting with you, but it’s always when he’s in character so you’re not sure if it’s for show or not. However, it is a lot of fun so you look forward to it every time Michael is Pan.

“Avast! Mr. Smee, we need to be heading towards the Jolly Roger, our crew awaits us there so we can embark on a journey to Mermaid Lagoon!” You have to admit that Geoff is a fantastic Captain Hook and you wave them off as they head to the sailing ship Columbia.

You can’t keep a smile off your face as you and Barbara walk to the Hub, and your smile only grows when you see Michael/Peter lounging against a fence, his copper hair poking out from beneath his green cap and the freckles that dot his face making him look boyish. Gavin, another cast member, is nearby. He’s already signing things and taking photos with people when you walk over and when he spots you he lights up.

“Hey, Tink, where you been?” Michael greets you, throwing his arms open wide and grinning, “All these kids have been coming by and guess what? They want to come to Neverland with us!”

“Well, they need more than just pixie dust,” you point out, “Have they got any faith and trust?”

Michael pretends to think, “I know that I have faith and trust, and I’ve definitely got pixie dust. But what about you?” Michael gets down on the level of the little boy in front of him, “Do you have faith and trust?” The boy nods. “Well, then all you need now is a bit of pixie dust! You can find that all over the place, especially in Pixie Hollow.”

“What do you have faith and trust in?” the boy asks. Michael sits back on his heels.

“Hmm… Well I have faith that Tink will always be there for me. I can count on her for anything. I bet if I asked she’d even go on a date with me. Do you think so?” You raise an eyebrow, watching as the Michael whispers the last part.

“Yeah!” the kids exclaims, “Tinkerbell, Peter Pan wants to go on a date with you!”

“Does he now?” You smile coyly, perching on the fence and crossing your legs, “I don’t know if I want to. Especially since he has that Wendy thing.”

“Aw, Tink, don’t be like that!” Michael sits criss cross on the ground, looking at you with pleading eyes, “Don’t you remember? Wendy was just our mother and she went back to England anyway. I’d much rather go on a date with you.”

You look at the little boy, “What do you think? Should I say yes?”

The boy’s eyes widen as he is given the responsibility of getting Tinkerbell and Peter Pan on a date. He nods vigorously, “Yes. I think you should.”

“Well then it’s settled,” you smile, “Peter Pan if you were to ask me on a date I would most definitely say ‘yes’.”

Michael jumps up, crowing happily, “Gee whiz I’m the happiest guy alive!” The two of you continue to banter the rest of the time before your rotations are over, Gavin and Barbara herd the two of you into the Utilidor and you continue to joke around as you head back to your changing rooms. 

“Hey,” Michael says, placing a hand on your shoulder, “Did you mean what you said? That you’d go out with me if I asked?”

Your face colors slightly as a blush rises on your cheeks, “Uh, haha, yeah. I mean… don’t feel pressured to do anything or whatever. I just think you’re really cute and, uh, really nice and thought that maybe you were into me too because of all the flirting and-” Michael cuts your nervous rambling off with a kiss on the lips. You freeze, watching him with wide eyes as he pulls back. His face is flushed now too and a dorky smile matches his happy eyes.

“Are you free tonight?”

“After the fireworks, I am.”

Michael chuckles, “Do you maybe want to get dinner together?”

You smile happily, “I’d like that.”

1/100 Days of Productivity

It’s July 1st so time to start the challenge! I don’t usually study on the weekends during summer, but I have been meaning to work on my flute playing! I’ve been playing for 10 years now so I absolutely adore it!

The list on my ipad is just a way for me to keep a track of how many pieces I’m working on. I haven’t had a chance to add in my other genres of music yet
Why Should You Care About Employee Engagement? – Ray Grimm Jr. | CEO & Founder – Medium
By Ray Grimm Jr. | CEO & Founder

Ray Grimm Jr.: Employee engagement is a concept that continues to spark the attention of every business owner or corporate leader who seeks to grow a successful company.

Most of the time, people think that satisfied employees are engaged. While these terms are used interchangeably, it’s important to understand that satisfaction is simply a feeling of contentment while engagement entails real involvement, passion, and increased productivity.

20/100 Days of Productivity

Oh gosh I forgot to post this yesterday!!!

It’s just my usual studying, focussing on mutations! There’s a lot of mutations possible in our DNA that always affect the genotype but sometimes affect the phenotype as well.

I mean sometimes it’s helpful because it drives evolution but it can also cause cancer :(