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Motel Connection: Song Backgrounds

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Summer of 2010 I was an active member of the 1440 Collective Studios. The 1440 Collective was named after it’s address which was, 1440 Gratiot Detroit MI 48207. It was also located where some of Detroit’s techno music history took place. Techno Alley is the alley way where the entrance for the 1440 Collective was. Techno alley is also the home to many of the parties, events, and techno music production of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

“GO” – Song blueprint with Khary WAE Frazier Vocals

“GO” – Uscita Mix featured on Motel Connection’s “Vivace” album visit to hear, buy, and experience the music

The way many American baby boomers view Detroit as the home of the Motown sound, European Generation X’ers view Detroit as the home of Techno music. The white and blue home located on Detroit’s West Grand BLVD (Motown) is to soul music, what Techno Alley is to electronic dance music.

Juan Atkins, Mike Banks, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson birthed techno music in Detroit, in the 1980’s. Many of the parties that founded the music took place in Techno Alley where the 1440 Collective was. Derrick May ran a studio down the street from the 1440 Collective. We met in 2009. Since our introduction he’s been supportive, and an inspiration. Derrick’s advice, and the serenity prayer, are my foundation for life. Here is the advice Derrick gave to me that encourages me daily:

“When we began making Techno music many people didn’t understand it so they didn’t like it. We loved it, and continued making it. Overtime our audience grew. It was a mix of college kids, street kids, and artists that felt the music was a culture of their own. We all felt we were on our own. As we grew older the college kids, street kids, and artists became movie producers, gallery owners (shout out to my friend and mentor Kevin Hansen of the Johonsen Charles Art Gallery), and international business people. As we all gained access to popular culture we carried our music with us.” Derrick May

Derrick May, Kevin Hansen, 1440 Collective
Derrick May, Kevin Hansen, 1440 Collective

That advice encourages me to create my music with love and integrity. When I find myself lost seeking attention, popularity, or money for my music I remember to stay grounded. If Derrick, Juan, Mike, and Kevin could create a music genre, I can create my own sound.

I met Derrick because Kevin Hansen told me he ran a recording studio down the street from the 1440 Collective. In 2007, 08, and 09 I was interested in networking with anybody I thought who had access to resources. So the summer of 2009 when I saw Derrick driving down Techno Alley I flagged him down, and introduced myself. Derrick walked into the 1440 Collective after our introduction and purchased my ‘Preaching to the Choir’ album. The next day he came back to the 1440 Collective, and gave me a review of my album. He liked some songs, and didn’t like others. Overall he was impressed with my skills as an emcee. He told me “with what you’re doing you need to get your music to Japan.” I told him I have no idea how to get a Japanese audience. He suggested using the internet, and building my network. We exchanged phone numbers, and he insisted I explore the world music market.

A year after our introduction Derrick May called me, and told me he had an opportunity. He introduced me to Motel Connection. “Wae, it’s an Italian Techno/ Rock band looking to work with a Detroit emcee. I’m suggesting you. I’m going to text you an email address, and you should make this happen,” Derrick May. After Derrick sent me this message I responded two months later. Derrick called me again to tell me I was bullshitting, and wasting time. I was musically depressed. It was many expectations I set for myself that were not reached. I found it difficult to move forward as an artist. After Derrick’s voice mail I emailed Gigi (manager) of Motel Connection.

Motel Connection is an Italian band made up of Samuel, DJ Pisti, and Pierfunk. All three are member of other Italian bands. All three are also based in Turin, Italy (interestingly enough Turin is the Italian Detroit. Turin is a city that came to prominence during the industrial age of the twentieth century now seeking a new identity). Motel Connection’s music is a mix of styles. This mix blends a sound of manipulated vocals, instruments, sound efx, and tempos to create a signature style. Motel Connection’s audience is a core following of underground Italy, Australia, and Great Britain that tirelessly stay abreast to their music. The rhythms and melodies found in Motel Connection’s sound is unlike most dance music.

“GO” – Song blueprint with Khary WAE Frazier Vocals

“GO” – Uscita Mix featured on Motel Connection’s “Vivace” album visit to hear, buy, and experience the music

After I emailed DJ Pisti of Motel Connection he sent me the music to two songs in a week’s time. When I originally heard the music it was a challenge to match it’s style with my own. In a month’s time I sent back both records. DJ Pisti loved the songs. Motel Connection agreed to use the songs on their next album. After touring, contracts, mixing and mastering Valentine’s Day 2013 the “Vivace” album was released. I’m featured on the songs ‘Go,’ and ‘Know.’ I love both. As an artist I found it exciting to hear how Motel Connection interpreted my recordings.

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