The Good News…..and Feature Friday!
Helloooooo! Happy Friday to you all. Well, a few posts ago I made an announcement that I had announcement to make this week…and here it is. I have been selected to be one of the new members of the SoundCloud Heroes program! A few weeks ago I was contacted by one of the leaders of the program and she encouraged me to apply. I had actually never heard of the program until then. I looked into it and found that it happened to be a program centered on collaborating and promoting collaboration amongst other people in the soundcloud community. Since I have been involved in several collaborations already and have had such a great experience with it, I decided that being a part of the program might just be right up my alley. So, I applied and now….. I am the SoundCloud Hero representative for the Orange County area! (and more specifically, for Anaheim). What this means is that I have the task of organizing events around the city aimed at bringing the soundcloud community in my area together and creating as well as leading various collaborative projects on soundcloud with other soundclouders from all over the world. I am very excited about this opportunity and looking forward to seeing what the other, incredibly talented, SoundCloud Hero group members and I can create and accomplish together. I may even be taking part in a showcase and a show aimed at benefitting a charity organization called WomenforWomen (a link can be found on my “Charities to Check” section near my blogroll as well). To find out a little more about the program and the other members, you can visit the SoundCloud Heroes blog or on the SoundCloud Heroes soundcloud page. Also, here is a little mini-description of the program.
So, there is the good news. Today is also a Feature Friday and I have decided to feature one of my fellow members in the SoundCloud Heroes program……Ben Z. He is a rapper based out of Madison, Wisconsin and has just finished an album titled ” Liquid Reflections ” that he collaborated on with another soundclouder named Dejection from Germany.
They used SoundCloud to connect with each other and send tracks to one another and when all was said and done….an album was born. Here is a brief overview, in his own words, of that album……
Ben Z also just did an interview for the SoundCloud Heroes program and in it shared a little more about himself. Here is his interview….originally created and posted on the SoundCloud Heroes blog by Jane Shin.
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Name: Ben Zastrow, Ben-Z
SoundCloud: Ben Z Music
Location: Madison, WI
What do you do?
I am an artist, sound engineer, and change agent. I use my passion for dope lyrics combined with my love of all things audio to create a better world. For years I did after school hip hop workshops with youth of all ages to promote critical and creative thinking as well as help them find positive and creative outlets. This desire to create a better community and world shows itself in my personal music and extensive collaborations as well. My craft is my passion and also my access to the world as an ambassador of hope, peace, truth, and solid lyricism.
How do you use SoundCloud in your life?
Like a fiend! SoundCloud is a portal that takes me all around the world!
I have collaborated with hundreds of people on SoundCloud in the last 2 years. Some of these have been massive projects that have required hundred of “private” tracks and sets to be shared among all collaborators until the project is complete. I’ve also done simple collaborations by posting tons of hip hop acapellas up for free download. It seems like I get 2-3 collaborations sent to me every week by people who have scooped up some of my ‘pellas here on SoundCloud.
Other ways I have used SoundCloud include: organizing a national youth mixtape, posting my professional music, helping artists that have hired me as an engineer set up pages for their tracks, and even more!
Overcome poverty, war, disease…but more practically I’d love to see people in and around Madison connect with each other across genres, styles, and skill levels to create collaborative works. To do this, I will plan local meetups. Hopefully local connections will foster a stronger Madison SoundCloud community. With this local foundation, I would then hope to connect Madison ‘Clouders with global users on collaborative works as well. If enough material is generated, I’d love to compile it into a free downloadable album.
What is your favorite place in the city and why?
The east side/Isthmus is where it’s at! I love the lakes, the miles and miles of bike paths and bike lanes, the local and independent everything! (Beer, coffee, food, businesses, music), I also love the fact that the Isthmus’ vibe rests at an equilibrium between busy and placid. There is always something going on, but it’s never overwhelming.
What is your favorite sound and why?
Anything constant and calming. One of my first memories of life is falling asleep to the sound of an oscillating fan in my room on hot summer nights when I was 3. The sound of a steady wind in the trees, a refrigerator’s compressor, or the synchronized ticking of multiple clocks all around an empty house will all take me back to my earliest memories.
I have sampled tracks from the album myself and what I love about them is the quality of the sounds. His vocals are crisp, the tracks are clean. Also, he has a great tone and his enthusiasm and passion for his craft is evident in his delivery. I think the theme that comes across loud and clear throughout the album is positivity….and that is something I love. You can hear it in all the tracks, but my favorite one is the “Chasing Sunsets” that features another SoundClouder called One Hello World. One of the lines in that song is….”the beautiful things in life, they go quick”…and he is so right about that. We have to soak it all up, as much as we can. Thanks for another reminder of that Ben Z….congratulations on your new album and I wish you the very best in life and in this new endeavor!
Make sure you guys check the album out. You can purchase it on I-Tunes, remember it is called “Liquid Reflections”. Also, you can sample his sounds on his soundcloud page.
Ok, that is all for today! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you guys have a great weekend…remember to soak it all up!