Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “collaboration”

Audiobiography Re-Cap! Help us reach 5,000 by March 31st!


Helloooo! Time for an update! In case you missed when I first announced the launching of the Soundcloud Heroes community collaboration project called Audiobiography a while back, let me refresh your memory.  We, the Soundcloud Heroes, put out collaborative projects for people in the SC community to get involved in.  All of them are centered around the sharing of sounds. Audiobiography is the latest project and is still underway.

We asked people to share a sound, any sound, that expressed who they were and what was important to them.  People have chosen to do spoken word, an interview-type format, a musical composition, or all three of those combined! Our goal is to reach 5, 000 contributors by March 31st.  We haven’t met our goal yet, but we’ve had some wonderful, creative submissions so far! Every week one of the Heroes members has been curating everyone’s submissions and doing a re-cap on the Hello Heroes feature on the Soundcloud blog.  Here is last week’s re-cap.

And…here is a re-posting of the piece I submitted:

As we are reaching the half-way point for the month and nearing the end of the project, I encourage you to visit the blog and check out the submissions that have been turned in.  Hopefully they will move you, make you laugh, and INSPIRE you to do an Audiobiography of your own.  We tried to make it as easy as possible to participate.  Here are the basic steps from Soundcloud’s Hello Heroes blog:

  • Record or creatively share a sound that describes and answers the question: who are you and what’s important to you? Perhaps it’s a freestyle rap, or a recording that features your latest piano composition as background music. Keep the track to ~90 seconds.
  • Name the track Audiobiography with your name, as such “Audiobiography: Ben Z.” Add a description.
  • Tag the track “audiobio” and upload.
  • If you have the Spotlight feature, pin the sound to the top of your profile. You can also add the sound to your profile’s description under your

For more on the steps and to get the translations of the details of the project in another language, please see this post.  Tell your story through sound and help us reach our goal of 5, 000 by March 31st!

Feature Friday (on Saturday:/): Eelyk Mukcin and……my cover of PM Dawn’s “I’d Die without You”

Hellooooooo!  So, I have been M.I.A. lately.  But not without reason.  I’ve been a very busy bee, trying to put together the Day4Women album and conference.  I’m so excited about seeing all the pieces coming together:)!   However, I also don’t want to forget the music!  I had planned on doing a Feature Friday yesterday, but my schedule did not permit.  Instead, I’m doing it today:).  Today’s featured artist is a French Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist/rapper by the name of Eelyk Mukcin (aka Kyle Nickum).  He is “on the Cloud” as well (Soundcloud, that is).  He is 24 and has been playing the guitar since he was 14, but has only recently became serious about making music.  He wrote “I believe free music is FREE music” in his description of his music on his Soundcloud page.

When I first was introduced to Eelyk and his music, the thing that stood out the most was his nonchalant, playful approach and delivery.  Yet hidden inside the playfulness, you’ll find hints of disillusion, frustration, social commentary, and even brokenness.  A good example is in his song called “My Dog is Dead (and My Pickup Truck Won’t Start).  On first listen, you think it is a joke.  But, as you listen, you will hear that he’s referring to the feeling like your world is falling apart. Another good example is the song “Galileo”, an upbeat, funky song, but also a commentary on the history of the Church’s handling of ideas that threatened their position of authority.  He says what he wants (however crass, blunt it may be), how he wants, and does so in a way that makes you appreciate his authenticity even if you’re not in agreement with the message.

Of all his music, perhaps my favorites are the rap pieces.  I happen to love the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy and Eelyk falls in between the two, but adds a little indie rock to the mix.  Two of my favorites are “Freedom of Speech” and “Eraserhead”.

Whatcha think?  Visit his Soundcloud page, or his facebook page and check out what Eelyk is up to.  I do not promise an easy listen.  Prepare for raucous, riotous sounds mixed with some obscenity.  Now, you may ask, why does that appeal to me?  Though it may seem as though my mellow, calming music is on the complete opposite spectrum from Eelyk’s music, there is one commonality and that is that they are both real, genuine expressions of who we are as people.  We wear our hearts on our sleeves, take it or leave it.  And when it comes to art, Cesar A. Cruz said it best, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”  Thanks Eelyk, for making those of us who are “comfortable” wake up a bit:).

On another note:

I haven’t done a new song this week, but I did record a cover (something I don’t do very often).  It is of the early 90’s RnB group, PM Dawn’s, song called “I’d Die Without You”.  I always liked this song, melancholy songs usually do appeal to me for some reason.  But, when I started to do it on the guitar, it kept coming out more as an Blues/Soul version.  So, it is quite different from the original, but it is 100% me.  Here it is, hope you enjoy my rendition and if you don’t, well, I hope you appreciate the fact that it came out of who I am.  Enjoy!

Take care everyone, have a lovely rest of the three-day weekend (for those of you lucky enough to have one!).

Here are some collaboration projects being put out by myself and another Soundcloud Hero, Benjamin Dauer.  Give them a look see!!  See if you might want to get involved:)

My first EVER poetry performance/collaboration (with Bao7891)


Helloooo! This is my new friend Bao. He is an artist, musician, poet, and all around creative kinda guy. He contacted me about doing a collaboration and I had wanted to try something new, something different. So, we came up with the idea to do a spoken word/poetry collaboration that shared a love story from the perspectives of both the guy and girl.

So, he wrote a poem, sent it to me and I responded. Then, we decided to extend it and turn it into a 3-part story. Then, finally, we decided to add music. This is the very first time either of has have “performed” our poetry or have done a poetry collaboration. So, very risky, but what is life without risks? No matter how it is received, we both agree that we love the outcome and that we have stretched and grown from this experience. So, that’s what matters, right?:) Anyway, hope you enjoy it. And please check out his other stuff on his Soundcloud account too ( he has some music and other spoken word on there).

Enjoy and have a great Thursday!

ALSO!!! If you want to get involved in this month’s SoundCloud Community collaboration themed project put out by the SoundCloud Heroes, please go to this link to get all the details….there is still time to participate!

New song: Collaboration with Tokyo’s EleWara

Hellooooooo!  Short post this week.  Wanted to just share the latest collaboration with you guys.  This time it is with EleWara.  Despite the fact that there was a slight language barrier, we were able to come together and make a beautiful song.  His track and production, my lyrics and vocals (you can read them below).  My lyrics are short and to the point and were really meant to just provide more of a backdrop, a little extra to the track.

I am really in love with all of EW’s tracks, there is so much character and detail, and the sound is so Tokyo.  Very electronic, mechanical, but also very organic.  Love.  Anyway, here’s the link.  Check it out….check out his page and comment if you dig it:)

here are the lyrics:

Just take a breath and hold it in

It always feels just like this

Before something, something big

Comes into view, don’t miss it, don’t miss it

Oooooooooooh, hold on, hold on

Can you hear it coming to you, can you hear it coming to you



Get involved! August’s Soundcloud Heroes Collaborative Project

Hellooo! Hi guys! Just wanted to give a quick update and some info. As you may have read in my last post, I am the new Soundcloud (SC) Hero for Anaheim, CA. As part of being a hero, I am going to be involved in monthly collaborative projects on SC with other clouders and this month’s theme is “Road Trip”.

What does a road trip sound like? What kinds of sounds would you hear getting to your destination or when you arrive? Think people, atmosphere, nature, city sounds, animals…sky is the limit. So, the way it works is we all collect sounds, songs, make tracks, spoken word recordings, etc. and share them by following the steps outlined here on the SC blog page. Then, when we’ve all collected the sounds, we put them together and share our various creations! The works are posted on the SC community and SC heroes pages as well as on the various other Internet network sites that SC is on. This is a great way to get your creative juices flowing, to start collaborating, make connections, get your work/name out there, and….to just have some fun!

I hope to collaborate with you, keep checking in for more updates on our monthly collaborations and other projects. And, if you any questions on how to get involved, please feel free to contact me through commenting here on my blog or at my solo SCFacebook page or SC account! or my collaboration SC account!

Hope you have a great day and to hear from you!!


New Song and Feature Friday: Rick O’Shea

Hellooooo! So, I woke up this morning with a smile on my face….want to know why? Well, this morning I saw that one of the hip-hop collaborations that I had been working on was finished and up on “the cloud” (my little nickname for SoundCloud). This song is one that I posted before as part of a contest entry. It was only an excerpt of a full song. Ever since I posted it I had thought about turning it into a full song. This week’s Featured Artist, Rick O’Shea, then came along and had the same idea (more on him in just a minute). So, he put his verse down on it and extended the song and…..magic. I really love it and I hope you’ll take some time to give it a listen. Here are the links:

There it is:). I’m very excited because we have a few more songs we’re doing together, each with their own personality.

So, let me tell you a little about Rick O’Shea. He is currently living in Ireland, but spent some of his life on the rough streets in New York. From what I know, he’s been through some tough times in his life, but he’s come out of them like a true fighter. You can hear the touches of his past in his verses…his lyrics. But, you also get the message that he’s not going to quit….he’s on a mission. As far as his flow and tone, he has a very unique sound. His Irish background adds a little extra flavor to it all.

Rick has a pretty steady following on SoundCloud, so it is clear that what he’s talking about in his songs resonates with many people. There are some songs about dancing in the club and girls, feel good tracks. But then there is the more serious side to his music. There is a track on there that he did with other SoundClouders by the names of Hype, Dash the Baptist called “Yesterday”. It is a dark song about him growing up, his father, being a disappointment and him trying to cope. He dealt with thoughts of suicide due to the turmoil he was feeling. But that was “yesterday” and he made it, he’s still here….and I’m glad he is.

One thing I really respect about Rick is that he does a lot of freestyles (check out his track called “Family Affair” for a good example). If you don’t know what that is, that is when someone doesn’t write down anything before going and recording over a track. Whatever they can come up with at the time, off the top of the dome….that is what gets put down. This is verrrrrrrry difficult to do. You have to be on your game, quick-witted, and focused. You also have to be real. You cannot fake it when you are freestylin’. If it isn’t really in you, a real part of who you are, then it’s not going to just flow out of you like that. So, when rappers freestyle, that is when you really get to see who they are….the real them.

Another thing that I appreciate about Rick is his consideration of the people he’s working with on a collaboration. He really made sure to check in with me and get my input. There was some concern he had over his lyrics being too hard. He knows my music and it is all very light and flowery and so he was concerned about cussing (which is something he does from time to time in his songs). I told him that he had to just be him. He shouldn’t really have to change who he is naturally for my sake. No, I don’t use curse words in my songs, but that’s because it isn’t me. I’ve lived a nice, comfy, spoiled life. So, no, you’re not going to hear much of that from me. But, he’s lived a different life in a completely different part of the world, so why would I or anyone else expect him to tell his story in the same way that I would. His language, his content will be dramatically different. And you know what…..I love that. I love that two very different people from two very different lives and two very different parts of the world, can come together through music. We can put our stories side-by-side and the contrast brings both stories to life.

Thanks Rick…for sharing your life, your talents with me. Looking forward to sharing our other collaborations soon!

Check Rick out at www.soundcloud.com/rick-oshea-1

THESE DREAMS – new song, collaboration w/Beatz275

Helloooooo!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  I just wanted to do a quick post on the new song I just finished with a guy from the UK who goes by the name of Beatz 275.  He was absolutely great to work with.  We had a lot of issues to work out, a lot of going back and forth, mostly because of the fact that we are working in different time zones and trying to communicate solely over e-mail.  Throughout all the going back and forth, though, he was so kind and so enthusiastic and so it turned out to be another great collaborating experience.

As for the content, the lyrics are very basic and repetitive – again.  That is on purpose.  I think having it be repetitive adds to the idea of the song — our dreams that keep “haunting us” — they keep coming back.  The track, though, is very complex.  So, I think putting the two together worked out nicely and helped to bring balance.  But, that’s just my opinion, – what do you think?  Give it a listen and if you have the time, leave a comment on his page www.soundcloud.com/beatz275 or my own www.soundcloud.com/monicadockery  — be it good or bad, both help us to improve and hear our music through another’s ears.  Here it is — THESE DREAMS….



He’s Just a Shadow – new song/collaboration

Helloooo!  Well, I am happy to share that one of the collaborations that I had mentioned before is now – seemingly – complete (I say seemingly because I always want to go back and re-do things and make them better).  Anyway, this time the collaboration was with a duo called Hitch-Hiking 2 Hawaii.  They are like me in some ways in that they try out all different sounds and are open to collaborating with people who come from varying backgrounds and tastes in music.  As such, it would be hard for me to categorize their music and say they are this or that.  Best thing is to just check them out for yourselves and decide for yourself.  They can be found at www.soundcloud.com/hitch-hiking2hawaii.

As for the song itself, it is a ballad (at least I think it is) and is a beautiful acoustic track.  They did a great job making it and  you can tell they were thinking of the person that might be coming in and singing on it because they put distinct cues and pauses for the various parts into the track.  It made it easier for me to write and sing to. I am also quite glad that they were open to letting me take the song wherever I wanted to (btw, all the other collaborations thus far have been the same — all very cool, open minded people).  It was written to be taken as more of a metaphor than an actual story, but the story is definitely there as well.  Sometimes when I am listening to a track, I get images of a movie in my head.  The images provoke a certain sentiment and then the words follow.  That is what happened in this case.

I had the image of a woman in her room at night looking at the edge of her bed where her husband used to sit and talk to her at night.  When they first met, he gave her a jacket to keep her warm as they walked around the city.  She wanted to give it back to him when they reached her door, but he insisted she keep it.  That was the beginning of a long love story between the two.  One day, he had to go away (I’ll leave that to your imagination) and something happened to him (I’ll leave that to your imagination), and he never came back.  Before he left, he told her not to worry and that when he returned he would want his jacket back — his way of promising.  But, he never came back and so she sleeps with the jacket at the end of the bed and imagines him still sitting there.

The song doesn’t really have to be about a literal loss of life.  Sometimes people get lost in life….they lose their way, become people they weren’t.  When that happens, sometimes you catch glimpses of the people they were before (a shadow of their old selves), but they are forever changed by something.  That was what I was really trying to get to in the song too.  (some people feel they shouldn’t explain their songs, the song should speak for itself — it does, but sometimes, I like to share where it came from just like the movies give special features to let people in on the process).

Anyway, enough “talking” — the song….hope it means something.


Two in One – New Song and Charity Spotlight

PART I – New Song

I was going to do two separate posts this week, but decided to put both the new song and the spotlight on the charity of my choice all in one instead. Recently, I have been in contact with another “soundclouder” from Britain (honest, young, really talented at what he does) who makes tracks and I found one of his tracks to be especially appealing to me. I liked it so much I decide to write a song for it and sent it to him. I was going to do the vocal track and send it to him and he was going to do the layering with his musical track, but so far progress on it has not been made. So, I’m a little bummed that it may be a failed first attempt at collaborating. To be fair, I wrote a song that strayed from his original intent for the track. I know he intended it to be more of a love song with a dubstep feel to it. I heard something else entirely in the track. I think it is so interesting how two people can get two different pictures in their mind from the same piece of music. Anyway, we shall see if the collab goes through or not but I thought I would post the vocal track at least. This song follows a poetic form more strictly than some other songs I’ve written because it is a song about the plight of a poet in a corporately-driven society. Here is the vocal-only track.

No Place for the Poet


Since I live in Cali, I thought my first Charity Spotlight should be something close to home. ABC Youth is based out in San Diego, CA. It is a program that was started in 1957 by “boxing legend Archie Moore and carried on by his son Billy.” The goal of the program is to use boxing to teach life lessons and character to young boys and girls who may need help with social skill development and self-identity. They offer educational tutoring to students in their after school program (led by someone with a Master’s in Education) as well as boxing classes that focus on the building of self-defense skills and self-esteem. Lastly, they have a summer program aimed at exposing kids to new things like art, chess, community service projects, fieldtrips, and also address areas of need in writing, reading, and math.

All three of these programs are offered FREE of cost to ANYONE who is between 7 and 17 and who has a form filled out by their parent/guardian. There are some limits as to how many kids can be accommodated per session due to the fact that the program is entirely funded by donors. There are ways you can support this program that is making a difference in the lives of kids. You can become a donor or there are also some volunteer opportunities. You can get more information about,both, becoming a donor or volunteering as well as more detailed information about the programs by visiting their website at www.abcyouthfoundation.org.

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