Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “SoundCloud Collaboration”

Experimenting & The Fear of Failure

Hellooooo!  So, although I am slowing down on putting out songs while I am organizing this Day4Women conference, I am still making music as I can.  This month, as part of the Soundcloud Heroes community collaboration theme of “Sounds of Autumn”, I did make a contribution.  Again, these community collaborations are done for the purpose of getting Soundclouders to connect and create together.  That said, every contribution made for each month’s theme must include the sounds of at least one other person on Soundcloud.  This time, I used the sounds of two of my fellow Soundcloud Heroes, Shifty Teeth and One Hello World.  In addition, I added my own sounds (guitar and vocals) and organized/produced the track.  Now, that word “produced” brings me to the topic of today….experimenting and the fear of failure.

I am not an expert at producing and making tracks.  Now, I have made many tracks before…but, that still does not make me an expert.  What it does make me is an “experimenter”.  I experiment with a little bit of this and a little bit of that and…”hey, that sounds cool”…etc.  I have NO idea what I am doing at all.  I just try something and do what I can.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  It is very scary, actually.  To try something new, test out new ideas, and then put them out there for people to hear.  I can see why people may stray away from doing that.  It puts you in such a vulnerable place.

For example, this latest song, the one I did for this month’s community collaboration, was very much an experiment for me.  I had to use other people’s sounds and try to fit them in with mine and it did not come out very smoothly.  But, I did it, I put it out there because I wanted to go against that feeling — the fear of failure.  I want to not let the fear of failure get in the way of my creative endeavors.  I think musicians/songwriters/artists should be allowed to fail every now and then.  Why?  Because failure can bring learning, insight, and can push someone to exceed   on the next one.  We should be allowed to try out something new, something outside of our normal.  Where would we be without experimenting?  We’d be stuck hearing the same damn thing every time, never progressing.

Same goes in life.  We should be allowed to try something new and become ok with the idea that we might fail.  Because when we do this, we open the door to other possibilities, to deeper understanding of our world and our own selves.  So I say…to hell with it.  Do not let the fear of failure stop your need/desire to experiment and try something new.  All that said….here is my latest “experiment”.


Day4Women & All-Female Soundcloud Collaboration Album

Helloooooo! I am so sorry it is been over a week since my last post!  I have been extremely busy working on a new and exciting project that I’d like to share with you all today.  For a while now, I have been thinking about ways in which I can could combine my love for music and my love for people.  What I came up with, finally, is an event I am organizing called Day4Women to be held on December 8, 2012.  It is going to be an online campaign geared towards women.  The goal of the campaign is to inspire, inform, and involve women in helping to raise awareness of organizations that are already out there helping women in the following ways:

– Teaching job skills to women in war-torn countries

– Providing services/counseling to women who have been abused

– Providing assistance to women caught up in the sex-trafficking trade

– Providing mentoring and building confidence in women

This event is going to be my priority for the next couple of months, so you may be hearing less from me as far as the music goes. BUT…..

That brings me to the other half of this post, the all-female SoundCloud collaboration album that I am also working on at the moment.  The album is going to be with a group of talented, wonderful women on SoundCloud.  The plan is to use the album as another way of spreading the word about the struggles women face and to encourage women who are in tough situations to be strong.  The people who visit the Day4Women site on the launch date December 8, 2012 will be able to download the album to use for themselves or to give to another person if they so choose.  This album is one of the SoundCloud Heroes collaborative projects that I chose to initiate with the SoundCloud community.

So all that said, there are many things on my plate right now.  Exciting things!  And I cannot wait to share more with you as these projects progress.  Please keep checking in as I will continue to post updates here and on the Day4Women temporary blog site as well as on the Day4Women facebook page.

Take care all! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Little Angelina….and Updates

Helloooooo! I have been a little preoccupied lately. Many collaborations in the works and I’m still working on some of my solo songs at the same time. There is also the possibility of me collaborating with a few rappers from various parts of the world on a song for an album that they are going to be putting out soon. It is going to be used as a tool to motivate, educate, and encourage youth. I am really excited about this as it something I have always been supportive of. I will be sure to post updates on that project on here and on my Facebook page once the ball gets rolling. And…next Friday’s featured artists is going to be one of the rappers involved in that project…..so be sure to check in!

This week, I just wanted to share my newest song. It is called Little Angelina and is a collaboration with a guy named Masoud Tehran who is from Iran. He sent me a track and I loved it (I’m hoping he will be ok with me using it for a female collaboration album with other SoundCloud female users that I am going to be working on with my fellow SC Heroes….details to follow). I immediately began seeing images of a little ballerina in a jewelry box. I imagined that the little ballerina was real and began coming up with her story. So, the song begins with her as a little girl — innocent, full of dreams. Then, the rest of the song is about what happens to her and her dreams as she gets older. I don’t want to go too much into detail, but I will say that I think this might be one of my favorite songs yet. There is something about the track….that little, gentle twinkle sound ( I think it is a glock) in the back that moved me so much. It reminded me of someone I knew, someone I used to take care of a long time ago. She had so much talent, so much potential. I don’t know where she is now, but I hope that wherever she is, she is happy, healthy, and has found her way back to her dreams.

Here is the new song (and below that are the lyrics):

Little Angelina

tiny footsteps down the hall

pink clouds, moonbeams on the wall

little Angelina, perfect ballerina

now you dance in shadows

with men cold and shallow

little angelina

broken ballerina

she didn’t really mean for it to be this way

but she didn’t know how to ease the pain

she didn’t really mean for it to be this way

but now she is dancing in the rain

little Angelina, perfect ballerina

you think she has left you

but she could never let you

push her so far away

that you couldn’t find her today

oh Angelina, oh Angelina

you can find your way

it doesn’t really have to be this way

there’s a way to ease the pain

it doesn’t really have to be this way, no

you don’t have to keep dancin’ in the rain

little Angelina

you’re a ballerina

little Angelina

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.


—- excerpt —————————————————————————————————

Quick Facts:
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!

What is the collaboration idea that you would like to accomplish with the SoundCloud community?

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.

Where else can we find you on the web?


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!

Another SoundCloud Collaboration, feat. RekOps

As I mentioned earlier, I have been getting involved in some collaboration projects with a few people on SoundCloud lately.  The latest one is with this guy….

He goes by the moniker RekOps and is a rapper/producer/beat-maker from Canada.  I found his tracks on SoundCloud and loved the chill – almost eerie vibe of one in particular called “Ducking Ambient”.  He had mentioned that he was looking to do some collabs with female and male vocalist, so I sent him a temp track for that song and he wrote back saying he was interested.  I am so glad we were able to do this, I think it turned out great.  I cannot make tracks like the one he made (at least I haven’t tried to) so it is awesome to be able to hear someone else’s sound and connect to it and be able to get a feeling from it enough to write some lyrics down.

The song is very basic – minimalistic in terms of the lyrics – but I really wanted to pull back on the lyrics and let the track shine.  We’ve both gotten some good feedback on the track since posting it so that is nice.  It is always good to get that, but really….I just like it so much myself.  I think that is what matters for everything we do.  Is it something we enjoy, something we can stand by and be proud of?  We want people to like it – yes…. but, it has to come from a genuine place.  When you are doing something you don’t really feel yourself – people will sense it and that is a disservice to both yourself and them.  At least, that is what I think, merely an opinion.  Anyway, here is the link to the song.  If you like it, it would be great if you could leave a comment for RekOps to give him feedback on our collaboration effort.  His soundcloud link is http://www.soundcloud.com/RekOps.  He also has a link to his facebook on there and several other crazy tracks to listen to.  Hope you all have a great week!




Late at night I lie awake here

And think of all the things I’ve done

All my skin and bones will be laid bare

When my secrets cannot hide from the sun

All those times I lied to you,

They’ll never be undone

All the tears I’ll cry for you but

This web won’t be unspun

Oooh, it’s done   oooh it’s done

I wish I could go back in time…..

Oooh, it’s done…

Oooh, we’re done…

My New FaceBook Page….and preview of Featured Artist Friday

Helloooooo! The summer is almost here and I can feel it “coming in the air tonight.” I love the summer!!!! I love the sun, so when it starts to warm up, it feels just perfect for me. Anyway – to the announcement. I finally decided to get an artist/musician/band page on FaceBook. I didn’t really want to before because I don’t quite see myself as a “band” or a “musician”, really I am just a girl who likes to write songs and likes to share them. But, there have been some people who have wanted to contact me on Facebook and rather than give access to my personal account, I thought it would be a good idea to have a page. So, if you are on Facebook and would like to get updates on there on songs and posts, feel free to “like” my page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Monica-Dockery/376943485684998. I don’t really have much up on there yet as I just opened it today, but I’ll add stuff periodically, so stay tuned:)!

On another note, today I just finished sending the vocal track I did for another SoundClouder! He is a producer/beat-maker/rapper from Canada. I am so excited about it! There are not many lyrics – but the lyrics I did write, I think, fit the song’s vibe. I didn’t want too many words to take over the track – I think I did that on the last collab. I did, so I wanted to showcase the track a little more on this one. I am hoping he will have it up soon and I can share it! I am thinking this weekend for sure.

Whether it gets done this weekend or not, I will be posting again. I am going to be featuring another artist on here tomorrow. It is not a soundclouder this time, although a soundclouder is the one who put me onto her. She had an album out a while back, but has since kind of fallen of the map. How this happened? I have no idea because she is crazy talented. As soon as I saw the first YouTube video of her, I was in. Tune in tomorrow to check her out (I usually post later in the evening due to the fact that I am running around a little four-year-old all day)! Till then…

The SoundCloud Collaboration with Alfie J — yay!

So, today I woke up and checked my soundcloud account and found a lovely surprise from this guy…

This is Alfie J (Hilton) all the way from Bristol, UK. He was the soundclouder that I had been emailing back and forth about a collaboration that I wasn’t sure would go through. Well, he finally had the time to work on the production of the song and sent it to me! I am very happy with it. He did change it just a bit here and there, but I actually like it better this way and that is what collaborating is about – a give and take. I am so thankful that there is a way to work with people from all over the world and share ideas and music. So great! Anyway, here it is…the finished version of “No Place for the Poet” which has now become “They come and they go” because I made a mistake on posting the title, but I thought I’d leave the new title since it is a bit more enigmatic. Again, I’ll post it in two versions — regular (click on the red label below) and on the soundcloud player to ensure access to people who may or may not have compatible devices.

they come and they go…

Also, please stop by Alfie J’s SoundCloud page! He is a drummer/producer and his tracks are bananas!!!! (that’s a good thing, by the way). I particularly like the “Nasty Nine” …since I love dancing and it’s perfect for that. Also, leave a comment on his or my page or both for this collaborated effort so that we can both get feedback on what we did. It is much appreciated. I, too, am hoping to do another collaboration again…not sure with whom yet, but it is good exercise for trying new sounds and playing with different genres. Anyway, cheers to you all! Have a great Monday…as great as Mondays can be:).

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