48 hours in the studio with: Jim Kroft

Hey guys!

So, as a lot of you know, I was in the studio with the very fantastic Jim Kroft.
He invited me over for his 48hours studio marathon which was part of the Boat For Sara fundraiser.

In case you are not completely familiar with it, please click here to get the necessary background knowledge about it.

Jim Kroft raised more than 19,000€ for an organisation called Proem Aid. The money will be used to buy a boat which will save refugees from drowning in the sea.
He raised the money not by asking people to just give, but by writing and recording an album which people would receive.

In today's post you'll be able to find out more from Jim's point of view and I'm very excited for you to do that.

I gave Jim a few topics I wanted him to chat about. Below you can find out what he had to say about the idea for this album, the most memorable moments, the challenges and a lot more.

- how the idea of recording the album within 48 hours came up -

The idea for the 48hr album came to me when I was on Lesvos. I'd been very moved by my experiences there, and wanted to raise money for one of the wonderful independent rescue teams there, called Proem Aid.
However, I didn't want to spend money raised on musician fees and studio time. Rather I asked the studio and players to donate their time, as their own contribution.
My friends at Blackbird Studios very kindly donated two days. It is such a special studio and I am forever grateful to them.
However, of course, it is a professional studio and two days was all that is possible.
So that meant I had to just got for it and record the whole thing in two days. What an adventure! There were also three songs done simultaneously in London's Urchin Studios.

- differences between the usual album recording session, compared to this one -

Well, this album was all about getting rid of safety nets. Usually there is a lot of reflection and thought and consideration in the recording process. With this is was the opposite. It was about trusting spontaneity, trusting the talent of the musicians, trusting my own ability to deliver under pressure. And of course that is reflected in the music. There are imperfections, there is a rawness. It doesn't sound like other modern albums. But damn, you feel it's alive.
You hear the intensity of the players, the chat before the songs, the dynamics of the band.
It was very refreshing to get over this notion of over perfection. It wasn't about just the album, it was about a bigger cause. But on the other hand I am proud as a musician, and I want to do everything to the best of my ability. So that was the challenge - to trust the spontaneity - but not to lose standards. 

- the most memorable moment of the session -

I think for me it was recording the last song in an hour at 5am on the Sunday night. I had to leave at 6 to get home at 7 because I had to be up at 9 for an interview with Sky News. But I knew that we needed one more song.
 The special thing was that everyone involved came with me on the marathon. There was never a "sorry man, I need to leave" or whatever. Everyone stayed together. And it was really in that moment, at the end of the 48hrs with a couple of hours sleep, that I just felt so grateful for these people, and for the potential that is latent in the world. People do things sometimes for reasons beyong themselves. Sometimes our modern cynical minds seem to lose sight of that potential, that power, that purity, that possibility.

- the most challenging song -

The most challenging song was probably "Sara".
 It has some funny lengths of bars and big dynamics. But the funny thing was that when we actually recorded it, we just "got on one". We just hit this really pure form and it kind of ended up recording itself. To be honest, I have no idea how that happened.
We had only the one day of rehearsal on the Friday for crying out loud!
For me it remains a blur and a little miracle. But it was an education. I realized through the session that sometimes we have to put ourselves on the line, really to go to the edge, to find that space in between the limit of your own potential and what is "God" or the nature, or the highest in us (however you want to call it).
It is really important to challenge our comfort zones. Not all the time though. I like to be a lazy bastard too - that's how you build the energy for greater challenges. #hefeweizenishealthy!

- the song you feel connected to the most -

Hard to say, because all of them have a resonance for me.
I feel really, really proud of this set of songs.
I love how purely "Sara" conveys my emotions of being on that beach and I am proud of how it came out.
I think "God Knows Where" 'sits in the room' with some of the best songs out there. I like the societal ramble of "Despite What anyone Says", the Rock'n'Roll in "House Of Many Colours".
 I like the fact that "Borrow It" was recorded in a shack in Bulgaria and that most of the songs were written in a van.
So yes, I feel proud of it. And I think it's important as an artist to feel proud when you make soemthing. And then to move on and go forward.

- the crew you teamed up with -

There are too many people to mention here - they know who they are, they are on the album and I've written about them on Facebook.
What is more important for me is just to say thank you again to each and everyone. Ultimately this album is an expression of a synergy of energy, love and creativity. I'm blessed for the people I know.

Please check out Jim Kroft's most recent music video for "Shadowlands".

If the video below isn't available for you, head over to vimeo to watch it.

Just a couple of months ago, I sat in the vocal booth whilst Jim recorded this song.
Watching the video below and listening to the final version of the song, is probably one of the most special moments I've had when it comes to music so far.

Jim Kroft online: Website | Twitter | Faceook | YouTube | Instagram

As always, a big thank you to Jim for the inspiration, belief and advice.
And for taking over HITS today. We shall have a #Hefeweizen soon!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Intro & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | Text bits: Jim Kroft for house in the sand


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