It’s probably been more than a year since you’ve heard any updates on my music. After “Broke” was released, we used our savings and travelled the world! We visited 7 countries (Iceland, Italy, Kenya, Egypt, Thailand and my beloved homeland, Malaysia). It was a trip we will never forget. In the meantime, we’re saving up, dreaming, and begging God we get to travel again!
Winter of 2018 came, and I released “All I Need”, the third and last single I recorded in Nashville with Kyle Cummings, Ben Shive & Nate Dugger. It was a tough one to release because of the vulnerability it took to share that song but I’m so glad I did, if I can’t be honest in my music why bother right?
We returned to America jobless and ‘homeless’. With enough savings still saved up, we gathered all our belongings and moved to an 850 sq. ft home in Nashville! It was the culmination of two years of conversations, lots of back and forth, and weighing out what was most important to us. In the end, we chose Nashville for us, our dreams, our girls, and have spent the last 9 months trying our best to sow seeds and deepen our roots here.
I currently work at a local church here called Fellowship Nashville, the people are kind and warm and I absolutely love the people I work with. On Monday nights, I get to lead worship at Church Of The City in Franklin. When the babies are asleep, I write songs. I’ve written close to 100 songs this year alone and plan to write that much each year for the rest of my life.
Speaking of babies, I can’t leave this one tiny detail out. Liv Haven Mukri was born October 26! She’s currently spoiled and loves nothing more than to be held and swaddled. (We don’t mind at all).
Couple months ago, I came across an Instagram post about Spotify’s Secret Genius Studios here in Nashville. As a way to give back to the artist community, they’ve opened a studio that anyone can come and create music. I signed up blindly and got accepted for a session several months later! I went in with a song I wrote couple days before, not really knowing what would happen with it but here I am, writing to tell you about a new single I’ve released.
It’s a Christmas tune, that I’m releasing 4 days before Christmas. Terrible marketing plan, I know. I wanted to release it anyway because the story of how it came to be is one that I have been so surprised by.
After texting several folks to come join me in the session, my friend Blessing Offor said he could. We left that day having only keys and vocals recorded. I was pretty happy with how it turned out but thought guitars would give it that extra boost. With no budget for a release, I mean zero, I texted anyone I knew that played guitar and my friend Craig text back immediately with a yes! In a town like Nashville, talent is not hard to find but I know to respect other’s time and skill. Craig texted back couple days later, saying he has a friend with a studio that will let us track guitars for free. I knew then we were on to something. Guitars, done.
Over the next few days, I braved through my insecurity and programmed drums, comped all the 30 plus tracks of keys, vocals and guitar we recorded. I thought I was done.
My neighbor/one of the best bartenders in town/bass player of a rock band, Marcus and I were chatting one day, and he offered to record any bass tracks I would need if I had any. Well, you better believe I sent him the track. Couple days later, I got a text of an audio file with a text that said, “Stayed up late and recorded this”.
At this point, I was charged and ready for the world to hear this little song that could. After mixing it for several days myself, I gave up and decided not to release it. I couldn’t bear the thought that something imperfect would be released on the internet, forever.
That’s when one of my best friends Phil decided to give me a call just to say hello. Phil and I haven’t seen each other in over 3 years but after we hung up the phone that night. He texted me this, “Yo man, I wanna cover the cost for your mix for a Christmas present!”
I stopped whatever I was doing at the time and just wept at our dinner table.
We sent the song out to a friend of Phil’s for a mix and what you are hearing is the final product. It’s a labor of love, a combination of so many people that don’t even know each other, contributing their time and effort to release one little Christmas song.
So, I may not generate a lot of streams or views before people are sick of Christmas music, but I honestly don’t care. (Christmas happens every year!) I’m so proud of this project and I’m so proud of what it’s made of.