Layering influences from reggae, hip-hop, rock, and R& B to create her unique sound, Rihanna is one of the world’s most recognized and successful pop stars. Dubbed the “Digital Download Queen,” she is the best-selling digital artist of all-time and was the first artist to ever sell more than 100 million digital singles. Her megahit “Umbrella” contributed to that total and it launched her to stardom.
“Umbrella” was recorded in a professional studio with state of the art equipment under the expert supervision of music producers and sound engineers.
Despite all that, the song’s beat and distinctive drum intro came from a source we all have access to, Apple’s GarageBand.
Launched in 2004, this music-software program has democratized the making and recording of music. It allows users to create tracks with premade loops, an array of various instrumental effects, and voice recordings.
Artists at all stages of their careers have embraced this new manner of working and summer campers at Music Lessons Express are getting in on the fun.
The organization offers an array of different summer opportunities and their recording camp has become a favorite. Children receive five full days of instruction on several instruments and learn how to use GarageBand software to record their own album. Though the program is new to her, 9-year-old Aubrey Recks has experimented with recording before without much success.
“I had a little toy that you could press a button and you could record yourself singing but it didn’t come out very good. This is a lot better than that. There’s so much different types of music and people get to mix things together and make something unique. It makes me feel like I’m free to be me.” Marcelo Medina, 9, had similar sentiments and shared, “I’m inspired by jazz sometimes but mostly by hip-hop and retro. Recording this way lets me express myself.”
Using a delicious analogy, 10-year-old Connor Ferguson, explained the process. “It’s like a vibrant cake. Some layers are vanilla and others are chocolate. Sometimes the sound we record will be the background, sometimes it will be our voices, and we just layer them on top on one another until we get the sound that we want.”
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