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Elvis Is IN The Building! - Part 2 - The Boxtones Monthly Blog

Elvis is IN the building – Part 2

In part 1 of ‘Elvis is IN the Building’ we talked about shopping around for a record studio, working with the best producer in Dubai and our personal experiences at Soundstruck Studios. Prepare yourself for some exciting stories in this blog..

Now as Will mentioned we had some additional help. We really have a lot of people to thank for collaborating with us on this album. It was a labour of love and in that spirit we worked hard to draw in some of the amazing talent on hand here in Dubai.

We invited the kids of Diverse Choreography in to really lift our vocal chorus chants on a few tracks and for the price of a few pizzas and cookies it was well worth it. What a talented bunch they are! From teens to little ones they sang their socks off and sounded great. We’re pretty sure we will be seeing these guys in the studio again soon off of their own backs so watch this space.

Additionally we had an injection of cool from Mr. Adam Baluch. If you don’t know who he is then you cant even call yourself a Dubaian (if that’s what we’re called). This guy is pretty damn cool and has recently been touring with the infamous Wailers…yes that’s right Mr. Marley’s very own band. Adam’s trademark dreads and knack for playing (roughly) 100 instruments at once whilst singing along and swinging those locks, make him a force to be reckoned with and we bagged his awesome trumpet skills to feature on our album into the bargain.

Whilst we were inviting local artists to the party we called up an awesome string ensemble.  

With the very talented Haruka Horii on violin, Elena Thedvall playing the viola and Aaron Kim on the cello, our songs had that unique element only a string section can add and it really lifted the songs up and out of themselves. It is something that every artist knows just breathes life in to a piece of music and this was the case when these guys walked in to the studio. Our chins hit our chests and we were all beaming at each other behind the glass of the control room. Things really felt like they were shaping up at this point!

Now one of our tracks had proved challenging. It’s a song about Dubai, a song I had real trouble with when penning the lyrics and a song that we felt was a bit of a departure from our usual style, but one which we really wanted to include in the album despite it’s wildcard nature. We worked and worked on it and really came to like it and finally settled on some lyrics.

I found it difficult trying to portray the song’s message in so few lyrics, but this song is equally about the vibe it carries as it is about the message, so the music needed room to breathe. In the end we decided we had given it too much room to breathe and the idea of featuring a rapper was tossed around.

We decided to get in touch with the best in Dubai and luckily for us Two Tone accepted and after being forwarded the tune in it’s most basic form he whipped back a meaty little rhyme in a matter of days that blew us away. We are so excited to have such an influential and talented artist feature on our album. His part has completely changed the song for the better and we are so excited for you guys to hear it!

Lastly, and since most of our album has centered around the concept of ‘Home’, we thought what better way to depict that musically (for the Scottish contingent of the band) than to make a nostalgic shaped space for none other than the Bagpipes!

We hunted hard to find the Scottish needle in the Dubai haystack that was Graham McKay but we are so glad we did. It may be an unusual instrument and one not often featured in chart music but it is unmistakable and strong and reminiscent of ‘Home’ and Graham nailed it! Elvis was whooping and clapping on our side of the studio window whilst Graham was belting out the deafening sounds through his chanter. 

Sourcing some of Dubai’s best musical talent was a great call and the album is fuller, more colourful and definitely more rounded as a result, so thank you guys. Thanks for being an amazing part of the process and the result.

Now all we need is to unleash it and see if you all feel the same!

The Boxtones

Peace Out till next time!