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Square Bear's Top 75 Project 

Around this time of year, a lot of people tend to make new year's resolutions and I'm no exception. However, whereas most peoples' resolutions are to lose weight or to give up smoking, mine is a little different. This year I have resolved to get a track released into the top 75 UK singles chart by the end of the year. A little ambitious maybe, but I feel my music is now comparable to a lot of chart tracks and as I already have a club release under my belt I feel that I have a pretty good chance.

This page will record my achievements and thoughts this year as I aim for my goal. It may end up horribly wrong and I may give up early in the year or I might suprise everyone (including myself) and actually make it into the charts! Hopefully, if it works out I might go higher than 75 and end up in the top 40 or even the top 20 but I'm going to try and be sensible and aim for a reasonable target. Likewise, if I crash and burn, at least I can say I gave it my best shot.

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May 1st - Another new month and a third of the year has gone without a great deal of success. This month I intend to finish my demo CD and send it off to the labels I found earlier in the year.

Kelly and Sam from Sheffield, who you may remember from earlier in the year volunteered to give my CD out to club DJs in Sheffield, wrote to me to say that the DJs seemed to like the tracks and one, who they didn't name, is now playing out Run Away to an appreciative dance floor. So I firmly believe I have what it takes, I just need to persuade a larger label.

May 2nd - Prepared a few demo CDs for Friday. I've included Run Away, Falling Into You, Arctic Dawn, Crazy In Love, In Da Club and You Can Dance. I figured that if I include my "unofficial" remixes, DJs are more likely to play the CD, as people will know the original songs and I'm hoping that they will play some of my other tracks seeing as the CD will still be in the player. As usual, I've included my contact details on the CD just in case.

May 3rd - It's a bank holiday here in the UK which means I get an extra long weekend. I spent it wisely by hanging around with friends and having a drink or two.

May 4th - Received a tip-off that the Black Eyed Peas are to release a new single shortly and dance remixes are required. I've registered my interest and should hopefully be getting an acapella to work from.

May 5th - I received another email from someone willing to hand out my demo CDs to DJs. This time Dan of Leicester has offered his services. That's Sheffield, Bournemouth and now Leicester. Thanks to everyone for this and I'll be sure to give you all back stage tickets when I'm on Top Of The Pops!

May 6th - Was sent an email from someone claiming to be from Statue Records (Los Angeles). It read as follows:

"...Regarding the materials on your web site. We would be interested in licensing, manufacturing and distributing this material. In this regard we would manufacture records, engage in radio promotion and supply product to retail accounts in those areas where we get radio airplay. We would also be interested in the possibility of recording new material.

If your record is available for licensing and distribution please contact me at your earliest opportunity at..."

However, upon investigation it appears that this has been sent to everyone on a music website that I'm a member of. This, and the fact that it was sent from an AOL account rather than a proper domain, put me off their "generous" offer.

The Black Eyed Peas
- A Square Bear remix on the cards? I hope so!

May 7th - My night out to Selby had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances so I didn't have chance to hand out my demos. However, it's not all bad news as I found out some more details about the Black Eyed Peas remix. The song is called Weekend and I believe it has already been released in the US some time ago. It appears that the band are planning on releasing it here after their new found success in the UK.

May 8th - YIKES!! A representative of the Black Eyed Peas sent me an email containing a link to the acapella of Weekend. For those people who read this and are not musically minded, an acapella is the song's vocal with no music playing in the background. It makes it easier to work with as the remixer can add his own music to the track.

They heard some of my music after I emailed them and have included me on their list as a potential remixer for the track. The only trouble is that they need the remix completing by Friday. After Friday, they'll listen to all the submitted mixes and decided which one(s) they will use. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

May 9th - Started work on the Black Eyed Peas remix. I didn't know whether to gamble and do an "um-donk" style remix or play it safe and stick to my usual style. I might try to make two remixes if I get chance and ask my friends which one they would choose.

May 10th - Just about finished the "um-donk" mix. This style is so easy to make as all it consists of is a thumping beat and a donk-donk bassline. I tested a preview out on my friend and he genuinely seemed to like it. I'm not sure that the BEP will though.

May 11th - Finished the "um-donk" mix and started work on the dance/trance mix. Now I have the basics down, it should hopefully come fairly quickly and still sound ok. I have until Friday to get it sounding right, so I'd better get on with it. Oh, if you want to hear a preview of my "um-donk" attempt, click here. My friend seemed to like it but I don't really think it's what the BEP will be looking for.

May 12th - Worked on the proper version of the remix. The reason I'm on the potential remix list is because of the music they've heard from me, so I should make the remix in the same style.

May 13th - Continued with the remix. I think it's coming on well but I need to create a good trance melody to play over the track. There's a lot of rapping in the song, so I'll need something melodic in the background to enhance it and make it more listenable.

May 14th - Finished the proper remix and mailed it off to them. I won't put a link to a preview of it just yet though in case they don't want me to but I might ask a DJ friend of mine to have a listen and see if he will try it out tomorrow. I hope they like it!

May 15th - My mate played the trance remix out fairly early on in the night and said that a few people were dancing to it. Trouble is, if no-one knows the song yet, they're not likely to get up and dance especially if he played it early and they hadn't had a few drinks inside them :)

May 16th - Had a good buzz tonight. One of the DJs who I gave a CD to play out, played 7 of my tracks all after each other and the people in the pub were jumping about and loving them. He didn't realise I was there and it was a great suprise for me to hear them. I saw him later in the evening to thank him and he said that he regularly played them out and his audience always appreciated them, which was a great confidence boost for me.

May 17th - Well hopefully, the Black Eyed Peas will be listening to my remix about now. If I don't hear anymore from them, I'll upload it here. I'll probably put a preview up in any case.

May 18th - I put a link to my donk remix of Weekend on a few internet message boards and have been pleasantly suprised by the reaction it got as everyone seems to like it. I admitted that I made the percussion a little loud but apart from that, it looks like it's going down really well. I hope I haven't made the wrong decision by sending the trance remix in instead of polishing this one up. I guess I'll soon know.

May 19th - Hmm.. Whilst checking my internet logs, I saw that a site called mp3raid.com had visited here, downloaded a couple of my tracks and were offering them for free download over at their site. Part of me is flattered that they like my music enough to do this but part of me is angry that they didn't ask first. I would have said yes anyway, but they should have asked me.

I've noticed a few entries to this site in the log where there has been one access direct to my Beyonce mix without visiting any other part of the site. So it's obvious that someone's put a link to the track and people are cutting and pasting it into their browsers to grab it. I don't mind people downloading my music, that's what I'm here for but I do mind people leeching my bandwidth without at least visiting.

May 20th - Got all excited today. A fellow artist, Venomous MC, sent me a CD with 6 of his tracks on it but when I played it, only silence came out of the speakers. I investigated the CD on my PC and found that each of the tracks were 1kb long so it hadn't burned correctly. Lesson to learn - Always try your demo CDs out before sending them off. If that had been sent to a label, it would have been thrown straight in the bin.

May 21st - Davian contacted me to say that he had finished working on a remix of How Many Times. This is the fourth track he's remixed for me and once again, he's worked wonders with my original. This time he's given the remix a kind of Tomcraft feel to it with a breakbeat and heavy bassline. It will be on the music pages very shortly and I'm extremely pleased with it.

The proper CD came today from Venomous MC after I mailed him. It was worth the wait as he's got some cracking material on it. Good stuff Ven!

May 22nd - Hard house night again. I passed one of my CDs to the resident DJ and he said that he had heard of me and had already bought a copy of Jupiter Rose. Good lad! He said he had paid 70 for one rare vinyl recently. Mine's on sale for around 8 at the moment but 70 a go would be very nice thank you.

May 23rd - It was a beautiful sunny day here in England today, so I spent it with friends drinking cold beer in the sun. I noticed a Dutch site offering my mp3s to download. Again, I'm flattered but it would have been nice for them to ask first.

May 24th - I found this page on the net: http://www.davesfunstuff.com/31fav2003.htm I don't know who he is but if you check out his top 104(?) for 2003 and go down to number 65 he's ranked Alone In The Crowd on his list. It's among some pretty big names in the dance world like Lasgo, ATB and Oceanlab and he's classed it above Paul Van Dyk and Mauro Picotto. It was a good ego boost to read that.

May 25th - Did my good deed for the day. I was reading our local newspaper and I saw that a country music artist from my home town had been signed to a label in the USA. Well done, I thought. It was good to read about someone else's success, especially as he was a local man. My heart sank however, when I saw he had been signed to Statue Records. A quick search on the net soon reveals this label to be one of the biggest con artists around. I thought it only fair to warn him before he fell in too deep with them and I managed to pass on a couple of industry contacts that he may be interested in while I was at it.

May 26th - Not heard anything from the Black Eyed Peas yet. It's been nearly a week and I was hoping to have heard something by now. Ah well, I won't give up just yet.

May 27th - A DJ friend of mine has a birthday tomorrow, so for a laugh I've made a dance remix of Happy Birthday to You to give to him. There's a method in my madness however, as I've also included a few of my tracks. Hopefully, if he plays the Happy Birthday mix, he might play some of the others.

May 28th - After seeing Alone In The Crowd appear as number 65 on a top tunes list for 2003 among such names as ATB, Lasgo, Paul van Dyk and DJ Sammy, I figure this is probably the tune that has the best chance of making it into the charts. I'm going to rework it a little to bring it more up to date and ask Cami to record her vocals again in the studio. If you remember, I submitted this to Whigfield earlier in the year. I guess that she wasn't interested as I didn't hear any more about it.

May 29th - Had a session reworking Alone In The Crowd. I've got a few new instruments that I feel will work well with the track and I'm thinking of adding a 303 acid type of sequence to it as well. Still no word from the Black Eyed Peas. I guess that's another set-back. Ah well.

May 30th - Went to a christening today and got a little bit drunk. So I ended up going home instead of going out to watch a DJ as I had originally planned. Still, it was a good day and the DJ's on again next month, so I can always go see him then (as long as I don't get drunk again)!

May 31st - Bank Holiday Monday, which means no work for me. YAY! Whoever thought of these deserves a pat on the back. It's just a shame that there's only 8 of them a year. Spent most of the day topping my alcohol level up from the previous day!

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