Review Fox chats with Square Halo’s Treyvonce Ambers-Moore, who details the band’s origin and the creative process behind their new album, “The Lyme Years.”
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Treyvonce Ambers-Moore: Being a music producer; I’ve been uploading my instrumental productions onto YouTube since I was 13 years. Fast forward, 7 years later (2015), I get an email from an artist who happens to be Demetrios out in London. He said something along the lines of “I really like your instrumental named…” From there, Demetrios introduced me to his long time composer-collaborator-friend Omar. This then formed an progressive song production team of singer-songwriter, composer and composer-arranger-producer.
Review Fix: How does the band create music? What’s the process like?
Ambers-Moore: Skype! I mean it may sound funny to say but Skype and video chat applications are what keep our collaborating team soaring with communication since we’re all so far from each other. The song process usually goes something like… Demetrios sends me his vocal song idea that he’s fully written out. Demetrios then explains the emotion to me; going into slight brainstorm mode about possible adjustments to structure and the feel of the song. Demetrios will then email Omar (who’s far in Japan) the song. Omar finds chords (if he hasn’t already) that fit in great harmony along with Demetrios’s a cappella vocal structure. Once the chords are solidified, we then move onto production mode. Demetrios and I then utilize Omar’s chords operating a DAW (digital audio workstation). All through Skype video chat we experiment with different sound textures, rhythm and work our way through the creativities of the song from top to bottom. We will then think… “Well does this song need a featured artist?”. If yes, we contact the artist and move onto the recording process. Set up a recording session if the artist is near me. Finally, we then think about different version variations as well as possible live instrument additions. Believe it or not, we’ve met some extremely talented musicians via Fiverr.com. This is basically how we create music and of course, there are many different revisions that go along with the process.
Review Fix: How was the album written? Any cool moments?
Ambers-Moore: Demetrios had lyrically written and recorded his vocals for the majority of the album drawing on his touching and amazing survival story of his fight against Lyme disease. Though I wasn’t around to fully analyze the birth of each song’s lyrics, I can say that each song’s lyrical side seems to reflect the many problems that Demetrios has experienced but yet ameliorated in his life. Each song has some answer to an adversity he had been challenged with. That’s really inspiring to me. Well anyway, I did however get to collaboratively change many lyrical sections of each song (especially in the remix versions). One cool moment is when we had officially finished the song “I Come Alive ft. Davonce” BUT Demetrios palpably felt that something was missing. He added many really cool vocal additions that truly brought the song much more life. That’s when I got to really experience and see the mind of Demetrios’s lyrical writing process.
Review Fix: How have your previous albums gotten you to this point?
Ambers-Moore: Though this is our first album as a trio team, we’ve all had some individual experiences of album creating. I can’t speak so much for them but my personal album experiences have all been with my college colleagues at McNally Smith College of Music who all seemed to have very versatile styles. So I’d say my interest of musical versatility from my previous college albums played a large motivational part in experimenting within this album’s many genre-switch-ups.
Review Fix: What makes music from Minnesota, Japan and London special?
Ambers-Moore: The many different cultural and musical experiences from the different regions of the world is what I would say make our music special and unique. I mean, of course we all have our own opposite individual musical experiences as well, but it’s what really helps our openness to genre-fusions. Example: you may hear Hip Hop inspirations all the way to gospel to pop all within one song!
Review Fix: How does it all come together?
Ambers-Moore: Omar’s the music composer and sometimes the demo production creator. Demetrios is the lyrical/melody writer and overarching producer. I (TreyV) am the beat maker and executive music composer-arranger-producer who translates the many different visions we all see into hearing them.
Review Fix: Why does R & B still matter?
Ambers-Moore: R&B has never stopped mattering. It’s just been less in the spotlight in terms of Billboard top ten hits. But in general, I’d say it still is important because… Well, its called “Rhythm and Blues”; the name itself is already a soulful characterization of music. So we’ve aimed to incorporate the soulful components of R&B into this album.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Ambers-Moore: The next step is to aim at the sky!
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Ambers-Moore: Last, I’d like to say that I’ve genuinely learned a great deal from the production of this album; from understanding the music making team process, to encompassing patience and proficiently learning how to become a more defined music producer as well as a more seasoned audio engineer. I am thankful for this collaboration team. I hope you all very much enjoy and relate to our emotions within this album.