A Match Made in Quarantunes
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
During these past few months in quarantine, we have seen countless artists drop new albums, from Dua Lipa to Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift and many others. Additionally, two of our very own Quarantunes teachers have started collaborating on a new song as well!
Piano teachers Tyler Liu and Akira Nair met after Akira joined Quarantunes and was interviewed by Tyler, who is the Piano Head Teacher. During Akira’s initial interview, Tyler noticed that “we were pretty common with our setup- his room is pretty musical.” Additionally, after realizing that they both not only enjoyed songwriting and music production, but also used LogicPro- an app for producing music that is used only among songwriters- the idea of a collaboration was imminent.
Although the entire process was- and still is- done virtually, Akira says, “having the same application made collaborating virtually incredibly easy, thanks to a website called Splice. It is sort of like a “Google Drive” for music projects. After getting him set up with his Splice account, I created a simple project on my computer and shared it with him.”
At the moment, the song has yet to have a title(the current title is “Demo Project”) or lyrics, but the rhythms and melodies have already begun to take form. Akira states that “music, in most cases, is composed of three components: rhythm, melody, and harmony. When writing our song, we tried to make sure each of these three components were present and consistent with one another. While we haven’t gotten to the lyrics yet, our track’s instruments are slowly being stitched together.”
Still in progress, working out the elements of the song involves sending ideas back-and-forth, a process simplified with Splice. So far, there is a steady beat with occasional effects added here-and-there; the song is upbeat and the presence of hip-hop is clear.
Akira Nair will be attending Brown University in the fall. Akira says that "while making music, you also learn a lot about yourself on the way, and in that respect, composing music is something that is very important in my life."
Even before this collaboration, Tyler and Akira were already writing songs, but they had different musical tastes. While Akira has a preference for hip-hop and EDM, Tyler is more drawn to the alternative and indie genres.
The difference in music preferences has allowed both to contribute something different to the song. Tyler brings in alternative sounds while Akira picks up the hip-hop beats.
Both agree that the experience of collaborating with artists and exposure to others’ musical inclinations allows them to broaden their own musical perspectives. As Tyler says, “ I’ve been really inspired by sounds other people have shown and composed and I try to incorporate that with stuff I write as well.”
Tyler Liu will be attending UC Berkeley as a freshman this fall. Tyler has also reached out to other Quarantunes teachers with the prospect of a collaboration.
Besides working on Demo Project, both songwriters are working on their own projects as well. Having already released an EP titled Snip, Tyler is planning to release an album titled Further with twelve new tracks soon. Meanwhile, Akira, who has released his prior compositions on a Youtube Channel, has new music in works with a band from Bhutan.
To both Tyler and Akira, songwriting is a meaningful aspect of their lives and a creative outlet. Akira refers to music as “an incredibly powerful way of conveying a message that can be universally understood.” Tyler echoes a similar sentiment on the basis that music is a powerful tool that allows one to express oneself, but he also believes in the sensitivity of music, as it can “mean one thing to me, but other people can take a bunch of other things away from it that I could have never thought of; it can be very personal. The audience interprets it the way they want to, [and that is] the beauty and freedom with music.”
The opportunity of working together brings out the best of each songwriter and provides a chance to deepen their understanding and appreciation for music. According to Akira, “every time I’ve collaborated with another musician, I’ve learned something new, and having these inspirational musical moments has honed my craft in exceptional ways.”