The project began by adding the support of her extremely talented band. I captured the live sounds from her drummer, percussionist, guitarist, bassist, trumpet player, and keyboardist. We mixed in and/or replaced the samples with these live elements and the difference was huge. Maria re-sang a few things and added additional harmonies that helped highlight certain tracks. I worked tirelessly on drum, conga, and bass loops that added a solid, yet acoustic, rhythmic foundation. I then re-edited her vocals to bring out her voice in the mix and tighten her overall sound.
Adding guitar, keys, and trumpet really helped the album gain more melodic presence and kept the songs moving in a good direction. Every member of this group has a ton of musicality and in our sessions we captured lots of ideas. A lot of time was spent sifting through, editing, comping, and creating musical phrases out of the mass of takes from our days of tracking. Needless to say, it was a fun and challenging project.
Maria Isa is currently playing out in support of “Street Politics.” It’s gained a lot of positive press and local airplay. Maria and her band have been covered in City Pages, Metro, Vita.mn, Pioneer Press, TC Daily Planet, Star Tribune, and many others. Maria has also appeared on air with B96, The Current, KFAI, and Radio K to name a few.
Maria had very kind words to share with David Campbell, host of the local show on 89.3 The Current. Check out what Maria has to say about producer Stephen Helvig & Droptone below:
Listen to “Street Politics” Like what you’re headphones are saying? Buy it on iTunes.