February 2021

News from “The Sound”: Taking the music of the Lowcountry beyond our shores

Author: Greg Critchley | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Late 2020 and early 2021 have seen an endless and varied list of music projects flow through my recording studio, “The Sound.” 2020 ended on a high note with the manifestation of a brand new, non-profit philanthropic endeavor: the Hilton Head Island Music and Arts Coalition (HHMAC). HHMAC focuses on addressing the needs of children in our community via the local Boys & Girls Club, Backpack Buddies, and the Beaufort County PTA. In its burgeoning online fundraising event known as “We Are the Island,” I was tasked with finding a safe and socially distanced recording and production process in which more than 45 singers, one rapper, three 10-person choirs, nine drummers, 10 guitar players, one pianist, bass player, organist, trombonist, and accordion player, would all appear together performing one song, the apt and timely Burt Bacharach classic, “What the World Needs Now.”

This project required scheduling carefully planned, musically layered recording sessions, (simultaneously video recorded by Trevor at Harden Creative), at numerous COVID-safe locations, including the Coligny Theatre, The Big Bamboo, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and Veteran’s Park, as well as here at The Sound. The result is nothing short of epic and is the first of its kind in our area, bringing together a diverse cast of local musicians and entertainers under one united banner, representing our community’s vast wealth of talent. On December 22, 2020, the fully recorded/produced video was made available as a public, social media screening event via a donation-based ticket purchase. This video/song screening will be repeated until the fundraising goals are met and the help can be distributed. To donate or to purchase tickets to view the song and video, please go to donatehhi.com.

New songs and music for national and international television
In late 2020 and early 2021, I composed some new music for several shows on the Telepictures Network (Ellen, The Real, TMZ) and for Canada’s CTV Network. Based on my January performance statements, my original music now appears in over 30 countries worldwide, on TV shows such as Dr. Oz, Sister Wives, Teen Titans Go, The Bachelorette, Tiny House Nation, Trailer Park Boys, and many others too numerous to list.

Recent collaborations Julia Clark
Late 2020 saw the release of “Are We in a Dream,” the freshman solo album by Hilton Head Island’s singer/songwriter Julia Clark, featuring eight radio-ready songs that will be right at home on the top 40 charts. Clark’s project was quickly picked up worldwide by BMG records’ new label, “Black Gold Records.” BGR releases songs from an exclusive, handpicked list of artists, to music supervisors worldwide, for licensing opportunities in film and television. “Are We in a Dream” is also available on Spotify and iTunes. Work on Clark’s follow-up record has already begun. You can purchase or stream Clark’s songs on Spotify or Apple Music. Follow her on social media: TikTok juliaclarkmusic or Instagram juliaxclark.

Molly “OfGeography”
Chicago to Hilton Head singer/songwriter (and popular blogger) Molly “Of Geography” released two EPs in 2020, which I produced here at The Sound. As of January 15, 2021, her music has climbed exponentially to more than 350,000 streams worldwide. Both EPs also feature duets with local singers, Stee (Colvin) and Kyle Wareham. Visit online at ofgeography.com. Follow on all social media @ofgeography.

Kyle Wareham
My recent collaborations with good friend and local colleague, singer/songwriter/producer Kyle Wareham (Three-Legged Fox/Pretty Darn/Soundboy) has led to new contracts with Universal Records. Our efforts have already been rewarded with TV placements on Access Hollywood and Discovery Channel, as well as radio airplay in The Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden, and the UK. Meanwhile, Wareham’s Philly based band, Three Legged Fox, continues to stream internationally, gathering more than 15 million streams!

Stream Three Legged Fox (3LF) on Spotify or on the website threeleggedfoxlive. Follow on Instagram @threeleggedfox.

Stee
Bluffton singer/songwriter Stee’s single, “Teach Me How to Love You,” has rapidly climbed to more than 100,000 streams worldwide. Stream on Spotify. Follow on Instagram and Facebook @steemusic.

Malcolm Horne
Malcolm Horne has built upon an already expansive music production and musician résumé to include major success on the “Twitch” gaming platform, where he now hosts over 5,000 faithful followers from around the world. Horne’s fans tune in daily to watch him create new original music on the fly, live from his Okatie studio. The tracks go on to become royalty-free albums for Twitch members to use to avoid “strikes” by DMCA (a music licensing body). Horne is also an esteemed player on Minecraft and has had upwards of 70,000 watchers on TikTok. Check him out on TikTok and Twitch @Musicman1017.

Brad Swanson
Singer/songwriter/producer (and fellow LA-to-Hilton Head transplant) Brad Swanson just produced and co-wrote a song featuring members of The Lollies called “Don’t Poison the Well,” which is featured in The Hardy Boys series on Hulu. Check out Swanson at swansoundmusic.com or on Facebook @swansound.

Greg Critchley is a Canadian transplant, by way of Los Angeles, where he lived and worked for almost 20 years. A songwriter, composer, music producer, and musician, Critchley now works out of The Sound, LLC, his recording studio on Hilton Head Island, SC. For more about Critchley and his storied music career, or to contact The Sound about recording, go to www.gregcritchley.com or @gcritchleymusic on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook.

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Campfiya: Songwriter from the North Lifting Up the South
By Jay Von

Not trying to take over, an almost unassuming man-boy has just released a single, and you need to hear it. When Campfire Tyler inquired about producing his new song “Nostalgia,” I knew something interestin’ was about to take place.

“Nostalgia” is out now on all platforms for you to listen to and share or just play for a friend on your phone. It’s a chill piece—a true “vibe.” A feeling is achieved through song. Tyler switches between deadpan and clownin’ while maintaining a serious tone throughout the song; blobs of bass cushion his words. A sad saxophone player honks on the Pizza Hut speaker system: No pepperoni please. “There’s still places that I go to when my life’s a living hell.”

Quit reading this and listen to the song. Follow Tyler and his music on Facebook.

Shameless Plug
By Devon Nightly

Jevon Daly has released two songs, recently produced in his mega-million-dollar studio. “Road Rage” is a screaming punk rock anthem about moms and dads screaming at other cars on the road. The guitars are ripping my ears off. There’s a lot of noise and humming sounds while the lyrics teach us how to avoid making eye contact with our maniacal parents as they beat the steering wheel and scream obscenities at other drivers. So wholesome! The song shows us another side of Jevon (I heard he grew up listening to skate rock and nirvana).
“Put You Down” is a cover of song by Alice in Chains, a band that became popular in the early ’90s, coming out of Seattle, featuring singer Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. Their album Facelift became an instant classic, and Jevon has attempted giving this song a different look.

Both “Road Rage” and “Put You Down” feature big rock guitars and bangin’ drums, so bang yer head and go listen!

Coast Boy King Continues to Impress
By John Cranford

I had the opportunity to work with Q Smalls a few years back on his 2019 release Gullah Life, and the dude has some serious hustle. Not only is he organized in the studio, he’s motivated every day to promote himself and his brand to the Lowcountry and beyond. As a producer or fellow musician, this is something that drives me to work harder on a project and pushes me to continue to work with that musician.

Smalls just released his second full-length solo album, Coast Boy King, in October via all streaming platforms. It’s an ambitious amount of work coming in at 14 total songs and three additional “skit” tracks.

These new tunes are an introspective look at who this guy is as a young Gullah man in the greater Lowcountry region—not just as a performer, but as a father, a friend, a businessman and an everyday nine-to-five working American. Check it out on iTunes, Spotify, and all digital outlets now. 

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