Get Familiar: Customary
Name: Customary, Alex Post
Hometown: Currently, Boise Idaho.
Label / Group Affiliations: Customary Music, LLC; which includes the following duos i am a part of: Brass Knuckle Bullies, Ace and Pearl, Contrast, Pony Cop
Discography: Customary – Take Me Away, Customary – Bleu Bird Instrumentals, Brass Knuckle Bullies – BKB, Ace and Pearl – Serendipity, Contrast – Take One, Pony Cop – Invasion
How did you get started making music?
Between 8th and 9th grade, I would continually get melodies in my head, and would beat box to them. I wanted a way to get them out of my head, so my parents got me a tape recorder and a few tapes. I would beat box my ideas into that, and would never let anyone hear it! A couple years down the road, I was introduced to my first software, Acid DJ, which was a $10 clearance item at Guitar Center. I started making beats using that, which I now call my “atari beats”. They were very choppy and simple. Throughout the next few years I kept getting introduced to more and more gear and figured out some worthy investments, which I am still building today.
If you could do something over again in your life, what would it be? Why?
I would not have been so self conscious, shy, insecure about my music. Because of that, I put it off to the side a little bit throughout high school, and made my focus basketball. The area I lived in was all about sports, and did not appreciate music, or the arts, other than what was mainstream and popular. It took me a while to become comfortable with my desire to do hip hop, which held me back from getting connected with other hip hop artists and musicians. It also took me longer to get any advice or direction for my passions, because nobody knew what I did. So now I am 25 years old, and I am finally putting out projects that are decent to listen to.
Do you think if you had been more open with your music early that you’d be at a different level now?
It is hard to tell. Most musicians who get started at age 18 or so have a lot of help to get them sounding professional, and I have always done everything myself, from writing, to producing, to recording, to mixing, to mastering…and the majority of my album art works…so I never had that kind of help as a youth to help develop my writing, producing, etc.
Could I have received help if I was more open about what i was doing? Possibly, but I dont know that there was anyone legit in my area, at the time I was getting started, to really give me the help I needed. Everything has happened in due time, and I am happy to be where I am at now, being 25 and able to do many things on my own as opposed to being young and only being an artist/emcee.
Where do you feel like you’re at in your career? Just starting? Midpoint? Hitting a peak?
This is just the beginning my friend! There will be plenty more to come over many years.
What is it like working with a bunch of different artists? How does it change the process?
I love working in partnerships. Everything turns out better when two minds work off of each other. I am able to produce things I couldn’t produce by myself when I work with other people, and visa versa for them. I like coming up with unique blends of hip hop, jazz, folk, funk, and even a little pop and electronic. I always enjoy a challenge of branching out of my hip hop focus a little bit…but not too much….I have to keep it dope! The process is better because we come up with catchier hooks, my rhymes make more sense after running them past a partner, and the music turns out better because we are there to add to each others creativity. I will always do solo stuff, but I believe my partnerships will turn out to be the better albums at the end of it all.
Tell us about a great music memory that you have.
I spent a week in Tennessee recording the album Serendipity by Ace and Pearl, with singer/songwriter Erin Elisabeth Aubrey. During that week, we basically locked ourselves in a house and pounded out songs and ideas for an album. By the end of the week we were nearly delirious, but we basically had a full album. I wanted to finish a couple more songs, but Erin started complaining to me about how she couldn’t come up with any more ideas. I had no sympathy for her and told her to get it done because we only had one more day left together. She then stated “I am so glad we are friends.” And i jokingly replied, “You think we are friends?! This is strictly business.” Erin then proceeded to basically freestyle a new song for our album, which is titled “Strictly Business”, and we had another song within 10 minutes of that conversation.
It is interesting to see how you can spend hours trying to write one line for a song, then when the right idea hits, another full song can come out naturally, without a second thought. That week was full of moments like that, and it is crazy to see what can happen when two creative minds are locked in a house for a week. We were able to accomplish things that neither of us would have been able to accomplish on our own. We also had our song from that album titled “Fallin So Fast” place third in hip hop and r&b in the international songwriting competition.
Tell me more about the music process — do you think the best stuff happens organically and quickly like you mentioned or when you sit down and plan it out?
A lot of the songs that happen quickly and organically come out of different life experiences, so it all develops faster because of something that happened that is still fresh. Whether good or bad experiences, it is easier to get those out quickly because you are all caught up in a moment. Sometimes those turn out better because you are in the middle of what you are talking about, so it is all relevant and you get out everything you need to get out. I have also had situations where I take multiple days to write a song so that I say exactly what I want to say. Some of those songs turn out better because I took the time to find the right words, the right rhyme patterns, and I took the time to pick apart a sample to really make it what I want. I wouldn’t say either way makes better music than the other, but it is nice when it all comes out quick!
What’s next for Customary?
You better believe I’m doing a Christmas album! It’s gonna be fire! This is gonna be the most chill, smooth Christmas album ever done! I will also be releasing another solo project and another instrumental album soon, so be on the lookout for more tunes from Customary Music.
Stream and download the full instrumental project, Bleu Bird Instrumentals from Customary below.
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