30 Jun CALEB MINTER DROPS MUST-WATCH VIDEO FOR “BLUE SKIES”, THE 1ST SINGLE OFF HIS UPCOMING DEBUT EP
If you think exceptional music videos are a thing of the past, Caleb Minter’s “Blue Skies” will change your mind (and blow your mind). With only two people onscreen – Caleb, the striking, gripping indie artist we’re showcasing here, and Khadijah, a sculpted, graceful (and absolutely gorgeous) dancer – the video adopts a stripped down approach, which lets you focus on the music and the magnetism instead of the usual myriad of material excess. “Blue Skies” is not a typical love song and neither is its video. (I mean, never before have I seen a nude leotard, a white t-shirt and jeans, and two pairs of sneakers look SO DAMN GOOD! It’s steamy in the classiest of ways, and I’ll never look at a generic metal folding chair with anything but possibility and reverence moving forward.)
The fluid choreography in the industrial parking structure, the pair’s longing facial expressions, and the rotating angles of the scenes all contribute to its seamless connection to the song itself. There’s a purity in the romance, in the admittance of finding and expressing one’s love for another and then in having that love returned in an equal, impassioned way; and, this video not only nails it, but smears it across your heart and soul in the form of slick, bright body paint. (HELL YES. Body paint. If this video doesn’t make you want to graze rich colors across the curves of your <select one: friend/partner/spouse/the one you can barely admit to hardcore crushing on>, we simply cannot be friends. Deep breath. Either way, you NEED to watch the video – YouTube link appears below.)
“Blue Skies”, which is now available on all platforms, is the first single released from Caleb Minter’s much-anticipated upcoming debut EP, The Good, The Bad, The Grey. What I love most about Caleb’s music and his character, is that there’s nothing cheap or imitational about it or him. Speaking with him really refueled my desire to continue connecting with musicians who inspire. An original who refuses to be squished into one of those all-too-familiar molds, Caleb Minter sincerely embraces and uplifts other artists and aims to push the boundaries of his own creativity, compositions, collaborations, and performances to even greater heights.
In this interview, you’ll learn: what it was like to collaborate with VScript and Blair Taylor in studio; why Caleb loves herbal tea; what inspires him to make music; how he defines his sound; all about the making of the “Blue Skies” music video with Resolve Media Group’s Director, Mac Grant, and Videographer, Chad Tennies; why Caleb is currently an indie artist; and when we can expect the release of his debut EP, The Good, The Bad, The Grey. (Also, be sure to check out the special Spotify playlist Caleb Minter created just for us. It’ll entice all of your emotions and it’s the very last link in this post.)
The conversation from our interview is chronicled below in a pure Q & A format.
Q & A:
Tell us about “Blue Skies” – it’s a beautiful track! Is there a story behind it?
Caleb: “Blue Skies” is about where I am right now in my life. After my brother was murdered back in 2014 my whole outlook on life changed. I try to find a little positive and a little good in everything, and of course, I also found a little looooove. Right now, I’m just in a really, really good place, and I wanted to inspire others, write about it, and create a song. I wanted to make a masterpiece, something that you can FEEL and puts you in a good place. The song makes you want to love – to receive love and to give love.
What was the recording process like? Can you tell us about your time in studio?
Caleb: I co-wrote “Blue Skies” with Vurdell Muller, who goes by VScript and is based here in Atlanta, and Blair Taylor produced it. When we went into the studio for this song we basically started from scratch. VScript had already been hearing the melody and then we put words to it. At first, the arrangement threw me off – I mean, of course I’ve done falsetto before, but I’ve never done a WHOLE song that high. I didn’t know if I could do it; but, once I felt it and really dove into the words I was writing and singing, I think we created a great masterpiece. The collaboration was really fun, not too serious, and the vibes were GREAT.
This was only my second time working with VScript and Blair Taylor. To go into the studio and create from scratch with, basically, two strangers blew me away. When you’re creating music, when you’re creating art, the vibes HAVE to be there. It’s so easy to go off track if someone in the group is not on the same path. When you are working with others on a song or an album, you all have to be cohesive with your thought processes and where you think the music can go.
It was an AWESOME experience. I’ve never experienced anything else in my life like it yet.
How do you prepare yourself to record – do you have a routine or something special you do?
Caleb: Yeah, actually, I LOVE TEA – herbal tea. Honestly – once I become a traveling artist, I’ll probably put it in my rider. I need herbal tea. I need fresh ginger. I like my voice to be very pure when I’m recording and performing. Tone of voice is very important to me. I really like to have a pure tone and to be clear and polished when I record and perform. I love my chamomile tea, I love ginger root, and I also love the old school Fisherman’s Friend lozenges. I always have at least one of those on hand when recording or performing.
What inspires you to create music?
Caleb: Feelings inspire me. I’m not the type of artist that HAS to write a song every day, but if it comes to me, I will. If I FEEL something, that’s what I want to write about. Michael Jackson is one of my favorite artists, and I’ve watched so many of his interviews. He would say, “I won’t sing it if I can’t feel it,” and I’m kind of the same way. I have to feel what I am writing in order for it to come across as good.
Also, my brother was my biggest fan and one of my heroes. He left behind a six year old daughter. They inspire me – my family inspires me. I went to my niece’s father daughter dance a few months ago. I try to be that father figure for her, since he is no longer with us. She is everything to me.
I have to ask – is your song “Gone Too Soon” about your brother?
Caleb: Yes. It is. I released a music video for that track about a year and a half ago. In the “Gone Too Soon” video you will see pictures of me, my brother, and my family. In the end, it’s kind of how he was murdered. He was a musician as well – a producer. A guy actually shot him through the window when he was making music. It was very traumatic. He was my only sibling. It took a really big toll on my family.
How would you describe your sound? (You do not need to use typical genre tags.)
Caleb: The music I’m creating and will be creating is: smooth like 90s Usher, with funk like Prince, with the feeling of Michael Jackson. That’s what I want to create. Those are three of my favorite artists, along with John Legend, Stevie Wonder, and the list goes on to include Beyoncé and so many others. Art is so precious; it’s like a child. When you can put art together, make something great, and then the world can receive it and love it – that’s all you can ask for.
Let’s talk about the “Blue Skies” music video. Who is the strong, graceful dancer that shares the spotlight with you? How many trials did it take to get the body paint colors and placement just right? What was the vibe onset?
Caleb: The dancer, Khadijah Wilson, is from Turkey but she lives here in Atlanta. She dances with so many great artists in the industry like Beyoncé. It just seemed like magic. We met for the first time the day of the shoot. We didn’t rehearse anything onset – as soon as the song played, we just started. It was all FREESTYLE. Khadijah’s a really great artist, and it was awesome to connect and vibe with her in the moment. There was nothing forced or pulled back. We just let it go and created the masterpiece. It was very cold, because we shot the music video outside in a parking garage in January or February.
How cold was it?! 30 degrees?
Caleb: Yes, it was actually. In between shots, we’d run into the car, because we had it lined with paper so we could sit without getting the paint everywhere. They kept the heater on for us, but my hands were shaking. On top of that, we had wet paint all over our bodies, which made it feel even colder. When it was time to shoot, though, all of that went out the window and we made it happen.
Khadijah went from one paint color to the next. I would keep going, and she would have to wipe off her hands really quick, put her hands in another color, and then strike me with that. It went back and forth like that for a while. I thought it would take much longer than it did. It took an hour and a half to two hours tops for the video footage. It was the first time I tried body paint.
Resolve Media Group, who shot the “Blue Skies” music video, creates a LOT of celebrity music videos. They just filmed T.I. and B.o.B.’s “4 Lit”, and they are VERY, very good at what they do. With my small budget, I wanted to make something creative and simple yet also very dope. Mac Grant, the Director, and Chad Tennies, the Videographer, produced exactly what I asked for. I’m excited because I have two more videos ready for my new EP, and I’m looking forward to releasing those, too, when it’s time.
When did first you start making music?
Caleb: Growing up, I was shy. I always sang around the house and my mom would say, “Shut up!” That’s all I did was sing, so I’m sure my parents got tired of it. When you are younger, you haven’t really polished yourself. My dad was a musician and sang in a gospel choir. A lot of my family members are musicians, so I grew up around music. As a teenager, my brother got into producing and he started me out. He said, “Caleb, you love to sing. Come and sing this hook for me on this song.”
That’s how it all started. I began singing in church just about every Sunday, and I didn’t really take it seriously. People said I sounded ‘okay’, but I was doing it because I was asked to. When I went to college – since I was older and able to express myself, I wanted to feel like I was my own person and talk about that. At that point, I really started taking music seriously. My freshman year of college I met this guy 2Cold, a producer. I started recording out of his closet. That marked the beginning stage of writing and recording my own music. My love of music developed and I wanted to be around people who loved music and wanted to create great music, too. I wanted to learn more. I started performing at talent shows and at weddings.
Are you an indie artist?
Caleb: Yes, I am as of right now. I’m not against being signed to a label IF it is the RIGHT deal and I’m working with the RIGHT people. If not, I wouldn’t want to work hard or put all of my talents into something and feel stripped away from who I am. I want to be able to be ME. If a label can help polish my art and create something more genius, I’m all about that, but as far as changing me as a person, I can’t do that. As an indie artist, it’s hard work and it takes time, but it can be done.
What do you want your listeners to take away from your music?
Caleb: I want listeners to be inspired. When people listen, I want them to have that WOW factor, like, aww, this is great! And then, I also want them to take something away from it, like, OK, he’s done it. He’s an indie artist. I can do it, and I’m great as well. I just want people to be inspired and to be able to accept themselves, to be themselves, to do what they need to do to be great.
Can you tell us about your debut EP, which “Blue Skies” will be a part of?
Caleb: Yes! The EP is called The Good, The Bad, The Grey and “Blue Skies” is actually the good. I wrote two other songs with Milk+Sizz, who have two Grammy’s. They are REALLY great at what they do. Milk is the writer and Sizz is the producer. We wrote two songs for the EP, “Grey Matter” and “Rose Colored Glasses”. “Rose Colored Glasses” is like the edgy bad side, and “Grey Matter” is more like the neutral in the middle. This EP’s story is that the world doesn’t want to see this going great, but, while we are in this, whether it’s love or whatever we are in at the moment, let’s focus on that and LIVE in that moment. All of the songs that will appear on The Good, The Bad, The Grey are colors. I’m still writing the last two tracks, so it will ultimately be a five song EP.
Is there an estimated release date? Even a time frame?
Caleb: Yes, the EP will be out in 2017. I’m thinking late August /early September as the goal. I have two other music videos shot and ready for “Grey Matter” and “Rose Colored Glasses”, but I’m still working with the marketing team to determine the best release dates for those. Right now, I’m focused on getting more YouTube views of “Blue Skies”. We’re really trying to push that first video for the EP and have it be seen by as many people as we can.
Shout-outs: Are there any people you would like to thank and / or draw our attention to?
Caleb: I would love to shout-out all the people who have worked on the EP so far, which are: D’vante Black, a Grammy nominated engineer; Jeremiah Adkins, a five time Grammy Award winning engineer; VScript and Blair Taylor, for all of their help and expertise; Milk+Sizz, two time Grammy Award winning producers; and JeRee, for ALL her hard work – she does so much for Caleb Minter Music, the brand.
I’d like to shout-out all my friends and family and everyone who has taken a leap of faith by starting something and pushing each mile of the way to accomplish what they define success to be. I’d like to shout-out all the go-getters and everyone supporting me as of now in THIS stage, because without them, none of this is possible.
Watch the “Blue Skies” Music video:
Listen to “Blue Skies”:
Listen to the Spotify Playlist Caleb Minter created just for MMM:
Spotify Playlist: MMM: Caleb Minter