Sep 3, 2011

Cory Allen Staats

I’ve found that I’ve spent most of my life immersed in just about every aspect of music; writing music, performing music live, teaching music, recording music, running live sound for music performance. Simply put, music is who I am.
When I first enrolled at Berkley College of Music in Boston, I was determined to become a Music Production Engineer. But in time, I found my true passion, writing songs. I wanted to communicate my feelings and ideas, and to really connect with people – must be the oxytocin. Songs have a way of bringing people together by sharing ideas and emotions that are universal, but that everyone experiences differently.
When changed my major to Songwriting I decided to add Film Scoring as a second major, in the hopes that the skills that I would learn in my Film Scoring courses would benefit my songwriting. The techniques I’ve learned from scoring to picture as well as the tools I’ve gained from studying traditional and contemporary composition have proved to be invaluable to my writing.
I usually write the music first on the guitar. I hear the melody and lyrics in my mind and then I write the rest of the story from that idea or emotion. The music and melody come easily but the lyrics are often a challenge. I usually know what I want to say, the hard part is getting the words out with the rhythm, phrasing, and rhyme. I’m always looking for a strong lyricist that I can learn from. ;)
In March 2010 I released my first EP featuring five songs recorded in Berklee’s studios. I wrote, arranged, and mixed/mastered the tracks myself. For just five songs it took a tremendous amount of time and effort which proved to be a great learning experience. Since then I’ve arranged my songs and many covers for the band, and I’m preparing to return to the studio to record my second EP.
I love performing music live. I play gigs around Boston with my band as well as a number of solo gigs. I’ve posted videos of my gigs on YouTube and MySpace. I’m working on developing my stage presence and character to really help convey the emotion of the songs.
I’ve been involved with live music since I was young. At Church I would sit at the sound board watching and listening. I worked for a live sound company for a few summers, setting up and running the sound equipment for local fairs and events.
I believe a crucial step in learning a craft is to teach it to others. I work with teenagers in a local program called Plugged In. We put together bands, write original music, and perform concerts to benefit local charities I have participated as a teacher in the last two Songwriting Workshops. These are special weekends where we focus on writing original songs to put on a benefit CD. The results are wonderful! 

Pretending (GLEE cover) Cory Allen Staats 

I wanted to try my hand at some 'Pop' production and really air out some of the plug-ins and synths that I haven't used at all yet. I heard this song on the GLEE finale and I think it's actually a great song! And perfect for this little project :)

Big thanks to Sarah Grina for singing with me!

Song written by Adam Anders, Peer Astrom & Shelly Peiken
Originally performed by the GLEE Cast