Music to Help You Focus

Whether you are a student in high school or university, or working a desk job, we all need something to help us focus on the task at hand. Listening to music can help anyone focus and adds a bit of background noise while we work to break the silence. But, listening to certain genres of music can help your brain be more productive as well as help retain information.

The most obvious choice is to listen to classical or instrumental music. This music has no words, therefore there won’t be the worry of typing the lyrics of the song your listening to into your term paper or research report. Classical music has also been known to help the mind focus and retain memory. Because of its peaceful and harmonious sound, instrumental and classical music will help the mind relax from any worries that are running through it during the day to make studying easier.

Studies have also shown that Mozart in particular is the best to listen to when studying because it his music helps with overall improvement in mental performance. They call this the “Mozart Effect.” Check out my favorite classical playlists on Spotify that I have found to help me be more productive.

Another option, if you’re not into classical music, can be ambient music. This is more of a modern twist on classical. Its still instrumental to take away the lyrical distractions but the sound is more modern and sets an ambiance.

Finally, if you are not a classical or ambient music type of person, listening to nature sounds is another great option for staying of track during studying or work. Putting on a playlist of sounds mimicking the ocean, or birds chirping can not only create the sense that you’re outside in a peaceful environment, but it also breaks the background silence without breaking your focus. My favorite playlist for nature sounds on Spotify can be found here to give you some ideas.

Listening to top 40 songs or any songs with lyrics in them can not only throw you off track because your mind is trying to focus on the words of the song, but you might find your productivity will decrease. I tend to find myself listening to my iTunes or Spotify while I work and end up spending more time singing along or going back to skip songs because I don’t want to listen to them.

But when I listen to classical playlists I find I get more work done during the day as well as being in a better mind set throughout the day because of the relaxing atmosphere it sets while I work.

Although this might not be for everyone, but if you are finding it hard to focus or get work done, its worth a try.


October Recap

October has been a slow month for me in terms of music. There were not many releases that I was interested in so I only have two to share with today. Interestingly enough, both of the albums I’m going to talk about today were released on the same day; October 20.

The first release is probably my favorite one. I first found out about this group a few years ago when I saw them perform as an opener for Hands Like Houses. Ever since I had kept an eye on them, and gradually started to listen to them more. Needless to say I was excited to see that they were releasing a new album this year.

I The Mighty released “Where the Mind Wants to Go / Where You Let It Go” on October 20 of 2017 and it is one of my favorite Alternative Rock albums of the year. To me, the album has a feeling of early 2000s alternative rock but with a modern twist to it. There is something nostalgic about the melodies in some of the songs that takes me back to 8th grade.

Songs that I would suggest to check out, and possibly my favorites off the album, are “Pet Names” and “Escapism” those two songs are ones that I believe embody the feeling of 2000s alternative rock throughout the melodies. I The Mighty’s unique blend of instrumentation has always been one that I admired in their music and I’m glad that it carried through to this new album. Any of my alternative friends who have not checked them out yet, please do; you won’t regret it.

I The Mighty are currently on tour to promote their new album, you can check tour dates and ticket availability here.

The second album that I had on repeat this month was Niall Horan’s debut solo album, “Flicker.” Although its categorized as a pop album, I would say that it falls under the sub-genre of indie pop because it does have a more coffee house vibe to it than most pop albums.

Coming from one of the biggest boy bands from the 2010s, Niall has really set his place as a solo artist and showed with this album his artistic abilities. My favorite songs off the album are “Fire Away” and “On My Own” but the songs collectively work together to create an all around great album and an even better debut album.

Even if you are not a fan of One Direction, I do suggest you give Niall Horan’s album a listen because it is not like One Direction or the music he did with them. Niall Horan is currently on tour to promote the new album, for more information on dates and ticket sales you can go to his website here.

Ghost of Me | Andrew Carter Song Review

If you want a song to take you back to a 50’s sock hop, then “Ghost of Me” by Andrew Carter is the song you need to listen to.

Andrew Carter is a county rock artist that has a unique blend of the two genres of music that is reminiscent to Lynyrd Synyrd. If you want to learn more about Andrew, you can read my interview with him here.

“Ghost of Me” will be Carter’s new single off his self-titled album. Going into this review I thought I was going to hear a timeless country song that tells a story of a man looking back on who he used to be and the journey he took to be where he is now. Just a classic song reflecting on the changes we go through as humans. But I was wrong.

Yes, the song does talk about how he used to do “this” or “that” but that is now the ghost of him. But it is not the typical country sound that I would have expected to hear. It starts off with this be-bopping bass line that just moves effortlessly up and down the scale.

Then the bluesy guitar kicks in and takes you on this journey back in time where bands dressed in suits and during the guitar breakdown the guitarist slides to the front of the stage on his knees and just shreds.  The overall feel of this song is one that you would typically hear at a 50’s sock hop with greasers and ladies in poodle skirts; but still keeping his country roots strong.

If you are anything like me, someone who is not usually a country listener, you should really give Carter’s music a chance. He is country, but true country. His music is not like your radio pop country today, he is a breath of nostalgia both in the country genre and the rock genre.

“Ghost of Me” is a fun, energetic song that takes you back in time and Andrew Carter is an artist on the rise that everyone should keep an eye on. I am looking forward to seeing where he will go next with his music.

You can follow Andrew on the sites below and hear his song “Ghost of Me” on his website.

Andrew Carter Website

Photo provided by Wendy Ford PR
Wendy Ford PR Website

Artists I Stopped Listening To

Sometimes there are just some artists that we, for whatever reason, just stop listening to. Maybe its because we grew out of that genre of music. Maybe its because the band or artists’ ethics changed and we don’t agree with it. Or maybe it truly is because they stopped making the same quality of music that we previously liked.

I’m sure if you thought about it, there are bands or artists that you’ve stopped listening to over the years. I recently went through my iTunes Library and discovered some artists that I just stopped listening to.

Mostly, I have stopped listening to these bands just because I grew out of them. Just like an old pair of jeans, I grew out of their style, their writing or I strictly just listened to them because of who I was dating or friends with at the time.

However, I will leave a link to all these artists like always. I do highly suggest that you still check them out because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. We all have different tastes in music and no ones taste is better than another’s.

So please keep in mind, that just because I don’t listen to them doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t give them a try and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t like them either. If you do listen to these artists, more power to you; you do you friends!

  1. Alesana
  2. Andy Grammer
  3. Asking Alexandria
  4. Attack! Attack!
  5. Black Veil Brides
  6. Bloc Party
  7. Brokencyde
  8. Christian Perri
  9. Dr. Acula
  10. Fun.
  11. I See Stars
  12. Jonny Craig
  13. Lee Brice
  14. MGMT
  15. Parachute

I could probably post more, but I will stop there for now. Again, all the artists are linked so you can check them out yourselves and decide for yourself if you like them or not.

Feel free to leave a comment listing artists that you stopped listening to over the years. Maybe I’ll check them out for myself!


Kpop Groups/Artists that I Stan

It is no surprise that I am a fan of Kpop. Do I understand it? No. But do I have to understand it in order to listen to it? Absolutely not! Music is universal and it doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter what language it is in, if its a good song and makes you feel good…then listen to it!

I am a fan of Korean Pop music and Korean Hip an extent and I love many different artists and groups in that genre. So I thought, why not discuss my love for each of these groups and maybe get in interested in finding out more about them as well.

Now, before I get started, I just want to put an opinion out there. There is this controversy (which shouldn’t even be in existence) in the Kpop world that you cannot be a multi-fandom listener. Meaning you cannot claim to be in a fandom of more than one group/artist. Which is absolute bulls**t. You should be able to like and love and obsess over whatever group and however many groups you want. It is possible to spread your support and love for music across many different groups. Whoever tells you that you have to pick one and stick with it just hasn’t opened their eyes to all the possibilities and wonders of music that is out there yet.

Also, for “new to kpop” readers, here is some basic vocabulary for you before I start my post so you are not confused.

“Stan” is not just a song by Eminem, in the kpop world it means avid fan. So, for instance, if I stan a group, it means that I am an avid fan of that group. I follow them on social media, I keep up with recent events and most likely have purchased their entire discography.

“Bias” simply put is my favorite member of the group or favorite group overall. So if I say someone is my bias, that means they are my favorite group member. There is also variations of this term such as “ultimate bias” or “bias wrecker”. “Ultimate Bias” is your number one; all time favorite, no one can come before this person or group. “Bias wrecker” is the person that makes you question your loyalty to your bias.

So now that you are a little educated on the terminology, I’ll get into my Kpop groups that I stan, and I believe you should too.

BIGBANG is one of the most iconic groups in Kpop and one that every kpop fan should listen to and stan. They were so forward thinking during their debut and even after that it was hard to any other group to really compare. The group consisted of 5 members, Taeyang, G-Dragon, T.O.P., Daesung, and Seungri. My favorite song by this group is hands down “BANG BANG BANG” but their most recent song “Last Dance” is a close second. My bias in the group is T.O.P but my bias wrecker is G-Dragon.

EXO is another one of those iconic groups from the early 2010s that changed kpop in different ways than BIGBANG did. EXO was unique because when they first debuted they had 12 members and they were split into two subgroups; EXO-K and EXO-M. These different sub groups had different roles. EXO-K spoke Korean where as EXO-M spoke Mandarin. Obviously all 12 members spoke both languages but they did release each song in both languages with different vocals from each member of the group. However, over time EXO lost some members and they are currently at 9. (well technically 8 but I’m still holding out hope for Lay!) The current members consist of D.O., Chanyeol, Sehun, Suho, Chen, Xiumin, Baekhyun, and Kai (although Lay is another member..but its complicated). My bias used to be Lay, but now with the current members it is Baekhyun and my bias wrecker is Chanyeol.

BTS is the group that is taking over the kpop world as well as making their way into the music stream in the U.S. after their Billboard appearance. What I stan about BTS is their choreography and their catchy af songs. Not that the other groups I mention don’t have catchy songs, but BTS for some reason has that formula that they just get stuck in my head. The group consists of 7 members, Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook. My bias is hands down V (taehyung) and he’s probably my ultimate bias…but he does have competition to that which I will discuss later. My bias wrecker however is Suga (yoongi) purely for his savage personality.

iKon IS A GROUP YOU NEED TO STAN BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THEY DON’T GET THE ATTENTION THEY DESERVE. Sorry, I feel very passionate about this one. iKon is one of those groups that have such great music, choreography, stage presence as well as group dynamic. They are one of the few groups that I can honestly say I Youtube deep dive with and end up watching funny moment compilations of at 2am. Seriously, go check them out if you don’t know who they are. Also they debuted on my birthday so I feel a strong connection to this group. 😉 There are 7 members, Bobby, B.I., Jay, Song, D.K., Ju-ne, and Chan. Although you might see some of the members referred to by different names (stage names but then there was a change, its complicated). My bias is Bobby (ji won) and he is the one that is in competition with V from BTS. But my bias wrecker is Jay (jin hwan).

So I am going to stop there for boy groups. Because I could probably list about 5 more, but those are the ones that I always find myself listening to the most and gravitating more to.

As far as girl groups go, I don’t really have that many that I stan. I have the legends 2ne1 but I don’t have a bias or a bias wrecker because it is just too hard to pick. I love them all! But recently I have been starting to stan BlackPink which is a fairly new girl group form YG Entertainment. Again, I don’t have a bias or bias wrecker for this group because I am fairly new to this group. But, regardless I highly suggest that you check them out if you are a fan of girl groups.

As for solo artists, I do have a few that I stan and have been for quite a while. The first being Jay Park, I don’t think there is much to say here other than you need to listen to him to understand. He’s originally from Seattle and is a Korean Hip Hop artist that started his own label called AOMG. Next would be Zico who is another solo artist who was previously in a group called Block-B. Although I am not a huge fan of Block-B’s music, I am a fan of Zico’s solo work. Finally, although I could pick more, Dean is my last solo artist that you will definitely need to check out. His voice is one that will melt millions!

I should probably stop there before this gets too out of hand. I hope you check these groups out if you are new to Kpop and don’t know who to look up first. Or if you are an avid kpop fan like I am and you are part of a multi-fandom like me and you stan any of the groups or artists that I mentioned above.

Please feel free to leave a comment below suggested more groups or artists you think I would like and I will be sure to check them out if I haven’t already!


Top Songs of Summer

Autumn has officially started, even thought Wisconsin doesn’t think so, which means its time to discuss the songs that I was listening to on repeat during the summer time. As some of my readers may know, or may not know, I have what I like to call a “musically obsessive” personality. Meaning, when I like a song or artist I will listen to them non stop until I find a new song or artist to listen to.

My summer consisted of mainly pop music, since I am a person who listens to music based off the seasons (spring and summer are usually pop while fall and winter are usually rock). Recently, my pop music of choice has been Kpop (Korean Pop), and by recently I mean the past few years that is literally the only pop music I listen to. Its a deep, dark, bottomless hole that I have no intentions of climbing out from.

So as fair warning, this list might possibly (or 100%) be Kpop oriented. Once again, this list is in no particular order and all songs are not just from 2017. I will provide release years along with genres and video links.

  1. “Really Really” by WINNER (2017, Kpop)
  2. “Why” by Taeyeon (2016, Kpop)
  3. Touch My Body” by SISTAR (2014, Kpop) –side note I had to add a SISTAR in here.. D’:
  4. “Spring Day” by BTS (2017, Kpop)
  5. “View” by SHINee (2015, Kpop)
  6. “Where Were You” by Every Avenue (2008, Pop Punk)
  7. “A Capella” by Chase Goehring (2015, Pop…but debatable)
  8. “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus (2017, Pop)
  9. “Good Times” by All Time Low (2017, Pop Punk)
  10. “Hard Times” by Paramore (2017, Alternative)

Initially, writing this list up I had 8 Kpop songs that I had been listening to non stop, but for the sake of my non Kpop fans out there, I revised it to be half and half. Most of my Kpop songs are some older ones like SHINee and SISTAR. But they have such a summer vibe to them that they are staples for that time of year.

I also threw in a throwback pop punk song by Every Avenue that accidentally came up on my shuffle on iTunes and it hit me with a wave of nostalgia. This was a song I listened to non stop in the summer during my high school days.

Finally, I added a solo artist that I feel is a bit underrated, Chase Goehring. If you have not heard his song “A Capella” you need to! Its got such a great flow and rhythm to it that is very infectious. And, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t have one or two staple pop punk or alternative songs in the mix. I need that refreshing break from the pop every once in a while. And All Time Low and Paramore are always my go to for that type of break.

I do, however, have an honorable mention that really pained me to take off the list, but it was released later in the summer so I decided to switch it out. “Yacht” by Jay Park (2017, Kpop) if you love Kpop, you need to listen to this song.

Once again, I do keep a playlist on Spotify of all the songs that I listened to this spring/summer that feature more songs than what is listed here. Also, because of a glitch in Spotify, some of the songs I have listed here are not on my playlist…they disappeared. So, please make sure you check out the videos I linked above.

Feel free to leave music suggestion in the comments below! I will be looking for new music to listen to for fall and winter!


Andrew Carter Interview

Andrew Carter is a true son of the south that is bringing back good ol’ fashioned Southern Rock to the forefront of country music. His self-titled album “Andrew Carter” tells a story and brings the feeling of home and nostalgia wherever you go. A few days ago I got the chance to sit down and chat with Andrew about his music and more.

What was the music scene like for you growing up?
In Stockbridge, where I grew up, it was okay; we really grew up on Atlanta’s music scene. But in Jacksonville, the music scene has always been here, although its hard to get people to come out to shows and support you. Once the world knows who you are, Jacksonville just starts to listen to you.

What music did you listen to growing up?
My mom would trick us into cleaning the house by turning on the radio and cleaning to classic rock. So a lot of Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd. But as I got older, I really got into punk rock, really anything Discord Records was putting out. But I kept listening to Classic Rock and I had a step dad that had every country vinyl ever so that was fun listening to that.

I read that you started out as a drummer. How did you get interested in drums?
I had three brothers and one was a natural born musician. He taught me how to play the drums. He would set it up and it was just a snare, high hat and kick drum. And for the longest time I could only hit the snare and high hat. I couldn’t quite get my foot to kick that pedal. But one day it happened and I made a beat and I was hooked every since. However, I don’t have a kit right now, but I do go to the Guitar Center and play the kits they have set up.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
What I’m pulling from right now with this last album and the next two to come, I’m pulling from those classic southern rock bands. I went on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and worked as an assistant to their piano player. I learned a lot of from them because they are great performers. You have to be a true professional to be in that band, because they are true professionals. They are an amazing rock and roll blues band and I pull from them a lot.

I am all about the show. Anyone that you talk to that have seen me perform, they will tell you that I am all about the show and Lynyrd Skynyrd puts on a show. So who wouldn’t want to emulate that?

How would you describe the vibe of your self-titled album, “Andrew Carter”?
They have a sense of nostalgia. They sound like sounds that your parents might have listened to, and I like that. I think that some people will be refreshed if it was on the radio and I think people will appreciate the air that it is familiar to. People will recognize the familiarity.

Talking from one musician to another in Nashville, people are ready for this. They are angry with what is on the radio right now because its almost more pop than country. Nothing wrong with pop or rap, I listen to that and love it, but make a pop song and don’t call it country.

What would you say is your favorite song on the album? What is it about?
Long Road Home. Its the slowest song on the album. The story about is that my friend was going through a hard time in Nashville. Her brother offered her this RV, but she had to pick it up in California and drive it back. It was the best time for her to go out there and get the RV and drive it back and think. I was talking to her back and forth while she was doing that and I wrote down what she was telling me. I just put it together and I really like the instrumentation of it and the story of it. Its the only story song, it doesn’t have a chorus, just three verses. But all the songs are my favorite.

What is the highlight of your musical career so far?
Performing with my band The Bumbs. Being able to play and tour together has been the highlight so far. They are the band that is on the album and they put all that music together because I couldn’t have done that all by myself. That band is just amazing and being able to work with them is the highlight.

If you had to choose a concert line up, open for or headliner, who would be on the bill?
I would like to open for would be two of them. Lynyrd Skynyrd or Tom Petty. I think it would be amazing to open for either of those bands. If I did a headlining tour, I would like to form a band behind me so The Bumbs could be my opener.

Plans or goals for the future?
I got two new albums in the works. One I will release pretty early in 2018 and the other one will be out in late spring of 2018. But 2018 is full of touring, my label is working on getting me out on the road a lot for hopefully all of 2018. Festivals are in the workings for being booked, but nothing confirmed yet.



You can listen to Andrew Carter’s self-titled on his website. You can stay up to date on all events and current news for Andrew Carter by following him on his social media sites, linked below.


Photos provided by Wendy Ford PR

Corrington Wheeler Interview

Corrington Wheeler is a Rock artist from Houston, Texas who pulls musical inspiration from Philosophy and Masonry. I’ve reviewed music for Corrington in the past, so I was pleased to get the opportunity to sit down and ask him about his music and experiences.


How did you get started with music?

Grew up around music. I was in pep band, marching band, you name it. But I was terrible at singing. For my Senior year we had a festival thing and I tried to put together this makeshift thing. But everyone bailed expect for me and the drummer, but I still went on and did it and embarrassed myself in front of the whole school. But this was the beginning, that was the motivation for me to get better.

Who are some of your musical influences?

I listen to everything! Growing up my two favorites were JoDee Messina and Ruth Etting, a lot of her 1920s stuff. But as for things that inspire my music and that we try to market off of are bands like Crown the Empire, Issues, Hands Like Houses, and Sleeping with Sirens..that kind of genre.

What is the writing process like for you? Is it more organically formed or scheduled?

Like any artist, ideas can come to you and when they do you’re like “oh god, oh god, OH GOD!” So you yank out SoundCloud and record it quick. But that kind of moment is few and far between.

But what I do is contract someone to do the instrumental. I tell them what I like from different grounds to get the sound I like. We go back and forth until we like what we have and then we both, the producer and I, come up with different melodies and compare to make one really great song. With “Seeking Light” I wrote about Philosophy, which is going to be a book soon that is a supplement to the songs. So I would plug and pull different parts from the page I wrote and switch things around until I like what I got.

You spent some time overseas in Japan. What was that experience like and how did it impact your music?

It actually impacted me more than my music. It was interesting, the people were polite and respectful but it was different to be the minority. There were places that being American was not welcomed and many restaurants wouldn’t serve me because I was American. In Japan people were afraid of me because of my tattoos, but when I went to Cambodia people wanted to steal from me because they thought I was rich.

You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists on this album, what would you say is the biggest take away from that experience?

There are pros and cons. It’s a cool experience because I was looking for inspiration from these artists, so to work with them was cool. But, it took so long to finish. Because they all worked with different labels, it took a long time to get the music to them and for them to respond back and to come to a common conclusion. Also, for most of them this was a side project, it wasn’t a priority for them.

If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

This might surprise you, but I would love to work with Hoodie Allen or Justin Bieber for this new project or brand that I’m working on. That would be huge!

You’re releasing a video for “Point of Enlightenment” soon, what is the song about?

“Point of Enlightenment” is basically just that. The moment in time when I thought “wow” and I kind of understood more about society than what I previously did. It was like opening my eyes for the first time.

This new video is going to be a lyric video. There will be beautiful cars, because I like cars, and that will be the theme of this video. Its showing elegance and beauty where the car seems like more than a car. I think that plays off of the way that we try to build and live our lives everyday.

Your current album is “Seeking Light,” tell me a little about it.

When I was 21 I became a Free Mason and it taught me that there was this knowledge about the world that is hidden. It was very inspiring to better myself and those around me. So when I was starting to make music, there is a saying in Free Masonry that says “we all travel east,” so when I was writing this album I was traveling east or “seeking the light.” Its the entire journey and each song in this album is a moral lesson that I learned while traveling the world.

What are your favorite song(s) on the album?

I would have to say lyrically I like “Point of Enlightenment” and I thought it was going to be my favorite song hands down. But, my musically I would say “Sociological Structural Functionalism” from “Traveling East” EP. I did that song in three takes in the studio. It just kind of came to me and it was one of those moments that were just magic.

What would you say is the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve had the chance to play some big headliners and working with so many artists in the past years. But I would say it’s a tie between volunteering with fans and this show I did for about 300 people. It was the first time that I saw some people in the crowd singing my songs back to me. I almost cried, it was beautiful. I know that sounds cheesy but it meant so much to me.

Finally, what are your future music plans or goals?

For Corrington Wheeler we are going to be releasing 2003 punk song probably in late 2017 or mid 2018. But probably just covers, performances and more videos for Seeking Light. But we do have an album in mind. However, I am starting a new project or brand called “Corrington” which is a R&B project and my plans are to get that started and promote that throughout 2017 and 2018.


You can listen to Corrington Wheeler’s album “Seeking Light” here, and you can follow him on his social media sites linked below.

Photo by Corey Menhart
Photo provided by

Tyler Zarzeka Interview

Tyler Zarzeka is a professional drummer who has toured with acts like Charlie Puth, Kiiara, and currently Noah Cyrus. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him about his career and how he got started.

What was the music scene like in your hometown?

 A lot of emo and hardcore music, stuff like Blink 182, New Found Glory, Limp Bizkit. Church venues were popular as well.

You started playing music later in life, what was the turning point for you?

It was my first concert in 1999 and it was Blink 182 and I went with my dad. I liked that the audience was worshiping these people that were on stage because in school I was a geek, someone who was bullied, and to see this was eye opening.

Why drums? Why not guitar?

Multitasking made sense, and something about drums was super exciting. I played saxophone in school but I quit because I was mimicking my fingers and it freaked me out. I started tapping my fingers on my desk, which lead me to getting my first kit in 2002.

Mike Johnston taught you drums, how did that come about?

Started with my first drum kit in 2002 just teaching myself and I was in a band at the time. But it was 2003, when I said…I suck. I saw drummers on MTV and I knew I was not that good.

So I went to the closest music shop, Skip’s Music, and got their black and white brochure and I chose [Mike] based off his looks; he was a cool looking guy. I took lessons with him for about a year and he recommended me to the college I went to, Musicians Institute. I went from 0-1000 real quick.

**Mike holds Drumming Camps that last about 2-3 weeks and is basically a drumming boot camp, for people interested.**

Did you finish college? What was the job search like after school?

I finished with a BA in percussion. I had a few local gigs while in school and after. But I felt like I was the worst one at school. I felt like I knew nothing because I started drumming at 17 whereas everyone else had been drumming since they were 6 or 7. So I came into it with the mindset “don’t suck.” I would practice before and after class and work as well. But, immediately after graduation I got a job with a pop singer and went on tour overseas.

You put drumming to the side and became a drum tech. Why?

That was an accident. I knew a lot about drums, styles and techniques, but they didn’t teach tuning, maintenance, set up and posture at this school. There are a lot of great drummers that don’t know how to tune their drums. So when my buddy called me up on a whim to work at a studio in Burbank, I quit my job at Best Buy.

When I realized that people were doing this same work but on the road and making more money, I kept my eyes and ears open and at about 2008, 2009 I got my first gig with Hanson. They needed a drum tech and they called me up and asked if I could help them out. I had a blast because they are awesome people, great musicians, and I was on the road traveling.

Now you are drumming for various artists. How did you step back onto the stage?

I still do both, but I never let my tech schedule interfere with my drumming schedule. About 3 and half years ago Max Bernstein pulled me aside and said, “hey you need to stop being a drum tech.” At the time I was with Demi Lovato but he said he had this opportunity for me to get me back to drumming, and he held his promise.

So, a few weeks later I was drumming for this singer named Tiffany Houghton and that just lead to more drumming opportunities.

I will always be a drummer, though. The satisfaction of playing drums to people is pretty awesome.

You’re pretty diverse in the artists you work with. How do you transition or prepare from one to the next?

Every time I get a new artist I don’t have a lot of time to learn about them. Recently I’ve been drumming for relatively new artists. So for instance with Noah [Cyrus] she just has singles out right now. So before I get what we’re going to be playing from the music director, I download all their songs and play them in my car on repeat, just like a sixteen-year-old girl would.

I try to understand what does the audience like about the music and then recreate that live. I want to memorize it in my bones so I know that I know them. Especially since I’m a new guy coming in [with Noah]. I don’t want to be the weak link in the chain.

How long does it typically take to learn the songs?

Less than an hour. That’s one thing they taught us in school was to learn music quickly. You don’t always have the time to take your time, most of the time it’s an email saying “learn these songs, rehearsal’s in 6 hours.”

A few years back a pop punk band lost their drummer on tour; he just quit in the middle of the night. So I got a call saying “can you fly out and learn these songs tonight and when you land you’ll have sound check and then a show.” So I said okay and I learned them as quickly I could. I had one mistake during the whole show.

Now that you’ve toured all over the world, met so many amazing people, what would you say is the highlight of your career so far?

One of them was performing on Ellen. It wasn’t my first tv show performance but it was the first one that I took my mom to. She loves Ellen and that is her show, so I said, “if I ever play Ellen, you’re coming with me.”

I was drumming with Charlie Puth at the time and we were playing Ellen, so I flew her out, got her tickets and she was second row. She was actually on camera more than I was; she kept showing up, it was funny. It really made me happy because it made her happy. The whole reason why I’m doing music is to make my parents proud.

Where would you say would be your favorite place to travel to? Your top pick.

London for sure. If I had to live somewhere else, it would definitely be London. The music, the fashion, the art, the people are just fantastic. Some of my favorite singers are Irish or British. There is something about London that I just love.

Any plans for the future? Drumming or otherwise?

Main drumming goal, obviously keep this going as long as I can because I love it, but my main goal is to be based in LA and be a drummer on a television show. It would be a great 9 to 5 job with weekends off and you’re planted in one city. It would be a nice goal to have for the next 5, 10 or 15 years.

And another one is to keep taking lessons. I am not where I want to be musically, so when I get back from tour, I have a teacher that I want to take lessons from and keep learning and just focus on me as a drummer. Otherwise I’m pretty set in life, life’s good.

Finally, any advice for people just getting started?

Practice. Practice a lot! Don’t give up. I had so many people tell me that I was terrible and that my goals weren’t going to happen. I had a lot of let downs that made me think why was I even playing drums. But I never gave up and kept moving on. This was my goal in life, in high school; I wanted to be where I am right now.


You can see Tyler Zarzeka playing for Noah Cyrus on the “Witness: The Tour” with Katy Perry or find him on his social media linked below.

**Photos curtesy of Wendy Ford Publicity**

“The Lesser Key” | Corrington Wheeler Song Review

I’m excited to bring back the music reviews with a rock artist, and one I’ve reviewed for in the past. Corrington Wheeler has released a new song called “The Lesser Key” featuring Jeremy Gilmore of Sycamour and its one that reminds me of why rock music is my favorite.

The song comes in like someone turning up the volume slowly until its at full volume with the heavy guitar and drums. This type of introduction usually sets the tone for the remainder of the song, and for the most part the vocal line is pretty straight forward and standard for this genre.

Vocally, the song stays pretty consistent with a simple melody for listeners to catch on to and be singing by the final chorus. This easy to memorize melody is, what I believe to be, very critical to listeners. If a song is easy to sing along to and sticks in my head after its done playing, then its a song I’m going to revisit later. Catchy rhythms and melodies are what hook a listener when introducing them to a new artist or sound.

However, even though I liked the simple melody there were areas that seemed a bit off to me. I feel as though Wheeler was trying to add some stylistics to the end of some phrases and they just didn’t hit the mark to me.

Instrumentally, its a solid rock song. The drums and guitars are very similar to most rock beats and melodies you hear today, and there is nothing wrong with that. Even though it was sticking true to the genre, I did love the solo bass drum beat. I’m a sucker for some that feature just vocals and a simple quarter note bass drum beat. I feel like those moments of a song you can really capture the audience and the listener both live and on a studio recording. I would have liked for that part to be a tad longer or emphasized more to really have it stand out.

The music video is what I believe tied this whole song together. The video shows you a side to Corrington that most people don’t get to see and brings the audience into a glimpse of his life. Wheeler shows us his interests, hobbies, and takes us on adventures with him and his friends throughout the video and it makes you feel closer to him in a way. While watching the video I found myself saying “that looks cool” or “I wanna try that” which helps the audience and listener relate to the artist more.

Overall, Corrington Wheeler doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the music he sends me and I always look forward to hearing more from him and seeing his growth.

You can watch Corrington Wheeler’s video for “The Lesser Key” here.

More of Corrington Wheeler’s music can be found on:
Google Play

Corrington Wheeler Merch