Monday, February 1, 2021

Adam Cruz: Personal Statement

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Name: Adam Cruz

B.A. in Creative Arts & Technology - Music Technology from Bloomfield College (summa cum laude)

PROFESSIONAL STATEMENT:

Adam Cruz is a DJ, artist, songwriter, author, record label owner, producer, graphic designer and music business enthusiast. As a producer, he has built a solid reputation for his creative production style and song-writing prowess. Adam has recorded with award-winning artists such as Eddie Nicholas, Flora Cruz, Gerideau, Lillias White, Manchildblack, queen AaMinah, and several others. As a DJ, he spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music to a solid base of long-time listeners. He has worked with disco music legend Mel Cheren, Grammy award winner Louie Vega, Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, dance music giants Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge, Tony award winner Lillias White and others. Today, Adam runs his own record label, Mixtape Sessions, and co-owns record label Honeycomb Music, alongside longtime music partner Josh Milan. For Mixtape Sessions, Adam released his third "Freedom" LP as well as his first book, entitled "Free the Music Business: Tips and Tales from an Indie Music Nerd" to critical acclaim. In 2019, Adam applied for was awarded a mini-grant from Arts Ed Newark produced the Mixtape Sessions Music Conference, a 1-day music business conference, addressing topics related to artist health and wellness, financial literary, music business trends and more! The 2nd Annual Mixtape Sessions Music Conference returned October 14-15, 2020 as part of Lincoln Park Music Festival's 14.2 Global Soul virtual weekend. Click here to watch on demand.

Lastly, Adam has been discussing music business news and trends from around the globe on the "Freedom Radio Hour," broadcasting for eleven seasons on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan in Africa and on the web at: freedomradiohour.com. Season 12 returns this Spring 2021. Tune in Fridays at 4pm EST at: freedomradiohour.com


PERSONAL STATEMENT:

I’ve been a DJ since I was ten years old, following in the footsteps of my older cousin who gifted his DJ equipment and record collection to me in 1987. That singular moment changed me forever. My love of music grew exponentially over those years and my experiences DJing at parties began to multiply. Becoming a DJ was a natural thing for me because of how the stories in the music made me feel. I have a knack for blending records together and creating new ideas on the spot by using turntables, CDJs, loops or anything else. Because timing is everything to a DJ, each song commands me to pay attention to its musical form and structure. I take notice to the verses, choruses, and most of all, any sections with a drum break in it. To a great DJ, a lengthy break in a song can open up a world of ideas. You can loop it, blend an acapella track on top, creating a “mash-up” or use a drum break to provide the bed for another song entirely. Each idea becomes a layer that builds to a completed new idea. I’ve spent countless hours layering and creating in this way.

This layering approach is also directly related to other interests in my life, namely graphic design and music production. Given my love for DJing, it’s no surprise that I’d also be interested in producing my own music. However, what I didn’t expect was to develop a love for graphic design as well. I can’t recall right now the circumstances that led me to first attempt to design something, but as early as 2001 I can remember fiddling around with Paint and then Photoshop. Much like a great DJ, I understood that a great designer knows how to use layers to develop a message and create art. For over 10 years, graphic design and music have been closely tied together. When I decided to go back to school and finish my bachelor’s degree, I knew I wanted to enroll at Bloomfield College because its CAT program allows me to continue learning both graphic design and music at the same time. Already, I’ve learned so much more about Pro Tools, Reason, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, and Illustrator than I ever have before. From better mixing techniques in Pro tools to understanding sound design in Final Cut Pro, each application has helped to inform my artistic expression.

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