The TMG Design Process

Here is a glimpse into what you can expect during the Production Process of your time with TMG!

When You Have Begun the Production Phase

• You will be asked to send in any and all materials that you intend to use on the album. You will need to send any and all artwork-related material to me (artwork@tatepublishing.com) for review. These materials must be sent to me for approval before the rest of production can begin.

• These materials could include photos, pre-designed artwork, or ideas for artwork. Please note: If you are or intend to submit photos of yourself for the album, we request that they be taken by a professional photographer and done in a professional manner. A professional photographer will know the best way to capture you and make you look your best. Please visit my blog (tatemusicdesign.blogspot.com) for more information on taking professional photos.

• Some artists have acquired artwork outside of TMG, and that is acceptable. However, we will need to review it for use in print. We will let you know if it is suitable for print. Some things we look for that would make the artwork unusable would be: low resolution/quality images, pixelated or fuzzy images, images pulled from the web, copyrighted images, poorly designed artwork, unprofessional artwork, etc. If any of these issues are apparent, we will be unable to approve the artwork for use in print.

• Again, any and all artwork related materials must be submitted for review before production can begin.

When You Have Begun the Design Process

• The design process will begin after the recording and mastering phase is completed. Your producer will pass the project over to us once he has received final approval from you on the recordings. They must have your final approval form in hand before they can move you into design.

• You and your designer will have one month to create and complete the full artwork. You will be contacted by a designer at the beginning of the month you are moved into design. They will email you to let you know they will be working with you. You will work one-on-one with them to create the full album design, which includes a front cover, insert with or without lyrics, disc design, and front/back intray. They will send you cover options around the middle of month, and upon your approval of one, they will continue to develop the remaining pieces. They will send those to you around the third week of the month. Upon your approval by the month's end, we will be off to print!

The timely flow of the design process is dependent upon you! We must have your artwork materials submitted before we can begin the production process.

Thank you for your attention to this part of the process and we look forward to working with you in the near future. Congratulations!


TMG Artist Spotlight: Willie Blake Davis

The artist's spotlight is burning bright again this week with the upcoming release of Willie Blake Davis' new album, Foundation Solid, set to hit stores on March 10, 2009.

Willie gives us an inside look into his world of writing and creating music. Hope you enjoy!

1. When did you begin singing/performing?

I have always been a church singer, though not a very good one though. Just ask my wife and she will tell you that she used to hate sitting beside me in church while we were dating because I used to sing so flat. I guess that's why I started to play drums so no one could hear me sing! It wasn't until I heard Russ Taff sing for the first time at an outdoor festival called New Sound. He closed out the first night and I was totally blown away by what I heard. I never knew anyone could sound like that and move me so, so deeply at the same time. It was in that moment that I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to sing with that much soul and passion that I could move people to that degree. So I went out and bought everything that Russ had done to that point and have everything he has done since. And I just listened to him over and over and started to copy everything he did. I wasn't trying to sound like him but I wanted to tap into that depth of the soul and spirit that was very evident that Russ had a hold of. And according to what happens when I perform I believe that I have tapped into that vein of the spirit.

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?

See answer #1

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go throught to be where you are today?

WOW, WOW & WOW again!!! Oh my Lord, have mercy, where do I start? I guess it could all be summed up that I was raised in a very legalistic pentecostal church that robbed you of your personal identity that God had created inside each and every one of us.

First of all Rock and Roll music was considered the "devil's music" and that was the avenue that I felt God leading me into. And also you were hindered from expressing yourself from the stage that was considered "worldly". You pretty much had to stand there like a clone and just sing and that was very hard for this outgoing boy to do. But I thought I was living the whole truth of the word of God, and I wanted to sing so badly that I did just that.

The incident that sticks out in my mind the most is back in the mid 90s I was at a business event and there was supposed to be a man open the afternoon session with a song. Well he didn't show up and the man I was with knew the man in charge and told him he had a more that average singer with him that could take the absent man's place. (He was talking about me.) So I talked with him and told him I would not let him down. So I took to the stage and sang Steven Curtis Chapman's The Great Adventure. (I always carry tracks with me in case the opportunity presents itself.) And something happened that day that had never happened before I brought the entire audience to its feet. I was completely charged and sang with more soul and passion then ever and became more animated than in the past.

People were coming up to me afterward and asking where they could buy my album. Well I had never made one so I said "I don't have one" and the common response was "you're kidding...well you should".

So when I got back home I told the one who I thought would be the most excited for me, my pastor. His response was this: "If your dreams don't support my dreams then you have the wrong dreams" I was crushed and the joy and passion of singing died that day. And I walked away from church and never wanted to sing again. I still had a deep love for God, but if that is how the church was I wanted absolutely no part of if.

Long story short, I got deeply involved with racing motocross and fell in love with it. There I found no judgment, people accepted me as I was and I got deep into the motocross scene.
Then I had a bad crash in 2002 that laid me up for 5 months and in that time God started talking to my heart and nudging my soul and the spark to want to sing was ignited once more.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artist about the music/recording scene?

There is a lot I could say, but the biggest one is, do it if you love it, there has to be a raw love & passion for it that I believe can only come down from above.

5. How would you describe your musical style?

The style has a mixture of sounds. Anywhere from Lynard Skynard to Creed to Ozzy to Russ Taff. It just completely rocks.

6. What's the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?

My most embarrassing moment singing was about 20 years ago when my wife and I were the soloists for the choir that night in church. Rehearsal went great but during the live performance when it came to my turn to sing I drew a complete blank and I had to look over to the pianist and say "you sing it." But I recovered and kept on rockin'.

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?

The stage for sure. It is harder to capture the raw energy that the crowd feeds to you. But when I'm in the studio I become the song just as I become the character I am playing when I do theatre. I have learned how to make the transformation almost instantly when I am in the studio. Plus Jameson @ Tate just put me at ease anyway. He was great to work with.

8. Have you started work on your next album?

Yes, we have started writing our next album. We even have a title for it but you'll just have to wait and see when it releases.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up I ht near future?

You can see where we are playing next by going to www.myspace.com/willieblakedavis

The full name of our band is Willie Blake Davis & 3 Steps Away. And everyone in the band is ready to start gigging out a lot more. We have rehearsal twice a week and these guys can really rock. They make it so, so easy to sing and I thank God above for each and every one of them. And as our band motto that I tell them everytime before we walk onstage..."Let's go Rock for the Rock!!!"

Thanks, Willie!

Be sure to check out his new album available now at TMG: www.tatepublishing.com
and in stores everywhere starting March 10!


Creative Inspiration

We'll be taking a break from the Artist's Spotlight this week and we will pick up next with an all new interview from Willie Blake Davis.

This week I'd like to share my thoughts on creative inspiration. I truly believe inspiration is all around, and you can't miss wonders and miracles God lays in front of your eyes. One of my most favorite things to do is get outside, away from the noise of frenzied people and busy cities, and relax in place that is beautiful and inspiring. I don't have to go far. There are many roads behind my house that lend themselves nicely to this. Or going on a vacation or camping trip. Anywhere that I can surround myself with the simplicities of life, I can find the most inspiration forwhatever I'm working on, whether it be my next photography project, or my next TMG album design.

So the other day, I decided to experiment with my camera, get some one-on-one time with it, and see what we could come up with together. I am not partial to the cold and so unfortunately haven't made it outside to do these little experiments, so I stayed inside and explored. I enjoyed viewing various objects piece by piece and joint by joint.

They are simple pictures, but they are foundations to build upon. I think this principle could span many an area in our lives. If you're reading this, you're probably interested in doing an album with TMG, so I will associate the two.

In the same way these photos are foundations, small parts that equal a whole, the same goes for the process of an album. You dream, you think, you write, you compose, you collaborate, you create, you edit, you create again, you let go, you trust and you fully realize the fruits of all that has transpired. For some the process is quick and easy, for other it is long and tedious. Whatever it is for you, be sure to make it the best it can be. If you're not satisfied, why settle for less?

We at TMG understand the tireless work you have put into your art, your music. We want you to be proud of what you have done, because we are proud too.


TMG Artist Spotlight: Roc

This week on the TMG Spotlight we feature Roc, with his new hip hop sounds, he brings to you "What Hip Hop Means".

1. When did you begin singing/performing?

2. What inspired you to begin singing/performing?
I've always had the habit of expressing myself through words and lyrics. To me, performing is just another level in itself.

3. What kind of hurdles, if any, did you have to go through to be where you are today?
Doubts. Lots of 'em.

4. What would you tell other aspiring artists about the music/recording scene?
It's what you make of it, really. Plain and simple.

5. How would you describe your musical style?
Conscious. I like songs that make people think, so I try to do just that with mine.

6. What has been your most embarrassing moment singing/performing in front of an large audience?
Forgetting my words. You can slip, trip, and fall, but "choking" has got to be the worst.

7. Do you prefer the studio or the stage? Why?
Both, mainly because I see the studio and the stage as two different outlets. Putting down a track or performing to a live crowd; I love either one.

8. Have you started writing your next album?
In a way, yeah. I'm constantly writing, whether or not for the purpose of my next album.

9. Do you have any gigs lined up in the near future? If so, where?
I also got one in March, but the details are to follow. I'm hoping to do a few in New York way before then though, so heads up!

Thanks, Roc!


Be sure to check out Roc's myspace page for upcoming gigs and photos.