Brayden Haney Learns with a Purpose, Elevates his Game

Recording Connection apprentice Brayden HaneyThere comes a time in every creative’s life when you simply have to elevate your skills. Raw musicianship or determination can only take you up to a point, once you get that far you may find you need to assess what you’re doing and figure out what it’s going to take to get to the next level.

Brayden Haney (Boston, MA) realized he’d learned all he could by teaching himself. Brayden and collaborator Jack Previte are two of halves of the Boston based trap/hip-hop group The Contra Collective. When asked to relate where he was at as a music producer and rapper prior to starting Recoding Connection, he sums it all up and says, “We were making beats and still recording in Logic, and it wasn’t sounding good. So we’d either have to go to a studio to record or send stuff to get mixed and mastered.”

But this isn’t a story about two super creative guys who knew the endgame the moment they started out. Rather, Contra Collective developed over time. Jack says:

“We started making beats. We found out about Logic Pro, a beatmaking software. By the time we were seniors in high school, maybe graduating, maybe just going into freshman year of college, it started to just kind of manifest. It was just a slow, gradual build where we were writing raps, messing around, and started making beats, and it wasn’t anything serious at all. Then a few years go by and we kept improving and working at it, and just getting more and more serious about it. Then eventually, when Brayden did the Recording Connection program…that definitely took it to a new level.”

Enter mentor Steve Catizone (Black Eyed Peas, Wyclef Jean, Flo-Rida, T-Pain) at Infinite Music in Boston. Shortly after starting his apprenticeship with the producer and engineer, Brayden was able to get the insights and advice he needed to get the sound they’d been after. Days spent at Infinite ended with Brayden rushing across town to apply the technique he was learning to their music. Under Steve’s direction Brayden says the duo “got a preamp and a better interface. And Steve showed us plugins to use, he showed us how to mix and master vocals, how to leave headroom for the beat, how to do side chains, busses, everything. [Now] we have stuff all over the place in the stereo spectrum, like to the left, right, spread out. Steve definitely gave us a few pointers on that, too.”

So far Contra Collective has more than 20 mastered songs on their site and now with more than 20,000 plays on SoundCloud, they’re now focusing on selling their music on as many different music platforms as possible and reaching their future listeners. Brayden says:

“We use TuneCore, and that puts it out onto Apple, Spotify, Google Music or Android, everything. And then we also have been doing more music videos on YouTube and just trying to get all platforms covered. Then we also kind of found out that social media is very important, even for performances. You need to look at your social media and stuff like that.”

Being able to bring their musical ideas into being and getting their tracks out to the world is what it’s all about, for now. Jack says:

“I think we really just see a lot of potential, and I think our vision is just to take it as far as it could possibly go, and we believe that we have a unique sound and ability to do what we do. So we are going to just try to maximize that as much as possible. That’s really the vision…We’ve kind of just been keeping at it and we’re just more inspired than ever now, and that’s basically what’s led us to this point now.” Contra Collective Boston

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