ROXBURY, NJ – 19-year-old Succasunna musician Michael Grant had a plan for what would take place when he and the others in Emily Youth Project entered the recording studio: The band would lay down four songs and call it a day.
There were people pushing the quartet to record five songs, including one that Grant considered merely an idea and by no means ready for recording. Sorry, he insisted, the CD would be four songs and that was it.
But as the 2014 Roxbury High School graduate found out, caving to pressure from others is sometimes not so bad.
“We heard about this guy, Steve Kellner, and he had recorded two other Monmouth area bands who we friends with,” said Grant, now attending Monmouth University. “We heard great things about him and we liked his work, so we put in some dates to start recording a CD.”
It would be Emily Youth Project’s first CD. “We had four songs going into the studio, songs we perform quite often,” he said. “We had an idea for fifth song, but it was literally just an idea. I was very apprehensive about trying to make anything out of it, but people were pushing and saying, ‘You’ve gotta do this fifth song.”
Grant caved, and the band, with Kellner’s help, recorded the song “Nothing At All, Please,” a catchy tune with sardonically autobiographical lyrics typical of Emily Youth Project. “It ended up being probably my favorite track on the CD,” said Grant.
He knows that - while necessary and exciting - selling CDs is not enough to launch Emily Youth Project to pop music superstardom. Grant’s college major is Music Business. He said he’s well aware that success these days in that business does not come from selling CDs.
“People don’t buy physical things (like CDs) anymore,” Grant said. “Most bands are making money off merchandise or touring. You’ve got to be a lot closer to the fans nowadays. Records aren’t selling like they used to.”
Nevertheless, Grant said he and his fellow 19-year-old band mates – Andy Jackle of Clinton and Mount Olive residents Justin Murray and Jon Bass - had a great time when they performed Aug. 22 at the Roxbury Performing Arts Center as part of their CD “launch party.”
“It was just a chance for us to play live and for people to pick up a copy of the CD,” said Grant, noting the recording is also available on iTunes, Spotify and other online sources. “The turnout was good. We had our friends there.”
Grant said Roxbury High School junior Ciera Scire, a singer-songwriter who put out a self-produced record this year, also played at the event. “She is a tremendous talent,” said Grant. “It was great to have her open for us.”