I don't remember exactly when I made the "Pressure Makes Diamonds" song I do remember it was just another song sitting on my hard drive getting no love.
The title alone as well as the song was a perfect fit for the Most Improved Player project, in terms of the perspective of the song as well as the connection to the baseball theme in the project. In baseball the game, as well as the players especially on the major league level, are under pressure to perform. The game doesn't actually give in on pressure, but the actual pressure on the player can be relieved by consistent all around good play over a good period of time. (As in any sport really)
Baseball is a game of many streaks. A team can be on a streak as well as an indivdual player. Everything is cool when it's going well, but there are times when things dont. Which are known as slumps.
How great you are when everything is good is determined by how you conduct yourself when things aren't looking so good and you are down.
The style of the Pressure Makes Diamonds song is a style that can be found in several spots throughout the entire Up Against Hell series. The style resembles spoken word a little bit. I wouldn't consider myself a poet, but when the lyrics are written out some songs as this one, do appear to be poems. Looks can be very deceiving though.
The Pressure Makes Diamonds song plays into the change that's involved with pressure. It's about being unsurprised and unmoved by all unexpected occurrences that are thrown at you, which is bound to happen in and under pressure situations. Pressure can bring the best and worst out of people, While it can makes some people. It can break others. From personal experience Ive found that pressure can come from different places.
You can pressure or push yourself to be better...sometimes other people can put pressure on u, and sometimes the way life rolls pressure may be applied to u in that way as well. It's important to not stray from it, but also to not be absorbed by it, andto face it and become what it is you are supposed to become.
In Creating the Up Against Hell Series, I faced all 3 of the different types of pressures I jus mentioned for short blog purposes I will keep each story fairly brief.
1.The first type of pressure I mentioned is the pressure that is self-put on. I put pressure on myself to knock these projects/and songs out by doing my best work and getting the work completed with no excuses. The pressure of letting myself down is something I won't stand for. To be honest, if I would have come up short on songs, and not been able to complete this project the entire effort would have been pathetic. (This also falls into the realms of goals set by self)
2.The second type of pressure I mentioned would be defined more as peer pressure. Obviously, there's good and bad, but In the case for the Up Against Hell Series, the pressure was applied by my friend 3rain who recognized I had a lot of songs that I hadn't released, Mainly because I would email them to him, and ended up taking all the space in his email inbox.
He referred to me as a hoarder of songs. Put them together, and formed a project which was called "The Lost Art". *
After he put the "The Lost Art" project together I felt the pressure to put more projects together, because it was the best option for me, it was the most efficient way to work and display work, and also if someone goes to the extent to put a project together I mean that work is in vein to not act on it and continue. I wasn't having that either.
I actually still hold on to songs, but I have more songs, and I have released more projects so technically it's different.
3. Aside from actual life happening, there was natural pressure applied to the situation of how I was writing/recording/mixing all my records under extreme time constraints. I was fully starting and completing records/projects which fortunately I had enough experience to deal with.
All these processes come with more than too many decisions that have to be made, and executed in a timely fashion you have to be sure about your skills and how you deal with issues that arise with any project which I'm not sure I could have dealt with at a younger stage of life.
These by far aren't the only things that had me under pressure, but out of the 3 things and styles I mentioned something beautiful happened.
After creating the first volume of Up Against Hell, I became more comfortable with the overall workflow required for the project. I began to find new things to incorporate with my work. One of those things was working more with visual artist for my cover artwork (people who actually draw/paint creating original pieces). I also began to work with DJs and seeing how I could successfully change the form of my records after they were completed.