H.B. Thal

Los Angeles based composer


Things I learned from Bieber

In March of 2016 I released “The Bieber Project”- a collaborative work reinventing and arranging three songs off of the 2015 album release “Purpose”. The idea for this project was conceived within days of the November release as I fell deeper and deeper in love with the album. The difficult aspect in pursuing your creative ideas is to bring something from conception to reality. You need the people, money, time, talent; it’s all pretty daunting. In a city like LA it’s pretty easy to find the people (Ironically everyone, with the exception of Ben Dalton and Katie Grosskopf, was from PHX). For those of you with project swirling around in your brains all day like me, here are a couple things I learned from bringing this project to fruition.



1.     Don’t be afraid to ask. To bring projects to fruition you have to put out a lot of asking; you have to be willing to let go of all your pride and ask others to be generous. I grew up going on trips with church throughout all my teenage years so in some ways, I have lots of experience with asking and seeing people be generous for no reason BUT, this was the first time that I was asking for no ‘greater purpose’ than my own creativity. I was immediately embarrassed by my GoFundMe and considered taking it down immediately, but then people gave. One of the messages I got said, “’Anonymous’ tried to explain what this is, not sure I get it but If you and Caleb are doing something I’m sure it will be great.” I think it took about 3 weeks for the project to be fully funded. If you want a high quality project, you need a budget- there’s no way around it.


2.     Respect those around you. I firmly believe collaboration is the only way to create something wonderful. Going into a project thinking two minds are greater than one is a must. Perspective from people who are honest and who you trust is so important because after a while you become too close and start to lose it. Unfortunately, we cannot all be single creative geniuses. The people who create great art are the people who don’t have a problem acknowledging that. The people who’s project get created are those who don’t have a problem acknowledging that. I’m so thankful for Ben, Micah, Jon, Katie and Janie for collaborating with me and for being honest people that I can trust.


3.     Get Organized. This is a lesson I’m continually learning as I work on school projects and the film scoring industry. I thought I was a pretty put together person but the truth is that it takes hyper organization to accomplish your goals. Someday we all hope to have the privilege of having the vision and letting someone else do the dirty work, in the meantime it's going to be you that has to carry the weight. The two days we spent playing music together was magical. Taking my bed apart and finding a place to put everything in my 500 square foot studio apartment wasn’t fun. Grocery shopping, cooking, sticking to the budget, putting together a timetable, those things are all just as important. I tried to be as organized as possible for this project and the truth is, it still wasn’t enough. The good news is there’s room for improvement in the next one.



Go make art. 



Watch the Rest of "The Bieber Project" under "Projects" tab.