Dawn Carroll, leading luxury stone designer and founder of the Over My Shoulder mentoring foundation, recently collaborated with longtime friend, musician, and creator of the new production and management company Electric Factory X, Jon Butcher, on three songs featured on his upcoming album, 2ROADS EAST, his first new album in two years. The songs are meant to “inject positivity and influence society as a whole to be become better people,” says Butcher, and are a combination of Carroll and Butcher’s two worlds—mentoring and music.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dawn Carroll and Jon Butcher.
NS: When did you two meet?
Jon Butcher: I should let Dawn tell this story.
Dawn Carroll: There was a local music club in Boston called The Channel and Jon Butcher was one of the stars they would frequently bring in for shows. I’ve always been such a huge fan of his…I was lucky that we knew some of the same Boston musicians, and because of this, I went from a familiar face in the crowd to becoming one of his good friends. When I left Boston for Los Angeles, I was working with Grammy Award winner Patti Austin. While I was out there, I called Jon’s manager to connect with him. Quickly after, Jon and I became two Bostonians navigating the LA scene and have become life-long friends since.
NS: Do you collaborate often?
Jon Butcher: Very rarely. Dawn and I share lyrics on three songs on the 2ROADS EAST CD [Butcher’s new album]. Though I normally write alone, these songs came about in such a way that provided collaboration opportunities.
Dawn Carroll: I always knew I wanted to write, but I just never really knew how to go about it… I made myself escape my comfort zone and recorded this song in my basement—which was terrifying! The most impressive thing is that Jon took my story and with his wise edits, meshed it with his own musical talent. This is what makes our collaboration special. Each of us has unique ingredients, but at the end of the day, Jon is the master chef!
NS: What made you decide to collaborate now on these tracks? What do you hope people take away from them?
Dawn Carroll: At first, we were just exploring stories that spoke about our journeys. We were determined from the artistic angle to tell a story that could inject a positive message and inspire people to keep on moving and let go of toxic situations. We wanted to do our part to create music that is filled with empathy and is inspirationally positive…We hoped to focus on the nostalgic glimpse of yesterday, but also on a bright future.
NS: Jon, what do you hope people take away from your music in general?
Jon Butcher: Looking back on 15 records over 20 years offers some kind of perspective I guess. But to sum all of that up into a single message is tough, however I’d say this: human and spiritual relationships have always figured into my stories. How we treat each other. And the possibilities for something more, for something else to exist. I started out as a guitar player, now I find myself wearing a few more hats—producer, composer, arranger, actor, studio operator and now artist direction. It’s been a long and unpredictable road; the song “Path of Life” speaks to that directly.
Carroll and Butcher collaborated on “Dust,” “How Does It Feel,” and “Path of Life.” The lyrics were inspired by Carroll’s mentoring foundation and are meant to raise awareness on the impact of mentoring, both inter-generationally and cross-culturally. The tracks can be found on Jon Butcher’s Soundcloud page.