As I sit down to write this, I have several topics swirling around in my brain. I could spill my life’s story, I could educate you about music for the video game and film trailer industries, I could ramble about my frustrations and stress around having to wear too many hats, and so on. But for your sake (and mine honestly), I’ll keep it simple.
Welcome to my blog post! Thanks for being here. My name is Megan McDuffee and I’m a composer, music producer, and artist primarily for video games. I’ve built a successful client business over the past decade, and have gotten to work on some very cool things like all the Atari Recharged games, River City Girls 1 & 2 from WayForward, Apex Legends Mobile, the trailers for Annihilation and The Predator, and many more. You can even hear my songs in reality TV shows like The Bachelor and Love Is Blind. It’s been a wild journey, and there’s still so much more to tackle.
People ask me what instruments I play, and usually, I respond with, “Whatever gets it out of my head.”
Music has been an outlet for me for more than half my life at this point. I come from Chesapeake, Virginia, a place where music (let alone any form of art or entertainment) is totally underrated, never even remotely appreciated.
Blurry lights, late-night, pink roses, and a tremendous amount of drama: Enter the world of The Spotlights. My name is Vincent, and I’m here to tell you the story of our first EP called THISWILLMAKEAFUNSTORYONEDAY.
I have an incredibly vivid memory of the first time I heard Bad Brains. It was the first punk rock I had ever heard. I was fourteen years old, and I’m twenty-one now, but I can still conjure the feeling of that moment. The music tore through me. I felt the sound more than I heard it. It was summer, and I was staying in on a beautiful day to listen to music that a youtube algorithm was recommending me – but I’m so grateful I did. It made something click in my brain, like a light in a dingy basement being flicked on for the first time. I felt completely at home in the break-neck speed and sheer volume of the music. If you know that record, the first Bad Brains record, it is insane sounding even by today’s standards. I left the first playthrough of hundreds a completely changed kid. The world looked and felt different. I was in on some kind of secret.
I would later learn, of course, that I was far from being the only person that had this exact revelation. Very far. But it felt so special to me. I’ve played in bands and written at least a couple hundred songs since that day. I started a band with my best friends (Bad Nostalgia, check us out) that’s still kicking to this day, and we’ve played countless shows. We made an album by ourselves. I have grown as a person and lived through trial and tribulation as we all have. But that first experience hearing punk rock music was my watershed moment.
It encapsulated everything I love about music, art, and life. It’s all lead to me starting Pet Traits. I wanted to capture that feeling of excitement and wonder and use it as a creative power-tool. I threw out a lot of what I knew about music: the conventions, the chase of perfection, the safe bet, for total creative liberation. This is how I did it.
Less Than Three is a project that has brought me so much joy and so much frustration in the span of little over a year. Being a small artist in a big industry feels so lonely at times, and yet, I find myself continuing to put so much work into my music. The only thing you can really do in my position is just put yourself out there and hope. These feelings of helplessness and self-pity are what drove me to write my first full-length album Impostor Syndrome.
As a kid, I liked to skate. I wasn’t that great, but it was never about that. It was about feeling the board beneath my feet roll, almost like an extension of myself. It was all about the ride. I remember when some of my friends that didn’t skate would want to learn, they’d always ask me to teach them what they needed to know and I ever had the same response; “Learn to Fall.”
Around the age of 18, I was in a Pop Punk/Hardcore band called “All That.” At the time that was the style of music I wanted to work with, but at the same time, I wanted to mess around with some acoustic songwriter stuff. So I figured, on the side, I’d start my own solo acoustic project. Of course, I needed a name, but I didn’t want to go with my own name. I wanted an artist name, something that stood out. So that’s when I went through the good old music library and came across one of my all-time favorite songs. Among the Wildflowers.