This post has nothing to do with Valentine's Day 🤦♂️. I just couldn't resist the timing. Forgive me.
I'm grateful to announce that the first release of the year is complete! The "Pause" single has been added to 42 spotify playlists so far, and roughly 8,500 streams from Spotify, Apple Music, & Youtube Music alone. The music video released only 2.5 days prior to writing this, and has reached over 25,000 views and growing steadily. (Story behind the song below.)
A big THANK YOU to all of you that have already had a chance to support this new release. If you haven't had the chance to see it yet... no worries! Here's the video along with a couple of sharable links to the song and video.
Behind the Song
Every song I write is meant to provide listeners with their own personal experience. Although I can only write from the influence of my own filter of the world, the majority of my songs are not derived directly from the specifics of my own life.
I heard the music produced by Young Taylor, and the chorus just came to me instantly. I quickly recorded the very rough idea in my voice memos so I wouldn't lose the idea.
I've shared the audio to the right. (Don't judge my singing, please. ) 😝
O.K. So the chorus was pretty much a locked concept, but the verses were another story. I really wanted to capture a certain tone with the song, and this would be driven home in the verses.
Frankly, The chorus is lyrically generic, but it hits just right melodically & rhythmically. Plus, it captures the core feeling in a relatable way. Sometimes it's best not to over think these things. If it's right... It's right. (my opinion)
I wanted the verses to feel conversational and honest. Conversational via rhythm & tone. Honest through language choice. I just wanted it to be interesting to listen to, and the only way I know how to do that is to say the most with the least amount of words.
I wanted the song to capture the complexities of loving someone so much that you desire both to hault time in order to live in the feeling of that moment forever, but don't want to stop creating more of them.
Since I wanted the rhythm and melody of the verses to be so quirky, I decided to dial in the sound of the chorus first. I set up my mobile studio in my kitchen because I wanted the natural reverb for the low register vocals I was laying down. Also, that came in handy for the fake sample I created later that follows the chorus. I ended up spending the next 5 hours dialing in the foundational elements of the chorus and the fake sample.
Then, I spent the next hour or so writing the verses, and laid them down right then. I remember that I was so tired, but knew I had to lay these down to capture the vibe I was looking for as not to forget. Some of the rhythms in the verses were so difficult for me because of how much they play to the 'up' beats in the measure, and the lines don't lay in any typical phrase structure. Somehow I was able to pull it off enough to finish the session. (Session first draft result sample here.)
After hearing the team's feedback, I brought in Victoria Jones to add some supporting vocals into the chorus, AND decided to keep the original vocals I laid for the verses even though the vocals were meant to be re-recorded after some memorization and practice. This was a tough call because the quality of the recording wasn't ideal for those particular vocals.
This was a huge decision that I felt was key for the success of the song.
Everyone involved in the process of this content absolutely loved the song with those vocals. I was speaking to Reese and Phil of The Library Of (the music video's production house) about the "under delivery" of the vocals. Reese argued that they weren't "under delivered" but that the delivery was nailed based on how I described what was meant for the song. That stuck with me, and later I tried to re-record the verses. I just didn't feel I was capturing the vibe, so I decided to let the original vocals keep the shine. Glad I did!
Made my final mix adjustments and sent it to MixbyBrandon for mastering. 😉
There is so much that I left out about how I approached the lyrics themselves and their meaning. If you'd like me to do a lyrical breakdown, let me know in the comments.
Behind the Music Video Concept
them on this one. Turned out to be a great idea!
Our next meeting they presented the concept, and I was completely on the fences. Thankfully, they were patient with me, and took time to work through the concept step by step to get my feedback and input.
The end result is a beautiful collaboration by everyone involved.
The main concept they came up with was that my character would be reminiscing while going through past memories of the two characters' relationship on my phone. Those memories would then be projected into the scene.
My main concern is always quality of execution. Whatever we do has to be believable enough to pull the viewer all the way in. A music video IS a movie, and the details are everything!
If we were going to have memories that defined the relationship between these characters, it had to look real. We needed to make enough varying memories to look like the relationship had been going on long enough to be believably solidified and 'in love'.
The actress we locked in was a colleague of mine named Leah McDonald, and she just so happened to be having foot surgery a week before the music video shoot. We scheduled 2 days of filming the memories around being able to bring her flowers after her surgery. Leah gets so much credit for being a wiz at drastically changing her hair style and look on the spot for each memory. She was a complete pro! The concept would not have come out as well as it did without her taking such ownership of her contribution.
Reese (creative director), really showed out. The main elements of the design that I cared about were the colors. I stressed colors. Pink, Blue, & Yellow. Reese designed every scene with these colors in mind, and did so flawlessly.
The full (production day) behind the scenes video releases this Sunday with a supporting blog to follow.
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