About a month ago I met up with an old friend of mine who is also a musician.
She had recently released an EP and was hungry to continue writing music and I offered to take a look at some of her newer demos to see if there was anything I could help her with and I’m really glad I did.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been working with said friend, writing new material and recording new music together. While the music we worked on so far is all her voice, I’ve been spending time vocal coaching her and helping her view her music in a different light. As is with most collaborations, we bring very different skills to the table.
Being someone who majored in theatre performance I look at voice and sound in a very different way than most classical musicians do. When studying classical music, I was trained to believe that the voice needed to sound a particular way for it to be “good” or “acceptable” but I’ve long since put that behind.
While working with M.J. I’m feeling constantly inspired to be one-upping myself and bettering myself as an artist. I guess it’s something I’ve been doing for years as a theatre maker, but to have someone to be working with on music feels good.
This is the first time I really collaborate with someone on lyrics, production, and instrumentation and that takes a lot more trust.
I feel like as artists we get very protective of our work because someone may steal it and that isn’t to say that it isn’t always true. I’ve worked on songs with people that they’ve taken full credit for or laid down vocals on tracks that I wrote lyrics for and never got credit or pay… it happens. And while I hope that that never happens again, I am happy to be sharing space with someone who I can explore and create with.
Something cool that M.J. and I are trying is to produce each other’s music and share some of the same songs. I have a very different style than M.J. has and I want to explore that with the input of someone else.
What do I mean? Well, I love design work. I love writing creepy instrumentations and I really love storytelling. So, I’m going to let her help me tell the stories I want to tell with her experience as an audio engineer. We’ll both share certain lyrics, but our instrumentation and musical language will be completely different. Why not?
It’s amazing to see what covers artists come up with, so why not have alternate versions of the same song shared by the artists who co-wrote the music?
I hope to bring my theatrical background into her music. How do we tell stories with the instruments we use? How do we build phrases to make sure people feel exactly what we want them to feel without becoming overly dramatic? All in all, what can we learn from artists who aren’t in the same discipline as us?
It’s a cool new project that we’re working on and it’s already helped me come up with new concepts and ideas I’m going to be bringing in my own solo work.
I’ll keep you updated on this blog, and hopefully, it helps me keep Thoughts of a Stranger regularly updated.
In the meantime, my new instrumental album comes out on April 11th. It was supposed to go up for presale yesterday on iTunes, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem like it did… so… oh well! Distributor problems, but that’s no worries.
I’ll let you know if it does pop up there before April 11th though and if not it will definitely be on Spotify April 11th as I’ve received a confirmation that it has been received.