S.A.C. Challenge – Week #2 WRITING A POP HIT

I’m sitting in front of my computer screen and all I can think about and feel is overwhelm.  This has been the busiest week working on music, but also the most internally peaceful.  For the longest time, I was mixed between being an artist as a singer/songwriter  and simply loving the craft of writing.  The separation between the two was not clear to me.  Only when I gained clarity in mind of what it was I wanted, (and ironically, this just occurred three weeks ago), did my passions in life make so much sense.  Elements of my life seems to fall into place finally.

I enjoy writing songs for myself and performing them as a personal expression.  Something about emoting my feelings through lyrics and performance is very fulfilling, but when my singing is over, I am happy enough to leave just as is.  I’ve never had a need or strong urge to become famous, push for exposure and marketing, to become a master at an instrument, plan out a tour, or find the next gig.  These seem great, but as crazy as it may sound, I only realized recently that I love the writing and creating, more than being the performer.  I spent a good chunk of my life confused of what it was I wanted with my life.  Now it’s simple:

I am a creator.  I am a writer.  I enjoying creating melodies and writing lyrics for songs.  I love thinking up the videos that go with music.  I love hearing a beautiful song.  I love being emotional.  Yet at the same…

I enjoy singing out loud.  I enjoy performing.  I play rhythm guitar.  I love expressing myself through lyrics and melody.  But these are all for my own personal expression needs.  I love sharing art.

So with all this being said,  my past week was filled with me finding a way to create music for someone else for the very first time.  The challenge presented a template which pushed me into a realm of music making I have never dabbled in before.  My biggest obstacles within the given timeframe were that I do not play an instrument very well, I do not know how to use my own recording gear yet, and that I have a 6 year daughter’s schedule that I need to work around.  Finding down time and space to lose myself in lyric writing was probably the most challenging.  When it happened though…I couldn’t have been happier.

I am extremely grateful that a couple of friends around me are gifted with the ear of producing and composing music.  Having the privilege of them sharing their expertise with producing songs, allowed me the escape into doing what I love the most.  I create melody and write the lyrics to it.

The main skills I had to learn during this process consisted mainly of communication, collaboration, suggestion, respect, and time management.  I had to find a way to communicate the idea that I had in my mind, and with doing this, a lot of respect was necessary in order to convey concepts without the fear of being judged or criticized.  I had to let go of my ego and simply collaborate with the best interest of the song in mind.  Also, most times I am quite visceral when it comes to songs rather than theoretical.  Therefore, it was important this past week for me to choose my words carefully in order to convey what I was truly envisioning for a song.

This seemed to be the case for those whom I worked with as well.  When they had any suggestions, it was important that they communicate what they wanted as clear and effectively as possible.  Luckily, the people whom I worked with were both able to share exactly what their expectations were when coming on board.  With effective communication , I found that the respect, making positive suggestions and collaborating all fell into place so easier.  The work was ongoing, but what  a difference a positive relationship makes when you are in a studio together creating something special.

Lastly, I must share possibly the best aspect to writing this week.  As mentioned, I am visceral and really look for how a song makes me feel inside.  So what better way to find out whether I wrote a pop song than to have my 6-year-old help out!  Haha.  I would play the songs that I was working on and watch her dance.  This is the best indicator of great tempo.  When my daughter looked great moving, it was perfect, and when not, I would request a tempo change.  I honestly believe children are built with the most natural, accurate and innate metronome.  And lastly, I had my daughter wait in the other room as I played the choruses I was writing.  I would then ask her to repeat what she heard.  She would either repeat the words, and when she couldn’t, I asked that she hum the sound.  When she was able to repeat back the melody, I felt things were good to go.  Haha.

In conclusion, as mentioned in my last blog.  I am really happy to be pushing myself in such an amazing challenge.  I am simply taking resources around me and seeing what works for me at this point.  So far everything I have been accomplishing has come with great lessons, fun times, frustrations, and some relief.  The more I participate I am sure my process will become more streamlined for myself and any team members I collaborate with.  I look forward to this!  In the meantime though, I must get some much needed sleep and make sure my daughter is sleeping as well.  She danced a lot and needs rest.  Haha.

Definitely being challenged, but grateful,

Bernadette

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