A Songwriter's Secret Life

Everything happens for a reason.

Month: May, 2012

Here’s my little secret.

Push; Close eyes; Cross fingers

Just happened to be perusing the web this morning. I thought “Hey, why don’t I check out the CMT website?” I never check the website. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a reason to. I don’t even have cable to watch the channel anymore. I was just looking for inspiration perhaps, or a country music success story that’ll push me to keep going.

Then I saw this.

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Jebus. Is this a sign or something?!

So you know what, screw it. I’m gonna make a crappy video. My dogs may bark in the background. You may hear banging, drilling, construction guys talking, etc. But whatever. I do. Not. Care.

But I was wondering if I could get your help…

Apart from the few who have heard one of my songs, no one else has really heard the rest of my originals. I was thinking I’d make a few videos of my favourites and post them here, and you guys can comment, give me feedback (remember, feedback is a gift and it helps people grow!), and ultimately help me choose the video I submit for the contest.

Do I think I have a chance in hell at winning? Pfft, not really. But it’s worth the try, right? Just gotta throw myself out there. Open up some doors (possibly).

What do you guys think?

~Katt

Singing in the Car

You know that feeling you get when you get lost when driving… your heart drops into your stomach and you either get EPIC scared or EPIC angry?

Well yesterday, I got lost. And I laughed.

My mom used to always brag about loving to get lost. I hated it! I would always get anxious, worry we’d run out of gas before we made it to our destination (usually home where I had a video game on pause I was DYING to get back to)… I’d get angry when I’m off to pick someone up and I get lost and there’s horrible weather and I know they’re waiting and I feel bad, and, and, and.

But yesterday was different. It was probably the most beautiful day ever… sunshine, very little wind, little clouds that made the sky look a little more complete. I met up with my best friend for dinner. She picked the place. It was off of Dow’s Lake, right in the middle of town–a restaurant on the water.

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I waited for her and sat on one of the docks. Looked down the water, watched people cycling, rollerblading, paddle boating. It was perfect.

 

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On my way home after dinner, I got lost. But my windows were down, the sun was out, my Taylor Swift tunes were blasted, and was singing and drumming the steering wheel (got sideways looks from people in adjacent cars. Did not care.). How could I be angry? The longer the drive, the better, so getting lost was a good thing. I eventually came to my senses and pulled out my gps, but sang and danced nonetheless. I felt like I was driving around to my own theme songs, and this is a big huge embarrassing secret, but sometimes I act like I’m being featured in a music video, singing to the “camera”. L-O-L!

So if you ever happen to drive by me and see me doing this… that’s probably what I’m doing. Rockin’ my own music video.

And as you should have expected, I wrote a song about my adventure.

“Let the wind mess up my hair; I got lost and I don’t really care; Got my tunes blasted up; Got my windows rolled down; People see me dancing like a clown; But my favourite thing by far; Is singing in the car.”

Oooh summer! :3

~Katt

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My New Songwriting Journal

Believe in yourself… because
“You don’t need a loud voice to be heard. All you need is something worthwhile to say.”

Bitter sweet…?

I was feeling confident. A couple of glasses of wine tend to do that. I have an Uncle who is in a band and who has been passionate about music his entire life. About a year ago, I sent him a message basically divulging my entire secret; That I love to sing and write songs and that I’ve always been so self conscious about it. I e-mailed him because I didn’t want to keep it to myself anymore. I wanted to share it with others, but I was always so afraid of being criticized. 

He called me as soon as he got the message.

As soon as I heard him say that he was really excited and that he wanted to get together and possibly produce “She’s An Original”, I couldn’t help but cry. This was it. Finally, someone gets it.

I remember our first session. I was sooo scared. When you know someone for… well forever, and they’ve never seen this “side” of you, it’s intimidating.  But once I was up there, in my zone, singing, nothing could stop me. It was like second nature. It was freeing. 

We had one more session after that. I was really happy with the recording and couldn’t wait to start adding harmonies… adding more volume to the song. Then I got an e-mail from my Uncle; all his files were deleted.  *Sadface*. Did I lose it? No. Was I disappointed? A little. I also saw it as an opportunity to do it all over again–that I didn’t mind.

Months passed, we didn’t hear from each other for a while. I was moving, he had someone moving in. It was a little chaotic. But I never really stopped. I kept writing… some good songs, some not so good. Then I felt the urge to share it again. I felt almost deprived if that makes any sense… So I video taped myself singing my songs and posted them on YouTube. This was my way of kinda throwing myself out there, then turning around and closing my eyes. Fingers crossed, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. It’s just a video on some website. Whatev, right?

So, after a couple of glasses of wine last night, I sent my Uncle a message with a link to my YouTube page. He calls right away… and all I could say was, “Ah, shit.” Husband doesn’t know about the YouTube videos, and now I’m going to be talking to someone on the phone about them.

I pick up the phone, and he said he was impressed and couldn’t wait to get started again. What do I do? I start crying. Again. Ugh. Then what does he do? Passes the phone to my Dad. Not going to help this crying situation! He was just on cloud 9. He said it was like watching Canadian Idol, and that his kid is a “Rock star”. All I could manage to say was, “Thanks Dad.”

So I talk to my Uncle again who says, “By the way, what the *&#! is that noise in the background?” in my videos. It’s construction. You can hear all sorts of noises. Banging, backhoes, drilling… “Take them down. It’s distracting.” So yes, the video and sound quality sucks on all my videos. There’s also construction noises in all of my videos. Also, I can’t play guitar and sing for the life of me, and when I do, I’m so focused on both that neither performance is where I want it to be.

So ya, I’m going to take them down. There are almost no views, so no one to really disappoint, and I’ll have the chance to re-record them from scratch, professionally this time.

My Uncle said, “It’s like taking a naked picture of yourself. You took it, it’s there, but no one sees it or knows it exists.”

Preeeeetty much.

~Katt

OMG. SO EXCITED…

OMG. SO EXCITED. Just wrote the chorus to a song that I am currently IN LOVE WITH!!! I can’t wait to finish it up and record it to share! It came from listening to old songs (see post below) and reliving memories. OU YAY. Sorry. I’ll calm down… here is the chorus.

“When I hear that song; It takes me back to when; You and I were just beginning; I can’t help but remember that killer smile; It may be long before I hear it again; But I’ll never forget that feelin’; I get when the radio comes on; When I hear that song.”

WOOT. >:D

Memories – Reflecting and Shaping them

I’m baaaack!!! And FULL of information. Wholly smokes… I have never been in a room with so many strong manager personality types. It got us all to be passionate about our opinions and voice our concerns when we had them. *Sigh* Glad to be home though. Missed my boys (husband, dog #1, dog #2). 

So there I was, all excited with this new information to share with the team, walk into my store and one of my full-timers (management) wanted to talk. E-gad. She wants to move to part-time because she “dreads coming into work every day”. *Face-palm*. What did I do?–is what I automatically think. “No no, it’s not you,” she says, “I just have a lot going on right now… life-wise.” I totally get it. I know what she’s going through and gave her some honest advice. I told her that I remember the night I couldn’t sleep; my stomach was clenching at the thought of going to work the next day (and listen to a bunch of crazy people complain about their credit card debt). It was that night that I decided I wasn’t going to do it anymore, and when I left, it was like my life was mine again. 

She said she didn’t want to leave, she just needed more time for herself to get things straightened out. No worries. I told her I’d see what we could figure out. *Sigh again*. 

Then I came home and looked for music to listen to. I perused through virtually untouched CD’s–since everything is online these days–and found one that took me back what feels like eons. Avril Lavigne, Let Go. Jebus. That album is like a distant memory, almost a dream that I relived as soon as I popped it in. Every song had a different image attached to it… or a smell–oddly enough. For example:

Things I’ll Never Say – I picture myself blasting it in my bedroom, my head hanging upside down off the side of the bed, laying motionless as I let the lyrics paint a picture of me talking to my crush (which rarely happened, btw). I replayed that song over and over again.

Mobile – I smell my old house when I hear this song… it reminds me of summer when I’d rap the beginning  as I followed my sisters out to the park.

Sk8r Boi – Nuff said. Reminds me of who I wanted to be when I was around 14. A grungy, fun, energetic kid. 

Complicated – I can see myself watching the video for the first time in my aunts bedroom after playing Mortal Combat on Nintendo and eating bit-size tacos. I was so intrigued by this “Avril” girl. 

Needless to say, my world revolved around Avril Lavigne for a good few years of my life. She somehow made herself a great idol for kids my age in terms of standing up for your individuality, but didn’t sacrifice her “brand” to do that. She found a balance. It’s so hard to find that these days in an artist. It’s either they’re too cutesy or too provocative. I think it’s important for musicians to be conscious of their power to influence. 

Because influence can impact others in two ways–either positively, or negatively. Sometimes it’s a mix of both.

It’s all about making a choice.

~Katt

PS: Check out my YouTube page to hear some of my originals… let me know what you think! :3 http://www.youtube.com/user/KATT4441?feature=mhee

She’s An Original

Today was great. Got to meet other managers from across the country and now I know that yes–we’re all different, but we’re all the same in some ways. Professionalism was questioned a few times… but it was all in good fun any how. I feel great though. And confident. I know my stuff, and I’m not afraid to jump in and say something when I feel the burning need to, even in front of managers who have been with the company since forever.

I’m having a great time with Amber. We’re on the same page about so many things… and she brought candy, so she automatically gained points there. We have a candy drawer. She’s like my soccer mom. Snacks and all! :3

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Meeting all these new personalities really takes me back to when I was first hired. I lacked confidence, always had to have a sure answer for everything before proceeding, stressed over every tiny aspect of my job. Am I past that? Nope, but I’ve gotten better in a short amount of time. There are other managers who have so much more experience and who still struggle with it. And I know what they’re doing–they’re comparing themselves to others. SOOOO demotivating. Don’t do it. Focus on what makes you great! Be proud of it.

It reminds me of when someone really close to me text me one day, and it right out freaked me out–at first. She yelled at me (yes, through text, get over it, we all know it happens somehow) for having a great life–the job, the husband, the house, the dog. I almost had a “HOLD ON GIRLFRIEND” moment but held back… it wasn’t my fault! But it wasn’t hers either. Instead, I did everything I could to explain how great she was and that things are tough sometimes but it’s all about what learnings you take from it all. In the end, it makes you a better person.

She wasn’t having any of it. I was her person. I just had to be there and take it.

So what did I do? I wrote a song 🙂 The first verse goes a little like this…

“She’s a free bird; with lots to say; she loves to laugh and smile; and take it day by day; She’s like a flower; that can’t wait to bloom; Her world is open like the blue sky and she’s a red balloon”

And the chorus sounds something like this…

“She’s an Original; she just doesn’t know it yet; she’s simply beautiful; won’t do anything she’d regret; she will find her way; if she thinks every day; that she isn’t typical; she’s definitely nothing other than an Original”

… and that’s Original with a capital ‘O’.

~Katt