A Songwriter's Secret Life

Everything happens for a reason.

Tag: country

Be A Babe Contest!

I’m sure you’ve heard me say this a million times, but SERIOUSLY. Everything happens for a reason. When I performed at Crazy Horse to raise money for the Canadian Women’s Foundation, I made a personal pledge to always find a way to support a good cause when performing. When you have an opportunity to reach out to so many people, to me, it makes sense to use that opportunity to raise awareness and support a cause.

So I was shopping for my little brother’s 7th birthday gift (and I mean 7th as in age, not as in gift quantity… lol!) at the St Laurent Centre in Ottawa… it had the closest Toys R’ Us to where we were headed, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have stopped. Walking through the mall, I saw a sign for a contest called “Be A Babe”.

I passed by, took a double-take, took a step back… it was a contest to support breast cancer and the Ottawa Regional Cancer foundation! You submit a video and for each vote you get, the mall donates $5 to the charity! The top 10 get to compete for a slot to perform at the Babes4Breasts concert!

…oh and the grand prize winner gets a $500 gift card for the mall. … ūüėÄ

Whether or not I win, I hope to collect as much as I can for this amazing cause! I encourage all artists in the region to participate!! You have until September 30th to submit your audition!

Voting begins October 1st!

http://apps.facebook.com/offerpop/Contest.psp?c=197417&u=48730&a=202991206406825&p=129704701983&rest=0&v=View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9m6tUgsgj0

ūüėÄ ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

~Shauna

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It’s like a 6th sense you can’t control.

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Songwriting. It’s like a 6th sense you can’t control. The melody or lyrics will come to you out of nowhere. And they do not care what you’re doing at that moment. They’re coming, and if you don’t catch them quick, you might lose them.

Seriously, I could be knee deep in laundry, baggy sweater and pants on, hair thrown up into a messy bun and the lyrics to a love song pop into my mind.

Like C’MON brain. I’m busy. Jeez.

And you can try and keep going, simultaneously repeating the lyrics in your mind over and over again… but then the more you repeat it, the more it changes—or the more you think it changes—you start over-analyzing. ¬†Then you’re not sure if it’s the same as when it first popped into your mind. Then you get frustrated, focus on what you were doing and…

POOF. It’s gone. Bye bye #1 hit. (lolz).

So, to avoid this disaster, I frantically lunge for my songwriting book (which I keep on my person at¬†all times¬†now)… slippers falling off, tripping over laundry… (ps, I’m pretty on top of laundry. I can see how it may now sound like I have mountains of it that I slave over. I don’t. I’m just being dramatic :3)… I also have to make sure I use my¬†songwriting pen. I’m really anal about my songwriting ‘gear’ I s’pose. The husband has gone to use the pen a couple of times and I’m like “NOOOOOO you can’t it’s sacred!”

Husband gives me a sideways look, looks a little concerned for my mental state and says, “Ooookay then…”

I’m so lucky he’s still married to me. Hah.

Anyway, sometimes, you don’t accomplish much in a day because you’re busy songwriting and EVERY moment you go to do something else, more lyrics happen to appear… and¬†you can’t lose them. So the husband will come home and ask what I did today, surrounded by PILES of dishes, laundry, dust-bunnies (I’m seriously kidding) and I say,

“Not much, but I wrote a FANTASTIC SONG!!!”¬†

*Super hero pose*

:3

~Shauna

‘Like’ your fave artist!

‘Like’ your fave artist!

Don’t forget to ‘like’ your fave artist from last night’s episode on the CMT website! You have until Wednesday next week to ‘like’ your favourites as many times as you want ūüôā

And if you like my youtube videos, share them with your friends! ūüėÄ Maybe they’ll like them too ūüôā

Thanks for your ongoing support xox

~Shauna

My Worst Critic

They say you’re your own worst critic. Sometimes I wonder if that’s worse than someone else¬†criticizing you… I think it’s easier to ignore negativity when it’s coming from others than it is coming from within yourself.¬†

I was anxious for the show to air. I knew my performance wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but it all happened so quickly that I couldn’t really remember how far off it was from my scale of “acceptability”. Well, it was off. Way off. And no matter how much the people around me cheered me on, I couldn’t get past it.¬†

I received tons of emails and notifications about my appearance on the show… I was so happy and thankful to have so many people supporting me… but the side of me that was still kicking myself wasn’t allowing me to enjoy the experience to it’s fullest.¬†

Not one person had a negative comment. No one except for me. 

You know that Taylor Swift song called “Mean”? The one she wrote about that critic who was a complete jerk and belittled her for her performance at the Grammy’s? I was that guy last night—to myself. I can’t be that guy. I had the opportunity of a¬†lifetime¬†and there I was, getting upset about one measly performance. The exposure that I got from this experience is the biggest shot I’ll ever get at making this a bigger part of my life.¬†

I am so thankful for everything this show has brought to my life. It helped me learn who I was as an artist and grow into a stronger vocalist and grow my confidence. I mean, I gotta give myself a break here. I hid away my passion for this for years, and the first time I sing my own material was on a CMT show. That’s pretty freaking awesome.

I think one day I’ll look back at this and laugh.

Because,

“Someday, I’ll be living in a big ol’ city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean.

Why you gotta be so mean?”

~Shauna

My most recent cover :3

I love Miranda Lambert and her voice… she’s fantastic! Did a cover of one of her songs based on a friend’s suggestion ūüôā Decided to do ‘Over You’—reminded me of my grand-mother who passed a few years back. Miss you Memere xo

My first public video… eek!

Super shy about this first video… :3 It’s a cover of one of my fave Taylor songs called Tim McGraw

Things that get me pretty psyched.

– Waiting for Big In A Small Town to air. This gets me excited. And anxious. And nervous. And excited. ūüôā

– Having well known people follow me on twitter… I have under 40 followers… and when someone who works in the music industry (LIKE FREAKING BIG MACHINE RECORDS) starts following you, you get excited. But don’t tell them I said that. I’m afraid they won’t think I’m cool and stop following me. (Side note: that’s Taylor Swift’s record company. Ya.)

– Writing new songs that I think are actually awesome. I get this tingly feeling in my stomach and my arms when I’ve written something I love. It’s weird.

– Hanging out with Taylor Swift (…on a live chat on youtube) and…

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– FINDING OUT her new album is called RED and comes out OCTOBER 22ND and…

– HEARING her new single called “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”… which is PHENOMENAL.¬†

I’m using caps because I actually would be screaming it–that is, if I wasn’t alone in my living room with my two dogs who would be suddenly very frightened of me.

Oh oh oh!!

– AND, that the song she co-wrote with Ed Sheeran WILL BE ON THE ALBUM.

Okay I’m done screaming now.

:3

~Shauna

PS: I super promise to have a song ready for you to hear by the time the show airs. :3

<3

It’s never been about “being better” than anyone for me. It’s always been about challenging myself. My biggest opportunity has been to differentiate¬†challenging myself¬†and being¬†overly self-critical.

I’m working on it. ūüôā

I over-analyse, so not knowing for sure about what’s to come is something I’ve always struggled with because I come up with multiple¬†scenarios¬†and outcomes as time progresses.

To put it simply, I’m a dreamer.

~Shauna

I’m inspired by Taylor Swift. Deal with it.

Inspiration drives creativity…

My biggest inspiration is Taylor Swift.

By now, I know that’s starting to sound almost¬†cliche, but it’s because she’s inspired so many people–and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But it’s strange how so many people think there¬†is¬†something wrong with that. Why is it so wrong to idolize someone for being kind, thoughtful, driven, successful, funny, focused, grounded… because they’re famous?¬†I think it stems from a few things:

1. Because of their personal preference: They don’t like her, why should you?

2. Her voice is no match to the likes of Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood or Christina Aguilera.

3. She claims to be a country singer, but her songs aren’t “country”.

…among other things I’ve heard.

The first point (I think) can be labeled as “Justinbieberism” (ya, just made that up… it’s definitely not a thing). It’s crazy how much people¬†hate¬†him. And they use the term so loosely. “Hate”. Ugh. You can’t hate someone without good reason–and finding him annoying and cocky is not a good reason (Side note: I love Justin Bieber… GO CANADA!). But when someone says they love him or idolize him, the haters hate them too! I don’t get it.

Let’s say you like puzzles. Wouldn’t it be weird if someone who didn’t like puzzles came up to you and said they¬†hated you¬†because you liked puzzles? I’m pretty sure conversation would go, “Oh. I don’t like puzzles,” and end there. Same should go for Taylor. “Oh. I don’t like Taylor Swift.” The end. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and those who disagree shouldn’t fight them on it.

The second point is a huge topic of discussion when it comes to Taylor; her voice. She has never claimed to have a voice like the aforementioned singers. She has never claimed she’s never gone flat on a note or had consistently perfect performances. She is¬†not¬†perfect and she’d be the first to tell you that, (like in her song ‘Mean’:¬†You have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don’t already see them) …but don’t expect her to come out and announce to the world that she had a tough performance! There’s the argument that “Well, she’s a singer. Singing is her job, shouldn’t she be perfect?” Singing is one of the many facets of Taylor’s job–she is an¬†artist, and she’s damn good at it. Her voice is sweet, powerful and easily¬†identifiable.¬†Taylor works hard and challenges herself day in, day out (another reason why I find her so inspiring). Besides, I don’t think anyone can say they’re perfect at their jobs–and if you can, I think you lack accountability and self-awareness. Annnnddddd *manager hat comes off*.

Lastly, there’s the whole “She’s not country enough” thing.

If you can think of ten country artists, I bet you one of them would be Shania Twain. When Shania was sick of singing other peoples’ songs, she went off and wrote her own… with rock music producer Mutt Lange. When they presented their songs to her label, they were worried it was too different and not country enough. Ultimately, if it didn’t come out of Nashville, you were taking a big risk. And with that, Shania Twain became one of the most successful country music artists of all time. Genres evolve over time, and it’s people like Shania and Taylor who¬†aren’t afraid to take risks¬†that make these things happen. So next time you think Taylor Swift isn’t “country enough”, think of Shania Twain and what she did to change the face of country.

So. To sum up. I like Taylor Swift. She inspires me. She’s awesome.¬†If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

And no matter what happens, I’ll always be proud to say it.

~Shauna

I’ll always believe in myself.

I haven’t found out if I’ve made it into the top 6 or not yet, and I probably won’t for a while (I couldn’t tell you anyhow! Hehe). Honestly, I don’t think I’ll make it through, but that’s not to say I don’t think I did a great job. Considering I’ve never done this before, and have been hiding this away for years, I think I did fantastic. For someone with my level of experience, I could not be any more pleased with how everything turned out–and the fact that I was given this opportunity in the first place!

The other talent was¬†phenomenal. Everyone had something different to bring to the table, which is going to make our episode so great! I seriously don’t know how they’re going to choose out of the four. I couldn’t say anyone was¬†better¬†than anyone because they were all amazing. Seriously.

And my husband and I watch shows like American Idol (mostly the auditions, haha), Canada/America’s Got Talent… etc. We can ALWAYS call it. We always know who doesn’t have a chance in the world and who is FOR SHIZ going through to the next round.

…but we’re stumped on this one!

Maybe it’s because we’ve built a more personal connection with each contestant… but as a manager, I’ve taught myself to be objective–I have to, whether I like it or not. Nonetheless, I’m still unsure.

I’ve always been the type of person to reach for gold in everything I do, so realizing I’m probably not going through somewhat disappointed my inner dreamer. One of my dreams was to become a manager. I was 18 at the time and barely had supervisory experience, let alone management, but I¬†persevered¬†and by the time I was 20, I was running my own business. I’m even training others to do¬†my¬†job, because I love what I do and it shows in my work. And I’m proud of that. I’ll never brag about it. When people ask, I’ll be honest and allow them to react the way they want to…

…like when someone asks to speak to the manager, and little ol’ me walks over. They always ask, “Are¬†you¬†the manager?” Hah. Their reaction is always priceless when I say I am.

So when I’m presented with a challenge, I always push myself to the limit–because I¬†believe¬†in myself. And yes, sometimes my inner realist is like “What the heck are you thinking?”, but when I know I can do something, I do it, whether or not I have doubts.¬†

My husband is the last person who wants to see my inner dreamer crushed. He always tells me “You always set yourself up for disappointment.” He’s right. I do. But my inner realist is strong enough to get me through it.

In the end, I’ll always make sure I’m happy… and I am right now. Really happy ūüôā That’s all that matters. Everything happens for a reason, and if it was meant to be, it was meant to be.

Because I believe in fate, do you? ūüôā

~Shauna