How can I even try to capture this moment in writing. It is beyond words.
April 2016: It was around 10pm at night, the last day at the studio. The EP I was working on with Charlie was practically finished. Time to go home and rest, you could say but it’s not what we felt like. We decided to take our minds off the songs I sang repeatedly for days on end, the hard work was done. It was time to simply feel and release the music that was flowing inside of us. I poured my at that time very fragile soul into the performance of this song. The lights were out, only a little back light so Charlie could see the piano keys, I was sitting beside him. I sang with tears in my eyes. My friend at the other end watching us dive into our own little music world called Harvest Moon.
We used one take, we changed next to nothing.
I love these little magical moments in the studio…where you have this clarity…all the doubts subside and you say to yourself ‘This is what I live for’
Nothing more to be said as more words would just ruin it.
Let’s fast forward, it’s February 2016. Much has happened since then. A lot of exciting new projects and the EP coming along really nicely. Charlie came to Vienna to record the final vocals for the EP with me. Exciting times. This little video is from the night he arrived, we had some wine, a lovely dinner with friends that led to this little cheesy jam session. I’ve been going through this Motown and Etta James phase since I had this Motown gig in January. I love how new projects always give you new inspiration too. ‘I’d rather go blind’ was a big treasure found for me and became one of my all time favorites. This song has so much soul and now every time I sing it I go back to a place of pure fragility. If I’m sad or heartbroken I just pour it all into the song, if I’m however doing well, I open old wounds all over again. It’s what I need to do to get a fragile yet strong tone in my voice but more importantly, be honest. If I don’t mean it, you can see it. So I find that a singer can be a lot like an actor actually. For me, it’s like therapy. You just let it all out and expose your inner life to your audience. I sing this song and I feel naked, yet so so strong.
This is a little snippet of my song ‘Gold to Grey’ that I played with my producer Charlie P in London. We’re in November 2015 here and my new base is Vienna for now. After 5 years, it was time to move and get some distance from the great, vibrant, lovely but stressful city that is beloved London. However, I travel there regularly for music related projects and my EP sessions with Charlie, one of them including this little rehearsal of my latest creation. We started playing all my songs on guitar first before producing/arranging them properly to get a sense of where we want to go with a song. For one, it is so stripped back and ‘naked’ that a ‘bad song’ just wouldn’t pass the test. I’ve learned that a good song doesn’t need big sound effects or complicated arrangements. A good song just is. It needs nothing more. It’s just as powerful ‘naked’ as fully produced. The acoustic sessions are basically there to prove that or see if it needs some tweaks before we take it to the next step.
‘Golden Fading Hair, can you see past all that glares?’
Soooooo, we’re back in August 2015 and a lot has happened since my last song release in May. I’ve been a bit quiet but I’ve taken some time to be creative and productive. Charlie and I spent quite some time in the studio during the summer. We’ve finalized the songs for the EP and that made me extremely relieved and happy. I had a rough couple of months before that in terms of songwriting.
With writing, I find that when you’re not completely honest with yourself, it doesn’t work… It lead me to a kind of writer’s block except I could write but I just hated everything… You know, when you let go of something and accept your feelings towards it, you finally release all your inner inspiration that you held in for so long and that is exactly what happened… I made some changes in my life, it was quite a crazy summer in fact… I felt so free, yet so fragile and full of ideas, so many emotions at once I could barely capture them…
And so I wrote my best songs yet during that time…
May 2015 – the french label Electro Posé released my track with Maxamillion ‘Power of My Melodies’ which has been quite a success. We’ve been featured on the ELLE Magazine Summer Collection, it’s been played on french and german TV channels as well as the american TV series ‘Mistresses’, it’s all over Youtube and I’ve been offered countless collaborations and projects since then. ‘Power of My Melodies’ really showed me the Power of Social Media.
I had a blast recording this one…. This was about a year ago… Charlie and I love the original track by Pharrell and Jay Z, so we thought we’d have a little laugh and play around with it on a very sunny spring Sunday… free download, perfect track to get into that summer vibe… our inspiration with this one came from Bondax and Snakehips… it’s a sound that we enjoyed and wanted to try out at the time… I love when you have so much fun with a track and it’s so light and easy… we were finished within a few hours and time just flew by, we couldn’t get enough! We just listened to it while bouncing around and laughing… that’s what it’s all about, experimenting with sounds and having fun with it, without overthinking too much – ‘does it sound too much like this or too much like that’ – who cares, just enjoy what you do and go with it…
This was my first project with the amazing Charlie P, a producer that I met at Uni in London. It was my first single and basically our first time working together to see how we do. Best decision I ever made, he became like a sort of mentor for me and as a bonus, a dear dear friend of mine. I am still completely amazed when I get to spend time in the studio with such an incredibly talented and unique guy.
A bit more insight: This song was originally a folk song that I’ve written for my songwriting course at uni. At that time, I was keen to write about new things. Not about love but rather society and the way we live. However this song has a double meaning, which is kind of a theme in my music. I won’t say more. Find out for yourself 🙂
So here’s Greed. It’s a story, a long journey of thoughts, which led to a music video directed by another amazing guy and friend Braden Wilson. This was kind of the start of my development as an independent artist and how much has happened since then… I can’t even say! It was a real pleasure to work with so many talented people and even better, now friends.
‘Fade Away’ is the result of my first collaboration with the viennese producer and soundbranding company owner Maxamillion. He had a house track instrumental, I had my ideas, melodies and lyrics and there we go. New song created. My work with Max is a project aside from my music as a solo artist and it’s always been very easy going, which is quite nice for a change. When I work on my songs as a solo artist, I put my everything into it and that can be exhausting. Where as when I collab with Max, it’s always very playful and fun and I don’t take myself too seriously. It’s a different genre and definitely good practise for songwriting in general. I’ve taught myself ‘Don’t be scared of writing the wrong kind of songs. Feel free to experiment. Just adapt to the genre and contribute a bit of yourself, that’ll open your mind and extend your ability to write any kind of song.’
I’d like to start this blog by going back in time a bit, 3 years to be precise. Gael, my guitarist, beatboxer and dearest friend did a live recording session with me, jamming to this cover of Amy Winehouse’s beautiful ‘Valerie’.
Just one take, no post production, as you can probably hear, it is completely raw. That is something I really care about, being authentic and not changing the little imperfections that really make a song. It’s about putting your own twist to a song and making it your own, including every little mistake you make. That is literally what ‘live’ means. I hope you enjoy: