Songwriting is a huge part of my life. I remember the first time I sat down to write I didn’t realize how therapeutic the process would be. To be able to express deep feelings from a place of vulnerability is a little scary, not because of the expression, but because of the rawness of that expression. While the process does bring forward vulnerability, the experience is incredibly freeing.
The first writing session I had was all about me deepening into my life’s story and the beauty and complexities it brought forward to me. I had to trust fully, and that was very hard.
I remember driving with my mom and my seven siblings from our farm in Canada down to California. It was a very hot July summer and the air conditioning rarely worked in the big silver Chevy van. We were listening the the FM radio station that was really staticky, but periodically we could actually hear a song . Suddenly I hear this new artist on the radio and was mesmerized. It was 16 year old Debbie Gibson. I was amazed that at 16 she had her song on the radio. Not only was her song on the radio,but she had written it. I thought wow if she can write her own songs I’m going to do it to. So I decided to write my first song when I was 12, it was called “True Blue. A little easir said then done, but needless to say, fast forward 18 years later I found myself sitting in a room with a producer and he told me “you need to write your own songs”. I looked at him and said “I don’t know how to write a song”. Which is true, minus me trying to write when I was twelve but that really doesn’t count because there is somewhat of a science to songwriting. The producer placed me with a very talented young lady who was so patient and sweet that we literally wrote twelve songs. The best part of that was that we bonded and are still friends to this day. That was 11 years ago.
During this process of songwriting I had decided I wanted to learn how to play the piano. I had already began piano lessons and that is what gave me the idea originally that I wanted to go into the studio and record songs for my kids. I thought it could be cool to record myself singing some children’s songs and my kids would have their mommy’s voice singing to them all the time. I didn’t end up doing that but maybe one day I will. What happened was even more than I could have planned. The piano has become a tool for me with writing songs. It is a place I can go sit down at and play. It has brought me great pleasure to create songs while sitting at the piano, so essentially this too has become another great outlet for songwriting. I am able to sit at the piano and play around with chords and different sounds. Hence the songwriting process begins.
I usually do co-writes which is when I will write with one or sometimes two people. We will come up with concepts and then start coming up with music. I love writing to guitar or piano. I will come up with some chords and then if I have someone who plays guitar they will play those chords on the guitar and we begin. There are times when you have a concept doesn’t work with the music.
It has been almost 11 years of continuing to master this craft, and now and it has definitely been a huge part of my musical career. I have had the opportunity to go into the studio and write with other artists for their own projects.
The experience is cathartic and possibly the most nurturing thing I can do for myself. I am grateful to have music to turn to and the beautiful reminder that being vulnerable is the path to truth.