How They Made My Music
I remember the days sitting in my bedroom just plucking away at my piano that I had gotten for Christmas one year. I had seen it in the mall. Some guy was sitting at it plunking away and signing at the top of his lungs out in front of the local music store. They were on sale for Christmas and he was doing his best to get folk to stop and listen. I remember standing there listening and I thought “I can do that” and begged my parents for two whole weeks mercilessly.
Being the great parents they were, they got it for me. All put together and sitting under the tree with a big red bow. It seems like such a longtime ago.
The countless hours I spent in my room crooning at the top of my lungs. That’s what it was, you know. I really wouldn’t call it singing. But I would listen to a song and somehow I could play it after trying only a couple of times to get the sounds right.
My parents were really the great ones. They made excuses to all the neighbors about the noise pollution I was creating. Endless phone calls begging them to make me shut up! I remember one time my dad got so angry about the phones calls he bellowed out the kitchen window “You’ll regret it when she is famous!”
As time went on the phone calls seemed to get fewer and fewer. And my poor parents were the only ones to complain about the endless hours I spent singing at the top of my lungs. It was well worth it now though. The flood of complements that they received about my unrequited talent every Sunday Morning after church services seemed to make it all worthwhile.
Time went on
I was asked to sing at all kinds of local events. By this time, I was getting a little bit of confidence and my dad thought it was time to take the next big step. Video!
He took me to an electronics store and we asked the clerk to help us create a home studio where I could record and video what I was doing. I had already been doing small videos with my phone and computer but this was going to be a small studio of my own.
When we got home I remember the disapproving look on the face of my mother. She couldn’t understand why my dad was putting so much money into this hobby of mine. All my dad could do was say “I’ve got a feeling about this”.
My dad set up all the equipment and learned how to work it. Then he showed me how. We started by making videos of me and my dad rocking out to music we sang from the radio. Those first music videos of me and my day will always hold a special place in my heart.
So here I was, in my first years of college, living at home with a music and video studio in the garage and now all I had to do was use it. I recorded a few songs and put them up on You Tube. They got a lot of views and some really good comments but I was feeling really weird about putting myself out there singing other people’s stuff. It just seemed as if I was blending in with all the other people out there copying other artists.
So I decided I would write a song. I had always had these random clips of music in my head. I never really knew where they came from, but I would often hum them out and my mom would ask what it was. I never had an answer for her. I could only her I didn’t know and kept on humming.
I sat down one afternoon and started writing some lyrics. It took me almost a month before I was happy with what I had written. I would have it done and think it was awful and start over only to go back to the piece of paper I had thrown away. It was frustrating and wonderful all at the same time.
After a month worth of work my first song was finished
I played it for my dad and as expected he told me it was great. My dad was the most objective person I knew when it came to me. He loved everything I did. Now my mom, I like to call her a realist. She was always the one to tell me if something was good or bad. She believed in nurturing the good and not letting us delude ourselves if we really stunk.
Then I got brave enough to play it for my mom. She sat, she listened. Then when it was all over I could see there were tears in her eyes. That was something my mom rarely did. She looked at e and said “Wow honey, I don’t think this is a hobby any more”. So with that bit of good news I recorded it.
I was really afraid of what to do next
As with everything I did now, I had it all ready and uploaded to You Tube. Now the question was will I make it public or just keep it private. With my hands trembling, I click the button and it was gone. I really had done it. It was out there. At first I stood and stared and waited to see if anyone would look at it. I waited, and I waited.
I remember looking frantically at the post and not seeing any views. OMG… my heart felt work was out there and no one cared! I felt stupid for putting so much of myself out there and thinking I would get a response. It was me, just me. How could I think I would write a song and anyone but my parents would care.
I closed out of my computer and decided to watch TV. I remember I decided to make some popcorn and have myself a Harry Potter Marathon. Right in the middle of my third movie I had gotten a call from my girlfriend Michelle. It was on the house phone, because after my shameful display on You Tube I didn’t want anyone to be able to get ahold of me.
She was screaming and I couldn’t understand a word she said. Finally, after 5 minutes of screeching she said “You went viral!” I couldn’t believe my ears. I started up my computer. It seemed like it took forever to get up and running. I logged into You Tube, and there before my eyes my video had reached and been viewed by 1,354,294 people. It didn’t take weeks or months, but it only took 4 and a half hours!
It took forever to get through all the comments. There were hundreds. Most people liked it. There were a few people who didn’t like it. I just passed those comments by. No one could make me feel bad about my song when so many people watched it. I was on cloud nine.
Then there it was…
I had made it to comment 347 with 243 comments left to go and my heart was just about to stop. I thought it was a joke at first. Here it was comment 347 from Atlantic Records. This was a major recording label. I couldn’t breathe. There for the whole world to see was a brief little message. Just three words long and it would change my life forever. All it said was “Please contact me”.
That was it. Just “please contact me”. That three word comment changed my life forever and that is how they made my music.