Collaboration, Songwriting, the process!!!!!!
I just put a playlist together and guess what? I have over 30 songs out there in the world that you can hear at any time anywhere! That's crazy, right? 29 of those songs were written, composed, and co-produced by moi. I have been in the music industry for more than 15 years, but I still feel like I have just started, so much to learn and so much to do.
I wrote my first song at the age of 13 and I didn’t know I could do that as a job. I just remember letting go at the piano and composing, for at the piano there was no judgment, and growing up in a very strict and controlled household, it felt liberating. Although my family could hear what I was doing, it was a very personal experience, it was easy, and I thought every artist out there was doing it. I thought if you were a singer, you were a writer. Little by little I would be very surprised...
I had my first recording studio experience at the age of 18 years old, it was a present from my best friend. The name of the song I recorded was “ I will miss you”, a song I wrote when I had to move from Paris to Las Vegas, leaving my friends and universe behind in the middle of my teenage years.
I remember standing in front of the microphone and wanting it to be perfect! It was not only the vocals but the production and the arrangement that had to be just right. I thought that musicians and producers had so much talent, I admired that, and although I had the instinct to know what felt right and would voice my opinion, I didn’t fully believe that I was nearly as talented as everyone else! Nooooo, what I had was the belief that big dreams could come true, that if I worked hard enough, I could accomplish anything.
To me, being an artist is constantly questioning yourself, are you good enough? Do you know your craft? Do you have integrity in your creation? Can you create something even better than the last song and composition? There is that everlasting doubt if you can do it or not!
I recently opened up to collaborating with various songwriters. Songwriting with someone is like going on a date, you are not sure if it will work out! You need to get personal, just enough to write something good, yet you don’t want to tell your whole life story. You have to listen, react, mentally you exchange thoughts, what you are going through, trying to find a common ground, something that you can both talk, write and sing about…
Then there is the collaboration with the musicians, you need to give directions to where you want to go, what you hear in your head, but leave space for the musician to make their magic, to transform the idea into music, into that feeling, into an experience. In my opinion, it needs to organically happen, you are the guide, and at your best should know when to let go and when to take back control.
I recently connected online with a wonderful guitarist from Brazil, Eduardo Balthar. We exchanged our music and talked about collaboration. His style is Brazilian jazz and I really enjoyed his playing and thought I would love to collaborate with him. I sent him a track, Settle Down, from my new album Truth & Dare, and asked him to record an acoustic version, to see where it would go… It was one of the easiest collaborations I have done. The mutual respect we hold for each other as musicians goes a long way. His guitar tells a story, and vocally I wanted it to be raw, honest.
On stage, in the studio, what you do is so much to do with your energy, the way you feel, as well as your entourage. I am a Gemini, so my moods change a lot, good for me right, haha!
Settle Down acoustic is released Friday 5th February 2021, listen, save it, I hope you will appreciate listening to it as much as I did recording it!
Love to hear your thoughts