People often ask me: did you really have to leave your radio job to continue your music career? What kind of “space” or “time” did it take to write the songs for your album? So I thought, why not write post about my songwriting process?
Funnily, I’m a really deadline-driven person. If there’s no deadline, I find it difficult to push myself to complete something. You could almost say that it’s a job hazard of having a flexible schedule.
With songwriting though, I’ve become increasingly disciplined or conscious over the years. When I first began, I often took out old poetry I had written (yes I wrote poetry throughout my teen years) and tried to recycle the content for new lyrics. Now, I find myself catching interesting phrases and thoughts – both from myself and others – and then writing them down. One of these phrases began the songwriting journey for my award-nominated song: Diagonal Rain.
As a songwriter, it pays to be observant. On the first level, you have to be very cognizant about your own feelings. How do you feel and why does it make you feel this way? Human emotion is universal. Feelings generate from deep inside, from motivations, from desires, from loss or gain. It is not always easy to dig deep enough to uncover and understand why one feels this way. These days, when I’m feeling super happy or super upset – I have to force myself to reflect: why am I feeling this way? What would happen to change my emotions? What has led up to this emotion, situation-wise?
I also like taking the time to hear what others have to share about their lives. It’s in listening to others that I often get inspiration to start or complete my songs. Often times I think of metaphors to describe their situations (Parallel Lives is one of those songs) or I think of what I would do in their situations (like in Let’s Pretend).
It’s a must for me to keep a notebook close by my side, and also my phone. I hate taking notes and writing lyrics on the computer.. there’s just something about writing things down on paper that’s alot more fluid:) The phone is always there to record whatever melody ideas I have… my phone and I are totally INSEPARABLE.
Right now, I’ve been writing out a few song ideas and have started to conceptualize what my next album will be like. It might be an EP. Watch this space for more;)
I leave you with a new video I just edited from my Class 95FM showcase at Hood Bar on 5 March. Enjoy!