A referee friend told me about this in July. He’s a “loyal little,” and said that the show invites listeners to submit jingle songs. Finally, I had one I knew they’d like, so I sent Make a Memory on MLK Day in the afternoon, and Tuesday I got an email back from Nigel, the jingle gatekeeper, saying it would be on the show the next day! That ended up being an episode called, “Woke Bae,” haha. He talks about me at 34:30, and the entire song plays at 1:23:04.
I Don’t Know Why is not really new, I just finally got around to recording it. Came up with the chorus 2-3 years ago and had and idea for the melody of the verse, so I made some notes. The vibe of the song was telling me it wanted to be expansive and loud and make people DANCE. It didn’t fit on the project I’d been working on for five years ( Anonymous ) so it had to wait.
In December, I was able to get studio time with a brilliant producer in Gainesville, Skelly G, who I knew could make it sound just as good as anything in the Top 40. Went in the first session and I took out my old notes. Some of the verses were kind of eh, some were too specific, some took the song in directions that just complicated things. While this is not a folk song I still wanted to tell a simple story, and it had to make sense. I worked on this and decided on the arrangement (where the verses and choruses will go) while Skelly took the keyboard and guitar parts I played, created a beat and started making magic. His instincts were perfect; I knew we were on the same page.
After two hours, it was time for the vocals. I had to nail it right then! Inserted the “hoo-whoa’s” in the moment because it just felt right. Sang the harmonies, and even a chorus part an octave higher, a technique Katy Perry uses that I like a lot. It really felt like he and I were in the zone! About an hour later, he had everything he needed to get started mixing!
Wrote a lot of songs in graduate school at the University of North Carolina Pembroke, a somewhat uncertain time in my life. Sometimes I felt like the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years, not understanding God’s reason for having me there. “What next?” was looming around the corner.
One day on campus, I had some time to kill, so I went to the student union, sat down at the piano and the main theme of the song just came out. This older guy actually approached and said he wrote lyrics, “we should collaborate, I hear a girl’s voice who’s searching for something, uncertain about the future.” Of course I was creeped out by this! but knew he was exactly right, like we were telepathic. Declined the offer, (told him I only work alone), but the seed was planted.
For the longest time (years) I couldn’t find a melody, but I finally realized it was there in front of me all along, I’d been playing it for years.
Like most of my favorite songs I can’t remember how the lyrics came out, wrote them down in one of my 8-9 journals, but not quite done, as a song like this would behave… The lyrics were finished as I pulled into the parking lot the day we were to record the vocal!
Six years later, I was driving home from the airport; had been to our National Summit (annual USA Rugby thing), the panel referees had assembled for the first time in three years, and now I was on the Panel. Learned a ton from the presentations and got to see my ref buddies, a wonderful weekend. Our manager congratulated me on publishing my album in front of the group, which was nice, and so I listened to it in the car, as if I’d never heard the songs before. THIS SONG really struck me, because six years later, after asking, “What will become of me?” I have a good answer! 🙂
I cried and prayed to God, just so thankful. It was a life-affirming moment that started at the student union piano at UNCP.
Chorus was written a couple years before the song came together. Shared it Meegs, with my old teammate from Raleigh, and she said, “That sounds like beach music.!” So it followed that I would incorporate my hobby of looking for guitar pick-shaped shells by the ocean. Spent a lot of time at the beach that summer.
This was the first song of mine played on the radio. I was interviewed for a podcast at a coffee shop in downtown Gainesville and it aired on a day I was out fishing or something random like that.
If someone ever asks me to play a song I wrote that has the most Me in it, this is the one.
Sean and I recorded this in a day. That rarely happens. Back when I wrote it, like 2002, I set out to make my two-chord masterpiece. Also wanted to play with an AABB rhyme scheme. The lyrics are deeply personal about a regret I carried for a while. That day in the studio I was able to recapture those feelings and put them across in the vocal. It sounds so sad! 🙂
The awesome vocals on the chorus happened because I was too lazy to sing them myself, so I laid on the floor in the vocal booth and listened to my collaborator Sean Hunter layer it on.
Almost drowned writing this song. Thought it’d be a good idea to swim out to a buoy, and the idea just came in my head so I sang it out loud. When I got close enough to see that the buoy was actually a marker warning of a diesel fuel storage site, I swam back. It was far…