FROM SCRIBBLES TO SPOTIFY – THE UNCOMFORTABLE BIRTH OF A SONG

The insecurity around releasing a song can be creatively traumatic. What if it’s rubbish? What if I’ve inadvertently stolen it? What if I love it and no-one else does? Can I still change my name and live in an igloo without any internet connection?

Putting a song onto streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music and possibly an accompanying video is the somewhat glossy, shiny end of an often uncomfortable process filled with errors and doubt punctuated with shots of exhilaration. My new song ‘New Day Coming’ took ten months from conception to release and is a perfect example of such a process.

The structure of the song changed several times. I loved it then abandoned it. The theme was clear then I felt like it needed more ambiguity. The lyric got written then re-written several times. Crossing out and insane scribbling that meant nothing to anyone but me became my mad creative template.

The original and later much changed lyric scribbled and altered by a madman…yours truly

Then two nights before the recording my mood was low and something didn’t feel right. The lyric to the third verse and second bridge got radically re-written. Then the original third verse remained but I keep faith with the new second bridge.

Going into the studio the middle-eight section of the song that I was never quite happy with gets quickly re-written in the studio with guidance from producer and musical magician John Kettle.

Then the recording begins and the doubts fall away. The sound of guitars and drums bounce and crash around the studio walls. Unusually for me I start texting people about how well it’s going. The song that started as a melody in my head on the motorway several miles from home in early September 2020, is suddenly coming alive on 4th June 2021.

Over the next few days my initial euphoria gets dampened then re-lit again. I decide to release it on my birthday, July 5th. I work on 13 versions of a video to accompany its release, artwork for streaming platforms, social media.

Of course all of this and the song may be a damp squib, met with indifference. I’m a tiny tiddler trying not get swallowed up by the sharks. And with anything that is personal to yourself, emotions are fragile.

But now it’s out there, fending for itself in the crazy world of streaming and promotion, just trying not to be ignored. And if it’s not ignored by too many people, and is liked by some, it has all been worthwhile.

So here is the video. It’s unlikely it will cause Ed Sheeran to lose any sleep but it’s come a long way from the crazed scribbles of a few months ago. Hope you enjoy.

16 thoughts on “FROM SCRIBBLES TO SPOTIFY – THE UNCOMFORTABLE BIRTH OF A SONG

  1. Paul, I absolutely love this new song from you. The video is fantastic. It certainly got my feet tapping. I’m way behind the times and don’t subscribe to Apple Music or Spotify. I looked for it on iTunes but could not find it. I want to download it. Is there a way of doing this other than via Apple Music or Spotify?

    Your post reminded me very much of the process I go through when writing short stories. The first drafty is awful, and it takes me months to come up with a final version I’m happy with. Yet, when I publish the story, I doubt how well it will be received, let alone if anyone will read it. I have a feeling this song is going to do well for you. Would you please let me know where people can download it? I want to add it to my ‘writing’ playlist.

    Belated Happy Birthday for yesterday. I hope you had a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugh, thanks you so much for your comments, particularly the enthusiasm for the song and I’m chuffed you’ve been able to find it. Really flattered. I got a horrible comment on my song-writing Facebook page from someone earlier today that I don’t know who went out of his way to show how little he thought of it. Surprisingly it didn’t bother me too much (I deleted the comment anyway) but your comments have more than made up for it and so far it has been very well received and I’ve a couple of plays already on local radio. But it does show how we leave ourselves vulnerable when we put something creative out there that we have worked hard on as it’s out there representing who we are. The constant re-writing is a huge and essential part of the process as you know, songs, scripts, short stories, articles. In the final analysis it’s all subjective isn’t it? But again, delighted you like it and I hope the theme of the song has come through well. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s what I call a ‘catchy’ song, Paul. I’ve already added it to my writing playlist. I’ll let you know any stories it inspires me to write.

        Your accent comes over in your singing. It reminded me of when I first heard The Beatles singing, not knowing who they were. I don’\t know who did the video accompanying the song, but it’s very well put together. And yes, the theme of the song comes over very well. It gives hope and freshness to the world we live in today.

        Glad the negative comment did not bother you. Sometimes, they can teach us something, but they should never make us feel down for what we’ve achieved. I hope it gets some airtime on Radio 2 (and even radio 1 – although I don’t listen to the latter anymore). Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Hugh's Views & News   and commented:
    Not only does Paul share his new song with us, but he talks us through the process of how he wrote it. I’m sure many writers will connect with the process.

    Check out Paul’s new song ‘New Day Coming.’ I’ve already streamed my copy of the song from iTunes and added it to my ‘Writing’ playlist.
    And if you like the song, don’t forget to tell Paul over on his blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hugh brought me here. I really like this, well done on such a good song and video: I hope it does well for you. You mentioned John Kettle – was that one of the Merry Hell Kettles? If so, good choice – they know how to put good songs together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Clive, thanks for your comments and for listening, it’s appreciated. Yes, it is John Kettle of Merry Hell fame, he’s a brilliant producer and being such a great songwriter himself he always has a tremendous feel for what will enhance the song. I’m lucky to be able to work with him.

      Thanks again,

      Paul

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I said, you’ve chosen well. As a big MH fan it was interesting to me how he let you be yourself on the song, as anyone listening to it without knowing of his involvement probably wouldn’t have guessed it. Hope it does really well for you 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Appreciate your re-blog Hugh, would be delighted if it inspired your writing at all. I’d love to think it would get some airtime on Radio 2 but I’d need some more industry weight behind me for that to happen and the competition is huge, I’ll be happy for some online/independent radio stations for now.

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m also a big fan of this one, Paul, and I want you to know this isn’t false praise. Great beat and the kind of song that makes these 62-year-old bones want to get up and dance. I also think the video was fantastic. One symptom that seems to inflict all writers is self-doubt, but you got this one right!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you liked it Pete, it is starting to pick up some interest. I think doubt is good as long as it doesn’t overwhelm, but it certainly can get to you sometimes! As I say, all part of the process…

    Thanks for listening/watching/reading.

    Paul

    Like

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