This month's release is the final installment in our Year of the Groove [where we've put out one electronic music release a month for a year,] and what a year it has been! As much as I'm tempted to launch into a recap of the Year of the Groove, that is for another blog post. Today is all about this month's maxi single "Make Me Free". Giddyup!
I'm excited to tell the story behind this song because the past two months' singles had much different inceptions than this release. Instead of writing to someone else's target given for a pitch opportunity and having to crank it out in a couple of days, this song came to be through the more artistic and organically inspired path. I simply wrote it because I wanted to. It was something on my heart, the melody just "came to me" as the muse whispered it in my ear, and I documented what was forming in my head as I went about my days. I'm going to break it down into the various facets and talk about the reasons and creative process.
Last October our Year of the Groove release was the electropop song Supermodel Astronaut. At the time I'd posted my Supermodel Astronaut Manifesto blog entry, but at the advice of someone close to me, I ended up taking it down when we got Huffington Post coverage for the Supermodel Astronaut Challenge. I couldn't predict where the media would take it, and I didn't want my words to be misconstrued and scrutinized, and sometimes you just don't know how other people will perceive things. But now that the spotlight's not shining so brightly on this, I want my words to live because I believe that women being hard on themselves is just a reflection of how culture can be hard on females in general.
As so often is the case, the path to creating anything is rarely short or straight, and this song is no exception.
As I've written in the past, one of the few remaining ways for songwriters/artists/producers to make money with music anymore is to license songs to film, TV, and advertising. Sometimes we get an email that has come to us [and goodness knows how many others], giving the specifics of what someone is looking for. Sometimes there's another song they've temped into their video, but it's a song that's either unavailable or too expensive and they want something that FEELS and SOUNDS like that song, but is NOT that song. And sometimes we decide to set everything else aside and do our best to crank something out that might fit their needs, in hopes that we might land the license and pay some bills.
This month's release was one of our "in case of emergency, break glass" releases for the Year of the Groove. We had planned to put out a song I wrote called "Human" this month, but after talking about the promotional angles, we decided to wait on that one until we could properly line things up and not rush. So, we pulled out this track that was never officially released, polished up the mix, mastered it, and sent it through the pipeline. It would have been released eventually on an EP I've got planned in my head, but I'm excited it's out there now because I actually really love this track and I'm glad to be able to talk about how it came about.
Since this month's release is comprised of all cover tunes, instead of songwriting, I'm going to talk just a little bit about the creative and production process. And I'm glad to have the opportunity to do this because many of the tracks were part of our Chillodesiac Lounge album and I've never told that story. We were originally going to only release the brand new track Our Love Is Here to Stay for February in honor of Valentine's Day in our Year of the Groove, but as we formulated the release schedule, it seemed like we might as well throw the other jazz standards on the release since many people may not have been familiar with our previous releases and it makes sense to have them all together in one place...