Justice Der

Justice Der

Okay my friends. Grab something to snack on because it’s an expectation that you literally watch what’s coming up.

Time and time again I find myself struggling to truly capture the essence of the specific guitar sound that has me frothing. It pulls at my hearts strings. Gives me shivers. It does something to me, and it bothers me to no end, that I can’t eloquently sum up how this guitar sounds, without using the incredibly over used go to phrase, “as heck“.

However.

That was before my discovery early last month, of the actual Guitar Hero, that is Justice Der. Justice is a jazz musician/student(???) from Canada, and started uploading guitar covers up on YouTube about six months ago. I stumbled upon him while listening to acoustic covers of Blessed by Daniel Caesar and noticed his jazz guitar cover on the sidebar, so my inquisitor self clicked on the video and was instantly blown away.

My dudes.

This is the guitar sound that I cannot do justice.

Oh my goodness and Justice plays it, puns.

 

 

Like are you hearing it? The sound and the tone of the guitar gives me shivers every single time I hear it. If someone told me this song was played at my funeral at the gates of Heaven I would not be mad at all. The lick at 3:21 blows my mind continuously, no matter how many times I listen, which so far is a lot, and I refuse to get over how effortlessly he plays. The sound and jazz style of his playing, is the sound I’ve tried and failed to convey to you all, for the past seven or so months, and it’s so satisfying to be able to show you exactly what I mean, and so consistently. Let’s watch some more.

 

 

And then, last month when I was listening to Best Part to practice for my gig, I glance to the side, and what do I see?

 

 

But guys. It get’s better. After a couple of weeks and months of people (ya girl included) begging Justice to do Get You by Daniel Caesar, he smashes it out of the park, yet again.

 

 

It’s so simple, but his style and the tone of the guitar just put you in this beautiful bubble of bliss, life hack. CRANK the volume up, put on a good pair of headphones (hey, maybe check out my post all about the best headphones out there???) and lose yourself in the sound.

As well as his clearly gifted playing talents, what is slightly more commendable, is the dudes work ethic. This year alone, he’s uploaded some 21 videos, some of them back to back and mere days apart. He choses the best songs, fixes the smoothest loops and creates guitar magic, it’s hard not be impressed over and over again.

It’s now become a part of my daily routine after I get home from wherever I am, whether it’s at university, or out with friends, or just bringing my day to a close. I most definitely have a playlist on YouTube just of Justice Der’s covers, which I throw on shuffle and blast for a solid twenty minutes or so as I chill out. Major key. Would definitely suggest. 10/10.

 

Hopefully you guys gave Justice a listen! If you want to hear more, you can find his:
Youtube channel, Instagram and Soundcloud
all linked above.

I cannot get enough, hopefully you all enjoy it just as much as I do, if not…more for me.

 

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

Songwriting and The Big Suck

Songwriting and The Big Suck

Hello everybody! Today I’m not going to be rambling about an artist, or a song or a playlist that I’m especially enthusiastic about. I don’t even have any current favourites to share with you, on behalf of someone else. No. As the title may allude to, today I’m going to be rambling about songwriting, my approach and in turn, how it sometimes, sucks.

To begin, let’s start, with when I did.

At the tender age of 7 years old, ya girl Priya wrote her first love song. Not only was it one of the last love songs I ever wrote to date, but it was a shit song, for obvious reasons. But nonetheless it was a song. From there, I realised that the poetry I was being made to write in primary school could very easily be turned into songs. So that’s how I started.

I’ve been writing since then, but not without my breaks. I’ve had a whole year where I didn’t write a single song, and up until last month, I experienced a three month dry spell that frustrated me to no end. However, within those times, I’ve written down hundreds of single lines, a verse, a chorus that I think sounds catchy, and if you were to listen to all my voice memos on my phone, it would be filled with hushed whispers when I’ve had to note down a line or chorus out in public, the same verse at least four times over, and completely different each time, and even sometimes me singing a bass or guitar line that I can’t get out of my head. Complete shambles.

And then we have these bad boys.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 11.00.58 pm.png

 

So as we can all tell, I’ve levelled up my Canva game to bring this to you all. These are my current notebooks, but by no means are they my only books. Recently they’re the ones I’ve found myself going and back and forth between.

The two moleskins were gifts from my mum and the green leafy one a gift from my younger sister. So what are they for? It’s a system, that works for me, that I’ve used throughout different notebooks, for several years. The lighter blue moleskin, the one on the right, is where everything begins. Technically, everything begins up in my head, but if I can sift through all the crap (there’s a lot) enough to formulate a rough idea, then I transfer it that book. This is the messiest of the lot. It’s where I draw up rough verses, change verses into choruses and decide I’m too lazy to write bridges so throw in guitar solos. It’s where I plan set lists, write out possible songs to cover and generally make a mess. It’s the foundation of everything.

I’ll skip the green notebook for now, and move to the navy moleskin. This is the final destination for all the songs I’m currently writing. When they’re perfected, lyrics, formation, structure, chords and all, they find their way there. It’s here that I also label them in terms of what I plan to do with each song, whether that be to perform it live, record it, send it to someone else to sing, or leave it to rot.

However, the one that I general find myself using the most, is the green notebook in the middle. I by no means, get a song in my head and go into a frenzy to write it all down, creating a masterpiece in the process. No. That happens maybe six times a year. I do however, come up with killer lines and hooks (if I do say so myself), analogies, metaphors or sayings, that I could eventually turn into a song. A lot of the time, I can’t figure out what I’ll do with the line straight away, so it goes into this notebook, and when I actually sit down with the intention to write a song, I have a flick through and see if there’s anything in there that I could develop.

Now for the nuisances. At the risk of sounding like a total whinge and whiney brat, I want to share the downs in the ‘ups and downs’ of songwriting. There are a few.

 

Getting Started
A lot of the time, I don’t generally make the conscious decision to write a song. However there are times when I do, like for a university assessment, or when I place an invisible deadline upon myself and decide to write and finish three songs in a certain period of time. I can guarantee you. If I sit myself down at the piano or pull out my guitar, and say to myself “I’m going to write a song”, I will come away with nothing. Whenever I set myself out to write a song is when I find it the hardest to get my words onto paper. Sometimes I don’t get any words into my head either. It’s frustrating and it makes my head hurt.

 

The Technicalities
I’m no Eminem. I can’t rhyme words that aren’t made to be rhymed, and I definitely struggling with putting together verses that sound pretty or make sense syllable-wise. Other times, and oddly any time someone is watching me or writing with me, I can reel off a whole verse, pre-chorus and riff in one go and hope to remember it to write down, other times I can sit down for a solid hour and come away with a verse because I’m being pedantic and finicky.

 

giphy-2.gif

 

Music and Words
Theoretically this should be the easiest part. It’s my song so I should be able to do anything musically to make the words fit and sound good. Sometimes I’m lucky to get the tune and the lyrics in my head together, at the same time like a lovely package. Other times I’m not as lucky. If it sounds even a fraction off I’m prone to scraping the whole thing, slamming my books shut and re-watching an episode of The Office instead. My friend at university had a front row seat to a particularly bad melt down and I’m sure she’s scarred for life.

 

Not Knowing What I’m Actually Saying
One of my most hated questions, but simultaneously one of my favourite questions to answer is; “So what does this song mean, what is it about?” It’s one of my favourite questions to answer because a lot of the time I’m affirming myself, as to what I’m trying to say. It’s one of my hated questions because sometimes, I don’t know. I’ve written entire songs not knowing what the hell I’m trying to say. I’ve changed story lines halfway through a song, and when asked about the meaning, my A+ bullshit-ing skills have found a way to wrap it up into one wholesome meaning.

 

200.gif

 

Am I Done Or Just Lazy?
I’ve been on both sides of this. Sometimes I’ll get to the end of a song and not have any more juice left to come up with a bridge, so I’ll sing the pre chorus again, maybe a little softer for some expression, and then chuck the chorus back in ‘x 2’. Other times, a song genuinely sounds finished without a bridge and I have to really assure myself that the guitar solo is perfect and I’m not just taking the cheat way out.

 

The Inconvenience
Before I lost all my shame, it would be a damn pain when song lyrics came to my in public. If I was in the safety of my own home, I could drop what I was doing, run to the piano and figure something out, or record myself belting it. If an idea struck me outside, I’d have to note it down on my phone and hope I’d remember what the hell I was on about when I got back home. Now I don’t really care and if I can, I’ll write it down on my phone, run to the toilets and quickly get a voice memo in. I’ve done it at work, at a friends house, at family dinners, I’ve recorded voice memos at full blown house parties. I have a notebook on me during university because most of the time I can write something down and actually have some time to work on it later that day. Also, the shower. The amount of times I’ve had to leave my phone voice recording outside the shower as I’ve crafted entire songs in a moment of genius is ridiculous.

 

giphy-3.gif

 

So Much Started and Nothing Finished
I find myself in this situation a lot. I’ll have a ton of new stuff, but nothing concrete and complete. So I can say that I had a burst of inspiration, but I have nothing solid to show for it because I can’t finish anything properly. It happens far more often than I wished it did, and it does my head in.

 

 

So. . . yeah. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this post! I wanted to give you all a little insight into my experiences with song writing, the process I tend to take and everything I love/hate about writing. Because I do genuinely love it. As a person who struggles to verbally emote myself in a meaningful way, I love the fact that I can say everything I want to say in a song, in a way that hundreds of other people can relate to. Again, hope you all enjoyed reading!

 

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis