I Wrote A Song During Isolation

I Wrote A Song During Isolation

Hello friends!

Obviously the title of this post is super self-explanatory so I’ll just jump right into it I guess?

Australia moved into Stage 2 lockdown this week, with my state, Victoria, being one of the first to implement the strict rules, and it’s highly likely we’ll be moving into Stage 3 pretty soon. Personally, the stability of my casual job has been up in the air since the situation escalated, and even now, we’re not sure how long our store will legally be allowed to stay open under these new rules.

I’ve been getting used to spending a lot more time at home, with my entire family. It’s not entirely new for me, however I usually have the house all to myself, and in a week, I probably see several of my friends more than two or three times, something I now don’t get the luxury of doing. It’s fair to say that like everyone, this lockdown has changed the daily routines of my entire family.

That said, more time at home is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve had a lot more time to do the things I really want to do, as has been the case for a lot of people. Which for me, means more time to spend working on this blog, and writing music.

I think I’ve come up with more, musically, in the last two weeks, than I have in the last six months.

On the 23rd I came back from buying my friend a guitar so she had something to work on during this isolation period, and while mucking around on my own guitar, I came up with a short verse and pre-chorus of a song. It had super heavy ‘isolation’ connotations, and I thought it was pretty funny, so I quickly did a recording of it and threw it up on my Instagram story.

See below.
ps follow me on instragram @priya_francis

Untitled design
// mind my facial expressions thanks //

But yeah, I just put that up on my Instagram story, didn’t really think about it, and left to get my flu shot with my mum. When I got a moment to check my phone, I had messages from a bunch of my friends and even a few people I didn’t know very well, responding to the song.

What started out as a huge joke ended up with people messaging me outside of Instagram, sending it to their friends who in turn messaged me, and essentially a lot more people than anticipated ended up seeing my story and hearing the little fun song I had put up.

It was one late night conversation that made me consider actually finishing the song, so the next day when I came back from work, I sat down and tried to finish it. Fair to say, this little ongoing joke, ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but I finally finished it. So this morning when I sat down to write a post, I thought it was a good opportunity to share the song with you!!

Hope you like it, let me know what you think :)))

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

Finally Another Gig

Finally Another Gig

I know what you’re saying.

“Priya. You can’t possibly be growing any savings by going for so many gigs.”

And you’d be right. My bank account is constantly in a state of despair, shaking it’s fist at me as I continue to sign myself up for pre-sales and wait in criminally long online waiting lines for ticket sales, but alas, I can’t be stopped.

 

However.

This particular gig, was one of my own.

You may have remembered I mentioned that I had an upcoming performance in my Week In My Life, as within the week I had a rehearsal with my band.

Well, that was tonight (9/08), and yes. I am freshly showered, after spending the day anxiously waiting for my drummer and guitar player to pick me up, panicking that we were late, getting head shots, grabbing a traditional cheeky Nando’s for lunch, sound-checking and then performing to around 300-400 people, including family and friends who had come along to support. It was a hectic day. But I enjoyed it immensely.

The gig was at a large artist showcase, where artists, designers, hair and makeup artists, jewellery designers, dancers, photographers and musicians are selected to showcase their work. We were one of the three acts performing that night.

If you caught my ‘Week In My Life‘ post, you’d recall that for the last couple of Sunday’s I’ve been rehearsing with the boys in the band, trying out some songs, picking and scrapping songs and writing some of my own. About two weeks out from the show we even ended up swapping a song for a different one that had come up with while we were mucking around and jamming, but we finally settled on the set list of covers and original songs, which looked something like this;

  • Sunday Morning – Maroon 5
  • Stockholme – ORIGINAL
  • Who’s Loving You – Jackson 5
  • Toast – ORIGINAL
  • Finesse – Bruno Mars

Compared to the last time I had played the showcase, it was a lot more energetic and up tempo, definitely down to the addition of our drummer. Even the original songs, which the boys helped me finish were some of the grooviest I’ve ever written, and we got loads of compliments on my song Toast.

1532859183573.JPEG

//possible single cover??//

That said, it was a long day in the lead up to the 20 minute set.

The boys picked me up around 3:20, and we made the mad dash of a drive to get just outside the city before 4:00, considering out head shot time slot was between 3:40 and 4:00. We definitely broke some speeding laws.

Taking head shots was both awkward and stupidly hilarious, as none of us are professionals in front of the camera, which resulted in all sorts of stupid conversation and questions arising in an effort to get ‘candid’ shots, which also resulted in the photographer pausing in between takes to laugh at our stupidity.

After we had our photos taken, we decided to run the risk of potentially losing our incredible parking spot, and head out for an early dinner. As has become the tradition during rehearsals, we headed to the nearest Nando’s for a feed.

 

 

 

By the time we finished up our dinner, it was time to head back for the sound check.

Sound check went great. It was the perfect opportunity to run through a couple of our songs, and we got a few claps from some of the artists who were setting up their work around the huge function hall.

Once we were done with soundcheck, it was basically an half an hour long waiting game for the doors to open, which we spent going around and looking at some of the art, chatting to (up) some of the artists, talking to one of the other bands and overall preparing for our set since we were first up.

A little after 7:00, the doors open, and people started to make their way in. A few moments later, and all our friends, as well as my family had joined us, and it was a great couple of minutes catching up and chatting with everyone.

A bit closer to 8, I was tapped on the shoulder by my guitarist, and so we headed towards the stage to get ready while the MC opened the night and began our introduction.

Honestly, the set could not have gone better. All of us improvised a little bit, much to the excitement of the other two musicians on stage, and having the boys behind me made me all that more confident. My guitarist absolutely nailed all his solos, and our drummer was a huge standout, especially during Finesse where he got a huge solo in place of me singing the bridge.

It was heaps of fun to get up on stage again, especially with the boys backing me up this time. Definitely keen to get going again.

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