Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The big reveal [Album 2 diaries - #21]

Hello my butterflies!

Today was a big day. I was called to a meeting to present all the work I've done with my songs. I sang all 11 songs with all the notes I came up with. Overall it went pretty well. Most of the songs were given more notes to work on, which is good because these notes will make them sound even better!

Today went pretty well. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm making progress on this album and I'm really happy about that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Going live [Album 2 diaries - #20]

Hello my butterflies!

Today I had a meeting with my label and label-mate Daphne Jo, who we've invited to accompany me on my live shows. She's going to be playing with me and getting out there while she works on her solo music and I'm really excited to have her playing with me!

We went over the songs from my first album to see which songs would be good to play live. I must say that I'm really excited about these shows we're planning. I'm so excited to get out there, make some new fans and have a great musician in Daphne Jo next to me.

Listening to my first album again was interesting. I sound so different now, but then again I was 14 on that album and I'm 17 now. I'm excited to work on these songs and change them up to give a little something different than what you hear on the record.

The meeting went well. We have about 6 or 7 songs that are a possibility and we haven't even considered the album 2 material yet. I'd say it was a good day!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Surprise studio visit [Album 2 diaries - #19]

Hello my butterflies!

I know it's been a while, but I've certainly been busy since my last post. After we got all the demos done, my manager told me to go over all the songs and refine them, learn the lyrics, and just generally work on them to get them ready to record. So today I got a surprise call to the studio to show my manager what I worked on so far. I was pretty excited because I felt like things had been going well, so I was happy to present the songs.

I presented the songs and they were received pretty well. Of course, he told me to keep working on them, but that they sounded pretty good so far. There was only one that definitely needs more work but that's ok.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it went because although I still need to work on them, I was confident in what I'd done and I got a lot of good notes on how to make them even better. Now I just have to go back and work on them more.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Demos part 2 [Album 2 diaries - #18]

Hello my butterflies!

Today we finished the two demos that were left to do on Wednesday. With the first song, we broke it down, played around with keys and then demoed it when we had it where we liked it. The second song went quicker and I must say, the more I hear it, the more I need everyone to hear it! I'm very excited about this song.

I'm really happy because now we'll either write a few more songs or go with the ones we have and get started on pre-production. Either way, the next steps are coming and I cannot wait! =]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Demos [Album 2 diaries - #17]

Hello my butterflies!

Yesterday, while listening to the demos for my songs, we saw that some songs didn't have a demo. This happened either because we were on a tight schedule and were just going into the studio for a few quick minutes and/or our session ended before we got to do it. So today we did demos for 3 songs that didn't have one. We still have 1 or 2 to do, but I feel like we got a lot done today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meeting time! [Album 2 diaries - #16]

Hello my butterflies!

Today I had a quick meeting with my label about the album. Since we're already at the point where we have enough songs for the album, we sat down and listened to what we have to make sure that everything's cohesive and will work together. We've been working with a lot of cool and different sounds, so I was very interested to see just how cohesive it would all be. Everything works right now and I'm happy about that. I'm also really excited because being at this stage means that recording comes soon after!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Yes. Just yes! [Album 2 diaries - #15]

Hello my butterflies!

With my senior year of high school (!!!) approaching (I start Monday), we haven't been in the studio much lately. But now we're back!

Today I heard the demo for a new song that my songwriting partner Mario M wrote. An interesting factoid about this one is that I originally thought of the concept and actually had started on the song. Then I brought what I had to Mario and he made it into what I heard today. My only reaction to this song is yes. Just yes! This song probably in the top 3 of the songs we have for the album because I just love it! The lyrics are so perfectly funny and sarcastic and exactly what I wanted for this song. The music is super cool because it's really different. And there's this cool little thing that happens at the end and it's just the icing on the cake. I could go on but basically I'm just really happy about this song! =]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Another day, another song [Album 2 diaries - #14]

Hello my butterflies!

Just like yesterday, I was briefly called to the studio today to hear yet another new song! I had heard a bit of this song before and liked it then, and now it's finished. It was given a new title, and though I liked the old one, I really like this new one. And the song itself is very cool. I particularly love that the instrumentation is pretty simple, but my songwriting partner Mario M found ways to take the song to places you wouldn't expect, which makes it very interesting. I'm really happy that this was finished and I'm even happier with the turnout!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Play on words [Album 2 diaries - #13]

Hello my butterflies!

Today I was quickly called into the studio to hear a new song that my songwriting partner Mario M. wrote for the album. It's a very fun song and I also feel that it's very me. My partner knows me so well! I like the title because it's a play on words. You have to make sure to spell everything right to get the right message. I'm really excited with how everything's coming along!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Revisions [Album 2 diairies - #12]

Hello my butterflies!

Today I showed my songwriting partner Mario M the song I wrote yesterday. As with all songs, it did need some revisions. We worked on it a bit and made things flow a little smoother and overall I'm happy with where it is right now. It can still use some work, but I really like it. I also recorded the demo for it today, so we can call another one done! Right now, it's unclear whether it'll actually make the album, but I'm pretty satisfied with the song and I can't wait to write more songs in the studio in the future!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ah, creativity [Album 2 diairies - #11]

Hello my butterflies!

Today was a really great day! First, I was shown part of a song that my songwriting partner Mario M was working on. I love it, but he's not done with it yet. I'm excited to hear the finished product though. It's great that he knows me so well, because so far it's very me.

Also, today I got to write a new song. By myself! In the studio! Usually, I write a song on my own time and then I bring it into the studio and show it to Mario M and we either work on making it better or it gets shelved for one reason or another. But today, I got to work with the studio equipment and get the ideas flowing in a new way. And flowing they were! I finished the whole song in less than an hour and I'm really happy with it! Ah, creativity. =]

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

And we're back! [Album 2 diaries - #10]

Hello my butterflies!

I know it's been a while since I've done an entry in the album 2 diaries, but I'm back!

Today went great! My songwriting partner (Mario M) presented me with a new song today and I love it! It has a cool relaxed feel, but it's really cheerful. It has this groove to it that makes me dance too. I really like it! Also, it was really easy for me to pick up and play around with. We recorded the demo for it and I'm really happy with how it turned out! I'm excited to hear the rest of the songs that we have yet to write for this album!

Monday, August 4, 2014

New cover on my YouTube channel - "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes!

Hello my butterflies!

Hey butterflies! I just uploaded a new video to my YouTube channel, a cover of "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes! Enjoy! :]

Friday, June 13, 2014

Another one done! [Album 2 diaries - #9]

Hello my butterflies!

Today was great! We started working on a new song and we actually got it finished today too! I'm super happy about that because this is one of my favorite songs that I wrote and the one I feel most passionately about being included on the album. Everything flowed very smoothly and things are looking up for this song! I feel like so much progress is being made, not only on the album but with me as an artist, since a lot of these songs are different from what was on "Daydreaming". Yay!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Progress! [Album 2 diaries - #8]

Hello my butterflies!

Today was a very productive day! On Friday, we started working on a new song, but I had to take the song home and rewrite the first verse and pre-chorus. So today, we went over the parts that I rewrote this weekend, and my manager loved the new lyrics! Best of all, they totally fit the music and the story, so they work perfectly. Then we moved on to the chorus. The chorus just needed a few tweaks, which I was happy about. Then we did the second verse and pre-chorus. We actually finished the music for the rest of the song, but the lyrics still need a few tweaks.

Overall, we made a lot of progress today and I'm absolutely loving how it's turning out. The music is different than I had initially thought for this song, but it's working. The vibe is just right and I'm really glad I was able to rework those parts because I really like this song and I really want it to be included on the final album. Of course, there's no guarantee that it will be, but now that everything in the song is working, it definitely has a greater chance. I'm excited to get into the studio again to finish the song off!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Back in the studio [Album 2 diaries - #7]

Hello my butterflies!

It's been a busy week! Nearing the end of school means loads of tests and projects and unfortunately for me, not much time to get into the studio. :( But things have quieted a bit, so I'm back!

Today we finished working on the song from the 30th. We had to finish rewriting it, which included rewriting a whole verse. We also had to figure out how we wanted the music to go for the remainder of the song. We worked on it, got it done and I like it. It's got this cool breakdown in the  middle and it has this really awesome guitar sound that's different from any of my other songs (are you writing these hints down?).

Overall, I'm happy with how this song turned out. On to the next!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New song! [Album 2 diaries - #6]

Hello my butterflies!

Today we worked on a new song! We got through the first verses, pre-chorus and chorus and I really like it so far. The melody is really cool, and even though it has some really high notes, the bulk of it is in a range that sounds really good for my voice. The music is also really cool and different from anything on "Daydreaming". We had to rewrite quite a few things, but it's definitely coming together. We got a lot done today and I can't wait to hear the full, finished song!

Monday, April 28, 2014

One and done [Album 2 diaries - #5]

Hello my butterflies!

Today we worked on a new song that I wrote and submitted and it’s a very happy, fun song! This song is one of my favorites and working on it today was very easy. Usually, we’ve been only getting half way through a new song the first time we work on it, but we did the whole song today; one and done! Even the lyrics didn’t need as much rewriting as the other 2 songs that we’ve worked on. There were a few tweaks needed, but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Overall, I think today went well and I’m happy with it! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2nd song done [Album 2 diaries - #4]

Hello my butterflies!

We finished the 2nd song today, which even though it may or may not make the final cut to be on the album, still makes me happy that we completed it. However, today just seemed like a bit of an off day in the studio. Though the song got completed, there were some issues with it that need to be worked out.

After we wrap up in the studio, I like to listen to some songs for inspiration and to give me ideas on how to work out whatever needs to be worked out. So today, I listened to “Explosions” by Ellie Goulding and “Don’t forget” by Demi Lovato. These songs have a similar tempo to the song we were working on (hint!). Also, the way Ellie and Demi sing these songs was very helpful to me in gaining new ideas to make this song better.

Overall, today was good because we got the song done. I’m confident that the issues in this song will be worked out, and hopefully it will make the final track listing!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Skittles & Noah the movie [Album 2 diaries - #3]

Hello my butterflies!

Today was a great day because we started working on a new song! We got the first two verses, pre-chorus and chorus done and I'm loving it so far! The melody is really complex, but in a really pretty way. I'll have to work on it to get it perfect, but I'm still learning it right now. Also, the notes are very interesting musically, so it'll be a challenge to learn for live shows, but it'll be fun.

We also had to rewrite quite a bit to give it a better and more cohesive story. I've found that even though sometimes it's sad to see my original lyrics crossed out, it's fun to rewrite. Yes it's sometimes hard, but you get to really be creative and get the ideas flowing. We got the parts we worked on to flow better and I'm happy with where it's going. And we had a lot of fun in the studio too! During the course of the session, Skittles and Noah the movie were mentioned! Sounds random? Well, it sort of is, sort of isn't. You'd have to know the song to get it! ;)

It was a great session and I can't wait to work on it more!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ah, rewrites! [Album 2 diaries - #2]

Hello my butterflies!

Ah, rewrites! Rewriting a song is a necessary but sometimes difficult step in the process. It's necessary because 99 out of 100 songs don't hit the paper perfectly and need tweaks in lyrics, melody, etc. to make it a better song. Sometimes though, it's hard because you have to come up with new lyrics, etc. right then and there.

Today, we worked on getting the vocal parts for the rest of the song done. We had to rework the last two verses to fit the melody and the story better and also had to make minor changes to Wednesday's parts. My songwriting partner and label-mate Mario M (el Rockero) also added a cool new bridge, since mine wasn't working for the song anymore. It took a bit to rework everything, but I'm happy with how it turned out!

I also got to sing my song today to lay down a demo for it. It felt good to sing to a new song again. And I really loved how it sounded. It wasn't perfect, but that's ok because I was only recording a demo, so I recorded what's called a "scratch vocal", which is used for reference. Later on, before it's recorded for real, I'll work on it and get it the way I want it.

All in all, another great day! I'm very excited about the progress made so far! Most of all, I'm excited that we've finished a new song! Right now, there's no way of knowing if it'll end up on the final track listing, but I'm happy to have something in the "done" pile!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New music is being made! [Album 2 diaries - #1]

Hello my butterflies!

As I tweeted, the process for album 2 has officially begun!! Woo!

Before I go on about working on my second album, I want to take a moment to thank you for the support of my debut album "Daydreaming"! The response to the album was great and I couldn't be making another album without your support! So, THANK YOU!

Now, there are two things that you should know about this new album: (1) I've been writing a lot for this album. As you might know, I wrote 2 songs that were included on "Daydreaming". However, for this album, I've submitted a lot of songs for consideration and my goal is to have more songs that I wrote on the album. (2) The style of the album will be a bit different from "Daydreaming". It's still going to have a country sound, but I've been inspired to share my faith more in my songs.

Now, on to what we worked on today! Today we worked on one of my favorite songs that I wrote and submitted for consideration and also ironically the last song that I submitted. We worked on the first two verses, pre-chorus and chorus and I'm really liking it so far. It's turning out really cool and it's not that different from the ideas in my head for it. It's also interesting because it starts with piano only and doesn't kick in with the full band until the pre-chorus. This means during my live show, I would be playing piano instead of guitar. That's exciting, because I'll get to show more of my piano playing like I did in my piano cover of Taylor Swift's "Ours". It's already different from anything on "Daydreaming".

There are two songs that we are using as reference while working on this song (a.k.a. here are some hints for you to refer back to when the album comes out!). The first is "Black roses" that Clare Bowen sings on the TV show Nashville, and we're using it as a reference because my song has a similar structure musically. The other song is "Love song" by Sara Bareilles. We're using it as a reference because my song really has that vibe. The attack and attitude that Sara uses on that song is also why we're referencing it. After we wrapped up in the studio for the day, I went and practiced "Love song" a few times to work on the attack and attitude in my vocals like Sara has in hers.

Overall it was a great first songwriting session and I'm so happy to be back at it!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New blog series!

Hello my butterflies!

First, I have to start with an apology because I've been blogging sporadically for 2 years! I'M SORRY! I honestly have let this blog fall through the cracks a bit! But I'm back to blogging regularly!

Next, I should thank you for continuing to check in and see what's happening on here! You are awesome! *virtual hug*

Now I should probably tell you the reason behind the title: I'm working on my second album!!!!!!! I'm so excited about it and what better way to share my excitement than by giving you a behind-the-scenes sneak-peek of the process with a new blog series?

That's right! I'm taking you into the studio with me, virtually of course! Every day, after I finish working in the studio, I'll come on and blog about what we did and how things are going! This way, you'll get an in-depth look at the making of the album and what goes into making an album in general. I'll be tweeting some things from the studio, but this will be way more detailed than 140 characters, I promise!

I won't be revealing any song titles or anything like that just yet. BUT, you will get to see my thoughts about the process and the songs every step of the way. Then, when the album comes out, you can come back and see if you can figure out which song each blog post is referring to!

I'm so excited to start this new blog series and to take you behind-the-scenes for this new album!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Feed the Need volunteering

Hello my butterflies!

Last night, my family and I volunteered to pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Our group alone packed 19 boxes of food! Right after, I had the lyric "I can feel Your presence here with me" in my head when I hadn't heard the song (Here with me - MercyMe) all day. I was so moved by last night's experience and so grateful that we were able to do a small part to help feed some of God's children.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Son of God

Hello my butterflies!

Saw Son of God yesterday with my family and it was indescribably amazing. But it's not enough to just watch the movie. As Peter said at the end, "We've got work to do."

Friday, January 17, 2014

New cover on my YouTube channel - "One Drop" by Plumb!

Hello my butterflies!

It's my 17th birthday!!!! *does Kermit's happy dance* =]

Come to my YouTube channel to see my latest cover video. This one is of Plumb's song "One drop". Love this song!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another album 2 meeting!

Hello my butterflies!

Had an awesome meeting with my label World Conquest Records about album 2 today! So excited!