Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Singing, Songwriting and the Melody That Keeps Moving On . . .

Trust in yourself and in the process to keep going.”
David Hooper

Call me consumed with obsession for loving the art of singing so much but, I don’t remember a time in my life when I did not love vocalizing.

I guess you can say that I was fueled by motivation when people used to say they thought I was good. I spent most of my life juggling life, work, my education and singing to keep the excitement and energy present.

At Six years old in the yard
It started as a love of songs. I heard Deniece Williams singing and would try to imitate her voice and sing “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” from my backyard to all my neighbors. Stacey Lattisaw would suddenly pop up on the radio and I would sing out loud “I Found Love on A Two Way Street,“ to anyone who was willing to listen. Songs became committed to memory and then singing them became a part of who I am.

At every turning point, there was an artist and then a song that resonated. Michael Jackson did it with “Thriller,” and then I was consumed with love for him. My neighbors heard me singing his songs so much that for Christmas one year, they so humbly gave to me a Michael Jackson jacket. I even had one of his dolls which I thought was the coolest toy ever.

Whitney Houston did it for me with “How Will I Know,” and then she became the artist that I was imitating all the time. Then it was Mariah Carey and her song, “Vision of Love.” Over the years, so many others have connected with me on a deeper level making me want to sing; Chaka Khan, Amel Larrieux, Sarah Vaughan.  Music and singing became a truth lodged in me so deeply that I couldn’t deny that I really and truly, loved to sing.

Songwriting

Songwriting was no different. I am a songwriter because by sheer coincidence, I am a poet and have been writing poetry since the fourth grade. It became adventurous trying to put melody to mere words on a paper.

Photo from the video for my song "Harmony" 
My students are always telling me about their issues with writing songs and how difficult they find putting melodies to their words. When I was young, I would take any instrumental and try to apply my lyrics to them and then they became singable and then they became songs. Doing that helped me to build a strong connection with the art of songwriting and then it became using my Korg Triton keyboard to build chords and save them to a new Cakewalk Sonar project. And so, writing songs slowly turned into more than just writing lyrics, but the music behind them too; I do not, however, write the music to every song that I write lyrics to.

I will admit that writing songs are not always a simple walk in the park. Under the strangest circumstances, there are times that I am writing and lose control; tears fall down my face because the lyrics come from a deep well in my soul. It takes a lot of faith, strength and maturity to share them because it is almost like sharing your nakedness to the world. But, we are meant to make many leaps with faith in life.

Faith is the external elixir which gives
life, power and action to the impulse of thought.”
 – Sharon Lechter


From live performance in Arkhangelsk, Russia
I feel so very blessed when I have the opportunity to spice things up on stage with a song that I was fortunate enough to write, so I am always jumping at the chance to perform them live. 

Sometimes I feel like dancing under the silver moon with excitement when someone tells me they liked my song. It feels like a sun-drenched day when I receive a great review from someone I did not expect to hear a good word from; especially family.

In short, I want to thank you for your continued support and hope that in all this maybe you will find a peg of inspiration and feel motivated to keep pressing on. And to close, I want to share with you one of the many songs that I have written all the lyrics and all the music to. It is entitled “Keep Moving On” and can be found on Soundcloud here:  https://soundcloud.com/stephanay-jnote/keep-moving-on



Thank you again everybody. Have a motivated and prosperous day! 

36 comments:

  1. It is such a gift to know what you want to do from so young an age. Your neighbors gifting you that jacket - it just makes my heart swell. When Whitney Houston's song, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody Came Out," that video - I was obsessed. I wanted to look like her and be like her - she was just beautiful, but that spirit and voice. Something tells me you embody quite the spirit all your own. I look forward to seeing what's to come with your music.

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    1. Wow! Yeah, Whitney was a beauty. So sad she died quite before most of us were ready to lose her from this world. I loved that song too. Thank you so much Heather. :)

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  2. Yes..."let's hear it for the boy" was one of my favorites as a teenager!! Such a great song. My youngest has been in voice lessons the last few years and has such a love (and gift) for music. While this is not my gift, I so enjoy others, like yourself, who have it!! Such an incredible talent. Best wishes to your in your music career...sounds wonderful!

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    1. That is awesome. I hope to hear your daughter sing someday. Sounds like she is somewhat like me. How lovely. Thank you so much.

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  3. You really took my back with Let's Hear It For the Boys. That really brings back memories. It is great that you doing something that you love. It's a bonus that you are good at it!

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    1. That was my jam back then when I was a young little thing. Still a nice song though but there are so many others that I am taken by. Thank you rfor that. That was a nice compliment. :)

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  4. song writing is such a talent. I think people often forget how much heart goes into the songs we all love so much.

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  5. Wow you have a beautiful voice. I love music and listening to you gave me goosebumps. I must go download more of your music to share. thank you

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    1. Wow! I love that. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Rebecca. Have an amazing evening.

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  6. I loved reading this as I could hear your passion through your words. What a gift you have in song!

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  7. To have that kind of talent and fire inside of you for music must be just incredible!

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  8. How sweet for your neighbors to gift you the jacket and that was an encouragement for a little girl to pursue her dreams. Your passion is exciting! How awesome that you have achieved your dreams. Song writing is quite a talent.

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    1. Yeah! I used to love that jacket. It was so nice. I have yet to achieve them. But am working
      towards them.

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  9. This is such a great post. Love reading the history and your passion. My daughter in some ways is very similar to you. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Oh that is nice. Music is a great passion to have. Maybe she will write songs too. That would be lovely to hear some day!

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  10. Beautiful voice. I wish I can sing like you! It is nice to read about the music the influenced you through the years. -katrina centeno

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  11. You have such an amazing voice! I loved reading of the progression of your love for music. My daughter has always been a singer. I swear as soon as she was talking she was singing.

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    1. That's awesome. Would love to hear her sing.

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  12. Music truly speaks to my soul. Isn't it amazing the power of music and the memories that come back to you when you hear certain songs? I love all kinds of genres and your singing is incredible. Keep on doing what you're doing. Fabulous!

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  13. Music has always been special to me. I don't just hear it, I feel it. There are so many songs and artists who hold a special place with me with their songs. Songs are powerful. Your songs are no exception, you're incredibly talented!

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    1. Wow! That was nice of you to say. Thank you Phoebe. You inspired me.

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  14. I love that you have always had a love of music. Thanks to my mom and my brother, I grew up around a lot of amazing music myself and as I was reading your list, I almost thought I was going to read "Whitney Houston's I wanna Dance With Somebody" LOL! I was obsessed with that song.

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    1. I loved that song too. So cool. So fun. Her energy was amazing. I did love that song.

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  15. What a beautiful voice! Behind every song is a story takes you to the place and moment you first heard it. Too many singers gone before their time for sure. I love to write poetry as well, I'm more the harmony girl :-) Blessings to you!

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    1. Ooh! I love harmony people. Beautiful to the ear when adding expertise to the story in a song. Love it girl.

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  16. you have such a great voice! i love the story behind the music and it was great to hear yours!

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    1. You made me smile with your comment. Thank you for that!

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  17. Those are amazing artists to be inspired by! It is awesome that you have carried your dream from childhood and continue to work towards it. It is very inspiring :)

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  18. I cannot imagine how hard it is to write songs, it's truly a gift to be able to do that. I really like the beat on this track. You are quite talented and so lucky to be doing something that you love!

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  19. Every song you mentioned just took me on a trip down memory lane. I used to write a ridiculous amount of poetry but like your students couldn't find the ability to set it to music. Truly a gift that you have.

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