Saturday, 23 January 2016

It's Like Riding a Bike

Yeah. A time consuming, mind-numbing bike with a flat tire. The wheels are square actually. And your on a tight rope 150 feet in the air. It's a circus performance. You never forget that shit...

I always dred writing about my music. It's so hard to find the right words in a professional tone rather than just letting the music speak for itself. It's like when someone asks you what genre you are and you want to be specific so you can get the reaction from them as if you pulled your backpack piano out and played your best song right there in the middle of the company Christmas party at the Hyatt. 

Or it's like writing a cover letter. I hate cover letters. I write one and immediately have to write another one and they all have to sound like this was the job you wanted your whole life. Its so dramatic. 

There is a reason I am not a music journalist or critic. Respect.

January 23rd, 2016

Lucky for me, writing is like riding a bike and once I get started, after doing a good amount of music description writing research, I can go for a few hours and come up with something half way decent. I hope. I don't know why I complain, I just hate getting started more than motorcycles taking the last parking spot.

Here is what I came up with!

General Music Description
Singer/songwriter, female pop vocals with subtle hints of folk and rock, featuring layered harmonies, contemporary piano-based orchestration, and powerhouse vocals drifting through moments of lyrical and aural intimacy, rage, and reflection.

Not bad, I like the use of rage and intimacy together. It's like my music is sexy or something.

Burn Single Description
Being the title track and single of my upcoming album, Burn is a culmination of lyrical passions, fiery vocals, and an empowering arrangement. With breathtaking piano, vibrant trumpets, and intricate harmonies, Burn has come to represent such a monumental part of my soul. It has led me on countless journeys including raising my own personal awareness of domestic violence, watching the exponential effect it has on people and myself with every performance, and filming my first professional music video. Every song on this album holds a significance in my heart and my life, however, Burn taught me how powerful my fire could be—Burn changed me. Thus, the overarching theme of this album is transformation. 

Inspired by true events, Burn raises awareness of the 2,000 battered women in America who are serving time in prison for defending their lives against their abusers. As high as 90% of women in prison today for killing men were abused and battered by those men. Women charged with the death of a partner have the least extensive record of any people convicted. 

Domestic violence is a costly war waging behind closed doors of outdated societal constructs and silence for the sake of protecting our psychological comfort. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. Domestic violence hotlines receive nearly 30,000 calls on a typical day. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends, neighbors, colleagues have all been victims in some way or another because this sickness affects us all. 

When we ask why they stay, or question why they let it progress, we are inadvertently victim-blaming. So, I encourage everyone to ask themselves, if you had to leave your home today, could you? Could you abandon the memories, stability, finances, time, sense of family, promises, futures, and hopes that an abuser might change? Because when we advise women and men to avoid victimization, we expect that they can and will irrevocably restart their lives. 

All I ask for is awareness. Employ empathy, comprehension, and presence to this battle and stand with me—with thousands of men and women—against domestic violence. Because if you or someone you care about has not been directly affected by domestic violence, statistics show that that day will come. Let’s rise to lessen those chances!

I'm actually really proud of this one because I just went for it. I let my feminist all hang out and had to stop myself towards the end because I started beating the shit out of the keyboard. 

I love the word irrevocably. Such a good feeling word to say. Very sexy on the tongue. 

But seriously, look at these stats. My heart hurts. 

Artist Biography
I am a 24 year old singer songwriter from northern California. I have been singing for 20 years and writing for 10. I released one album, Let Me Go, in 2013 with the achievement of my bachelor's degree in music recording technology and will be releasing my second album, BURN, in January 2016. The album was a culmination of songs written during my time studying for my masters degree in songwriting before is turned into an album conceptualized by transformation, self-discovery, and acceptance. The album will be accompanied by my first professional music video for the title track and single, BURN, featured on my YouTube channel

My music background consists of 10+ years of professional vocal studies, two degrees in music, an incredible experience in the top 75 contestants of American Idol season 12, multiple occasion anthem singer for the San Francisco Giants, and countless achievements in competitive singing and performance across California. I am very fortunate to have led the life I have and experienced the things that have created the person I am today.

My music is characterized as singer-songwriter, female pop vocals with subtle hints of folk and rock, featuring layered harmonies, contemporary piano-based orchestration, and powerhouse vocals drifting through moments of lyrical and aural intimacy, rage, and reflection. My influences include Sara Bareilles, Anna Nalick, Christina Perri, Ingrid Michelson, A Fine Frenzy, Adele, Ryan Tedder, Jason Mraz, Jesse J, Barcelona and Pink to name a few!

That one wasn't so bad because I can talk about myself pretty easily :) I know how old I am and what I do with my life and who I like to think I sound like and stuff. Meh

Let Me Go Album Description
As my first album, Let Me Go is 10 years of songwriting and life in an hour long CD. They say that's why your first album is your best. I watched these songs take form in ways I could never imagine and am so grateful to the people who made that possible. Every song has deep meaning and ties into one another in ways only I may understand. However, I hope Let Me Go takes you on a journey through your own self discovery and triumphs as it took me when I needed it the most. This album is the beginning of what I hope will be a long career in the future.

Let Me Go tells a classic story about finding and losing love and ourselves, and discovering how to keep going when we are young, hopeless, helpless, eager, and so lost in this world. I found a way to breathe during those timeless experiences through vibrant harmonies, commanding piano, empowered vocals, and heart wrenching strings. Let Me Go takes me from 16 years old, feeling second best in an imaginary, but overwhelming race; to 18 years old, learning how to cope with giving half of me to someone I thought deserved it; and finally reaching 21 and understanding that everything happens for a reason and I am one step closer to the rest of my life. This album is my baby and I embrace it for what it is—the anthems of my youth. I know Let Me Go will forever be the first step of many and I praise this album for that and everything that comes with that title.

“I’ve waited a very long time to hear my music like this. I cannot put into words how much I love this album for the story it tells, what it stands for, and the hard work many people put into it. For that, I cannot thank you all enough. One thing that sets this album apart is that it represents me and so many others who connected with my music and collaborated with me in making it what it is now.” (May 2013)

I had a good time writing this one actually. I already had something written for it -- as you can see in the last section. I put it in quotes because I wanted it to be obvious that I write better than I did then. I want to sound like I have a Master's degree or something. Or maybe I subconsciously wanted to feel more important and quote myself since I'm the only one talking about this album :)

Check out this beauty. I'm so good and photos. And climbing. Let Me Go album art at it's finest.

Burn Album Description
My second album, Burn, is a selection of the best songs written during my year abroad. This collection of songs started as a portfolio and has since evolved into something I am very proud to call my second album. My first album, Let Me Go, was a culmination of songs written over the course of 10 years. Burn was written in one, and demonstrates a maturity and growth that compliments my own. Burn is a story of transformation in all ways. All 11 tracks have a special story and a unique journey from inception to final composition and the more I listen to it, the more I realize how much this album resembles my own journeys and transformations in the last 3 years.

Before submitting Burn as my major project in 2014, I submitted two 6 track EPs comprised in part by these songs. The first was titled The Story, and the second was titled It's All Happening (inspired by Kate Hudson's mantra in Almost Famous). Burn truly is a story and reminds me of that mantra. Each song embodies the overarching theme of transformation wether it be a battered woman rising against domestic abuse, an apology written from me to my 18 year old self, or Breaking Bad's, Skyler White, realizing her husband's lies have buried him and their marriage forever. Let me take you on a journey through endless layers of harmonies, meticulously composed string arrangements, empowered vocals, and a chorus of emotionally enriched drums, bass, and guitars provided by some of my closest musical friends. These stories and lyrics earned me a Masters degree and I am delighted to finally share them with the world.

A little more concise. I am so excited to release this baby next month at the album release party happening at Cannery Row Brewing Company on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016! 

Transform with me ;)


Like I said, its like riding a unicycle with two Scandinavian women doing Twister handstands on your shoulders. You never really forget how to write like a goddamn adult with a post-graduate degree.

I can't believe this took me so long to get around to. I am a horrible self-promoting musician. Someone come help me!

I'm getting pretty good at this illustrator thing ----------->
Don't ask me to do anything else in that program, like crop a photo, make a mask, or perform non-destructive editing BECAUSE I CANT. 

So much angst today. 

But seriously, come to the album release.


1 comment:

  1. Stevie Rae, you're so good at everything you do! Never give up, never compromise, and never listen to advice from hacks like me! Thanks for being my friend - Richard Bruce