GRAY MATTER #3 - Love and Light(man)

I hope that everyone had a great holiday and are starting off 2016 with a bang!  I have a lot to tell you and am pumped.  I FINALLY had an actual vacation and it really gave me a chance to plan out my year.  I know it looks like I travel a lot, but it's rarely for the purpose of laying on a sandy beach with a mojito:)  As you know, I do a lot of writing and continue to do so.  You also know that I have a ton of songs that I haven’t released.  I spoke about the song “Long Hard Day” in my last post... Waaay back in 2015.  Well, we finally finished the last song in a grouping of 5, while I was away actually!  It's called Let Love the the Lesson and I LOVE IT.  We then went into the mixing phase the week I was away.  Great timing.  But Marc Copely, my co-writer, has a lot of travel coming up so I had to make it happen!

For those of you who don't know, mixing is really when the recording comes together.. It's when you take all of the instruments that you already recorded and EQ them, play with the levels, add reverb, delay etc, pan things into the right or the left speaker...  Imagine recording is like picking out the colors and painting, and mixing is touching it all up and refining it.  I love giving feedback on mixes.. and I don't hold back.  My producers love it;)  When you mix, you want to listen on WAV files, larger files.. They sound better and aren't crunched down like mp3's.  Although everyone is usually listening on tiny computer speakers so it doesn't really matter.  BUT it's still worth making them sound great as if everyone were going to listen on a surround sound system.  I digress.. My point is, downloading huge mix files was a bit challenging in the Dominican Republic, but it was well worth it.  Marc knocked it out of the park!!  (And surprisingly didn't want to kill me from all of my comments) I can’t wait for you all to hear it.  Which will be VERY SOON!

And now it's full speed ahead!  I have my husband helping me get the artwork together, mixes are being sent around and a guy in Poland is plotting out the video.  Yes, you heard me right, Poland. I found him on a site called Radar Music Video.  On this site, you can post your budget, the song and what you are looking to do with the video.  Directors from all over the world can send treatments (their ideas for what the video would be).  You pick which one you like best!  It’s so amazing, especially since I HATE being in music videos.  (Me and my one good eye prefer still shots that we can fix:)  This guy wrote a treatment for Long Hard Day that was EXACTLY in the character of the girl in the song; a black widow.  It was meant to be!  I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

I will also have my film and tv rep send the music out in the next few days and hopefully we’ll get some bites!  Not easy releasing new material in this day and age because the world is drowning in new music.  BUT if I can get something placed, it’ll help… And you buzzing about it like little bees does too:)

Once this EP is finished, I am going to move right onto the next one.  I plan to release at least 3 EPs (4-5 songs) of material this year.  Each EP will have a different sound.  For one, I like writing and singing all different kinds of music and I have specific co-writers for specific purposes.  They all can basically write anything, but have tendencies that lean one way or another in production.  Each EP will be called Toby Lightman and (insert co-writers last name).  I plan to do a video for each one, maybe this guy in Poland will turn out to be great! 

On a final note, I am leaving tomorrow to head down to the 30A Songwriters Festival in FL.  Last year, I had the best time hearing/meeting new writers and playing rounds with friends I already know.  This year there are a ton of people going that I don’t know, so I look forward to telling you how it goes!  I am then renting a car and driving up to Atlanta for a show on Sunday night at Eddie’s Attic, one of my favorite places to play.  After the show I have to fly right home.. I had to cancel the show that was meant to be 2 days later in Charlotte.  To give you the God’s honest truth, we have been trying to start a family for a while now and are well into our “more aggressive” phase.  So traveling at the moment doesn’t come easy and adjustments have to be made.  Just wanted to be honest and open, since that’s what this blog is about!  You read it here first people:)  

Love to all of you and may 2016 bring amazing things for all of us,


PS Take a few minutes to listen to some Bowie.