GRAY MATTER #6 - Don't Get The Flu

I’m baaaaaack!  What did I miss?  I hope everyone is doing well and staying creative.  First off, let me start by saying that I finally released LONG HARD DAY!!!!!  WOOHOO!!! After much demand and emails from frustrated fans, we have released the EP with 5 songs, “Long Hard Day” being the first.  For more on the story behind the EP and my co-writer Marc Copely, see my blog post on it called “Mystery of Long Hard Day”)  Go get it NOW on ITUNES!!!!  Then come back and read the rest of this post:)

Since my last post, a lot has happened and I’m excited to catch you up.  First off, I hope everyone got their flu vaccine because I ended up getting a whopper of a cold/flu which lasted about 3 weeks.  As a singer, that is bad news.. I am still not 100%.  BUT I have come out from the haze (and a marathon session of watching The Affair) and am ready to write! 

The past couple of months, I have had what some would call a “block”.  It could have been from having a fever and being delirious, but it’s always hard to find reasons while you’re in it.  Regardless, I have been hounding my brain as to what I want to do next, while continuing to write pitches and co-write.  No pressure.  In the meantime, my musical theater class I told you about in my last post is keeping me busy as usual.  Our last assignment was to write a comedy song for the play Love Letters (a Broadway cult classic) and I must say, we wrote a funny one!  I have never written a comedy song intentionally.. I have written songs that were so bad, they were funny;-/… or songs that had a funny line or two in them, but never a straight up, funny song.  You’ll understand the difference once you hear the title. “The Secret Life of a Grandma Living at the Beach Down in Florida”.  Enough said.  Also, on the broadway tip, I had the pleasure of seeing Hamilton again and let me tell you… genius. It’s overwhelming how amazing it is. CLICK HERE to check out my husbands amazingly cool merchandise that he made for it, I’m so proud! 

After throwing most of my energy into “Grandma”, I have finally found myself with a slew of ideas.  Maybe it's the inner Grandma in me.. As you know, I am a melody person.  If I showed you my phone, you would be amazed to hear the amount of voice memos I have containing melody and lyric ideas while I’m breathlessly walking down the street or running on a treadmill.  I’m OVERFLOWING!! I think it’s safe to say the block is over.. It always ends.. I just have to keep telling myself that there is an end to it especially when I’m deep in it.  Remember that and try to remind me as well.  We all need some positive reinforcement every once in a while! Thanks! 

The question I now keep asking myself is, what should these ideas sound like??  In other words, if you could make one kind of record, what would it be?? Jazz? Electronic indie? Country meets EDM? How would YOU answer that? I’d love to know!!  I am still trying to figure out what I wanna do with all of these ideas, but first things first, I have to finish them and make them complete songs. To get inspiration, I have been listening to some new artists.. Trying to get a feel for which direction I want to take them.. James Bay, James Blake (not the tennis player), newer Norah Jones, Bon Iver… Have you been listening to anyone new?  Comment and tell me!

In the meantime, I have gotten back to doing my normal co-writing.  I met a new writer in NYC the other day, which is always welcomed news.  He’s a great writer signed to Razor and Tie publishing.  Writing with someone for the first time is always interesting.  It’s like a first date. “What’s your favorite color?” are common things that are asked.. I kid.  You have to go in with an open mind and, and hope that it will be a good use of time and that you will have a mutual respect for what each other brings to the table.  Every once in a while, it doesn’t work out that way, but sometimes, you meet a great partner that you write with a lot!  I love the song we wrote called “Over and Over” and look forward to recording it! 

I also wrote a killer song with Peter Wright, a songwriter based in London.  We write through Skype which I have done a lot.  It’s always better to do it when you are comfortable with the other person's writing techniques and aren’t playing guessing games.  Guessing games are tough enough in person let alone through a computer..  Peter and I have gotten a few international artist cuts together, but now he’s interested in writing more for syncs. So we wrote a super fun song called “Heart Says Yes” and I am so pumped by it!  I plan to record the vocals next week. I’m not gonna lie, but it’s one of my favorite songs I wrote in a while!

Speaking of syncs, I forgot to tell you that I have a song in a commercial right now! Well, it’s only running the UK, but still!  It’s a commercial!!! For Hilary Blinds.. I have no idea.. but YAY!!  They are using a song that I wrote with my buddy Andy Zulla called “Beautiful Day” which was first used in the CW show Beauty and the Beast.  We are planning on releasing the song on itunes very shortly!! If anyone can find a link to this commercial and lives in the UK, SEND IT!

Well, that’s about all aside from the fact that I am literally on a plane to LA right now!  Just when you thought it was over..  I’m heading west to spend a week with my dear Shane Stevens (I got the cut with Sara Evans with Shane). I am always so proud and impressed by his talent and drive and so look forward to our visits! (and his hubs of course and they’re little pup Spike:) He has some super exciting things in the works and I am so thrilled that he wants me to be a part of it!  Can’t wait to tell you all what’s brewing.  CLICK HERE to check out his song “Nobody” that is on Selena Gomez’s latest album.  Amazing.  Our plan is to write everyday and I CANT WAIT! Shane and I are like long lost siblings who write songs like it’s going out of style while laughing and talking in silly voices to each other… all day.  I get my silliness out when I’m with him, which is the best kind of friend.  Anyway, I can’t wait to report what we do on my flight back on Friday!  That’s all for now.  Now that I read it all back, it’s a lot.  I’m a lucky girl just making my own busy.. getting a kick out of watching my fellow fliers, try to sneak into first class to use their bathroom. The flight attendant is not having it.

Hope you all have a great week!!  Stay focused, stay creative and stay happy.  It’s a choice! 

Love always, T