A few years ago I was active in a singer's forum online and met the incomparable Canadian artist Salem Jones. Fueled by our like-mindedness and mutual curiosity, we have become close friends, regularly having tea via webcam as we chat about all things life. She is a fiery rocker and a fascinating combination of a brilliantly independent and original-thinking brain, a loving empathetic heart and a fearless spirit fighting for right things. She also sings her butt off. She guest posts today, going deeper than the usual caves we explore when pursuing the kind of singing that is truly phenomenal. I am so grateful she has chosen to share some of her thoughts on this blog. Here now is Salem Jones...
Hey, how am I singing?
Now there’s a question. It’s one that can float through various levels of our awareness, appearing here or there, remaining unknown, and consequently unasked (and therefore unanswered), gig after gig, session after session.
How well is The Message coming through my voice?
That one changed the perspective completely and clarified the goal, which created a whole new focus on a pointed intention. Much better! I could feel I was onto something, with one dry foothold in the mud I was trying to climb out of. I then noticed that some songs were connecting much better than others, and that took me to the age-old, fantastically leading and logical question, one that should be asked over and over, “Why?” To not bore us, I’ll cut to the chorus… I finally asked myself,
WHAT am I singing?
Something clicked and locked in like Tower of Power’s rhythm section.
So. How do we achieve Resonant Lyrics?
Stay tuned for Part 2 (coming soon) of this guest post for the answer to that question!
- “Like a drunken lone wolf sailor”. I wondered who’d been drinking after that.
- “We’re not tossing seedbags here.” From a west coast urban “vocal aficionado”.
- “Amazing! No wait! I was soloing Glenn’s track.” Well, I can understand this one because the producer was talking about Glenn Hughes.
- “You need to stop lifting weights. You’re looking way too muscular.” Yup. That was the feedback from this uberclown, a small-time A&R guy lasciviously licking his lips.
- “Like a cat.” I often sound like a cat. Meow.
- “Like Geddy Lee. When he sings like a cat.” What else can you say to that? ROFL
From her book, publishing date TBA:
Your lyrics are your truth. They're your sacred secrets, your dazzling dreams, your cherished plans, your insistent demands, your delicate suggestions, your moon riding joys, your gut wrenching pains, your heart crushing losses, your cross-the-finish-line-at-all-costs gains. They're your style, and they are the way that you change the world. Your lyrics are you. They are the lifeblood of your songs. You want them to tell the whole story, the way you intended it to be heard, in the strongest way possible, so that someone can deeply understand and will walk away changed. By you. By your words. By your lyrics. This is the essence of being a lyricist.
Don't forget to look for part 2 of this post!