There are a lot of people I owe so much too for the making of the new album Candy. Also, what I want to mention here is some of the lessons I have learned. I will also put links throughout so if any of my network or ideas can help you with your path, wonderful!
I released my first 5 song EP January 2013 called Dreams Are All You Know, and with that experience I learned a lot. You can pull some incredible things together when you have a good team of people. By that, I do mean people who are inspired by project! Feeling inspired and apart of something big is a very important human need!
How do you create a good team of people?
I had conversations with many people sharing my vision and if that would inspire them also to team up and grow each others career!
Recently I've learned that when you create something, you attach a certain energy to that! Everything you do really. When I get out of my comfort zone or do a random act of kindness, that has a ripple effect as it activates that in other people! If I write a song and my ego runs the show, your ego may be activated by watching it and not be a positive force in the world like I plan to be. What I want Candy to activate is the fun and emotional aspects of life!
A lot of what I have learned from what I just mentioned came from my coaching with Kelsey Grant, the creator of Radical Self Love. So thankful and would recommend her to anyone. The foundation to any success you want to achieve is self-love, and that is something I had to explore!
So to start, Rawlco Radio had a grant for $10,000 that they gave to 20 artists, and I was chosen. Grant writing has been very helpful, and what it reinforced is that you have to be bad at something before you can be good. I was not good at grant writing 4 years ago! And I did not receive the grants I applied for for 2 years straight. But I tried, I was willing to fail, I asked for help, I went to events and I tried again. The Rawlco radio grant was a 3 year wait for me! Although I may not have seen any success the first few years, it is just like planting a seed. You don't see the harvest for a while because the roots have to grow first. Something inside you has to change or grow to achieve your goals!
I started writing some ideas, and bringing them to a jam night, which I would invite some incredibly talented people of mine to get their ideas too! I got this idea from Rob Heaths Songwriters night in Edmonton, AB where you bring one original song and 20 lyric sheets, and the musicians there all get 10 min to perform their song and get feedback! Everyone takes notes as well, incase there wasn't enough time to get in all the feedback! So my own songwriters night consisted of Peter Abando, an incredible friend and piano player on Vancouver I would recommend to anyone who just wants pure genius running along side them, and Wes Mack, who is an incredible writer and country artist going so much in his career right now!
Also had vocal coaching with Alida Vocal Studio in Vancouver and she changed my voice for the better! Always reinforcing I was enough and I didn't have to push my voice to what I thought good singing was, I just had to practice my tools!
Then I flew from Vancouver to Edmonton in April 2013 to get in the studio with Scott Greene, because receiving a grant, you are on a deadline!
Co-writing with Scott Greene was incredible! He first worked with me on my first single I Like You when I was 16 years old! He knows guitar so well, I hum something and he starts playing it, and writing with him gave me complete freedom! What an incredible experience!
After pre-production we got into PowerSound studios in Edmonton, AB and started with Bill George on Drums, Ed Smith on Bass/Piano, Scott Greene on guitar, Audrey Ochoa playing and writing the trombone lines, and Joel Gray on Trumpet, then used programmers for a few tunes thanks to Ari Rhodes and Damien Heck! One song called Free was written in studio with Ari, Damien, Scott and myself! We had no idea what to expect walking in, and those guys are so in sync with each other, if was fun to watch them work. Ari played a violin on that track as well!
After the instruments were recorded, I got in the studio, did my doubles and harmonies, and got Wes Mack featured on the last song doing harmonies for Goodnight.
Goodnight was a fun song to make, because I was so ill when I wrote it. I was at home, sick and couldn't talk, but started writing. It was slow, sad, sappy, and I brought it to the jam night and the guys start playing it upbeat once I told them the chords! I tried to stop them, saying it is all wrong!!! But they make everything sound so good.... I started singing and that is how Goodnight got its groove! Scott and I had the idea of doing a gang vocal, so we got a ton of awesome people in the studio and we all sang the last chorus to end of the album!
Afterwards Scott mixed the album and sent it off to Mike Wells for mastering in Los Angeles! Mike is incredible! Go see Mike!
After all of this, $10,000 did not pay for the entire costs and I wasn't in the position to start with to financially pay for an album, so you sometimes have to ask for help. I edited a video and put up an indiegogo campaign to fundraise the rest of the funds! I raised $2,797 and did a house concert for $500 for the rest of the funds!
Then I got the album... and went huh... pretty cool!!!
Now I needed some new promotional photos to display the new album! Fun, flirty, 1950's influence! Jason Yeh is an incredible friend of mine, and so talented at what he does. Our team got pulled together fast and worked out amazingly, including:
Photography: ChihWei Jason Yeh
Makeup: Leah Roberts, and Yasmine Khan who is a teacher for makeup artists in Burnaby, BC, check out the school!!!
Hair: Louise Goh
Stylist: Elizabeth Louise
Dancers/Models (Left-Right): Samuel Muik, Ryan Fal, Beniamino Comin, Jhomar Teddy Fernandez
Once we got the album cover edited, I sat with designer Naomi at ArtDesign which was a lot of fun and she works fast!
Also, new logo by Girl In Paris which I found her on DesignCrowd, where I wrote a description of what I wanted and had designers all over the world submit a design for me! There were around 50 designs and I chose her! She is so talented!
Now I will be off to Edmonton for the CD release show on May 25th with an incredible band and Dylan Howard as the videographer that night.
And the Vancouver CD release will have some incredibly talented people apart of the show on May 29th, including comedian Josh Ssettuba, musical improv group Off Key, and my team will include piano by Peter Abando, backup vocals by Miranda Guimond and Leah Roberts, and Wes Mack may be making a special guest appearance!
With all of this help, I will be giving the album out for free online for a certain amount of time! If you want to take a listen, put your email here and I will send it to you!