Slice of Life, Chapter 28

(This is part of the Slice of Life Project)

It is just so strange to hear my words and thoughts and melodies coming out of someone else’s mouth. It’s a sensation that I must come to grips with but still, it can be a struggle.

As the main songwriter for my band, The Sofa Kings, I write with my voice in my head. But in the band, I try to pass the songs along, so that others have a chance to be the singers on our original material, too. And now that we have a new singer — she has a wonderfully powerful voice — we are trying to even the field a bit more than before. Which means that I am giving up some of the songs that I have traditionally sung.

The other night, I listened as she sang, and although I could hear places where I wanted her to go with her voice, I could tell she is starting to make the songs her own, even in the short time that she has been playing with it. It’s both a fantastic feeling and a bit unsettling. It’s like giving up a child that I have nurtured, even though I know she will care for my words and melody with love and passion. I trust her. I do. But there is some separation anxiety that happens, too. I have refused to pass along a couple of songs that have some deep emotional attachment for me. There are some songs that are more important to me, personally, than others. I can’t and won’t give them up.
We are giving her a crash course in our originals because we have a gig coming up in just a few weeks. This is a show being put on by the man who recorded our band for much of last year. We are the headliners of the show and, to be honest, we are still trying to find our new sound, following the decision by our keyboardist-singer to leave and pursue some solo recording. I am now playing keyboards on some songs, along with sax and guitar, and it all feels a bit uncertain. However, the other night, something started to click and come together in a nice way. I think we will be fine.

Peace (in music),

  1. I have never written a song but could really feel how unsettling it must be to relinquish complete ownership of your music from your post. Maybe you can think of it as a good kind of “family” succession. The kind you plan for so creativity, production, and community can flourish. Good luck with the upcoming gig.

  2. Cool part of the creative process Kevin. Does it make any difference that a woman is singing your songs and not a guy? Does that make it different?

  3. I would love to hear you sing live with your band. I’ve listened a bit through one of your links and I love your sound! I think it would be so cool to be able to write something and to have it sung.

  4. Bonnie
    I am not sure that gender comes into play. I hope not.
    It is different, since I have not had the pleasure of a lead woman singer before.
    I think it is just the act of letting go and letting the songs become something else in the hands of someone else. Luckily, I am still part of the process.

  5. I love this window into your process, Kevin. It must be so hard to give up the lead-singing, to hand over your creations to someone else. Good luck and fun with your concert!

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