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Earnest and optimistic songs with Angela Saini

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Angela Saini joined us to talk about her process and two beautifully crafted songs: Something Like I’m Beautiful and Living on the Bright Side. We talked about:

  • Switching from a major to minor key for your bridge
  • How to connect emotionally with your listeners
  • Song endings – to resolve to not resolve?
  • Putting the em-PHA-sis on the right syl-LAB-ble

Thanks to our guest social media maven – Hema!

Listen to the full episode

Download the lyrics for Angela’s songs.

Watch the live performances

Connect with Angela Saini

https://angelasaini.com/

https://www.instagram.com/angelasainimusic/

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/leap-ep/id740125831

 

Making an Emotional Impact as a Performer: Part 2

 

If you read Part 1 of this three-part series, you’ll also have listened to three different performances of the song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

What you may have learned is that the way you interpret a song makes a difference in the way people will react to your performance.  This means the way you choose to sing each phrase, emphasize key words, and bring in dynamics and emotional expression are important in making an emotional impact.

So, now I want to get into the Song Interpretation Exercise that I mentioned, which can help you think more intentionally about all of these elements.

Just a note: I’d like to think I’m brilliant, but I didn’t make this all up. A huge thanks goes to my former vocal teacher, Véronik Fournier (a.k.a. V), who passed on this incredibly helpful exercise to me.

First things first, choose a song you want to work on. Then download the Song Interpretation Exercise template here and get going with Step 1!

Step 1: Character, Objective, Moment Before, Win or Loss?

My Character

It may seem obvious that the “Character” in question – i.e. the person singing the song – is, well, you.

Technically, yes. However, is every story that you communicate through the songs you perform actually about you?

Maybe you are singing a song that you wrote completely based on your own personal life story. In that case, when you do the rest of this exercise, you’ll probably be drawing from the exact events and emotions you experienced.

However, sometimes we perform songs that aren’t based on our real life history. For example, one of my songwriting collaborations involved me having to sing about how my now-ex-lover just ran off to Havana. Well, I assure you that this has never happened – but I needed to convince everyone that it had!

So, I created a character in my mind who I could embody when singing Havana”: a young woman who had gotten in deep with her Cuban lover and brought him back to her homeland. Yet, after a tumultuous time together, he packed up and left her high and dry.

Although creating this made-up character may have seemed a bit disingenuous at first, I was able to own the performance by drawing from my own, very real experiences of having felt the emotions of longing, bitterness and despair that are expressed in the song.

Singing To

If you are performing at a show, you will, of course, be singing to your audience.  But, again, let’s get to the heart of the story behind the song.

Who are you, as the character of the song, singing to? Are you singing to your cheating, ex-boyfriend who is now trying to win you back? A group of angry protestors who are demanding change? Your first, newborn baby?

There’s something kind of freeing about approaching a performance in this way. Rather than getting the jitters about singing to a sea of faces watching you from their seats, you are simply communicating a story that is really about, and being directed at, someone else.

Objective

What is your objective, or reason, for singing these words to the person (or people) you are singing to? Is it to assure them that they are going to make it through their challenging situation? To convince yourself to take the leap into a new romance?

Clarifying this for yourself from the outset can help in shaping the rest of the exercise. Read more

Writing to perfection with Jules

Talented teen singer-songwriter Jules joined us again, after her first appearance over a year ago. In the midst of writing songs for her sophomore release, Jules talked with the Song Talk Radio Action Team about:

  • FACTOR grants for Canadians, and why you should hire a grant writer
  • Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition
  • writing from a title
  • writing lyrics that are open to interpretation
  • working on a lyric until it’s perfect
  • collaborations
  • what a band brings to the songwriting process
  • how teens are feeling about issues and putting them into songs

Listen to the whole show:

Watch the live performances:

1 Man + 1 Electric Guitar: TC Folkpunk

The always entertaining singer/songwriter TC FolkPunk returned to the show and played a couple of punky solo electric guitar songs and talked about playing solo without a band with just an electric guitar.

Some Stuff We Talked About

Twitter contributors:

@SharonRose2012

@heatherspratt

@ynoburns – Tony Burns

Listen to the Show

Getting (not so) personal with Faaria

Faaria was one of our first guests on Song Talk Radio (check out her first episode) and she joined us once again with new songs about relationships, where none of them are autobiographical (or so she claims).

Stuff we talked about:

  • writing from different point-of-views
  • relationship songs
  • how practicing songwriting can affect the enjoyment of listening to other songs
  • progressing the story or idea from verse to verse
  • spicing up chords using the Circle of Fifths
  • the value of collaboration and playing around with songwriting suggestions

Download the lyrics for Faaria’s songs.

Listen to the full episode:

Watch the performances:

 

Exploring the blues with Son Roberts

Maple Blues Award Best New Artist nominee and harmonica player, Son Roberts stopped by the Song Talk Radio studios with guitarist John Crosbie and had a fun and wide ranging conversation about writing blues influenced tunes.

Here’s what we talked about:

 

Giving yourself a deadline to get stuff done: Janice Ho

Our very own Tweeting SongBird, Janice moved to the other side of the mic. We talked about her having Opera training and her natural bluesy style.

Some stuff we talked about:

Melanie with the Song Talk Radio team

Melanie Peterson, aka Mary Poppins with a broken heart

Melanie treats the team to two live performances, talks about duality and contradictions in her songs, and asks the ultimate Facebook quiz question, “Is your guy good on paper?”

We also talked about:

  • Pat Pattison’s songwriting seminar on youTube
  • writing from a title
  • crowdfunding for your album on indiegogo