VIDEO: How To Make A Hit Pop Song
July 8, 2014
It seems that between this guy in the two videos below and 5 year old Jordan Bijan, we’ve got all our pop and hip-hop songwriting basics covered…
I must say, even though these videos are meant to be viewed as comedy there’s a lot of truth embedded in the content.
What do you think?
While You’re Here, Check Out My Other Blogs
June 20, 2014
I love to write and while activity on this particular site has been a little lean of late I have been preparing and writing posts for my other two blogs…
Thankfully, I still get that feeling of satisfaction from releasing what is in my heart and mind into the ether through the simple act of writing.
For me, writing is also about learning as I tend to retain and assimilate information more effectively if I write it down.
If I post something to this site, I’m learning more about myself.
If I post anything to All About Songwriting or All About Music Business I am opening myself up to learn more about songwriting and the music business.
While you’re here you should check out my other blogs and let me know what you think.
VIDEO: Hip Hop Lessons From A Five Year Old
June 19, 2014
This is adorable…
My suspicions were correct. Deal with it!
A Welcome Blast From The Past
May 29, 2014
A few days ago I got an email from an old bandmate of mine Colin Pasfield letting me know that he recently bought a cassette to MP3 converter and that one of the cassettes he’s converted to MP3 was our six song demo we did at Zen Studios in 1997.
(Just to give you some idea on the background to this email, Colin and I were in a three piece power trio called “Hot Fridge” when I lived in Sydney from 1994-1999)
He went on to say that after putting the converted MP3’s through some Cubase treatment I was able to download the re-mastered tracks from his Dropbox account.
I was excited, I hadn’t heard the songs in years. I have a couple of copies of the cassette in my archive but not on MP3.
Once downloaded I started listening to the songs and immediately I was flooded with some really great memories. We had a lot of good times and played a few gigs along the way but what I remember the most was Colin, his family and the rehearsals we’d have under his house.
To this day, Colin is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and he’s also a damn fine guitarist too.
Here are the songs for you to listen to. I certainly don’t mind sharing a little piece of my history with you but for me, this demo gives me a good indication of how far I’ve come as a player, performer and songwriter.
Brand Spanking New
I’ve Got You
Time Of A Day
Why Do People Dream?
Wanted: Images For “Happy Mothers Day” Video
May 27, 2014
Recently I put up a post about a songwriting project I’m undertaking with collaborator Ross Hood in which one of the songs featured is a tribute to his late Mother called “Happy Mothers Day.”
Here is the official video of the song to refresh your memory…
Now as you can see, the above video is something that Ross put together himself and while it is an intensely personal and beautifully heartfelt tribute to his late Mother, I’ve always felt a little bit awkward sharing a video as personal as this around.
I’ve always felt that the song “Happy Mothers Day” could quite easily be used as a tribute to all Mothers past, present and future.
For that purpose, I wanted to create a video that runs along the same lines as the official video but have more general images of Mothers doing what they do best (I’ve spoken about this concept with Ross and he is totally fine with it).
With that in mind, I had to answer a simple question… “Where am I going to get the images from?”
I tried experimenting with free stock photo libraries such as FreeImages or FreeFoto but to me there was something missing, something impersonal from acquiring the images and putting them onto a video in this way.
Then it hit me… Why don’t I crowdsource the images? Well, this is where you come in.
Why don’t YOU send me your favourite picture of your Mum for me to put on the video and for your trouble I’ll put your name on the end credits as my way of saying THANK YOU!
How does that sound?
I’m looking for a total of 60 images for the video and all you need to do is to email me your full name and attach your favourite image of your Mum to corey[at]coreystewartonline[dot]com.
Ideally I’m looking for one image per person to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to have a go at this so the first 60 people to email me their favourite image of their Mum will get the image on the video and their name on the end credits.
It’s as easy as that, your Mum can be doing anything in the picture just as long as she is in it. Once I get all the images I need I’ll put together the video, post it onto YouTube, embed it on my website and send you a link to it.
I look forward to putting this video together. I do hope you can be involved.
Video: State Of Play 2 (FULL)
May 20, 2014
On May 5th, I posted a video preview of the second part of Jethro Heller’s “State Of Play” documentary series about the present state of the South Australian Music Industry plus some details of the video launch at The Gov that night.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the launch myself however, I heard that it was a huge success.
I also promised in the earlier post that when “State Of Play 2″ was available to the general public I would post it on this site. Here it is below… The full version of “State Of Play 2 – Truth, Youth, Beauty and all that Jazz” for your enjoyment.
Whereas the first part dealt with Open Mics and the Blues scene, the second part of the State Of Play series delves more into the Jazz scene in Adelaide and interviews some of the main protagonists such as The Foenander Brothers and newcomer Jo-Anne Stutley.
Let me know what you think of it. What’s your opinion on the Adelaide (live) Music Industry these days?
Songwriting Project #1 – Ross Hood “Childhood Memories”
May 19, 2014
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve embarked on a series of songwriting projects in which I’ll have written, recorded, produced and released online six albums worth of material by the end of 2014.
This works out to be one album for each of the four collaborators I’m working with currently plus an album of my own plus a covers album thrown in for good measure.
In order to keep you in the loop as to my progress, here is a summary of my first songwriting project which is in fact the very thing that inspired me to take on this songwriting challenge in the first place.
It’s called “Childhood Memories” by Ross Hood
I met Ross a couple of years ago through a mutual friend and straight away I was impressed with his drive and determination to get things done even with a disability.
You see, Ross has cerebral palsy but that doesn’t stop him running an internet radio station a registered charity and doing stuff like raising money for the Starlight Foundation by riding a gopher from Adelaide to Pt Augusta.
As I grew to know Ross I found out that he wrote poetry and he told me once that he wanted to write his autobiography. I suggested that he should instead write song lyrics with me fleshing out his writing with music as a way of writing his autobiography through song.
He loved the idea and “Childhood Memories” was born
The first song he submitted was about his Mother (who had passed away 10 years ago) called “For My Mum” and it outlined her life story. His second song was another tribute to his Mother called “Happy Mothers Day” in which Ross also made a video for the song so it could be unleashed onto the world on Mothers Day.
Here are the two songs for you to listen to…
For My Mum
Happy Mothers Day
Those two songs plus the rest of the album (13 more songs) were all written in the same way. Ross would provide me with some longhand and then it would be up to me to shape the longhand into a completed song.
Once we both committed to the album idea Ross suggested that we create a limited run of 200 CD’s and with the help of the City of Charles Sturt, put together a CD launch to raise funds for the Australian Melanoma Research Foundation.
From one little idea this concept has grown into something much larger and as you can gather, Ross is not someone who does things by halves.
As of right now, “Childhood Memories” is about 50% complete. The final recordings of the 15 songs have now started with 4 being fully finished so far and it’s all been done in my home recording studio.
This whole journey so far has been one of self discovery and inspiration. I’ve learnt that I can find my way around the intricacies of Logic Pro X and come up with a really good sound. Other things I’ve learnt during this writing and recording process include:
- Working with a longhand lyricist
- Producing a project to a deadline
- Trying my hand writing in different genres (eg Country)
- Utilising cloud computing in the songwriting process (eg Dropbox)
No matter what happens, I am enjoying putting this album together and I hope that Ross and I can work on other stuff in the future. Here is the video of “Happy Mothers Day” for you to check out. Let me know what you think.
I’ll keep you posted as to how I’m going…
My New Songwriting/Recording Challenge For 2014
May 8, 2014
I reckon that no matter what you do, life is a balancing act between doing the things that you want to do and the things that you don’t and right now, I’m happy to be writing songs. That’s it! That’s all I really want to be doing.
At the moment, I’m working with four song collaborators plus, I’m really getting stuck into learning the in’s and out’s of my home recording setup.
I’m really enjoying just immersing myself in all the home studio information that I’m finding online. It excites me just as much as playing live does.
Now, all of this excitement has got me thinking about what the next part of my musical journey is going to look and sound like. One of the questions I’m already asking myself is about how I do my next CD.
Do I go down the traditional path of using an external recording studio or, do I do everything in-house using my own home recording setup?
I mean, I’ve got everything at my fingertips waiting for me to use it, so with that in mind, I’m going to set myself a challenge that will really push me to my creative limits. A challenge that both scares me a little but excites me a lot.
So… As of right now, I’m publically declaring that by the end of 2014, I will have recorded a total of six albums worth of material for online release.
Now, for me an album is defined as a group of 12 to 15 songs but why six albums?
Well, I’ll be doing one album for every collaborator I’m currently working with (remember, there’s four of them), one that I will do myself plus, a covers album thrown in for good measure.
As I’m writing this I can hear the little voice inside my head asking “Why?”
Well, besides the obligatory “why not” answer, I thought a challenge such as this would really sharpen up my songwriting processes plus, it would increase my knowledge, proficiency and confidence in operating my home recording studio setup.
What better way to learn something than to throw yourself in the deep end, right? I’ll keep you posted as to my progress… Wish me luck.
My Self Imposed Exile Is Coming To An End
May 5, 2014
(NB: This is an extension of a post I wrote at the beginning of December 2013)
Since retiring from SCALA in late 2013, I’ve made a point of keeping a low profile to concentrate on sorting out my own stuff behind the scenes.
The three main things that I’ve been concentrating on are:
- Transitioning from cover musician to original musician
- Writing lots of songs/collaborating with others on a regular basis
- Getting my health back on track
- Maintaining a healthy work/life balance
Lately I’ve been enjoying the peace, my weekends, my time with family, friends and loved ones and also, my creative output but for me, the time of living in self imposed exile is coming to an end.
Putting it simply, I’m missing all you guys and I want to get back back out there and re-acquaint myself with the scene again.
I played at SCALA Live @ The Austral last Thursday night for the first time in a while to a small but very appreciative audience and it felt so good to be performing my own songs again… I missed that and I want to do more of it.
The biggest thing that has inspired me of late, has been watching from the sidelines my FIGJAM partner in crime Darren Zaza going gangbusters with his new duo with violinist/vocalist Amy Baker called The Wisps.
We both made the decision to stop doing covers and just concentrate on our own stuff with great results. As for The Wisps, check them out if you can because they’re fantastic.
Being quiet on the live scene doesn’t mean I’ve been resting on my laurels and doing nothing. I think I’ve written more songs and collaborated with more people in the last six months than I have in the last six years and I’m loving just being a songwriter and musician again.
Inspiration really does come to those who are already working.
Outside of music I’ve been successfully addressing the health issues which had plagued me in 2013 and part of that has been redefining my work and life balance.
In the last six months I’ve become less stressed, more productive and quite simply, a better person to be around. It’s amazing what happens when you just get out of your own way and live life again.
See you around the traps sooner rather than later. I might even write about.
Video: State Of Play 2 – SA Live Music Documentary (Preview)
May 5, 2014
Apparently the “State Of Play” music documentary video I posted on February 5th was the first in a two part series.
Here is the preview video for “State Of Play 2 – Truth, Youth, Beauty and all the Jazz” which is having its preview screening tonight (Monday May 5th, 2014) at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel at 8pm with tickets at the door.
Make sure you can get down to The Gov tonight to support local film-maker Jethro Heller and the local SA Music Industry as a whole.
If and when “State Of Play 2″ becomes available on YouTube I’ll make sure I put it up here like I did for the original.