Hey everyone – hope you’ve all been well! Did you listen to my first original song, Like Stars? If not, be sure to listen to it here! Now that you all have heard my biggest work, it’s time I show you something new I’m starting. I was initially going to begin writing and producing a new song (preferably something on the simpler side so I can publish it before the end of the cycle), but decided that I could kill two birds with one stone (or, rather, as a vegetarian, could pick two radishes with one hand) by doing something else.
For the past two years, I’ve performed at my school’s (Lowell High School) annual talent show held in the spring., I auditioned to perform again this year and made it, but it’ll be my last year! That being said, I was really hoping to bring something special, memorable, and different from what I had done in the past to the stage this year. In 2014, I stood on stage and sang a female rendition of Bruno Mars’ When I Was Your Man (which I recorded in the studio here if you want to listen to it), and the following year I sang a small mashup of two Sam Smith songs – Lay Me Down and Stay With Me – that were popular at the time, while playing piano to go with it.
I considered singing Like Stars at the talent show this year since it’s my first original song and I thought it would be cool, but then I decided that singing my song in front of hundreds of people who don’t know it might not be the best idea. This time, I want to go for a crowd-joins-in-singing kind of effect. When Lowell’s Junior Prom Committee asked me to sing at junior prom last year, I sang Taylor Swift’s “Sparks Fly” and it was received really well because so many people knew it. People waved their arms around while dancing and sang along during the choruses, and for a moment I felt like I was having my own concert or something. What I’m trying to say is that it was great singing something everyone liked and recognized, so I want to try and re-create that feeling at the talent show.
Thinking about making my last performance at the Lowell talent show as meaningful as possible, I thought singing something everyone could enjoy would be the best idea. I ended up deciding on singing a mashup again, but this time, it would be much bigger. I’m going to sing a mashup of the greatest hits from my freshman year (2012-2013) to my senior year (2015-2016). Knowing me and my terrible memory (as someone who can barely remember what she ate for dinner last night), recalling the greatest hits from three years ago would be pretty much impossible. I ended up going to Billboard’s Hot 100 list and looking over what the top songs for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Leaving the controversial or overplayed songs that would result in tomatoes thrown at me onstage rather than applause out, I narrowed the songs over those four years down to 23 songs.
Later that day, I went home and sat in front of the piano like I did when writing Like Stars and messed around for about two hours. I went through several chord arrangements and keys, and finally settled for F major as my primary key since it suited my voice and vocal range best. I took notes on which chords to play for which song (since they’re all a little bit different), and recorded it all in case I forgot anything. I narrowed down the list a little bit more and took out any songs that didn’t sound good with the piano accompaniment, and my final list of songs had a total of 13 pieces.
Conveniently, my audition was the next day (which says something about my time and project management) and I had my lyrics written out along with the chords, so that’s what I took to my audition. I had most of the lyrics memorized since they were just the choruses of the songs, but I filled in anything that my memory was kind of rusty with.
I ended up having to do my audition acapella because the school didn’t prepare a piano for me (like I had asked), but I ended up not getting cut anyway. The talent show is Friday, March 25, and I’m going to have my lovely friend Mina do me a favor and record the whole thing so hopefully you guys will be able to see the video soon. Keep an eye out for it!