The Sweet Spot

Getting to record my songs in the studio was truly amazing. It is always a ton of work, and there were times I was sweating it – in the literal sense and in the “oh my God, please let me get through this take without screwing it up - again!” For unless you’ve been in the studio, you just can’t imagine how grueling it can be to sing the right notes, play to a click and still manage to capture the magic. But don’t get me wrong, I LOVED IT! Every minute of it. For I have waited far too long for this day to take it for granted. It felt very rich to be able to sing my songs from so many poignant moments in my life and to see this dream finally being realized.

This was my very first time laying my own piano tracks, and so I was a bit tentative at first, but once I relaxed a bit, it was really fine. And then there was the song that I had just recently written that wasn’t “studio ready” in my mind. I made the mistake of showing my producer Justin the song the night before when we were talking over arrangements and such. I finished and turned around to make my apologies. And he stopped me and said, “I only have two things to say to you. First of all, you can play this one without the click. Secondly, if you don’t record that tomorrow, I quit.” And so there I was at the very last minute finalizing lyrics and piano parts, and because of the variable nature of the song, we ended up recording the piano and vocal tracks together. We had to get creative and thanks to Justin’s genius, we built a “wall” of sorts between the vocal and piano mics to eliminate as much bleed as possible, but they say the song turned out great. This is why I am grateful to be working with a producer. I am my worst critic and I would probably beat the songs to death if they let me, but Justin kept assuring me that I had “killed it” and that he had more than enough to work with. That’s exactly what you need to hear when you are sweating it out in the box. Lie to me, if you have to, but please tell me that something is working. Laying the vocal tracks was the fun part. When Sting asked me two years ago if I was a professional singer, I said no. Today I might have to change my answer. This is definitely my strong suit and I was able to lay solid vocal tracks in a take or two. I even heard rumors that there were tears to be had by a few of my spectators. Glad to have a few loyal fans.

There is a lot of talk these days about finding “your sweet spot” – the place where you are most fully alive and are offering the best of your strengths and what you uniquely bring to the world. Well, this has to be one of them for me. The sweet spot was seeing this day as the culmination of so many days, so many tears and so many joys. Like one friend said to me, being immersed in my music is me being fully “me” in a way that few other experiences rival. The sweet spot is having the courage to do the songs that are personal and meaningful to me and not worrying about what the industry or fans might dictate. That’s not what this project is about. It’s about being true to me and to the music that is coming from inside. What a great day.

1 comment

  • Bill Faris
    Bill Faris
    NIIIIICCCCEEEE!!! You go, Jessica! May God sprinkle it all with amazing (digital) grace!!

    NIIIIICCCCEEEE!!! You go, Jessica! May God sprinkle it all with amazing (digital) grace!!

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