Friday, February 12, 2010

Okay so your going to release a mix-tape....Now What?

It's official, I'm gonna record my first mixtape:), Beautiful Weirdo,woo hoo!! Ha! that was my first exclamation...and then came the pauses: how am I gonna finance this while resigning from my job...pause...what am I going to write about....pause... will people like it..pause... what singer  does a mixtape to old outkast beats...pause...and the list of insecurities and doubts went on and on. Well, I didn't wait to be eatin alive about the pauses and the questions...I just went to work. I found someone who believed in me:) or he found me and he made the recording process a it was just the writing and vocal performance that was up to me...

 I scheduled my first session. I was still working my full time job and had managed to change my hours so I could work 10 hour days and be off every Tuesday to prepare for the phase out (Thank God for an awesome director). I think it was my 2nd Tues:) and I was so amped. I left the house at 7:30 am to get to the studio in baltimore at 9:30 am. Fighting b-more traffic ain't a game..I ain't lyin. I had 2 songs ready to go...or so I thought. Well, I had solid outlines for them:) as I had written them in the summer.

I won't lie...I was a bit nervous. I hadn't recorded a studio album since ummm August 2008....but the flow came right back. It definitely helps to have an easy going Engineer as well. In fact, thats a must have, you want to be comfortable where your recording. Sorry, I digress. Now,  the first song I recorded was the title track, Beautiful Weirdo.

I remember when I wrote this song. It was at a time where I just was feeling no love and unaccepted in the industry. Two events had happened that led me to believe that I wasn't fit for the music industry.

First incident.
I was trying to get a Publicist/Marketing team to stir some buzz about "Green Tea." I had devised the plan that I would take my income tax money and invest in me. I was ready to spend 7 grand. Well, I went there with my Sweet Georgia Brown Weave blowin in the wind and with a fully beat face (I.e. had on make-up).  I was  feelin good and looking good until they started chewing me a new butt hole. "How many supporters do you have, if you called a show today, how many people would come, what kind of video is this (talking of sweet georgia brown), why is there a duck in it and where is sweet georgia brown, what kind of look do you have, why do you have crinkly hair in one video and long Beyonce hair in the other, you would do better in atlanta, you need to make an image decision, etc., and so on and so on. I was so ill prepared. I thought i would be asking them questions and not them drilling me. I felt naked with just my Beyonce weave blowing in the wind all the while holding back the tears that welled in my eyes. At that point, I just wanted to give up and take what was left of my pride and walk on. I remember calling one of my besties in tears. She gave the pep talk and reminded me of God's word and was who are these people and who are their other clients. "Never even heard of these folks, lets google em."   Then I called superman (yes, my boyfriend will here in be referred to as superman) sounding like a weather beaten cat...not my usually bubbly self. I was down.

2nd incident.
Feelin rejected by the pub firm, I sought a booking agent. I've always thought if I could just gain the platform, I'd win hearts and supporters. I have a passion for singing live, connecting with the audience, and I'm good at it. So I contacted a local booking agent here in the area..there aren't that many in DC to begin with. I submitted my cds  and then came the Door Slam in my face: "You're not marketable." "I can't book any shows for you." I  remembered thinkin, huh? Not when I know the people you've been booking, who perform in the same venues as I do around town. I was like wow ok. I was hurt again.

So in essence, I took  those events and started the song with this question/chorus, Who want this girl, who wants this girl, who wants this girl-->This beautiful Weirdo. The words just flowed. I delved deep into the feelings of tryna fit in...yes i did...tried to be the image people were pressin on me to be "commercial girlie girl" and I hated it. Not being able to really move on stage cuz my dress was too short and I couldn't walk in the heels lol!...there i got the lyrics "I didn't embrace the skin I was in, tryna force the gift, but I didn't fit in"  In the end, the climax of the song, is that I answer my own question... GOD Wants this girl:) this beautiful weirdo:)

There you have it the title cut of the first song--->Beautiful Weirdo
The funny thing is...people love this song..when I recorded it, I thought it was just a self purging and self realization about who I am... but no it has a deeper meaning, its a universal song:) that encourages people to accept who you are:)
Stay tuned for more:)


Philip Clark said...

Great perspective. Love you're blogging about this. Just out of curiosity, are you listening to the CDBaby DIY podcast? There's some great stuff there.

Green Tea said...

Philip, yes I stay listening to underground music..since its not played on the mainstream as much..cdbaby is def the place to go...afterall, my cd is on there too:)

Philip Clark said...

The DIY podcast isn't actually a music podcast as so much great lessons on how to market yourself and your music. I recommend it for all of my musician friends.