As an individual who appreciates music, I don’t just appreciate great and meaningful music but I am always so intrigued in learning what the back stories, the inspiration, the real life situations that transpired master pieces. I want to share a little bit of me behind each song on CONNECTED and also hope that you find a small connection with these songs. Let’s start with the title. My humble 4 track EP that was released last March that sparked my music dreams was named Connections – it was named Connections because of the topics I wrote about and I also wanted to start making "Connections" with new and existing listeners, local artists, producers, photographers, web designers etc in the local industry. To play off the last title, my LP features 10 new songs that took pretty much exactly 1 year for me to complete. As I had alluded to in previous blog posts, I had a very rough 2016 ending and all of 2017 that brought me to rock bottom. At the time of course I was a complete mess but today I am ironically a better person. What happened was extremely unfair, unfortunate, disrespectful, hurtful but it forced me to start looking inward - which is difficult AF!
CONNECTED is a story from the beginning, middle, end, and restoration. An event all too common yet also very personal, unique and distinct to each and every person. So let’s get started!
Get Ready (written 4 years ago)
This song immediately starts the mood and theme of CONNECTED. A fairly dark hip-hop if that’s even a music genre (I’m making it a genre right now – bam! You’ll notice that this album will be diverse in music genres!) It talks about the uncertainties, excitement yet reluctance of the start of any relationship. There may be some people on the “outside” who don’t approve but at the same time they may see something that the individuals who are involved on the “inside” who don’t see them. Regardless, being in a relationship is up to the two individuals directly involved. The two individuals are the ones who dictate the dynamics, the depth, the ones who have the power to make it what they want to make of it. Although it may feel like they have to prove to others that things will work out, in the end whatever the result may be, it will be a life’s lesson.
Unspoken Love (written 4 years ago)
This is based on the book – The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Kinda cheesy but this song basically talks about the different ways that we give, show and express our love and commitment to our other halves and how best we receive it from them. This is probably the most upbeat song I have on this record and it channels my Motown love and Marvin Gaye production inspiration. I am also very proud of the bridge that I wrote – and I make my drummer and bass guitarist agree with me every time we rehearse this song.
Shy No More (written 3 years ago)
I cannot wait to play this one live for you all!! This is definitely one track hands down when the three of us literally feel the groove and we just know it without having to say anything – that’s the magic of music! Have you heard an Asian female sing reggae before? Well now you will and I probably will be the first! A very intimate song lyrically and melodically, Shy No More talks about the positive vulnerable vibes shared between two individuals where the usually timid and shy person becomes comfortable, and no longer shy no more – get the pun!? You gotta purchase your tickets to hear the live rendition of this!! It will definitely get you grooving!!
I remember the weekend when I wrote this song. It was right before I had to do my string of evening shifts at the pharmacy (which definitely didn’t help the situation) and this was when things between the person who I was seeing at the time started to go south and when I was being mistreated. It was a long term, long distance relationship and there was absolutely no reciprocation from the other person’s part. I kept giving and wanted to move forward but the other person refused. Craving depicts the mixed feelings I was enduring – the emotional turmoil that I was going through but at the same time wanting, needing and craving to be with that person and hoping they come to their realization that I depended on them to that degree. Isn’t it so ironic and wrong how love works?
I wrote this song in third person to depict a community of individuals who gives not just 100% but 120% into a relationship of any kind (family, friends, coworkers, romantic relations etc). It also shows how convoluted that most of the time, the ones who do give 12/10 are the ones who get disappointed and hurt the most but that we have to keep moving. In keeping momentum forward one must keep belief and must not compromise or change who they are, especially when another person comes along and gives their 12/10.
This one was my first single off CONNECTED and my first music/lyric video that Justin McDonough (huge shoutout!!) helped me out with!! It was also released on the same day as Bell Let’s Talk Day because this is a song that affects us all. Regardless if we are professionally diagnosed with a mental health condition, we at least are touched indirectly by knowing or knowing of someone who has battled with mental health. REMEMBER 100% of the proceeds generated from online streams and purchases of this single will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association! A little goes a long way and a small gesture such as streaming will help someone in need!
A lot of my closest friends were shocked (in a good way) by this song. Shocked because of how raw, real and emotional this song is because those who really know me know that I am a horrible communicator. I dislike confrontations and I find-articulating conversations extremely difficult especially when it comes to emotions. I’ve had good feedback especially about the piano “sample” and groove that Justin and I came up with but the feedback that stuck with me was the truth behind it. That’s why I love music – it allows me to transform into a poet when on a daily basis I cannot otherwise! It’s magical!
This track is exactly about that – second guessing and the inner conflict between the heart and the head. After so much time and energy has been spent to save something that was literally going downhill, sometimes the invested heart and emotional drain will take its toll and you start second guessing yourself even though you know it is not right to return to something not worth fighting for anymore. I think a lot of us has been through that emotional roller-coaster and mind-set - am I correct?
Falling Apart into Place
If you haven’t noticed already this song has a latin feel to it! Inspired by the sounds I encountered when I went to Cuba last July with my friends and all I wanted to do was to come back and incorporate the morracas and clave that street buskers all over Havana and Trinidad used to make us all want to get up and dance. This song was not intended to become a Latin feel – it was supposed to have a smooth 90’s R&B vibe but inspiration and creativity took over. I personally really like the title – it depicts the juxtaposition of what I was literally going through mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically last year when I was going through my journey. I was literally a mess on the inside despite how “strong” I looked on the outside but slowly coming to the realization that at the same time, things were coming together. I couldn’t see it at the time, but in hindsight I was falling apart into a better place.
By the end of this project with this last song that I wrote I was aiming to feel connected with of course my listeners who have been through this common life story but ultimately, I wanted to feel connected with myself and learn to let go and move forward. I wanted to let go of the hate, frustration, hurt, betrayal, shame, and disappointment and to be able to forgive but not forget. I wanted to be able to believe again. I wanted to be able to say goodbye to everything in the past and hello to myself.
And there you have it – CONNECTED is about my story.
It is now available on all music platforms – Spotify, itunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, Napster, Deezer. I am so excited to finally share this with all of you and on June 2 at 8pm, at The Bourbon Room. Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm $15 online/ $20 at the door. There will be raffle tickets by donation for the opportunity to win 1 of 3 swag bags that will have the most awesome things for you to win!!! Opening up and celebrating this special night with me are my two soul sisters, Millie Rouge and RAANI who are my everyday inspiration and women powerhouses. I will also be joined on stage with Matt Koopman (drummer from Guests – The Band) and Leshan (bass/guitar player from Melafrique) to give you all a whole new different vibe and groove than you are all used to seeing me play live! CLICK HERE FOR TIX!!!
Huge shout outs to:
1) Justin McDonough and Resonate Music & Studios for turning my humble creativity into my dream and transforming the sound that I have been whirling around in my head into a reality
2) Darren Gee for capturing and designing the mood and emotion in this project. Always a fun time hanging out and feeling like I am Canada’s top model!
3) Friends who have always been there to support me - you know who you are!
4) YEG MUSIC for believing in me as a musician/artist and supporting me in my artist development journey and dream!
I hope I have CONNECTED with you and will remain CONNECTED. Hope to see you all on June 2 and if not I have lots of shows and gigs for the summer coming up! Keep CONNECTED on my new website nataliachaimusic.com