It turns out for me I find it a lot easier to say things in song than I do in my everyday life.
Desi Valentine London, UK.
Desi Valentine makes emotionally complex pop / soul music that is at emotional war within itself. But dang, it’s catchy. Take a listen to his latest single “My Worst Enemy” on Spotify.
The art of writing in it’s many forms can be compelling, inspiring and can also be very challenging. As a songwriter the challenge can be so much more complicated because we are dealing with instrumentation, production, melody and of course lyrical content. I will do my best share my way of writing with you all.
When I was young boy I struggled with the subject of English (ironically as I am an english man). I had real trouble with dyslexia and grammar completely puzzled me. I battled to understand the significance of all of these symbols and I would write sentences that were thirty words long with no punctuation. That was something I eventually overcame but what I did have was the ability to write incredible stories. My imagination was beyond a galaxy wide and I had a very empathic way of connecting to people. I could put into words how someone else was feeling better than they could sometimes. These skills would come into the light once I started writing songs.
A large issue for a lot of talented musicians is they have learned to play their instruments so well but when it comes down to the crunch you really have to have something to say. You have to find a way to convey your passion in a way that the listener (that does not play your instrument) can relate to and feel emotionally. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some phenomenal instrumentalists that can make their instrument sing so beautifully it can bring you to tears. For me it took me some time to learn that even though I could write fantastic stories, if you look inside your own life there are far more compelling ways to write these songs. It turns out for me I find it a lot easier to say things in song than I do in my everyday life. Always being the happy-go-lucky kinda guy meant that I felt like I couldn’t have a bad day or express frustration and mainly tell the truth about how lonely I had felt. Writing songs became my way to share what was going on inside and as a constant confidant to a lot of friends. I was able to not be bound to just my own story, I could draw from others to make this rich content for my songs.
My latest single that I released ‘My Worst Enemy’ was like a therapy session for me to write. I had somehow gotten entangled in an old school crush. As a grown ass man I haven’t had a crush like this in a very long time. Especially when, usually, if the object of your desire isn’t showing you ANY interest at all, you would just move on. But in steps the ego and the idea that, because you want someone so badly, why don’t you deserve it. Prompting you to look inward and tear apart your sense of self-worth. The lyric ‘you took away my dignity’ were the only words I could use to describe what you were feeling. In all this we find the beauty….. In the words of Adele “Turn my sorrow into treasured gold.” Having such powerful feelings made for a song that I truly mean every word of and it brings me joy to think that people out there going through the same thing might get a little relief from hearing it.
The production of the song came from a brilliant man called Morgan Taylor Reid. He and I had never met or worked together before but immediately I felt comfortable to share this pretty vulnerable story with him. The same way I am empathic with words he is empathic with instrument production. It was like he climbed into my head and heart then poured the emotions out into the track. It’s an odd and wonderful sensation when you hear the sound of the emotions that came from inside you. Drawing influence from 60’s soul and Doo-wop vocal stylings we build a song that is reminiscent of a classic sound but feels fresh and modern with it’s lyrical styling.
I’m truly proud of this song and I am thrilled that so many people feel the same way. I recommend writing to anyone that struggles with getting their feelings out; whether it’s in song or in a personal diary that no one ever sees, I hope it brings you joy and evokes more peace in your life.
FAVORITE RECORD STORE
Amoeba music. It makes me happy when I see their vinyl collection, it makes me sad when I can’t buy all of it.
FAVORITE CONCERT VENUE
The Hollywood bowl. A classic LA venue that houses some of the finest music from every genre.