SAC Challenge Week 2- Story telling

This week’s challenge was to write a song that features storytelling. I really enjoyed writing for this week. I had to think of a concept that would be fun to write about. My initial ideas were pretty depressing so I had to axe them. The other challenges included coming up with a logical storyline and finding ways to compress all your ideas into a few lines. It was like putting together a complicated puzzle.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

SAC Song Challenge#1 , 2 Chords

 

This week’s SAC song challenge consisted of writing a song using only 2 chords!! No problem, I just have to find a funky bass line and write around that. Took me a while to get back into the swing of things. I just had to manage my time better!

Up until the last minute I had tons of melodies and variations to sift through. Next week I’ll do a better job of committing to my ideas earlier so I can revise. I felt like I didn’t have enough time to revise!! That makes me nervous.

I feel like I should have been more efficient. I ended up making a shitty loop with logic and just arranging the song from that. If I had more time I would’ve made the production more sexy. Now it sounds very stock..

Until next time!

 

SAC Wrap-up Questions

1.What is your name?  
My Name is Gordon Wong.
2.  What was the hardest challenge or hardest part of the challenge for you and why?
The hardest part of the challenge was time management. I felt there was really no time to waste. If I was cowriting and no ideas were working, we had to step away and move on. During the first and second weeks I took more co-writes than I could handle. I was really stressed over that.
3.  What did you enjoy most about participating in this experience?
I enjoyed teaming up with other songwriters and listening to the end result. It was so satisfying. After each challenge I would keep listening to the songs we wrote. I was really proud of the collabos.
4.  What is something significant that you learned from taking on this challenge? (It can be about yourself or about the challenge)
I learned to make the best of each person’s skills. If someone was a really good guitar player I would use their playing on the track. If the person had good vocals, I would leave more space for the vocals to shine through.
5.  Would you do this type of challenge again?  Why or why not?
I would definitely do it again. It was a lot of work but It is one of those experiences that really helped me grow as a songwriter and as a person. I loved how we got to experience a different segment of the music industry. It really opened my eyes and opened new avenues for my song writing.
Week 1 pitch for Matt Dusk

SAC Blog Challenge Week 6- That’s a wrap!

Final week and final challenge! I am relieved but also kind of sad that it’s almost over.

This weeks challenge was to write a pop song that could be played on the radio. I immediately asked fellow co-writer Adri-Anne Ralph if she would like to do this one together. Since we already did the week 1 challenge together, I felt that we already had a good feel of each other’s strengths.

While we were writing for this weeks challenge, we were also trying to finish up our Matt Dusk song and send it off to get mixed. Very hectic week I must say.

Now it’s time to look back and see all things I accomplished. I can’t believe I was able to write about 7 songs in 6 weeks. That’s more songs than I write in half a year. This whole blog challenge helped me grow in so many different ways. I feel honoured and humbled to be in a group with such talented and kind people. I always felt positive vibes.

I definitely did not see each challenge as a competition. I saw it as an opportunity to connect with people and get out of my comfort zone. Everyone who participated in the challenge came with their own skill set and musical taste. It was awesome to witness different writers team up and create something that would have never existed.

I really needed this…. Thanks for all the people who were involved with making this challenge happen. Thanks Lily.

And thanks to James Linderman and Debra Alexander for channelling their songwriter love to everyone who felt down and depressed during the challenges. This must’ve happened every week. I know I was feeling it hard during first 3 weeks.

Before this challenge I felt I had no direction and I was always waiting for opportunities to come my way. Now I can clearly see that if you want to succeed, you have to really put yourself out there and be willing to work with anyone. When I think about the friendships and partnerships I made within the past 6 weeks…It puts a giant smile on my face.

Thanks everyone!

Gordon

SAC Week 5 challenge: Dark Fun

This week’s challenge was issued by Jordan Howard the creative director of  CCS Rights Management.

Challenge: I am looking for songs to pitch for a new series on Lifetime that stars Christina Ricci. The series can be best described as a 19th Century “Dexter.” Series centers around a female anti-hero, lots of emotions. Love, Lust, Hate, Danger. Musically I am looking for songs in the vain of: Black Keys, Bon Iver, Band of Skulls, Carolina Chocolate Drops, James Vincent McMorrow. For one episode, I am looking for a replacement for Hozier’s “To Be Alone.” As long as the song is in a similar wheelhouse and is lyrically similar, that is what is most important.

funny-Dark-Side-Skywalker-Vader

This week was a fun and interesting week for me! I was able to do two co-writes. One with Judy Marshak and the other with Heather Meori. They both came with great ideas and concepts so it was real easy for us to work out the kinks.

I’m starting to really love co-writes, especially if my co-writer is on the same page. Sometimes our meetings are so fun and kooky it doesn’t even feel like we’re taking anything serious.

Here are some lines that automatically come to mind when I think about how my co-writes went:

“Why don’t we scream out the chorus Marilyn Manson style? That’ll sound real dark..”

“We need a gimmick!….why don’t we put the bridge in the middle…that will be artistic won’t it?..who cares…people think it’s deep”

“Why don’t you keep the word voodoo…it’s like….my favourite word..”

“Slide guitar?! holy shit!!!You can do slide guitar?!..Can you do that..Zinggggg sound again..da da da followed be the zinggggggggggg”

“I sent you the Sextra vocals for you to play with…”

When I’m having so much fun I think I can focus way better.  I want all my co-writes to be like this. Half jokes and half work. I know if I have chemistry with my co-writers, it’ll really show in the songs we create.

I think I listened to the Hozier track a few times. I don’t think I overanalyzed the reference songs like how I did in the country week. This week I just wanted to take my co-writers ideas and inject my own flavour. I’m satisfied with what we came up this week =)

Gordon

I Know Your Secret- Judy Marshak & Gordon Wong

No Mercy- Heather Meori & Gordon Wong

Week 4 Challenge- Inner city cowboy

In a blink of an eye it’s week 4. I must say, time flies by when you’re busy…

This weeks challenge was to write an “edgy” country song for a male singer in their early 20’s. I had mixed feelings about this.  I felt like it was really off my element but at the same time it would be fun to tackle a new challenge.

So where to start? I would say the most fun part of this challenge was just sitting down and analyzing country lyrics. I looked up the top country hits and loaded them up on youtube. Spent about 2 days looking through lyrics, trying to zero in on patterns. After listening to countless hours of songs I started to notice some key things.

A really memorable country song has a witty element to it. The songwriter would take a simple title but put a unique twist. Let me give you an example. There’s a song called smoke about how the girl is addictive like a cigarette or when he tries to grab her she disappears like smoke. Or another song called “Toy Gun” by Miranda Lambert about how words are so hurtful when used in an aggressive manner. She wishes words were like toy guns, just playful and harmless. There were also some funny songs like Toby Keith’s “As good as I once was”, which was about how he’s too old to do young things.

As I listened to more country songs, I noticed how the genre is changing. A lot of new songs are trying to fuse popular elements into the sound such as hip hop percussions, R&B melody phrases and that big chorus that pops out. Guess it’s hard to define country music these days…

I think this week was difficult for me because I had a few juicy ideas but my songwriters A.D.D kept kicking in. I didn’t really know which idea was the strongest so I kept jumping back and forth. Once I jumped to one song, another song idea would pop up and next thing you know, I’m working on a different song with a total different feel. By Saturday I had to make up my mind and I decided to go with the girl empowering angle.

I know that in my generation and the future ones to come, the female population is more independent with way more responsibilities (career wise). Why not take the tough girl angle and sing about a girl who is more of a man than the man is?

So here is my guitar and vocal demo. I felt if I tried to imitate the country production I would mess up the feel of the song so I kept it simple…

Happy listening =)

Gordon

Soft Side by Gordon Wong
Verse 1
I’m in love with a tough girl
Been dating for a while
Pretty face
But with a Tom-boy style
Tried to make a move
but set off her alarm
guess she’s still a little worried I’m a break her heart
Prechorus
She’s not into the sweet stuff
I’m trying to open her up
But I guess it’s just been really tough
Chorus
Cuz her daddy use to tell her it’s a man’s man’s world
So raise up your walls and never get hurt
Rough around the edges
She’s thick around the skin
Baby I can change it if you let me in
Show you that I love you
Never make you cry
Girl I just wanna see your soft side
your soft side
your soft side
Verse 2
Snuck a little kiss last Friday night
Watched her blood boil
She was ready for a fight
Told me if you want me
You’re gonna have to wait
Try it again and I will sock you in the face
Prechorus
Chorus

Week 3 SAC Blog Challenge- Better time management

For this weeks SAC challenge we had to write a song to be pitched for a commercial. The requirement was to come up with something that captured child-like qualities and had the potential to be sliced down into 15 sec bits.

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Before I get into the song-writing details, let’s start with something significant that happened this week. On Saturday, I followed one of my co-writers/rapper named SJ Stacks to lay down some vocals for a hip-hop track that I produced. That was actually the first time I’ve been to a studio where I accompanied the artist to get stuff recorded and mixed.  Something about the air in the studio was inspiring. To know that something I made on my laptop will be packaged and put out into the world is simply…..orgasmic….

I only had that feeling one time before, and that was the first time an artist performed my song in front of a live audience.

I guess what i’m trying to say is..I want to produce and write more songs so I can orgasm more…..(haha)

So for week 3, I did two co-writes. One with Judy Marshak and the other with Katheryn Berry.

Maybe it was the stress from the first two weeks, but this week seemed way more relaxed. I wonder if it was the last two weeks that pushed me to get my shit together. I found it was a lot easier to get my work-flow going. It also helps that my co-writers were kick ass!

My co-writers already had ideas ready and all I had to do was choose. For Katheryn, I immediately fell in love with her concept. One of her lines was, “I was thinking of how we use to play/ we used beach towels as our superman capes”. Bravo! What a clever and fun line. Gotta keep an eye out on her, I know she’s got some really good ideas hiding in her idea basket…

For the collab with Judy, I felt she had a lot of ideas on her mind. I was there to help her filter those ideas and weed out the best ones. I think Judy really wanted to do well in this challenge and she definitely did! I bet Judy probably has a 1000 songs recorded on her iPhone with her singing and playing the uke.

That pretty much sums up my week. Looking forward to next weeks challenge. I have to write a country song..FML

Here are my Submissions for this weeks challenges

1,2,3,4-Judy Marshak/Gordon Wong

Oh I love you-Katheryn Berry/Gordon Wong