June 18, 2010

For the past 6 days, I've been working in the studio with songwriter Maurizio Opinato and producer Euro Ferrari from the moment I wake until the wee hours of the morning. I wasn't aware of all the projects I would be asked to be a part of before I arrived. Not only did I record vocals for the song I wrote for the finals, and the song I co-wrote with Opinato as a duet for the finals, but I sang on another three songs for other artists, and wrote two verses in English for the theme song of the entire festival. I'm excited to have so many writing and performing credits on the project. The CD, to be released in October of this year, will therefore feature my writing on three songs and my performances on 5 songs.

The genres of music I've worked on since arriving range from classic Italian pop songs, to Spanish dance, to epic-group songs ala "We Are the World" featuring rap solos. The arrangement and production on my song "And Just" give it an alternative-pop sound that I am very excited about. Though Euro Ferrari brings a special vision and new ideas to my music due in part to being from Europe, he also tends to approach recording and production with a perspective he describes as being "more worldly". The marriage of the two perspectives is creating a sound I am incredibly satisfied with. One of Euro's pet peeves is when the vocal track is not forward and centered in a song, and when the voice loses one or more of its harmonic ranges due to EQ and compression and other factors. His treatment of the vocal is wonderful, and I can hear every subtlety of my voice, even with an incredibly dense layering of instruments and sounds underneath.

Euro never hesitates to teach as he works, so I've gained valuable insights during my time in the studio. He is also extremely humble and never hesitates to compliment artists on their strengths. This has given me a great shot of confidence! Hearing his stories about people he has worked with from Sting to Luciano Pavarotti to Isaac Hayes to....(and the list goes on and on) has been incredible as well. I feel like I am getting a week-long immersion in music, culture and history, all in one, as well as a workshop where I have gotten to work intensely on writing and performance.

Tomorrow, in the early morning, we depart fo Florence so that myself, Euro Ferrari, and Maurizio Opinato can appear on a television interview and live performance to promote the festival. Apparently people come in from all over to attend the two nights of festival performances, and both nights are sold out. I even have friends from the UK coming in to watch me perform. I will perform the duet with Opinato on Monday the 21st, and my solo song "And Just" on Tuesday the 22nd. Executives from Sony and other large labels, studios, media, etc. will be there on the judge's panel. I will definitely be nervous but it will fantastic exposure. The country's premier television network will record and air the second night of performances.

On Wednesday I depart for France to meet my agent Agnes Dautraix of Lucy and Company who will also be kind enough to put me up in her home for the duration of my stay. I wil appear on an internet/television show there, and perform on the 24th and 25th with French artist Norfolk. Agnes and I have been in contact, and internet friends, for three years. The possibility to work together and for her to book me in festivals and theater venues in Europe is a dream come true.

So, after all the spectacle and debacle of my ill-fated voyage here (haha!) I feel so fortunate to have arrived into this melting pot of talent I have been blessed to be part of. I look forward to seeing where this all leads....because if I have learned one thing, it is that you never know when or where a chance meeting or connection will blossom into a new and incredible collaboration or experience.

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