How are your custom songs different than any other artist's?
Commissioning a custom song is an act of faith, and I thank you for asking these questions. Of course, each music artist has their own style of songwriting, which may or may not vibe with your recipient's music preferences.
My service goes beyond just employing my own style of songwriting. It's my greatest joy to write and produce a song that can literally mirror or affect someone's feelings... or even their life. AND one that they'll want to listen to over and over! To do so, I take the time to really understand the recipient, their story, what makes them unique, their best qualities, their hopes and dreams, their favorite music, and anything else you feel is important for the song and (if applicable) video. If you would like the song to be a surprise, that's one of my FAVORITE things to do, and you have my total commitment to a stunning Reveal Day for the song. I can get all the info I need from you or any other persons close to the recipient who would like to share.
As a former music therapist and longtime songwriter and performer, and I have an intuitive gift for knowing how to craft and deliver unique, naturally-flowing chord progressions, phrasing, and rhythms that convey and evoke certain emotions. When you request a custom song from me in order to, for example, solemnly commemorate someone, you’re not going to get a dinky-sounding song that misses the mark. I am well-experienced in playing at memorial services and weddings. I’ll work closely with you so that you’ll receive a song with the integrity, poignancy, and heart that your recipient deserves. If it's a love song you need, I’ll apply exactly the right amount of sweetness, playfulness, coyness, cool factor, or whatever effects suit you and your recipient. My songs are subtly crafted, always with class and meaning.
Do you use "recycled" material for my custom song?
Never. Each custom song is a lovingly-made, highly unique work of art carefully tailored to your recipient. This is why I only do one or two a month, in order to preserve my own artistic creativity. I am constantly writing and producing my own original songs. I am not a factory, although there are some custom songwriters who treat their custom song business as one, cranking out low-priced songs in short amounts of time. You will hear a significant difference between their work and mine, and you will experience a significant difference in my customer service. I have no need to "recycle" lyrics or musical ideas for my custom songs. I trust in my Divine guidance that I'll always receive the amazing, original inspiration for the next song I need to write. I’ve been writing songs professionally for over twenty years and have developed a generous array of influences in my work. Thanks to my music degree and years of playing with various bands, my musical influences vary widely, and I incorporate everything from folk to poetic indie, jazz to rock, blues to electronica, Celtic to chamber pop, alt country to Americana... whatever works well to convey the song’s message and feeling. Please listen to the Custom Songs I’ve included on my website as examples, and feel free to listen to my songs on Spotify or Apple to get a feel for my vibe, voice, piano voicing, musical chops, etc.
Do you farm your song commissions out to other writers?
Never. Some artists writing custom songs actually have sub-contractedsongwriters writing for them, and they may or may not tell you that. Understandably, they do this in order to create a more sustainable income, thereby being able to process multiple, or even a dozen, custom songs a month. Although rejecting this trend allows me to only do one or two custom songs a month, I can’t really imagine how subcontracting out your song commission contributes to a heartfelt, authentic experience for you, my cherished client, and your equally cherished song recipient. Although on occasion I may employ additional musicians to add to the song recording, you can be assured that it’s just me, and 100% my imagination, lyrical gifts, specialized music theory and music therapy knowledge and heart, writing your song.
What's the turnaround time?
I prioritize your song according to your deadline*, and I typically get started right away. *With your full cooperation, a memorial service song and video can be produced in two weeks, barring other deadlines, and will be given the highest priority.
I like to allow, ideally up to 30 days, but at least a week to:
Speak with you,
Ruminate on the song idea and all the material you've given me on our call,
Sketch a draft of the lyrics, run it by you,
Flesh it out, add music, run it by you again,
Make any further tweaks, finalize the song, run it by you again
Rehearse, record, and edit the song recording,
Send it out to be professionally mixed and mastered
Make travel plans (if performing at your location)
Create/order your lyric sheet or plaque
Create your music video
Rehearse for, consult with you on, and create your video dedication/song performance
Create your CD with personalized cover
Get everything in the mail and comfortably meet your deadline for presenting the song (including any travel to your location).
That being said, I have done a couple of songs (without videos) in a few days, and if you opt out of any of the extras, it can possibly be delivered faster.
Please plan ahead for the best possible experience.
Tell me more about the handwritten lyric sheet option?
I love providing a beautiful, hand-written lyric sheet keepsake that helps tell the story of your special song. I make sure it's mounted artfully on thick paper and suitable for an 8 x 10 frame. In the past I have done these myself, but I am not the very best at drawing! So sometimes I have a couple of friends, who are fantastic at lettering and drawing, help me put these together. Rest assured that you will not be charged more in this case, and that I always oversee the project personally and will hand-sign it myself so it's one-of-a-kind and authentic. For a more public-use custom song, such as a song for your business, or if you just prefer this to a hand-written lyric sheet, I can instead provide a professional-quality, wood-mounted, engraved-steel lyric plaque with a CD mounted to it. For a limited time, a lyric sheet or plaque is currently INCLUDED as a courtesy bonus in the Solid Gold Package. Normally a $300 add-on.
Can you send a video of you performing the song that I can share with my recipient?
Absolutely! In fact, right now for a limited time, that's also included as a special bonus in the Gold Package (normally a $300 add-on, due to the effort it takes to set up and process the video and rehearse the song to perform flawlessly in one take). I can record a video of me saying hello and wishing the recipient congratulations, a happy birthday, a happy anniversary, etc., and then performing the song from my beautiful home studio. I will consult you before making the video to be sure of the exact tone and words you would like me to use, so I get it just right. I'm a seasoned video personality and video music performer, so you can rest assured I'll be confident, gracious, and professional. If you prefer, I can do the video live! As long as you have the technology to "pipe me in" to your event.
Tell me more about the carousel music video option?
NOTE: This song was NOT studio-recorded, this was an impromptu Instagram Live performance I set to a video.
Not many custom songwriters can create a music video in addition to your song! And if they do, I’d definitely challenge the emotional impact of theirs over mine. The Platinum Package includes a stunning carousel video of your/ your recipient's photos and video clips. I spend days poring through your photo and video assets (with your permission I can simply get them from social media if you like), choosing just the right ones to accent a lyric here, a swell in the music there, or even a special inside joke! And then I painstakingly arrange them in to a carousel video, using a very intentional moving focus effect on each still photo, perfectly timed with the music. As the beat changes, as the music develops, so do the images. Video clips may be very slightly slowed or sped up to match the music - the effect is magical.
"I get to preview behind-the-scenes the music videos she does for her custom songs, and it is really fun to see how she cobbles the photos together into such moving masterpieces." - Allen Shorter, Former Producer
The music videos I create, featuring your photos and videos, set to your special custom song, create an absolutely enchanting experience that greatly augments the receipt of the song. Because of the incredible emotional impact and lasting memento this creates, I highly recommend adding a video to your custom song experience. See for yourself in the examples on my website, or the song above that I crowd-wrote and played live [improvising on the spot!] with some Instagram followers. Put yourself in the shoes of your song recipient, and imagine the surprise and joy they will feel when they see their "life flash before them" in a video set to a song about them! The video adds to the story of your song in ways that I can’t necessarily capture in the song alone. Tears of joy and laughter are always shed over my videos!
Are you available to perform the song in person at my event?
With pleasure. Whether you'd like me to play the song live for your first dance as a married couple, or at the renewal of your vows, or as a sweet surprise when you pop the question, or at a retirement party, birthday party, memorial service, or any other occasion, I'm available and happy to be a part of your event. I have high-quality performance mics, a battery-powered amp, and two backup portable batteries for my piano keyboard, so I can play literally anywhere I can drive to, even outdoors. The Multi-Platinum Package includes the time and effort it takes me to rehearse your song to live performance perfection, as well as the time it takes me to travel and take time out from my week to be with you. Travel transportation and lodging fees are the only expense that will be added. Unless there is a good piano on site, I travel by car, to transport my equipment, so that will include rental car fees, and a modest AirBnb on the way (if applicable) and at the destination. The travel fees can be reduced if you can also offer me a house concert or private concert opportunity during the trip.
Do you have a guarantee of satisfaction?
To date, none of my recipients has NOT ABSOLUTELY LOVED their song. If you listen to the examples provided here and on my home page, and songs I've produced as a music artist for my own release, and you really enjoy my style of writing and playing, then I guarantee you and your recipient will love the song I craft for you. That is also why I keep you informed as to my progress, and I do up to three rounds of revisions on the song, per your requests. So far, I've never had to do more than one round of revisions. Due to the nature of commission work, there are no refunds. If, however, you purchase the Multi-Platinum Package, and your event is canceled, you will be refunded as much as I am able to do so, beyond any travel cancellation fees.
Is there a payment plan available?
Yes. On our consultation call I'll go over the payment options and any other questions you may have.
I'm ready to do this. How do we get started?
I'm so excited to help bring your vision to life and absolutely DELIGHT your recipient! Please email me at email@example.com to schedule a consultation call. On that call, I'll ask you all about your idea for the song, whom it's for, about the recipient, your deadlines, and everything I need to get started. And then I'll send you a link to the payment page for your preferred package (see options below), or you can go ahead and use this page to initiate payment. I will also send you a contract so you are clear and comfortable with the terms of the process and what to expect. And if, after that call, we decide not to work together at this time, that's okay, too!
I'm not ready to purchase, but I know someone who may be!
Terrific, thank you! I'll make it easy and rewarding for you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the wording you can use to share this amazing opportunity with your friends. Right now, someone you know needs a custom song, and you're going to make their day.
Will Your Song Go Solid Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum?
While this isn't an actual reference to charting on Billboard, I have several ways to amp up the presentation of your song. I want it to be the best gift you've ever given your recipient, so I offer these opportunities for you:
Silver "Music Only" Package
Original, Professionally Composed and Mastered Music, Up to 8 Minutes Long, Customized to Your Recipient's or Audience's Taste, Branding, Occasion, Etc.
Three Rounds of Revisions
Studio-Recorded, Meta-Coded MP3 of your custom music, no lyrics