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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 23 - Sing a Song...and Write Some!

1 Nov 2006

You may remember that in September's KaTsZoNe, I mentioned that I was going to do more songwriting and looking into getting songwriting software, keyboard, etc.  I did attend the Toronto Music Expo and attended a seminar on Pro Tools for Beginners, which is a songwriting program, but, all I can say is, it was all GREEK to me!  I still haven't picked up any equipment, but, let me just tell you what has been happening this past month.

On October 3rd, I met James Blunt during an autograph session at Best Buy, and saw his amazing concert!  I have sent photos to some of you (James and me!), in case you think I'm making it all up.  Some of you still may not know who James Blunt is, even when I mention that his song, "You're Beautiful" is on the pop radio stations quite often.  Hard to believe that "You're Beautiful" only came to N. American radio stations about a year ago. 

I am still actively connecting with more songwriters/artists/producers on myspace.com.  And, if you still haven't had a chance to see my new website, do visit http://www.myspace.com/katszone.  Now, this is why I like myspace.com.  I had a problem with the latest Teddy Geiger CD/DVD.  Yeah, some of you are already bored of my Teddy stories (I know who you are!), but, I must say that myspace is really cool in that I was able to get some answers as to what happened because it turned out that my package only had a CD -- NO DVD.  I brought it to the attention of many music stores.  Some clerks suggested that perhaps, it was a dual disk.  Nope, no matter how many times I flipped that CD, nothing...because it just isn't a DVD!  I e-mailed Sony/BMG -- no answer!  I ended up connecting with a girl named Audra who happened to have started the first Teddy fansite and has been a big fan of his for the past year. I told her about my woes with the CD/DVD -- she told me she heard about a Canadian packaging problem.  She suggested that I e-mail the executive producer about it and so, I did.  Billy Mann replied and informed me that the the record co. made a nice little error -- like 700 units were missing the DVD in the Canadian packages.  I was one of the "lucky" ones.  Well, I've returned the bad package and I'm still waiting for Sony/BMG to rectify it.  At least, through individuals on myspace.com, I was able to ask someone about it before the record stores and Sony/BMG even got back to me.  I would also add that fans are a great help.  They are so on top of things and when you need answers, they are oftentimes the first ones to offer it, and that's the other thing I've learned about being on myspace.

Many of you are wondering why I like eighteen-year-old Teddy so much - no, not talking about a teddy bear, although Audra says he's adorable - Teddy Geiger, not the teddy bear.  I must tell you that Teddy is significant for me to mention because his song, "These Walls" inspired and motivated me to break out of my walls.  It made me look at my life and ask myself, where would I like to go and what do I want to do.  I had already set out to re-examine my goals before I heard his song, but, it was that one thing that helped me to take a big step.  I realized how important songwriters and a song can be -- it can inspire, encourage, uplift, cause you to reminisce, get into a romantic mood, relieve your stress, and even help you to make tough decisions.  So, I hope the songs I write will benefit the listeners in many ways.  I will be going to Teddy's concert in Toronto on November 10th, so, I may have more stories to tell after that.

I've recently joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International ("NSAI") and already attended a full-day workshop last Saturday.  As one songwriter/musician friend said, I'm now an official "Nashville girl" - haha!  By the way, NSAI is the largest songwriters association in the world.  Through the workshop, I've met many talented songwriters/performers and it is quite exhilarating to be with other like-minded individuals.  Our inspiring coach at the workshop was Marc-Alan Barnette whom I've now added as one of my "Myspace Friends", so, you know what I'm going to say....check him out...put a little country music into your life!   Although I already had this at the back of mind, Marc encouraged us to write with younger songwriters/musicians.  As Marc said, choose those young people to work with who have enthusiasm and energy over talent, because talent (or skills) can be developed. 

I have felt a great deal of support and encouragement from songwriters whom I have met even before I signed up with NSAI.  When I prayed for direction, the doors just opened up for me in this way - quite unexpectedly.  It has been five years since I've written a song, but finally wrote one in September of this year.  There were three Christian songs I co-wrote with a friend which became part of a CD my friend produced, but, that CD is no longer in production.  Those songs were also aired on a Christian radio station a few years ago.  So, now, I feel like I'm starting all over again - this time, with more support from other songwriters and mentors.  I'm going to write my own material, but, I'm also interested in co-writing too.  So, I'm going to throw myself into songwriting, at least for the next year or so, and, see where things go.  All I can do is just break down the walls, not submit to fears, and take things step by step.

I've been listening to lots of music lately, so, let me tell you my top 3 favourites for this past month which I hope you'll check out for free on the following sites.  The myspace player has been acting weird lately, so, you may have to click on the song title a couple times and hopefully, it will work.  Out of the 3 songs below, the one which is probably going to have trouble playing is the first one, "Letting Go".

1. "Reflection" (written and sung by Shayan Italia, UK) - There is also a beautiful video called "Reflection" on his site which I have also placed on my site.  "Reflection" is the first song on the list on his player.  I have Shayan's CD/DVD (which he signed for me) and it has not yet been released, but, he's selling it only through his website right now.  To put it mildly, I'm really in LOVE with all of his music, not just "Reflection"!  He's quite a romantic writer. So, if you hear me talking about "Shayan this...and Shayan that..." like my mother has had to put up with, this is the guy I'm ranting and raving about and hopes that everyone will at least listen to his music and you may love it too!   http://www.myspace.com/shayanitalia

2. "Letting Go" (written and sung by Cory Lamb, US) - Cory is now one of my favourites and his first CD has not even been released yet, so, his fans are still anxiously waiting.  By the way, I found out about Cory because he is one of Audra's friends.  The first time I heard "Letting Go", I made a comment to Cory on his website, saying that I had a hard time letting go of "Letting Go"!  This song is also on the player on my website because I love it so much, so, if you have troubles on his site, go to mine.  But, I'm hoping you will go to his site to listen to his other songs too.  http://www.myspace.com/corylamb

3.  "Ache" (written and sung by James Carrington, UK) - It was on the t.v. series "Smallville" recently.  His CD has not been released yet - well, he said he'll send me one...hope it's going to get here soon!  I find James C. to have a similar writing style to James Blunt.  So, if you like James Blunt, you will likely enjoy James Carrington too.  http://www.myspace.com/jamescarrington

Until next time....keep smiling -- it increases your face value!

xo Katherine (KK)