|LYB| Writing Process
If you're reading this, hopefully you know that my debut single came out on December 8th, titled "Love You Better." If not, now you know :). Honestly, there are so many emotions that go into releasing a single. This is my first time releasing music under Aaron Kellim. I've always been a part of a band or a duet, allowing me to hide my flaws or insecurities behind other band members. This time it's just me. If great things happen, it's just me. If it flops, it's just me. It makes me crazy excited and want to vomit all at the same time (the perfectionist in me knows only one road, and that is success).
When I first started writing "LYB", I loved it. It was one of my favorite melodies I'd ever created. Per my writing norm, I got through one verse, a pre-chorus, and chorus, and then I was stuck. Like, four to five months stuck. Dryness. No words, no new ideas for the song, just blank space in my brain. I began to despise the song. Fast forward to mid-July, 2017. I got a text from my dear friend, Josh Tangney, asking if I'd like to co-write with an artist from Nashville. I trust Josh, so I knew it'd be a smart session to take. I gladly accepted, and sent a text to Chloe Kinnon to set up the co-write. She was coming to town from Nashville, where she was residing at the time, and had a few weeks to knock out some sessions in LA. We got together during her first week here, took about 10 minutes to give each other a brief history of who we are, and then got to writing. We started with a tune of hers that wasn't finished. It happened fast. Before we knew it, the song was done. I remember we both looked at each other with that look of, "that's not supposed to happen that fast." Since we still had time on our hands, we decided to work on one of my songs. I showed her this verse and chorus I had been working on for the past several months. In the back of my mind, I had low expectations. I had been driving myself crazy over this song for quite some time, and I figured it'd take more than one session to figure anything out. About thirty to forty minutes pass (I have quite a terrible memory, so there's not a vast recollection of the process), and I remember thinking, "holy crap, this song is finished!?!" I sang it through from top to bottom, and we both just kind of smiled. The kind of smile that says, "we might have gold on our hands here." I don't think I had ever been so proud of a song. Sometimes it just takes some fresh eyes.
Enter Wil Pearce. I met Wil at Real Life Church. Wil is one of those guys who, when he plays, you just kind of shake your head in disgust. His tone is so good, his playing is so tasty, and he has a heart of gold. Wil produced a Christmas EP that we did at the church, and I fell in love with his production. Luckily for me (again, I'm an extreme perfectionist, so I'm super self conscious of my work and shot down every idea of asking him to work with me), Wil heard a clip of the song that I posted in an Instagram story, and asked me what I was doing with it. He, whether knowingly or not, opened the door for me to ask him to produce the track. I jumped on the opportunity, and asked him to be a part of it. Two days after opening the session that I sent him, he pretty much had a final product, fully produced, and I was stunned. I couldn't believe what he had done with my acoustic guitar/pulsing synth/scratch vocal. He heard things that I couldn't even dream of hearing in the production. Even thinking back to that day of hearing his track for the first time, my heart races, and my palms get sweaty with excitement. I was sold. It's exactly what I knew someone could do with the song. It took about two mix references to settle on the perfect mix, and it was sent off to Scott Frankfurt for mastering.
What I think I love about this song the most is that it sparked something new in me. I've always known that I was capable of great things, because that's all God creates, but I've acquired this new confidence because of this song. I watch people listening to it, and I see reactions that I haven't seen in my music before. An abundance of self doubt that I had as an artist has dissipated. It feels good. Really good. I can't thank the people who worked on this song enough, or the people who have believed in me from the beginning. You are the reason I even get to write these words about a song I made. You are the heroes of my music. I love you all! Here's to incredible things to come!