For my assignment, I had to choose a song and write about experiences and emotions brought up while performing my song. Initially I chose Naked by Ella Mai. I had chosen that song because it one of my favorite songs to sing. I chose not to use this song because I love to karaoke to this song in the car and I didn’t want to get tired of the song. So, the next couple days I went through playing my most listened to songs on Spotify. Yet, known of the songs were really standing out to me. So, I called the only person who I knew would help with giving me some clarity.. my mom! She told me to think about the songs from choir and to write down a list of the ones that connected the most to me. I listened to them all from start to finish. I wanted to my song to be joyful, hopeful, and happy. Immediately, I thought of Smile by Kirk Franklin.

 After listening to it for the first time in while I knew this was my song. It brought back those childhood memories of me singing in a choir with my sister at church. I’m not a super religious person and I haven’t been to church in while, but I love God. My favorite part about attending church was the praise and worship aspect of it. Because of my churches southern Baptist roots, I always felt the soul in myself and everyone else in the choir when we sang. Being able to sing made me feel spiritually connected to God and his word as a kid. So, I thought this would be the perfect song to do for my project.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practicing my song has been a true journey. Having to listen to my own voice was very interesting in the beginning. I’ve never really tried to sing after leaving the choir so, I didn’t think I was that great. Finding time to practice when no one was home was a challenge. I started off kind of singing to myself because I didn’t want my roommates to hear me. So, I would sing 5 times during my daily morning and evening traffic commute to and from work/ school. In the mornings, I worked on my notes and how I wanted to sing certain parts of my song. In the evenings, I would just jam out to it. Carpool karaoke has brought up feelings of happiness and joy. I would notice myself laughing, clapping, and pointing my invisible microphone at strangers driving past. I would just really try to let loose and to be in the moment. I was giving everyone free entertainment on the freeway.

            I can say practicing my song has made me like my voice a lot more. I started to realize that singing for me was all about vulnerability. I was sitting in my car one day trying to figure out why I could sing my heart out to all my favorite songs on Spotify but couldn’t seem to let myself truly sing my chosen song. That’s when I realized this was because this song represents a part of me and having people critique it was nerve wracking. This song is something I care about, and I want others to feel what I felt while listening to it. That is when I had my true moment of clarity. This is when I let myself sing without thought. After this, I listen to my voice now and notice my voice while singing other songs as well. Getting to learn my voice through this class has been fun, exciting, and a rewarding experience.

Lights! Camera! Action!

The time has come to finally start recording myself. I was anxious to see how I sound in a recording. I first practiced what I was going to say in the beginning of my video. I practiced about 5 or 6 times until I had it memorized. I then ran through the song from start to finish without doing anything to see how the audio would sound. I started off using my phone, but it wasn’t quite loud enough to hear clearly in the recording. I then hooked up to my TV and turned it up about a third of the way. I played around with the lighting a little bit because the sun was started to set when I started recording. Once, I felt like everything was good and started recording my takes.

            The few times I recorded I was a bit nervous. I played the recordings back and noticed myself looking away and not really focusing on the camera. To help take away some of the jitters of singing for my project, I recruited my cat Stormi. I sat her directly behind my laptop to sing to her. Having her as a distraction helped me to just sing and to not thing about my song to hard. After it felt like dozen more recordings, I finally recorded one I liked. I felt the enthusiasm in my voice while I was singing out loud. I was dancing to myself singing which is kind of funny to think. When my roommate got home, I was super excited to show him the finish project. I’m sure he was also eager to see why this song was on repeat for past few days as well.

That’s All Folks!

I can say singing in this class has been an experience. I have recently gone to church to experience praise and worship while doing my project. It felt good to be back singing amongst other church members even though I’m not actively in the choir. With discovering this connection with singing and my childhood I’ve have been finding my most authentic voice and have become confident enough to share it with other these past few weeks.