Feel About You
It’s been ages since my last newsletter and I can only apologise. I am starting to identify a pattern to the way I write novels. It involves months of being all consumed by this fictitious world that I’m writing about and the characters within it, writing all the hours I can. When I’m in this place, it’s really hard to tear myself away from the novel and write something short form as I put all this (probably unnecessary) pressure on myself to finish the draft I’m writing. Then I send the draft to my editor and spend a month walking around a bit shell shocked, calling my friends looking for a social life and generally trying to plug back into life. It’s like scuba diving, and the novel is the sea bed. I’m down there hanging out with all these colourful characters, searching for meaning and inspiration and then I come up for air, a little dizzy and disorientated, and it takes a while to get my breath back to a normal rhythm. I’m on draft four of my novel currently and desperately trying to get it finished before a busy Summer of DJ-ing kicks in. I hope that in the future I can learn to regulate myself a little better, and feel comfortable to come up for air more. I am so excited to be able to show you this book I’m writing. I’m hoping that will be next Spring.
But today I wanted to tell you about a different type of story telling, in that, I wrote a song.
It was mid November 2021. My partner T ( who is a music producer ) came home from work and told me that he had worked on a beat with a girl called Melle Brown. He played it to me and I immediately loved it. It was sonically warm with a bumping bass line and these lovely jazz chords. I asked him to send it to me and played it on repeat all evening. I went and listened to Mel’s other songs and was blown away by the quality of her production, and how much her songs aligned with my personal music taste. I woke up the next day with lyrics in my head. When I went up to my office to start work I ended up writing more lyrics instead.
I wrote a story about a night out.
The narrator describes a day that was free, meeting up with their good friend and then meeting up with another friend and heading to a club. The narrator describes the journey to the nightclub, and the atmosphere in the room as they lose themselves in the music. Somewhere in the middle of the heat and the noise, the flickering effect of the club lighting means that the narrator’s friends movement is slowed as they dance, and it is in this slow motion visual that the narrator has an epiphany of sorts, feeling this huge surge of love for their friend, where every aspect of their personality is perfect in that moment.
T suggested that I voice the lyrics on my phone which I did, and he layered my attempt over the beat. Then he sent it to Mel. We exchanged lots of excited voice notes to each other which culminated in us all meeting up that night in T’s studio. In a still very bonkers and surreal scene, T and Mel produced me while I sang harmonies and belted out a chorus in the voice booth. I was three months out of radio and it felt genuinely thrilling to be on the other side of the music, singing! Lol! witnessing the production process, seeing Melle’s vision for it grow.
I also had quit my radio job to write novels so it felt quite serendipitous to be able to tell a story and set these scenes within the prism of a song, and blur the boundaries between writing fiction and loving music.
The song, is a love letter to friendship and to youth and to night clubbing. It’s about making home from home, belonging, and the revelatory nature of music. It’s a mirror image of so many nights out I’ve been lucky enough to have, that happen in the blink of an eye and the writing of a text, and can end an entire day later, where afterwards, you can feel like you’ve been through something profound. Those nights where the music pulls your guard down, and all your inhibitions and insecurities are shed, and where your friends can cross a threshold of trust and closeness to become more like family or even sometimes lovers.
And thinking about it, the whole experience of making it was completely spontaneous and filled with a sense of freedom and fun, which is just like the story in the song. I enclose it here, in case you’re curious. Sending love from the writing desk xx