“Heavy Petals” is the name of my new blog about cutting my own bedroom records in real time. Or should it be the title of my new EP? Even better, it could be the moniker for a totally new female super group I put together. But why choose one when it could be all three?
My name is Emmy Wildwood I‘ve been writing and singing my own songs since I was 11. My Dad played guitar and I wanted to learn. Too anxious to be a famous rock star to learn
properly, I managed to write a song with the first few chords my father taught me. The lyrics were a bland mix of platitudes hung up on a very E MajOR chord progression. If you’re not a musician think “I love you so“ sung to the melody of ”House of the Rising Sun”. I bravely say to you that I was a pretty dope song writer at 11. I formed a band called Strawberry Blonde with my two redhead friends and we performed that song (that I wrote knowing 3 chords) at the 6th grade talent show. I realized then that working with limitations is not only a strength of mine but a necessary piece to my artistry.
After ten years of a music career in New York I noticed (and once again I bravely say) that I wrote more than most other artists I knew. I found myself continuously frustrated by two things:
1. I couldn’t financially or logistically record quality sounding songs at the rate I was writing them. I have always been haunted by the ghosts of old songs that lost the race against time and budget. I wrote a song about this very subject but I never recorded it.
2. My records never fully felt like something that came from within me because I did not trust myself and often defaulted to whichever male producer I was in idol worship over at the time. This is not to say I’m not proud of my Recörds, I am. I was just blinded by my respect for whomever I’d hired to produce me and rarely fought for what I wanted because of a story I had been telling myself about not having the formal training to know what I was doing. Not to mention my fear of emasculating anybody by being right.
Additionally, by the time I’d finished a record I’d have enough songs written for an entirely new record and I wasn’t excited or inspired to release it anymore. Holy shit- I was getting jaded and I wanted to fight it with everything I had.
So I searched and searched for a solution. Like, for the last 2 years I’ve asked myself how to solve this problem. It legitimately burdened me. After a few conversations with my friend Nathan at Hi-Dez Recording he was able to
help me realize that learning to self produce was the missing piece.
The first few times he suggested it I literally thought it impossible and made excuses: I don’t like recording software, my fairly severe ADHD and my fear of taking a whole record on alone. Who would I blame when I didn’t get what I wanted?
Then I started to consider it. I started to investigate what I’d need and I had most everything except protools recording software. I took the leap and decided to try and download the software and of course it wouldn’t install. Immediate roadblocks are the worst and I yelled “eat a hot bowl of dicks” at my computer more than once but I finally did it. I got it to work. I hit roadblocks and I figured them out. 3 weeks later I have most of a 5 song EP sketched out and I am liberated AF. I had no idea I was capable of this. I really didn’t. It’s NOT THAT HARD! And you can do it too.
This blog is for me and for you. I selfishly want to capture this journey for my future self to say I did something brave and original instead of giving up. But is it also not possible someone else might get something out of watching another woman, already 15 years into her career, learning a new skill like producing and making some really great art BECAUSE of her limitations? I think it’s definitely possible and I’m going to commemorate the living fuck out of this journey.
Finally, I’m a true believer that a commitment to your uniqueness will take you all the way to the top. I have a shit ton of fear about my own instincts. I’ve never fully followed them because I was not ready to feel like a public failure but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t really care what anyone thinks so why not put it all on the line. There is no more “ME” record than one I produced myself. I certainly don’t see a reason not to. YOLO. .
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