During the production of the Dreamwork album I found out that I wanted to do another project at the same time. The original thought was to use the same producer that worked on the album to also produce the new project but I started to think that it would be cool to find another producer and get another sound and a new working experience. After a lot of research I discovered Norsk Lydstudio in Mjøndalen, Norway, which to me seemed like a great choice. The things I listened to of the things they had done sounded great and I generally got a very good impression when I communicated with them.
The songs that I wanted to do for this project changed during the process. The first plan was to make en EP consisting of 4 songs called «Sexy suit EP». The idea was to select four different kind of songs to show that I had several things to offer. This was the first configuration.
- Sexy suit
- Music on my mind
- In love with you
The song «Sexy suit» was supposed to be a kind of an electropop/funk thing, «Music on my mind» was going to be the uptempo pop song and «Name» was supposed to be a sort of hiphop/rap track over a repeating bass line. The song «In love with you» was going to be the pop ballad in the project. Ultimately, only «Music on my mind» and «Name» ended up on the final EP.
When I had made the decision to go for this EP project in addition to the ongoing album project it was time to really think about which songs to choose. When you are going to spend that much money on something you really want to be sure to select the right songs, but that’s definitely not easy to know before you start. You simply just have to take a chance and go for your gut feeling, which I did. On this project we also decided to start with a test song to see if the collaboration would work out and if I would be pleased with the result. I decided to go for the song «Music on my mind» as song number one and I was very impressed with what the producer had done with it and it sounded amazing. I came to the conclusion that Norsk Lydstudio could give my songs a great sound and production that would fit them very well and I decided to go for the three other following songs for the project.
- Music on my mind
- Can’t get outta bed (the wake-up song)
«Can´t get outta bed» was another uptempo pop song that I really liked and had high hopes for. During the process it changed name to «Life» and became a great track in my opinion. «Name» was altered completely around from my original demo and plan and went from a hiphop track to an uptempo pop song. Also «Universe» was completely changed from originally planned. I will write more about all these changes and the reasons behind them when I write about each individual song.
As the project proceeded it was time to add one more track to the EP and I had to choose the last song. This was the most difficult choice of all because I had so many choices but no feeling about which song that would be the correct one. I considered 8 songs as the last song on the EP.
This is a dance/club track that was very much considered for inclusion. The reason I did not go for it is because I had realized that Norsk Lydstudio are masters of radio friendly pop songs and because this was a dance track I thought that I should rather go for a pop song. I am sure they would pull off a dance track as well, but I did not want to take any chances. So «Remember» was dropped.
2. «Sexy suit»
I came back to this song and was really considering it but as it was planned to be an electropop/funk track I was unsure how it would work out.
I very much considered to record another version of this song which also can be found on the «Dreamwork» album. The album version is a kind of a retro sounding Madonna influenced dance/pop song but the vocalist and I talked about that it could also be a song that would work very well with an updated modern sound. I therefore very much considered choosing it as track number 5 so that I could release two different versions of the same song but I dropped it because I thought it was a bit too much to spend money on recording the same track twice. I would rather spend money on a completely new song.
However, I thought it was so difficult to choose the last song that I sent 5 songs to the producer and asked which one he recommended that we went for. The songs were: «Day by day» (originally titled «Living for your touch), «She came home today», «One more night», «Just say you’ll stay with me» and «Summer»; all ordinary pop songs with good melodies that I thought they could do a great job with based on what I had heard. The producer said that he thought that all could work but he had a very good feeling about the song «Summer», and got an idea immediately about what he could do with it. During the process of creating the EP two songs changed titles and the fifth song was added and the final EP configuration became this one.
- Sunny day (Music on my mind)
- Life (Can´t get outta bed)
At first the plan was to call the EP project «Universe EP» but I eventually changed my mind and decided to instead call it «Summer EP». I think that fits the music well because the sound is very positive, uplifting and has a summer feel to it. And, it was much easier to design a summer EP cover 🙂
One interesting thing about doing these two music projects at the same time is that it was two completely different ways of working. While the album project was my vision from start to finish and I controlled everything, the EP project was a more collaborative effort. We can say that the producer took my demos and used it as a base, but changed some melody lines here and there, added something and removed something else. All with my blessings of course, and I had the final say on everything, but this is probably also a lot how things are done today when artists are working with producers. I am going to be completely honest and say that it´s not easy for me to accept too many changes in the melody lines of my songs, and many times I have to go many rounds with myself and let it sink in if I get back something that is very different from what I expected. But I try to listen to it objectively and try to hear if it´s something that I think makes the song better. If it is, then I usually agrees to it in favor of the best song possible, but if I don’t like it I will say no to the changes. The main thing for me with all the music projects I do is that I in the end have to feel that it is still my songs and that I am a big part of the contribution. In other words, I have to be able to recognize enough of my demos in the final products so I don’t feel like I am just «buying» a finished song made by others. I need to feel ownership to all the songs we work on. On this EP project it was very close that I lost the feel of ownership of one of these songs. I will write more about which song it is and the story behind it when I write about the individual songs.
Another thing that was different when working with the two producers is how they approached the sound and production. The album producer preferred me to send him reference tracks of other songs that had the sound I wanted so that he could listen to it and try to get close to that sound on my songs. My EP producer, on the other hand, did not work that way at all. He said that he had his own production style and wanted to make his own mark on the productions and make them his own. I think it´s great to have had the chance to work in two different ways and get two products that are so different, but that I am equally pleased and happy with. There are many ways to great music and all music producers are different and therefore the way things are done will also differ.
The EP producer, David Michelsen, is brilliant when it comes to hearing the potential and what can be done out of very badly made instrumental demos meant to only presenting the song melodies and basic song ideas. It seems like he can take anything and make it sound like it can go straight out on radio. It´s really a fun thing for me as the songwriter to deliver such a very simple demo to him and get back a super professional sounding sample of the same music piece after he has worked a little on it. Those who are interested in listening to the big difference from my initial demos to the final outcome can go to the project section on the website and check out the «Summer EP Instrumental demo Collection». Those are the demos that the songs on the «Summer EP» started with.