Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

New Youtube Videos….finally:)

Helloooo!  Happy weekend all!  Just wanted to make a quick announcement.  I have some new videos up on my youtube channel called “The Monica Dockery Late Night Sessions.”  I decided to call it that because they were all done tonight, here at my folks’ house (I’m visiting for the weekend).  I was in my PJ’s chillin’ before bed and thought it was finally time to put up some new stuff.  The older videos that I had up were, how do I say it……well, I just needed some new ones that’s all.  I’ve gotten a little better at the guitar since then (mind you, just a LITTLE) and have newer songs.  Two of them on there are ones you may have never heard….they are brand spankin’ new.  One is spice and the other nice.  There is “All is Fair” (which is actually an extended, acoustic version of a piece I did for another collaboration I have coming up with Rick O’Shea).  And there is “The Color White” ….which I love, but I’m not sure if others will get.  So, let me know if you get it!:)  Enjoy! Have a great weekend…thanks for stopping by.

—Monica

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New Song and Feature Friday: Rick O’Shea

Hellooooo! So, I woke up this morning with a smile on my face….want to know why? Well, this morning I saw that one of the hip-hop collaborations that I had been working on was finished and up on “the cloud” (my little nickname for SoundCloud). This song is one that I posted before as part of a contest entry. It was only an excerpt of a full song. Ever since I posted it I had thought about turning it into a full song. This week’s Featured Artist, Rick O’Shea, then came along and had the same idea (more on him in just a minute). So, he put his verse down on it and extended the song and…..magic. I really love it and I hope you’ll take some time to give it a listen. Here are the links:

There it is:). I’m very excited because we have a few more songs we’re doing together, each with their own personality.

So, let me tell you a little about Rick O’Shea. He is currently living in Ireland, but spent some of his life on the rough streets in New York. From what I know, he’s been through some tough times in his life, but he’s come out of them like a true fighter. You can hear the touches of his past in his verses…his lyrics. But, you also get the message that he’s not going to quit….he’s on a mission. As far as his flow and tone, he has a very unique sound. His Irish background adds a little extra flavor to it all.

Rick has a pretty steady following on SoundCloud, so it is clear that what he’s talking about in his songs resonates with many people. There are some songs about dancing in the club and girls, feel good tracks. But then there is the more serious side to his music. There is a track on there that he did with other SoundClouders by the names of Hype, Dash the Baptist called “Yesterday”. It is a dark song about him growing up, his father, being a disappointment and him trying to cope. He dealt with thoughts of suicide due to the turmoil he was feeling. But that was “yesterday” and he made it, he’s still here….and I’m glad he is.

One thing I really respect about Rick is that he does a lot of freestyles (check out his track called “Family Affair” for a good example). If you don’t know what that is, that is when someone doesn’t write down anything before going and recording over a track. Whatever they can come up with at the time, off the top of the dome….that is what gets put down. This is verrrrrrrry difficult to do. You have to be on your game, quick-witted, and focused. You also have to be real. You cannot fake it when you are freestylin’. If it isn’t really in you, a real part of who you are, then it’s not going to just flow out of you like that. So, when rappers freestyle, that is when you really get to see who they are….the real them.

Another thing that I appreciate about Rick is his consideration of the people he’s working with on a collaboration. He really made sure to check in with me and get my input. There was some concern he had over his lyrics being too hard. He knows my music and it is all very light and flowery and so he was concerned about cussing (which is something he does from time to time in his songs). I told him that he had to just be him. He shouldn’t really have to change who he is naturally for my sake. No, I don’t use curse words in my songs, but that’s because it isn’t me. I’ve lived a nice, comfy, spoiled life. So, no, you’re not going to hear much of that from me. But, he’s lived a different life in a completely different part of the world, so why would I or anyone else expect him to tell his story in the same way that I would. His language, his content will be dramatically different. And you know what…..I love that. I love that two very different people from two very different lives and two very different parts of the world, can come together through music. We can put our stories side-by-side and the contrast brings both stories to life.

Thanks Rick…for sharing your life, your talents with me. Looking forward to sharing our other collaborations soon!

Check Rick out at www.soundcloud.com/rick-oshea-1

Feature Friday: Man on the Moon (Arvid Lizell)

This is Arvid from Sweden. I do not know him……but I do know he is a beautiful soul. How do I know this you ask? Well, if you listen to 30 seconds of his music, you will hear it hidden in there. From the very beginning of listening to his “Falling through the Sky”, you get this happy, light and lifted feeling. The bouncy beat starts off with sounds that give you a feeling of being a child on the playground, maybe swinging on a swing and feeling the wind on your face. There are touches of Cold Play and Owl City in the music and in his voice, but still there is something very much his own in there. My favorite part of the song starts at about the 2.40 mark where he begins “I’m shaking, my head is aching….it’s all breaking, all the mistakes I’m making, will you catch me as I’m falling through the sky.” Such a smart and effortless flow to it, lovely.

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Then, there’s “Drive On”. I could imagine myself just getting into a car, driving very slowly, at a snail’s pace. He sings, “you think you’re alone, but that’s where you are wrong” and then I can feel a little push in the song, starting to move now. Then he continues, “street lights, all blur together from the teardrops in your eyes”. I picture someone driving late at night trying to run away from something. Finally, the gear shifts into third at about 2.18 and he’s saying “drive on….travel on for what your worth.” Now, the person isn’t driving away but driving towards something….a better life maybe. What I love about this song (and all his songs, really), is his use of space. He leaves nice, quiet pockets in there where people can just feel what they are feeling and process. I like that. That is actually something I could do more of in my songs….using space wisely and not trying to fill up every bit of it.

The last songs on there are “Death is not the End” and “Little Darling” (which is the one in the video above). These, I think, express two things that have touched me personally. I have had a lot of death around me in the last two years and, at times, when death is so close it does feel like you are “scatter[ing] out your dreams like broken glass”. And then, you think, there has to be something. There just has to be. I can’t just lose this person….they can’t just be gone, they have to be continuing on in some way. Also with death, you think of life and how precious it is – how important it is to see the big picture and be thankful. So on days when I’m complaining about the small stuff and I’ve “miss[ed] the bus”, I try to remember that I’ve “never seen the dark side of the world” and that whatever small thing I’m dealing with…..it ain’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. There are people suffering, fearing for their lives every time they walk outside their door…people who don’t even have a door. So, yeah, it really isn’t all that bad even though it may feel like it is.

Thank you, Arvid. In a world of messages about “ho’s” (sp?) and “shaking your ass”, it is good to come across substance. Something you can chew on and feel good about consuming. Wish you the best…may your music feed the masses. The end.

***Please show your love, support, check out this guy’s music, follow him, comment…..check him out at www.soundcloud.com/arvidlizell

Remake of an old song “Little Pigeon”….compare

Helloooo! My son has been at summer camp this week, so I tried to make the most of my “time off” and get in as many recordings as I could. Today, I re-did a song I posted back in January called Little Pigeon (this is the old one, the new one is down below) You may or may not remember it. It is one of my favorites because I remember feeling like I could fly after I wrote it and it has come in handy on those days when I felt a bit low. Other reasons why I chose to re-do the song:

I didn’t do a good recording the first time, it was very rough and my vocals just weren’t there

I thought it might sound better in a lower key

I knew I didn’t do the idea I had in my head for the song justice first time around

I got some tips from from fellow soundclouders (particularly Rick O’Shea) on recording and splitting channels and panning and all that and so I wanted to test those out

So, I would love to hear what you think of the changes….did lowering the key and using the recording tips help? I like it much better, but I am always interested in how other people hear it. Anything that I might still need to improve on?

I want to grow, get better…..not just in music, but in life. So, sometimes that means revisiting the past and seeing what we could have done differently and then doing it. In another year, who knows, maybe my idea for this song or others will evolve even more. I think the minute we stop wanting to get better, that is when we have also stopped living. Onward and upward, as they say:)

btw, this track was done on my own, not a collaboration….I’ve been doing a lot of that and I love it, but I want to keep up with the solo stuff too, so there will be more to come.

Here’s the link to the new version:

Updates, Nerds, and a Sneak Peak for Feature Friday

Hellooo!  The summer is running away from me!!!! Man, time flies when you’re in the sun.  Anyway, thought I’d give a little update on the music making.  I have three songs that I’ve been working on with two different SoundClouders.  All of them are hip-hop…..so excited about these.  I have been wanting to do a hip-hop collaboration for a long time now and finally…:).  The guys I’m working with are cool cats and let me run away with their tracks and do as I pleased.  Now, it’s their turn to do they’re portion and then….voila!  Magic.  I say magic because it is pretty amazing how music can bring worlds together.  Ireland, London, Brazil, Puerto Rico.  These next two have the touch of all different parts of the world and that is awesomeeeeeee.   In addition to wanting to do hip-hop, I’ve been wanting to get into some Spanish songs.  I grew up around the Spanish language and it is near and dear to my heart because it brings back memories of me as a little awkward, nerdy child.

Yes, NERD.  Four eyes, skinny, too-tall-for-my-age, no sense of style and all (if I had a picture available, I’d post it).  It’s ok, don’t feel bad for me.  I’ve come to love the “nerd” in me.  And though now I’ve learned a few things about how to dress and show “what my momma’ gave me”, I’m still that girl who loves to learn, to read, to write.  I’d rather be at the beach staring at the ocean than at a house party.  Don’t get me wrong, now…..every now and then, I looooove to get myself out on the dance floor and burn the house down:), but more often than not, I’d rather be alone.  So, there, now you know a little more about me than you were probably wanting to:).

Anyway, keep an ear/eye out for those songs…..I should have at least two up by the weekend.  Also, I forgot to mention that I started a new SoundCloud account.  I still have my old one, but I was running out of space, so I decided to open another and keep the new one for all the collaboration stuff.  So, all the collaborations that I have done thus far and the ones that are coming up can be found on that page.  Here is the link…..http://soundcloud.com/camille-leone.  If you’re wondering why the name is different, it is because I am working on hip-hop stuff right now and was thinking it would be fun to come up with my own pseudonym and since Lil’ Wayne is taken, I picked Camille Leone.  I thought it was fitting.

Ok, as promised..sneak peak for this Friday’s Featured Artist.  I found this absolutely gorgeous music!!!  I love it.  It has a hint of Cold Play, but stands on its own feet…..come back on Friday to check it out…..I’ll give you a hint….man on the moon.  That is all.  Come visit me on facebook or my new soundcloud account.  Gracias!

If I find a nerdy picture, I’ll share it later.

Whispers in my Dreams

Hellooo! It’s been a bit longer than I wanted it to be since my last post. Today is the 4th of July, so let me first wish all my fellow Americans a Happy 4th to you all. I spent the day with my son at Disneyland and then came home to watch the fireworks around the city from our loft. We’re high enough up that we could see them all going at the same time, which was pretty great. Hope you all spent the holiday well too…what did you do?

As for this week’s song, it’s actually coming a little late. I finished working on it with a guy from Manchester in the UK, who goes by the title “The Subversive” (see his page at http://soundcloud.com/the-subversive) last week. He considers himself to be more of a producer than a singer and has just gotten back into music after a several years of being away from it–something we have in common. He had sent me a link to the YouTube video that he put together for the song. He used it as a sort of soundtrack to the movie “Lovely Bones”. He liked the visual images from that movie and felt the track went well with them. I have never actually seen the movie itself, but was able to get a good enough idea of what it might have been about from watching the scenes he chose for his video. So, I used the idea I had from the scenes and the mood of the track to write the lyrics.

I usually try to see what the person who made the track had in mind when they made it when doing collaborations for two reasons. 1) It was their track, so I think a writer should respect the original intent of the person who created it. 2) It is good to get another’s perspective. They might see something or hear something in the track that you don’t or they might help give you a place to start…a jumping off point, if you will.

Apart from this week’s songs, I’m working on a few more at the moment (I guess that’s a given by now right?:)). Two collaborations and both are hip hop/ rap songs where I’m doing a “hook” (short chorus) and the “breakdown” (where the song kind of climaxes). It may seem out of character for those who don’t know me, but for those who do, they know I looooove hip hop. It has changed a lot, been watered down in places, but there are still some real poets out there! So, be on the lookout for those. Ok, enough ….here’s this week’s song. It is called “Whispers in my Dreams” (the title was The Subversive’s title for his video on YouTube and I thought it fit, so we kept it).
Here’s the link…
http://soundcloud.com/monicadockery/whispers-in-my-dreams-2nd

Here’s the lyrics:
Laugh
Cry
First we crash, then we fly
Live, then die
When it’s time, then it’s time
Some may say a prayer, hold on tight
Others make a point to live their life
Smile, and sigh
Because we only have a little while
So make your dreams into something real
Something you can feel

Sing, dance
Make it good, here’s your chance
Time will pass
If you can, make it last
Let your heart be free, open up
Don’t let fear keep you from love
Give it all
And don’t think about how you might fall
Cause our time on Earth is over soon
It’s over much too soon

Laugh, cry, smile, sigh
Love, fly, live your life

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