On My Gratitude for the “Little Angel” Love, and the Writing Process & Divine Interventions that Brought it About

~ Available for listening on SoundCloud
~ Available for download on iTunes

Dear Family, Mentors, Friends, and Listeners of mine,

I just wanted to write a note to all of you, because I’m grateful to you. For being on this life journey with me, for bringing light into my life, for helping me to grow, and for listening to my music, which really is, listening to my heart. Thank you so much for listening to “Little Angel” that Kevin Bents produced, and watching the video that Joseph put together. Thank you especially to those who shared it for me, and those that bought it, it’s now on iTunes! I am eternally thankful.

When the song came through me, I was actually on a music break. I was spent from having released my full length album and I had no desire to do any more. But then a horrific event happened. A school shooting involving little children. I was in my living room with the news on, exercising, and tears were streaming down my face. I didn’t know how I could process this. So I sat at my keyboard. It felt so good to sit at my keyboard, because sitting there has helped me through so many difficult times.

“Little Angel” was one of those songs that just flowed right out of me. Sometimes writing can be a huge fight for me. For example, before I could even start writing this letter/blog, I’ve: eaten a snack, read from a book on writing, played Gummy Drop on my iPhone, and watched half an episode of the Real Housewives, all while jotting notes down for what I’d write, and beating myself up in my head for procrastinating. It’s a process, I tell you!

But for this song, I didn’t have to fight to get it out. I just sat there and starting playing and singing. I tapped into the source. I’ve heard that there are countless creations floating around out there, ready for anyone who is willing to have it come through them. Which is why I can’t feel I can ever take full credit for anything I create. Maybe the song wanted to come out just as much as I needed it to come out.

As I wrote and sang, I felt the sadness and grief become more bearable. I sent prayers to the families involved. I tried to somehow bring healing and love into this horrific situation in the little way I could.

And then it was back to my daily life. The song sat in my song binder, unrecorded. And when life got too gray and I started to crave color through music again, I realized I wanted to take voice lessons – I still wasn’t ready for making music yet. I don’t know why I suddenly got the urge, but I missed how I used to take my beloved voice lessons in college, plus I wanted to learn to sing in my chest range better. I really didn’t know how to go about finding a good vocal coach. So I kept it in the back of my mind.

I kept blogging and sending out my newsletters occasionally. One day I sent a mailer out, and I got a long response from someone named Tina Shafer. It was a detailed response, and I was confused as to why she wrote me in such a familiar manner and it great length, when we’d never met! So I looked her up and found she’s a popular music voice coach who’s taught and written songs for so many, including famous musicians I admire. I also found she’s been running The New York Songwriters Circle at The Bitter End for the past 25 years! I read more about her, and as a vocal coach myself and as one who has taken tons of voice lessons, I knew she was the coach I was looking for, someone I could learn from. So I wrote her back, and it turns out she’d mistaken me for someone she’d taught in the past! How strange is it that she found me in that way, just when I was looking for her? I booked a lesson with her shortly after.

Singing in my lessons, I was lit up from the inside, I was so happy being in my element again. And slowly, I felt the desire to create again. I wrote a new song (that’s still being recorded now) and sang it for Tina, as well as “Little Angel”. It truly helped that she’s a songwriter herself (an amazing one!), who’s licensed many songs and has had great success. Something I strive to do today.

And of course I got the strong desire to record again. Because at heart I think that I love being a recording artist most of all. I asked Tina if she could recommend a producer for me, as she knew what my songs and my voice sounded like. So in came Kevin Bents, into my music life! And what an amazing addition, more than I could have ever hoped for. Tina said she knew we’d click, and of course she was right! I talk about tapping into the source earlier – well, when you’re working with Kevin, he’s constantly tapping into the source. We will be working, he’ll get up to stretch for a bit, then sit back down with the most amazing ideas. It’s purely magical.

When we had roughly put down “Little Angel” and were liking the direction is was going in, he paused and said he thought it maybe should be longer. Really??! GREAT. 😛 I actually agreed, but felt daunted by the fact that I’d have to create more to the song, it would have to fit well into it, and it would have to be good. But I sat my butt down when I got home because I was inspired, but mostly because I knew he was right. So I came up with a progression that I hum over, with new chords towards the end of the song. And we recorded it, and it’s now my favorite part :) And the song turned out better that I could have dreamed. Thanks to an amazing producer.

So Tina, then Kevin coming into my life? I could have never guessed I would meet or work with either of them. But in they came. And I can’t help but think that maybe they were put into my life by some force up there, Divine Intervention maybe? Or the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Maybe I was ready :)

So thank you again. For making me happy. Because music and recording makes me happy. And if you haven’t seen or heard the song yet, listen! And though I cringe as I type this, share it or give it a thumbs up if you think it’s deserved, because that’s the only way to get music out there these days. I’m forever grateful.

<3 Kiyomi