The process of growing a good song is simple and easy if you follow The Carrot Sticks’ song writing recipe for success:
1) Start with an original melody that will not get out of your head.
2) Add lyrics that tell a story, express emotion, or have poetic value.
3) Make sure your chorus is melodic, catchy, and memorable—perhaps even singable.
4) Add a hook (instrumental, lyrical, or vocal).
5) Add a bridge to change the direction of the song or for setting up a dramatic ending.
6) Make sure the beginning and ending of the song are clean.
7) Add options (e.g. change keys; start and stop; solo).
8) Let the song sprout healthy roots by performing it live, recording it, and seeing if it has wings.
9) Fertilize your song with a great arrangement, a good producer, professional musicians for the best production quality and a top notch vocalist to take your tune to the next level.
Ontario-based singer-songwriter Stephen John Van de Kemp has released his very first album No Place to Hide and lyric video for “Hit the Road”—IN THE NEWS, Country Music Association of Ontario (January 2019)
This is Stephen John’s very first release of songs; almost all of them were written in the last few years and they will make you wonder where this energetic Canadian songwriter has been hiding all these years. His hot new release is awesomely fresh and exciting with catchy melodies and toe-tapping music loaded with soul and passion.
The song “No Place to Hide” is the only co-written song on the album, written with long time friend Mitch Fountain and recorded in Nashville. Initially, the song was featured on a two CD compilation by Dog Star Music that included famed performers Jose Feliciano and Jim Stafford. The song even made it to the second round of the International Songwriting Contest.
Stephen John has performed at many iconic venues in Toronto, Ontario, including: The Hughes Room, The Latvian House, Trinity Church, The Linsmore Tavern, and The Old Nick.
Listen to “No Place to Hide” today: stephenjohnvandekemp.bandcamp.com/album/no-place-to-hide
[Published in ArtsTalk September 2019]