“Don’t hate anything that took place in your life, maybe it has happened for your own benefit.”
This is a very loose paraphrasing of an ancient Arabic proverb.
I’m starting this blog with this proverb because of the circumstances that led to the recording of the title track which incorporates the general theme I have adopted while recording the new album, The Change. The album is not a concept album. However, the overall vibes and mood of the album are determined and set by the title track. It was the first song to be recorded for the album back in May 2018.
I wrote the music for “The Change”, the song, back in 2002. I remember coming back from university and jamming and playing the riffs to the song endlessly. The riff towards the end of the song is something I am really proud of and it ranks up there with my all time favorite riffs.
Shortly after, I wrote the original lyrics. Now, for a singer to truly deliver in his performance, he/she must truly FEEL and BELIEVE in the lyrics. The singer might hit all the right notes but to deliver the X factor, to make the song his/her own, he/she must feel and believe in the lyrics.
I never did.
I was always pissed off because of that. I really wanted to record the song earlier but I always felt that the lyrics, and, accordingly, my performance as a singer, wasn’t on par with the song. The song deserved to be sung better. Scratch that, it deserved to be better.
It took me 16 years to revisit the song and change the lyrics. The change to the lyrics of the “The Change” took me, and I kid you not, 15 minutes to write and it all happened the night before entering the studio to record the song. I picked the old lyrics, looked at them, read them once and threw them away, picked up a pen and paper and wrote the new version. Simple and easy. After finishing, I was really perplexed. What happened there? … I don’t know, 16 years and… poof… new astounding (in my opinion) lyrics. Dilemma solved.
The original title to the song was “ Don’t want too much”. ( I have a demo version of the song with the old lyrics, maybe I’ll share in the future). The song, as the title says, is about shattered dreams and giving up. It had a very negative theme. Probably I would have recorded and released the song earlier, but I never did (hence the proverb in the title).
“The Change” has the exact opposite theme. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions, stop blaming others, and pursuing your dreams no matter the obstacles. That’s my stance in life nowadays and that’s how I want to live my life from now on.
The average life span of a human being according to Google is 71.5 years. Thats 71 Christmases, 71 Easters and 71 Birthdays. The average person’s calendar will mark the 29th February (leap year) only 18 times. When you put it in ones and zeroes, life is really short.
I know it’s not easy to take action and take control of your life. The easiest thing to do is sit there and do nothing and blame everyone and everything for your failures or lack of action. It’s society’s fault, it’s the market’s fault, it’s my family’s fault, it’s everybody’s fault… but it’s never my fault. That’s easy to say. The hard thing is to stand up to all the obstacles and eliminate them one by one until you reach your goal.
Artists normally leave the title of their album until the very end. They need a word or a phrase that will sum up the whole atmosphere of the record. With this one, I knew the title from day one.
The Change represents a musical and metaphorical change in me. A change in Greyfade.
The general theme of the song is omnipresent throughout the whole album. Be in control and take action. I will never get tired of repeating that to myself.
Musically, I have taken a lot of chances in this record. I have used a classical guitar for the first time. A lot of electronic elements and production effects have been incorporated in the music. The songs are very accessible and commercial. I have dealt with many themes that I was too scared to tackle before, such as relationships. To me, the general vibe of the record is more positive and, dare I say, uplifting .
Personally, my outlook on life has changed. It is more in line with the new version of the song and, for the millionth time, taking control and taking action. In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned that I communicate through music. “ The Change” refused to be written and recorded for 16 years. Maybe it took that long for the “change” in me to be cemented and to be put in action mode. Maybe it took that long for me to be forced to change the lyrics and my perspective. Maybe it took that long for me to FEEL and BELIEVE in the song.
And I finally did.