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Life in Full Colour #8 – The Only Thing Real

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Blog # 8 – The only thing real

If I had a list of things I wanted to do before I die, I can now cross one off…writing with Shawn Mullins.
This was the first song we wrote together and it will be a moment I’ll never forget.
A lot of people talk about getting to meet someone they have looked up to and admired for a long time as a potential disappointment. Perhaps the person isn’t as pleasant or brilliant as you had imagined, but for me, meeting Shawn has been no disappointment!
Working with him and getting to know him over the last two years has only hightened him in my estimations. Shawn’s album, “Soul’s Core”, was one of the most memorable early records I bought and was influential in putting me on the path of becoming a song-writer.
So to get the chance to create a song with him was truly a dream come true.
We wrote it in my little midtown Atlanta apartment, us both playing around with chords on the guitar and scribbling down lyric ideas.
I’m immensely proud of the finished song, and love getting to perform it with Shawn at live shows. The idea of the lyrics was the thought that we can all get too swept up in material things in the modern age, and forget what it is that really matters: the people we love. There are so many things nowadays that fight to get our attention, and sometimes we need to take a step back from the chaos and enjoy the important things in life…
“Will we ever learn the right things to hold, the call of our hearts/ diamonds and gold,
With all that we want, the love that we feel, is the only thing real”

 

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Life in Full Colour #7 – Look Around

Callaghan "Life in Full Colour"

Blog # 7 – Look Around

There are some songs which seem to just write themselves. “Look Around” was one of them. I’d had the chorus melody rolling around in my had for a while and when I sat down at the piano to start to play it, the rest of the song seemed to follow. There are a handful of songs I have written this way and I never take it for granted that it will happen, but it’s a joy when it does!
The idea behind the lyrics of “Look Around” is that hopefully everyone has something or someone in their life they can lean on when they need to. Whether that’s a person close to you, a husband or wife, a friend or even a faith or belief, everyone needs something they can turn to at some point in their life. Some times you may not even realise it’s there until you really need it.
As John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island”. And anyway, who would want to be.

Countdown to “Life in full colour” #3

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# 3 – Nothing You Say

This is my mini blog about each of the songs that make up my debut album, “Life In Full Colour”, and the stories and inspirations behind them. “Life in Full Colour” is released on iTunes May 1st.

“Nothing You Say” is one of the older songs on the album. It was written several years back with a friend and very talented keyboard player called Luke Juby.

Luke and I wrote quite a few songs together – another co-write “If only for tonight” is also on this album.

Although I write a lot of songs on my own, I really enjoy co-writing because of the different places it can take you to. When you’re working with someone else or even several co-writers at once, ideas, stories, outlooks on life, opinions, emotions can all be multiplied. Of course, you don’t want to have too many writers on one song – the old “too many cooks…” saying probably applies quite well. But whenever I co-write I usually end up with a song that is definitely different than it would have been if I had written it completely solo.

One thing that’s interesting on this particular song is the piano part. The piano track that you hear on the finished album track is actually the very same one that was on the original demo for this song. And it’s pretty much because at the time of recording the album I wasn’t able to find any keyboard player that could play Luke’s part! When I perform the song live I do my own version on the piano, there’s no way I’d attempt what Luke plays. He has a style all his own and it’s part of what brings such an interesting feel to this song.

“Nothing You Say” was also the title track of an earlier EP I released on iTunes a few years back. But it was such a special song I knew I had to give it its rightful place on the album.

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Countdown to “Life In Full Colour” #2

Callaghan "Life in Full Colour"

# 2 – To be loved by you

This is my mini blog about each of the songs that make up my debut album, “Life In Full Colour”, and the stories and inspirations behind them. “Life in Full Colour” is released on iTunes May 1st

A lot of people told me that recording your first album can be the most challenging because of how many songs you have to chose from. I have been writing songs since I was 15 so there were definitely a lot to chose from (although I have to admit I’m not sure if some of the early songs would have got near making it on the album!). I managed to narrow it down to a short list of about 40 and from there, down to the final 12.

I wanted to create an album that would take the listener on a journey through lots of different emotions – ups and downs, happy and sad, slow and fast – much like life does. As someone who tends to write more slow, reflective songs, I knew I needed to include a few more uptempo, happy numbers to get the balance I wanted.

That’s where “To be loved by you” came from.

I often get asked how I write songs – whether it’s the lyrics or melody that come first. I find each song is different, and sometimes it’s an overall feeling for the type of song I want to write which comes first. I find it quite helpful to imagine the finished sound of the song and the mood I want to create before picking up the guitar or sitting at the piano.

With “To be loved by you” I wanted to write a song that was bursting with positive feelings and energy. I wanted to try to capture the emotions you feel when you fall madly in love with someone and you can’t believe your luck because you realise they feel the same about you!

I think the two exuberant chorus lines sum up the whole idea of the song pretty well – “I love that you love me the way that you do, ‘cos it’s more than anyone deserves to be loved by you”

Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about “Nothing You Say”

 

 

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