Within each song is a story waiting to be told. The magic of it lies in the story telling.. Sometimes, we understand clearer when we hear the stories retold..
My latest album of covers, A Story Telling is a collection of 14 songs that has something to offer to every listener.. Songs from a range of genres including Swing, Rock n Roll, Country, Country Rock, Pop, Rock and even Spanish Crossover make this album the most ambitious one I have undertaken yet..
There's a lot that goes into producing an album (even if it not a set of original songs).. First, we have the recording itself.. To make sure this is worth the effort, it's important to choose songs that are vocally challenging but are also able to impress an audience.. So, you choose the appropriate songs, do your best on the recording session and hope you've got it right.. I had a set of people who served as my sounding board after each song was done.. Ajeya Krishnamurthy, Divya Ninan and Sindu John Thomas were three critics who gave me feedback and suggestions after each take.. They listened carefully and mercilessly put down the negatives.. And that is what is important, that you get honest feedback.. Thank you guys (if you are reading this)..
Once we have a sizeable collection of recordings, it's time to start thinking about a theme for the album and cover design.. I wanted this album to look and feel very different from my previous one.. Musically, I was half-way there.. Now it was important to design a good cover, playlist and inlay card.. Preeti Agrawal was the one who had the brainwave about packaging the album as a story book, so that it goes with the theme of story telling.. It's amazing how people can collaborate and create without even being in the same room, just by chatting over the Internet.. That's exactly how it happened with Preeti and me..
Preeti: .........i like the black 'n white and the curly font thing.. ok, lets go with your signature..
Achint: ok, so we're not doing the color idea?
Preeti: heyyyyyyy.. chintu.. hang on, hang on..
Achint: i'm listening.. tell tell..
Preeti: try an old book binding with golden lettering.. like as tho the cover is the book cover.. what say?
Achint: yea!! so opening the CD is like opening a book!!
Preeti: so you can proli have the top like a burgundy leather kinda texture.. might look good with some old english fonts also.. it's an idea... kick it around!
Achint: i like it!! i like it already!!
And that's how the cover design came to be.. Sindu was the one who suggested the tag line on the album, "stories retold.." It fitted just perfectly..
Some of the songs on this album are requests from my friends, so it's always nice to get their reaction when you tell them you did a song for them.. The playlist went through two changes.. Not all the songs that were originally planned for the CD made it in.. Once the design and content were ready, it was time to put out feelers.. Two or three of the best songs from the CD to act as previews.. Meanwhile, the hard copies were going out to those people who had requested them..
Now that everything is set, the final step.. The online launch.. Compose an email telling people about the album and send it out to your contacts and request them to forward it to their contacts and so on till some bigwig in the music industry happens to hear your voice and signs you on..
So.... I'm waiting..