How a Song Comes to Be, Part 1: The Idea

I have a new single coming out in a few weeks, but rather than show you the process after the release, I thought I’d unfold it with you.

That way, by the time you are listening on Bandcamp or Spotify or wherever, you’ll know the backstory and have heard the various versions.

Sound fun?

Ok, well, let’s begin with Part 1.

This is all about having an idea.

This song, called “Pretty Little Place,” all started more than six years ago.

May 27, 2015 at precisely 11:30am. 

Now, why would I know that? 


It’s time-stamped on the digital file.


So, 5/27/15, 11:30 AM is the exact moment I took an action on idea.

As you can hear, I was driving.

So, right before this I had a thought.

Songs start with a thought.

A word or phrase, a little melodic bit comes into your head.

And then you start entertaining it in your brain.

The thought then leads to an idea.

Maybe you try hum or sing whatever the idea is.

And the idea leads you to do one of three things.

One, you can try finish the song right then and there.

Two, you can make a note of the idea.

Or, three, you can try to remember it later. 

Ideally, it’s the first option, when you’re excited and inspired.

If you want to be a songwriter who writes about one song every year or so, you’ll use the last option.

When this idea came to me, I was driving.

It was hardly the time to whip out a guitar.

So I opened up my voice memo app and recorded that snippet. 

What happened next?


Nothing happened for almost an entire year.

And then I met up with a guy named Brad. 

To be continued in Part 2: Collaboration/Development