Using stories can help to promote just about anything, great stories can ‘sell’ just about anything, even ideas. So we asked our musician/band followers on Facebook to share their stories with us and offered to feature some of our favorites. If you would like to have your story featured here, visit our Facebook page and this ► TOPIC to share it on.
by Randy Wayne Belt of Barley Station
You’ve probably heard “lead them to the bedroom door but don’t let them in” in songwriting? This song ‘Like Destiny’ leads you to a secret spot on the
beach that on you can see in your mind. Have you been there? Yes. You have.
We are made of memories. The idea of our upcoming album title
“Back There Somewhere” is the concept that we are indeed made
of memories and we can all reflect back and remember so many things that we’ve experienced or been through in life. People, places, and experiences – good and bad. And every moment that passes soon become a memory. It is our mind, it is us.
The new album in the works has a lot of romantic themes woven into this concept and ‘Like Destiny’ is one of those songs. It explores seeing the face of that one person that you at least think you might want to spend eternity with, and the rapturous joy the ensues, and it goes into clouds of doubts and back again. It’s an adventurous love song in a fluidly rockin way. Just hard enough to rock, just fluid enough to roll in the sand.
Cover art by Candice Anne Marshall @starlightmusicchronicles
by Billy Kay
A relationship ended – like no ending I’ve ever experienced. I was just an easily replaceable knick knack to this person. The final message was nasty. It was begging me for a public response, which I don’t do. I woke up the following morning with the entire song in my head, which was my response.
My fans paid to record it. The song struck a nerve – it’s played at weddings. Funerals. Graduations. It is now being used to raise money for a local charity. The first printing sold out. The story and the song has been featured in all the local media – even in a newspaper in the next town over. The producer of a local TV station is making the music video, with members of the local community in staring roles.
I got closure. A charity is making money. Good things come out of some bad situations. “You’ll Know I’m There” by Billy Kay
by K.K. Foster
I always say that the number 10 is my lucky number because when I was 10 years old, I had lost 10 teeth, my soccer number was 10, and my older brother taught me how to draw Calvin and Hobbes; my introduction into drawing. I would draw them over and over, and then I started getting brave, and I attempted some of the X-Men characters, though I didn’t know much about the X-Men. Then, when I was about 12 years old, I started to really get into writing poetry. My older sister was a beautiful writer and rarely did I get to read her work, but when I was lucky enough to, I was blown away by her ability to describe feelings and emotions, painting these pictures in my mind as I read. I wanted to write like she did, and so writing became another hobby of mine that I loved and worked at. Aside from drawing and writing poems, I have always been an athlete. I’ve played soccer, basketball, tennis, and golf since I was about 6 years old. These areas of my life were my outlets. If you ask anyone, I’ve always been a shy person, who lacked some self-confidence, but I found it easy to get lost in drawing and writing, and be competitive with sports. I have always put a lot of pressure on myself and pushed myself to be the very best. I’m an anxious, determined person, but it certainly takes a toll on you.
When I was about 14 years old, after listening to Michelle Branch’s song, “Everywhere,” I started writing song lyrics. I have always loved to sing and listen to music because it has always evoked so much emotion for me. Writing lyrics has been a way for me to express myself, either when I wasn’t sure how to verbalize what was in my head or my heart, or when I just wasn’t ready to express something. From the first set of lyrics I’ve ever written, I’ve always said that my biggest goal in life is to have one song out in the world that people can listen to. I wanted to write something meaningful that people could connect with. Maybe my song would make them smile, or they wouldn’t feel alone, or maybe it would remind them of someone; whatever the song did, I wanted people to feel something when they listened to it and heard the lyrics. One song that I wrote for my sister and brother-in-law, I was able to perform at their wedding with a friend. I wanted to capture their unique love story in a song, and I’m so grateful I got the chance to do so. I have also sung cover songs at both of my brother’s weddings. Music has always inspired me and helped me to step out of my comfort zone and be brave.
In 2006, I graduated from college, having played basketball for four years, with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Creative Writing, hoping to become an editor and illustrator for children’s books. At the age of 33, after working as a medical editorial assistant, I now have a Master’s degree in School Counseling and I have been teaching at a private independent school for children with language-based learning differences (Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, auditory processing, etc.) for six years. I love what I do. It has been a round-a-bout path I’ve taken, but each experience has shaped me into who I am today. It wasn’t until I was out of college and working that I started to figure out that I am gay. Questioning who I was at the age of 24 was scary. I didn’t want to be different from the people around me. It took a long time to really accept who I am, and each day is still part of my process, but I am happy. I do believe that God has made me who I am and given me the heart I have for a reason, and I will not hide my heart and my love from the world. Yes, it was a confusing, difficult time, but I am very fortunate that I’ve always had the love and support of my family and friends. My parents and each of my three siblings have shown me what love is all about. I truly believe that without them, and without art, music, and writing lyrics, I would not be where I am today. I also would not have the courage to pursue being a lyricist and putting myself out there with my words. My lyrics are my heart and soul. Sharing that with anyone can be a risk, but I’m willing to take that risk if it helps me moving forward or has the potential to help someone in some way. I draw often, and I write lyrics every day. Sometimes just a stanza here and there, sometimes a full set of lyrics. I’m a pretty hard critic of my own work, so I’m not usually pleased, but I write every day because I love lyrics and I love music. I listen to music and I read lyrics of singer/songwriters and bands that I love. I find inspiration everywhere and in everything I see and do.
Although I don’t consider myself to be a musician, a few years back, I actually started learning to play the cajon, which is an acoustic box drum. It is one of the coolest instruments. I actually was fortunate enough to play and perform with an acoustic duo, 3 West, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in bars and at events. Again, pulling me out of a comfort zone, I loved every minute of it and I was inspired to continue to pursue my songwriting dreams. With that opportunity, I also co-wrote two songs with 3 West. They took my lyrics and put them to music, and perform the songs. My first song, “Happy” will always be my favorite and one of the most amazing feelings in the world. To hear my words put to music is a feeling unlike anything I can describe. It truly has been my dream come true. “Happy” is found on YouTube and has also been performed at bars, weddings, and other events. I cannot express how lucky I feel that my lyrics were chosen by them to turn into a song and perform. Perhaps in this instance, words will never be enough.
I may not have a song on iTunes (yet) and I may be unknown, but writing lyrics and loving music have been my greatest passion for as long as I can remember. I have had my heart broken and I have been hurt by people that I’ve trusted, but writing lyrics and having the chance to express my heart, is a gift that I will forever be grateful for. I still hope that someday I get to write more songs with other songwriters, and have a song out in the world that gives someone the courage to be themselves and love who they are. I am who I am and I love with all of my heart. I love who I am and I hope that my story inspires maybe just one person (maybe a few), to follow their hearts and be who they are. I write lyrics based on my experiences; things that I have seen, heard, or watched. I write lyrics about love and hope. I write lyrics because love matters. I write lyrics because I matter, and my story matters. I write and share myself because music has been there for me, and I hope that my lyrics can be there for someone else. To quote my song lyrics from “Happy” – I want to “give you my kind of happy”.