Monday, June 30, 2008

Never-Ending Story of Love

Those of you who are still here after myspacious soap operetta - welcome back! :-)

At times, the obligation that comes with being a myspace member (logging in regularly, checking messages, maintaining the homepage, etc.) can be a bit of a drag for some. But on the other hand, it can really turn into a wonderful tool if you use it the right away. Every now and then, you come across people, and particularly musicians, that you've been hearing of for ages but never actually met them (and in this case, I'm not talking about the celebrity spaces run by their loyal fans - we're on to the real deal here!)

In my case, yesterday I connected with a musician, singer/songwriter whose self-written song became the very first professional recording I made when I started making my initial steps in the recording world upon moving to London.

Her name is Kit Hain. Kit was the vocal half of the famous duo Marshall Hain whose "Dancing In The City" was a European top 3 smash, and mind you, she's written songs for Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Peter Cetera & Chaka Khan, to name but a few.

So when my producer, Chris Neil, initially played me Kit's newly crafted "Never-Ending Story of Love", I fell in love with it right away, and although Chris had in on hold for Celine Dion, I talked him into letting me do a version regardless. You can imagine my excitement when he told me that he was thinking of recording it with Celine - I was all the more ecstatic! :-) But I was 17 years old, you see....

Just a bit of history here (can't be as painful as soap operas, right?)

When I was 16 years old, I was introduced to Christopher Neil, the producer of Rod Stewart, Mike & the Mechanics, Cher, Sheena Easton and Celine Dion, among many, many others that I loved and admired as a little girl. You can just about picture me all thrilled and excited about meeting Chris Neil (I used to love his backing vocals on Celine's "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" - apart from being quite an amazing producer and songwriter, Chris started actually started out as a singer - the first Jesus Christ Superstar in the West End, in fact, no kidding!) when ITV's London Tonight informed us that they'd be interviewing him about my music for a special segment about a Russian girl (funny how at the time being Georgian was too confusing to explain to an average viewer) coming to London to make it in the showbiz across Europe. (For those of you who are interested, the video of the TV piece is actually on youtube accessible through myspace.)

To make a long story short, Chris invited us and the television crew to Metropolis Studios in West London, where at the time, he was mixing Rod Stewart's ninth studio album, "Human". I was not only blown away by meeting a hero of mine, but the recording studio made such a huge impact on my 16-year-old psyche, I made a promise to myself that one day I'd recorded in that very room, Studio D, with none other than the same record producer. Quite pretentious of me, really, and ambitious too. Oh, teenage madness!

I won't be exaggerating if I say that it took me literally 18 months to get back in touch with Chris Neil personally and to finally work with him. Guess where? In the same studio, the same control room, with the same engineer, Simon Hurrell, who recorded Celine's first few albums done by Chris ("Unison", "The Colour of My Love", to be precise.) Could I be more ecstatic?

Our first attempt was, in fact, this very same song, "Never-Ending Story of Love"... As I'm writing this blog, I happen to be listening to the demo on my laptop at the same time... So many memories, and it seems like a million years ago, honestly. The recording session coincided with my falling in love for the very first time, therefore, the experience and the outcome meant SO much more to me... teenage follies, first time in love, etc. Don't laugh, it's not supposed to be cheesy!

So when I eventually connected with Kit through myspace last night for the very first time, it brought so many more memories back, it's quite incredible, and she asked me to send her an mp3 of the track - my very studio recording in the west with a world class record producer... How much more significant does it get for an artist? I'm a bit nervous about Kit hearing this demo - I was, after all, 17 years old, brand new to the whole process, really.

And yet, I can remember this session in such great detail - every take, every break in-between the takes... I could not believe it was really happening to me. And little did I know at the time that it was only the very beginning of a rather adventurous journey.........

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