“Take us behind the scenes, would you? Tell us how this song, this anthem of a generation, really came to be.”
The question was far from unexpected. Sitting with the leading interviewer for the leading magazine in the industry was far from expected though. As a singer-songwriter, Josie Slaughter had worked for years honing her craft and learning how to shape notes, inflection and timing to ensure her songs were felt by the listener, not just heard.
The song in question was an upbeat ballad of learning, loving, growing and being better than the day before. It was exactly what her generation needed and wanted to hear; something letting them know they are not alone. It is a song that was stadium friendly, car drive friendly and kid friendly. It hit the marketing sweet-spot without losing the artistry. Josie was proud of her song and what it meant. She hoped that she could write another one someday, but one-hit wonder status still ensured she would be remembered long from now.
Still, answering the question needed some nuanced. She could not tell the truth. Talking about taking a bus to an airport to catch a plane to Augusta one cold winter morning where the initial concept hit her wouldn’t sell records. Talking about getting onto that plane and talking to her neighbor about his work with hallucination-inducing jungle frogs would make for an interesting side story. Talking about the neighbor pulling one of those frogs from a carry-on luggage bag and the two of them spending hours hallucinating together would probably cost sales and streams. Talking about seeing all of time and space at once while elephants played accordions as pigs with the faces of early US Presidents danced around a fire would certainly put her alongside jam-bands in the public discourse. She did not want to be associated with such acts. Talking about how pig-man John Adams whispered the lyrics as James Madison told described ‘sick beats’ as she put the first draft of the song together in GarageBand would make her sound a little odd.
“That’s a great question,” Josie started her reply, “I wish I had a fun story, but really I just sat down and put my heart into the song. Honestly, I didn’t think the line “life, liberty and the pursuit of that beat’ would resonate so well, but here we are!” Josie laughed, smiled and tried to get the image of rave-ready pig Thomas Jefferson out of her head.
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