Three years ago, our family moved from the house our children had lived in since they were born. As we packed and discarded items, memories flooded my mind. “This is where they learned to crawl!” “Remember we used to have the high chair in this spot?” Faces of those who joined us in that space also came to mind, some relatives who have since died or friends that we’d lost touch with over the years. Moved by the emotions, I wrote a song during that phase, partly to work through my own emotions and partly to provide encouragement to our sons for the big move (which was a positive move, as we had outgrown that space.)
Flash forward to this past weekend. After filling out a quick form and pressing a button, that song – “Our Home” – was submitted to Distrokid, a music distribution service, and on May 27 it will be released around the world on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music and on social media sites such as Instagram/Facebook and TikTok. As you may imagine, this is a very big, exciting step in my songwriting journey!
Of course, a lot happened between the time I wrote the song amid packing boxes and this past weekend. Most of this work took place in the past four months.
“Our Home” will be released on May 27 under the artist name Leisah B. There are two reasons I’m using this name. The first reason is that during my early years, I was called “Lisa B” because “Lisa’ was the number one most popular girls’ names the year I was born and therefore I grew up with multiple Lisas in my classes. (This is also a reason that led me to later change the spelling of my first name in high school, so I didn’t always have to spell out my nine-letter last name each time I wrote my name on school papers.) Since that was my name when I started writing songs, I thought it would be a nice throwback to that time, as a shoutout to my younger songwriter self.
Additionally, the “B” is like the B-side of the record, the less-common aspect. Although I’ve written songs for decades, very few people who know me are aware of this so it’s a way to highlight that alternate version of me.
It’s been quite a learning process! As I mentioned in the previous post, I took a course earlier this year called “Release Music Like a Pro,” taught by Sherilyn, and the purpose of this mentor program is learning the necessary steps to release your music. I’m very grateful that she put the program together and I highly recommend it (and appreciate her feedback on the song.) Part of the course was to develop a songwriter website (I used Bandzoogle – ASCAP offers a six-month free trial and it’s a very user-friendly process.) My new songwriter website is leisahbmusic.com.
One of the producers Sherilyn recommended was Sam Knaak, owner of Ear Witness Studios, who was wonderful to work with. He tracked the guitar, which was a real treat to hear somebody else playing one of my songs, and he did all the production, mixing and mastering. My biggest challenge was tracking the vocals and I spent more than 10 hours on trying to do the vocals for the song, which is just under three minutes.
I’m also grateful for my husband’s support as the whole process took a lot of time, which often involved many late nights and weekends, after work hours (his office doubles as my studio).
Additional thanks goes to the Arizona Songwriters Association, especially Randy and Jon, for their songs-in-progress workshops through the years (I brought this song to one of the monthly workshops soon after I wrote it and was encouraged to move forward with it.) I am also very appreciative to the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Arizona Community Foundation for selecting me for an Artist Opportunity Grant, which provided the funds for the course.
One thing that’s needed before submitting a song is album art. I wanted it to reflect the spirit of the song and didn’t want to have it be a picture of me. Because the lyrics are so personal, it felt weird to use stock art for a picture of “Our Home” so I scoured old photos of our homes until I found one of our new home that felt right.
Here’s how it came out:
Is it the best song ever in the whole world? Do I love the way I sang every word? No and no (though darn it, I really tried. But I did learn a valuable lesson in selecting words for songs and don’t think I’ll use the word “stairs” in a song anytime soon).
However, the idea that a song that meant so much to our family may reach someone who needs to hear it is really exciting!
If you know of anybody moving this month (after all, it’s National Moving Month), please share this song with them on May 27 and maybe it will give them the encouragement they will need to help them with the process. (And visit leisahbmusic.com to hear the song and sing along!)