SAC Challenge – Week #2

An explosive pop hit, eh? Cool.

Granted, the majority of what I write these days is in the country genre. And a lot of dance pop is full of clichés (“up all night in the club!,” etc) which isn’t very creative. Then again, so is a lot of country these days (tailgate, anyone?)

But I like well-crafted pop, and with all the R&B and Motown I absorbed growing up in Detroit I thought this challenge could be fun.

I usually start with a title, so I scanned through my title list in Evernote to see what might work for the teen girl market. Had a few contenders, but one title that I had in my Country list jumped out and got me thinking — New Star In My Sky. I was thinking of it as a metaphor for a new love that makes the singer’s world seem brighter, better. And teenage girls seem to like love songs.

After finishing an evening bi-coastal Skype co-write with Lucy LeBlanc, Maryjane Viejo, and Roger Beckett at 10 pm, I thought I’d try and hash out a few lines while the proverbial creative juices were flowing. Plus, I’m a night owl and I’ve done a lot of my best writing between 10pm and 2am.

Once I had a few lines down things seemed to click and the ideas starting coming. Love being in that zone. Was trying to picture what it would be like before this new person came into the picture, then came up with images connected to stars to describe what a difference they’ve made. Definitely a second-person POV song, directed towards the new love. I tried to write it using language that would work coming from a teenager, but giving them credit enough not to be overly simplistic. A few hours later I had a first draft lyric that I was quite happy with, and some melodic ideas to flesh out the next day.

Some time at the piano gave me a chord structure and a working melody, so next I worked up a track. Singing it myself was not an option, so I got AJ Woodworth (an incredible singer out here in BC, and a sweetheart to boot) to come over and put down a vocal. A little mixing (well, more than a little, that’s one of the fun parts for me), and up to Soundcloud it goes.

Looking at the lyric I realized that it could totally work as a country song as well. If I had tried to write it as a country song from the beginning I would have taken a completely different approach, and I’m not sure it would have turned out as well.

New Star In My Sky
© 2015 Michael Nowak (ASCAP)

Used to hide my feelings
Desperate for some healing
Acting tough, concealing the truth
Life was one big hot mess
Stumblin’ in the darkness
Nothing left me breathless til you

I just had to look up, look up, look up

And like a new star in my sky
You came and filled my world with light
Never knew love could burn so bright
Yeah right before my very eyes
Everything changed in just one night
With a new star in my sky

Didn’t waste my one wish
Sealed it with a sweet kiss
I been waiting for this so long
Nothing could be better
I’m betting on forever
Loving you is where I belong

I just had to look up, look up, look up

And like a new star in my sky
You came and filled my world with light
Never knew love could burn so bright
Yeah right before my very eyes
Everything changed in just one night
With a new star in my sky

I just had to look up
I just had to look up
I just had to look up then I saw you

And like a new star in my sky
You came and filled my world with light
Never knew love could burn so bright
Yeah right before my very eyes
Everything changed in just one night
With a new star in my sky

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