It is time for award-winning songwriter DARREN PARRY to take over my blog! With Darren’s cheeky sense of humour, I had to proofread what he had sent me first, and I am glad to say what he has written is totally clean! I think Darren has covered almost everything he wanted to write about, so straight over to him….
“Music is what feelings sound like” has always been a quote that has often made it clear in my mind why I write songs. I have been writing songs since the age of 17 or so and the goal for me has always been to communicate my feelings to others, in a musical form, to try and say, what often can’t be said, just with words alone.
I have mostly written alone over my songwriting journey (except for writing some songs with my good buddy Juan Lozano), but during the last 5 years or so... I have become more receptive to writing with others. I first met Gavin up at Shabbey Road Studios in Caerphilly, South Wales (run by the awesome Al Steele), just in passing initially; I’d be going into the studio, Gavin would be just leaving, and we started to chat. After a few random ‘bumping into each other’ instances, we decided to get together and try and write a song!
Plugging “Why Won’t You Let Me Love You” on the radio!
I remember driving up to Gavin’s house, and I was a little apprehensive at first. When you co-write with someone, you never quite know if you will be on the same wavelength, whether your ideas will gel or not, whether you will have some common ground. Writing a song with someone is quite an intimate experience. It is a bit like going into a room with a stranger, stripping off naked and laying yourself bare, warts and all, for each other to see! You are laying your inner emotions and insecurities on the line very often in pursuit of trying to elicit that song from the ether (for the record... Gavin and I have never actually been naked writing a song! haha). I was also slightly apprehensive due to Gavin’s speech impediment; I wasn’t sure I would totally understand what he was trying to get across.
In the studio recording (left - Al Steele)
However, within five minutes of turning up at Gavin’s house with my mobile Yamaha keyboard and him showing me a collection of lyrics he had written... I instinctively knew that we would hit it off. I already had a tentative title and a bit of a chorus... I always like to go into a songwriting session with at least a few ideas up my sleeve! I had an idea for a song about unrequited love, a story about a person who shied away from wanting to be loved by someone. I played the chorus for Gavin, and within an hour or so, the song was more or less done. It was called “Why Won’t You Let Me Love You”. We went away and considered the lyrics and melody we had come up with over the next few days, but I do not think we changed a thing in the end. The result was what we came up with within that first hour of our first-ever collaboration. I not only found myself being able to understand most of what Gavin was saying, but I also found myself sort of knowing what he was trying to say. Even when I couldn’t quite get the odd word he was articulating, we were on the same wavelength! We released the song a few months later. “Why Won’t You Let Me Love You” is still one of the favourite songs I have ever done, as well as being one of the best vocal examples I’ve done, I think; most was done in one take in the studio. I think it has a cool Pop/R&B vibe.
(Listen here: https://youtu.be/8L9yU_NRCeo)
'Why Won't You Let Me Love You' Single Promotion
We have written another song since called 'Played My Cards Too Late', a Country/Pop ballad that I am proud of. We are currently pitching this song to various artists in Nashville and on the Country scene and have been approached to have someone record the song soon, which is cool.
Gavin also got me involved in his charity single “Talk To Me”, which also featured Peter Karrie (Phantom Of The Opera), the late Chris Needs MBE (BBC Radio Wales), Jamie Pugh (Britain’s Got Talent) and many others. The song was written by Gavin and some other friends of mine... Dan and Laura Curtis (Dan and Laura and I wrote a song called “Never Let You Go” that was released). “Talk To Me” was written to raise money/awareness for Williams’s Syndrome (a genetic disorder) and a fantastic little boy called Harri Evans. It was great to meet young Harri at the single launch. A real bright, shining light and inspiration is Harri.
(Listen here: https://youtu.be/eAgrplwbSw4)
“Talk To Me” single launch - Newbridge Memorial Hall.
Gavin never lets his cerebral palsy or his speech impediment hold him back. He is always willing to help others and has himself written a children’s book... “Max And The Magic Wish”. Gavin is a true inspiration that shows disability is a misnomer. As someone once said... “the only disability in life is a bad attitude” Gavin can never be accused of that!