BWW Blog: Natalie Toro - Releasing a Holiday Song...Late!
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by Guest Blogger: Natalie Toro
Do you have holiday burn out? Don't we all! Even though the holidays are at an end, here I am still talking about the holiday-themed song I recently released, "Just in Time For Christmas" with lyrics by David Zippel and music by David Friedman. So bare with me. You can't imagine all of the obstacles that were in my way since the idea was hatched in September. But recording this single was a true labor of love and I could not have done without a few exceptionally talented friends. So in keeping with the holiday spirit, I'd like to tell you who they are and what they did to bring this recording and video to all of you.
First, the Executive Record Producer Andrew Makay, also happens to be the creator of N2N Bodywear. I assure you, he never thought music producing was in his future! But then he asked me to record this particular song and, well, the rest is history. But before there was history, there was the chaos of making it all happen. Once we talked through all the creative details, the Universe performed it's magic.
Second, the video producer and director, Dawn Makay. Yes, she is Andrew's sister, which could have gone one of two ways- great or horrible. Fortunately, it went great. Dawn created a beautiful video that has already proven popular throughout social media, like Facebook and Broadway World. Our friends have shared it with their friends and so on and so on and so on, creating quite a buzz with little more than a week online! You can't imagine how humbling this is.
Third, the musical arranger, Edward B. Kessel, is a genius. We met working together on the Broadway production of "A TALE OF TWO CITIES." He took this beautiful and popular song that the late, great Nancy Lamott made famous amongst her fans and he brought it to life for me, modernizing the sound and feel. One wonderful aside, the day that we were putting down vocals was the first day of Hanukkah. We recorded, then Ed's wife, Sharon made a delicious dinner, said a Hebrew prayer and they all exchanged presents. It was a beautiful moment for me to share in such a special Holiday tradition with them. And I got the best present of all...Ed's arrangements!
Oh, I have to share this with you, too. The other day Dawn, Andrew and I were laughing our butts off because we could not remember how the idea of the video came about. We couldn't figure out who's idea it was and the why's, the when's and the how's. Can you imagine? All we could recall was that we woke up one day and we were filming and then sending all the HD footage to Andrew's friend out in LA, Josh Adamson of Creative Editing. If you haven't sent HD footage over the Internet before...you might as well be waiting for Godot! The files are huge and it takes all day. So aside from the complete collective brain fart, we are so glad we made the video. Shooting in Central Park was beautiful, exciting, and well...interesting.
Picture this. Dawn with her little HD camcorder and her tripod. Now add to this my mom acting like my assistant, holding bags and coats and boots. I had the track playing in my ear through ear buds and my IPod in my back pocket. We would pick a location and I would start singing the be-Jesus out of it, at the top of my lungs. I think they could hear me in Jersey! So I started attracting a huge crowd of people walking, jogging and who knows what else in the park. It was such a New York moment! I love this city.
Let me add that to make this all happen, I had been in contact with the composer and lyricist, David Friedman and David Zippel. You have to pay for money for the rights to sing their song. It is unusual to actually get to speak to writers, but in this case, they were very approachable. They were thrilled about the whole project and after they heard and viewed it, sent me their heartful congratulations. Phew...that would have sucked if they hated this version since they were very close to Nancy.
So now with over 3000 views on Youtube and quite a few downloads, I am humbled and grateful that we forged ahead to complete the project. The lesson I learned- go with your gut! And boy, oh boy, did this project take guts. Fortunately, I was surrounded by a team who were even more fearless than me. Crazy idiots...all of us!
Download "Just In Time for Christmas" today on Itunes and enjoy it on Youtube. Oh, and in case you didn't know, this single is part of a larger holiday CD I am determined to get out by December 2013! What holiday songs would you like me to record on it? Write to me at www.natalietoro.com