Silver lined Manclouds

Two weekends ago my ever handsome guitarist came over to Paris to record a Neech show for BalconyTV Paris. I actually co-produce, present and edit BalconyTV Paris so it’s only right that at some point we appear on it! That show will be on line some time in May, and of course I’ll be linking to it here. We also took the time to record a few songs in the gorgeous Parc des Buttes Chaumont, as many as possible before we were rained off! And obviously wanting to work Oli as hard as possible while I had him here, I also got him into a friend’s studio to lay down the guitar parts to a new tune we’ve written called ManCloud. An exhausting weekend, but I figure Oli’s had it easy without me in London so I need to start gearing him up for the life takeover I plan when I get back!

So the studio I took him to (well actually, my wonderful camera man, beat making, TV producing boyfriend Léo took us to) is that of our friend Borrina Mapaka. An incredibly talented, prolific, music churning singer, guitarist, producer and dancer*. (I actually appeared, rather shyly, in one of Borrina & Longo’s music videos soon after I moved to Paris, but that’s another story…)

Neech & Borrina & Manu

So, Oli laid his parts down. Then yesterday I went to lay down my vocals, which was great fun. Relaxing, creative and wonderful to see Borrina and Kevin nodding their heads and vibing drumbeats, guitar riffs and string sections that they wanted to try out. A couple of vocal takes even had faint sounds of Borrina humming melody lines out loud between verses! A fun afternoon.

So now the track has been left in their capable hands, with some ideas about the sounds I want to hear and the feel I want it to have, but also a lot of creative freedom to see where they want to take the track… I’m excited.

As a side note, I am very precious of my songs at first. These days I mostly write with Oli. He gets me, I get him. My favourite tale of writing with him is when we were working on Label Me. I turned up with the lyrics and melody and described how I wanted the song to sound:
Me: (sings song) I see silhouettes line dancing in the desert, possibly a campfire…
Oli:  Ok, got it. (Plays a wicked slidey guitar riff which is absolutely perfect)… It’s in A minor.
That’s very nearly word for word. And that’s pretty much how we work. I say what I see, people look at me like I’m a weirdo, Oli strokes his guitar and plays exactly what I was trying to describe.
So I get very precious of the little song babies that Oli and I create but I love letting them go to see what others’ might shape them into. It may take a few listens and changes of opinion before I decide if I like who they’ve become. But it’s a fabulous part of the creative process. I can’t wait to see how this one will turn out.
*Neechy tip: Always surround yourself with multi-talented people, makes life much more exciting!
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