Member Highlight: Jennifer Yoo

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet Jennifer Yoo

Jennifer is from Calistoga, CA, USA

What do you do during the day?

I was working at the local coffee shop before the pandemic hit then decided to take a couple of classes through Berklee online while I waited for the world to open up again but I totally fell in love wiht the program and decided to pursue the songwriting certificate which I finished about a month and a half ago.

I live in a women's monastery, not as a nun (yet?) but I live with a bunch of them. We have three or four services a day which I help sing in. You can usually find me in the garden in the morning, especially in the spring and summer. (This was my newly founded Covid activity). I help with the cooking on Wednesdays. (It's Korean lunch day most Wednesdays) 😉 Otherwise, I'm scheduling in co-writes and my own writing sessions trying to stay in shape with daily writing activities.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

38/100.  I presented this at the last critique but haven't been able to figure out how to apply Shane's awesome feedback yet.

Lyrics:

Must Be Allergic by Jennifer Yoo

There’s something in the air; I’m itchy everywhere
It’s all up in my hair; Must be allergic
I can’t open my eyes; My nose is super dry
I’m sneezing all the time; Must be allergic

Trees and flowers are the best collaborators; they show their colors…
with humble pride
Happy buzzing comes from the pollinators, reminding me to stay inside

I wanna go outside instead but Mother Nature trumps my Sudafed
I wanna go outside (Achoo)
Must be allergic (Achoo, achoo, achoo)
Must be allergic to you

There’s something in the walls; They’re crawlin’ down the halls
Too hard to find the cause; Must be allergic
There’s something on my clothes; My blankets and my throws
They’re from the friends I chose; Must be allergic

Open windows welcome in the perpetrators; burning tears fall from my eyes
Blissful purring is a certain activator; my body’s covered in raging hives

 I cannot stay inside, can’t win ‘cause Mother Nature trumps my Claritin
I cannot stay inside (Achoo)
Must be allergic (Achoo, achoo, achoo)
Must be allergic to you

Don’t fear that I’m contagious though my…
symptoms are outrageous
If I’m in or I’m out, doesn’t stop my running snout
from the sneezing and the wheezing; there seems to be no easing
What will set me free from this life of allergies

I wanna go outside but still Mother Nature trumps my Benadryl
I cannot stay inside (Achoo)
Must be allergic (Achoo, achoo, achoo)
Must be allergic to you

Listen here:

Click here to listen

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

I think the thing that most people find surprising about my music taste is that I don't know anyone. We weren't allowed to listen to music in our house so I have hardly any exposure especially to pop music. I know quite a bit about early choral music since I sang in many early choral music ensembles but I couldn't really name a Beatles tune for you and probably never even heard of your favorite artist. 🙂

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I started a YouTube channel in 2021 as a sort of accountability buddy for myself. I post two videos a month and started with a bunch of old songs that I had that I wanted to share. It also helped me clean up some old songs and/or finish them so I could post them on my channel. It's becoming a little more challenging now since I have to write new songs now to keep things going but I find it to be very helpful in keeping me on track of continuing to write songs and hone my craft.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

I have been privileged to become close to a few teachers throughout my life that I found to be super inspiring which led me to believe that I wanted to be a teacher too but I've since realized that admiring someone doesn't necessarily mean that I should take on their profession as well.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

I'm pretty focused on just creating songs right now and creating a lot of them to grow my catalog but I have some challenges in terms of finding a singer for my more pop/rock kind of songs since my voice is not compatible with those genres and getting my songs sounding, I believe they call it, radio-ready. I am ready to get my songs out there but they are not of a high enough quality that a music supervisor would consider using them. (That's from the mouths of several music supervisors and sync agents.)

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

It was pretty rare for my family to go to the movies but I remember that the first movie that we went to twice was The Lion King. I was utterly blown away with "The Circle of Life" and the opening montage of the movie; I just thought that it was the most vibrant and moving scene that I had ever seen.

Check out their work here:

https://www.jenniferyoomusic.com/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ZEKqcxazD-chYN6cnp5Qg https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-yoo-19112349 https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.yoo.313 https://www.instagram.com/jyoo.music/


Member Highlight: Sam Wilson

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet Sam Wilson

Sam is from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

What do you do during the day?

I used to run a small IT firm but I retired 18 months ago. I play bass guitar with a folk / country band called 'Ship of Fools'. I am secretary for a local motorcycle club and I help to look after my grand-children when my daughter is working. I like to read a fair bit and I'm in a book club that meets monthly.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

I wrote this around day 16 of the current 100 day challenge.

Lyrics:

Loud Romancing by Sam Wilson

I’m not looking for a crowd. When I tell you how I feel.

Don’t need their validation. To make my emotions real

Your hand is so sure. When you paint me all your dreams.

You don’t need a formal setting. To bring life to your scenes

I don’t need a loud romance

To show my lover I’m true

Because I’m tuned into

The same wavelength as you                          

The shadows all fade back. When you tell me to be strong.

There’s no need to raise my voice. To doubters that say I’m wrong.

If chaos comes to call. And you’re starting to despair.

You can trust that I’ll help rebuild. Find some solace we can share.

You don’t need to romance loudly

To add auth-en-tic-ity

Because you’re living in

The same reality as me                          


Listen here:

Click here to listen

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

I like most genres of music. Disco and Funk are a bit of a guilty pleasure. I used to love George Clinton and Parliament / Funkadelic back in the day.

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I generally immerse myself in one song at a time - tinkering with the music and the lyrics to try and fit the mood and feel of the piece. I've got interested in recording and music production over the last 4 or 5 years and I'm still learning new things with the technology. When the song is finished it takes me a couple of weeks to find the idea for the next one. I often find that reading a book helps me with suggesting ideas for a new song and with forgetting about the last song.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

Richard Thompson inspires me not only because he is a great guitarist and songwriter but also because he has kept plugging away writing songs and maintaining a career in music over more than 50 years without huge commercial success. He is not a great charismatic showman or brilliant singer but can hold the attention of an audience for hours standing alone on stage with the vivid rendition of his songs. There was a Fairport Convention record in my Aunt Rosie's collection, see above, and I have bought RT records throughout my adult life. He is one of the people that inspired me to try writing my own songs.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

I generally aim to invoke a particular mood or feeling with a song but I can't do it to order. I might set out trying to write something jaunty and happy-go-lucky and end up with something that sounds like a funeral. I don't seem to have much control over this.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

When I was 10 years old I inherited my aunt Rosie's record collection (she was 17). I listened to the Beatles albums 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' repeatedly. I came to realize that songs like 'Drive my Car' and 'Norwegian Wood' had a bit more of a spin to them than a Moon in June love-song.

Member Highlight: SonyaMonica

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet SonyaMonica

SonyaMonica is from Victoria, BC, Canada

What do you do during the day?

I work part-time, we are active grandparents, love to travel and have fun with our family and friends. I also love playing with my band or In a fun jam.

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

I find it surprising how many country songs I like. However, jazz and country combined into country swing in the 1920s so that might be the key.

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I started songwriting just over a year ago so am trying to figure that out. I’m learning so much now I feel I haven’t gotten into the long term rhythm yet. However, when writing I plug away at it bit by bit, every day, and try not to leave a good song for too long.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

I keep hearing the word ‘authentic’ in regards to writing music. For me, iconic artists such as Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald (and many more) were driven to create, evolve, share their music yet mostly stayed authentic. You can hear it in artist’s works when they are trying something new and it doesn’t quite fit-I find that inspiring as well. I’m a huge fan of Antonio Carlos Jobim, his story and how his incredible body of music influenced the world.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

The middle part of the story. Learning more possible song structures. Learning more about music so I can push the boundaries I currently have musically.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

As a kid, Saturday mornings the house was blasting with Herb Alpert or other contemporary and jazz music, probably aimed to wake us kids up. In my pre-teens I had ‘Guess Who’ and ‘Beach Boys’ albums I played endlessly. I had an obsession early on to listen.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

Started a couple of days ago and will continue to work on.

Lyrics:

We are strangers, yet we’re not

Cut from the same cloth

You and me.

Show Yourself to Me

Listen here:

Click here to listen

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