It feels like an eternity since my home state of Washington locked down officially on March 24, 2020, due to this zombie apocalypse pandemic. My life feels upside down. No more walking around campus at my school - the University of Washington. No more touring with the band. No more hanging out with friends. No more perusing thrift shops for vintage gems to wear on stage. No more going to my job in the media lab with the high powered computers making my life easier for editing videos and music for the band. No more out to eat. Everything has come to a screeching halt. Everything except the one thing that keeps me sane and focused and true to me; writing songs. I am a songwriter. This I know for sure.
I don’t wanna take your world for granted
I don’t wanna lose my line of sight
I just wanna be the new tomorrow
Why the fuck you hesitating
Get up out my way or come on
New Tomorrow, cp 2020 Cameron Lavi-Jones & Phillip Peterson
Our King Youngblood management and our producer Adam Kasper say "use this 'downtime' to write songs and then write some more songs and then keep writing more songs." I have really taken this message to heart. I am living at home during this world crisis. My parents are cool. They are musicians also. They get it. They encourage me within reason. I can get intense. I can get locked into working and my folks remind me that self-care is key. I take that to heart.
So - during the day my days are becoming more and more routine – wake up, brush my teeth, do some chores….maybe, work out in our home gym my dad and I set up in the garage - complete with a big old punching bag and heavy bag. After taking out all my locked -in-the-house-can’t-take-another-minute-of-these-pent-up-frustrations-that-King-Youngblood-is-not-on-tour-right-now aggression, I shower, make something to eat and then go back to my recording work station in my room to write – my own version of a man-boy cave.
No apologies. The whole house is rocking. The bass travels upstairs as if the house itself is co-writing with me. My room is directly under my parent’s bedroom. By midnight they are asking me to switch to headphones, which I oblige because I am still going to be up for another 3-4 hours. This is a night job. It is relentless and only finished when the song feels finished. And then it starts all over again.
I’ve realized with nickels and times
And poems about finding solace
Regardless of why of paths lay denied
There’s honor in truth, beauty, justice
Wasting Your Time, cp 2020 Cameron Lavi-Jones
The process of writing a song is different for everyone. For me, it’s about an emotion or a human story that I just feel deep in my psyche and that translates into a guitar riff – a guitar part that just speaks the whole story in feel, chords, key, rhythm, tempo, and emotion. Then I put the track together - programmed drums I play with my fingers, bass, more guitars and more guitars, maybe some cello, and definitely more guitars.
All the while the lyrics are coming to me, memory by memory, emotion by emotion, line by line all swirling from my heart to my head waiting to arrive from my pen to my lyric journal. Once I think I have the track where I want it enough to show to the band, I stop and pull out my lyric journal and starting writing lyrics. This is where it gets super emotional for me as writing lyrics is deeply personal for the most part. My lyric journal is my most precious possession besides my guitars and pedal boards. All my history since 6th grade is in there.
I always come back to you
Tell me lies in forms of truths
I don’t think I know your name
Change my heart to change my brain
I Don’t Know Anymore, cp 2020 Cameron Lavi-Jones
During this pandemic – the songs are pouring out. I am also writing hip hop beats for other producers and artists. I am co-writing with other artists I love who are equally locked up and restless. I have actually never had the luxury like this to be so pointed, laser beam focused on songwriting. In some ways,life-changing this is a gift from the universe while being a life changing curse for all of us. When we all come out the other side of this apocalypse, I won’t succumb to amnesia over what has happened while confined at home in my room writing songs. I won’t let myself forget how intense this has been and will still be perhaps for months and months to come. No complaints here, just diving in deep into my songwriting and in the process diving into me.
You’re so welcome
You never said it anyway
Caught on your tongue
With all the lies of yesterday
You’re so welcome
Just say Big Thank
Big Thank, cp 2020 Cameron Lavi-Jones