We are almost halfway through December and the holiday spirit is in the air. To go with that, comes a recent production with a songwriter I have had the pleasure of collaborating with on 5 productions. G Merrill has a talent for country lyrics and melodies. The featured song “White Country Christmas” is a play on a classic, “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas” with references to many country music legends that have passed. The idea for the song was to pay homage to these artists as if they were watching down on us from the heavens during the holiday season.
Our production team layered a classic combination of country instrumentation including live drums, bass, country inspired guitars, pedal steel, country fiddle and the perfect match of vocals by our country vocalist Donnie. After the production was complete, our video team worked on this after effects video featured below. This gave G. Merrill an outlet to promote the song on Youtube and matched some great holiday inspired images along with the pictures of the mentioned legends in the recording.
Check out White Country Christmas
How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?
I would write and record music here locally in Richmond, VA and I had some success, but after some rejection, I realized something wasn’t quite right. After a serious critique it was pointed out to me that I was too traditional for the “A” list of country music. So I took a chance and called StudioPros, contacted Kati O’Toole to help me get a good cross-over contemporary sound. StudioPros reputation proceeded them. I have tried others but decided on StudioPros for their professionalism and talent.
How was the StudioPros process for you? Was it difficult to work online?
The process was very easy. You have to have material that is applicable. I can’t imagine turning raw material with a narrow vision into a commercially viable product as a single indie songwriter doing everything on my own. The team that Kati and StudioPros brought to my project made the online work invaluable and very rewarding. I had no difficulty working the process online.
How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?
That was easy, I hate to quote Hillary, but it does “take a village”-collaboration of all talents working together.
How many songs have you produced with StudioPros?
A total of five songs from my catalog have been produced with StudioPros.
What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?
As an indie songwriter, my most important goal is to get my music out into the public arena. Having a major country recording artist pick up one of my songs and record it would be awesome. However, I am targeting many avenues including promotion on YouTube and CDBaby. The most important accomplishment for a songwriter is to know that folks are loving your music, buying it and waiting for the next release.
Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?
This is a very easy question. There are so many that have not only influenced me but impacted my life. Obviously, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Meryl Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, “Hey! Sunday Morning Coming Down,” Wow! And Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Jim Reeves, are just a few more! But I have to say if you weren’t influenced by Johnny Cash, the man in black, then I think any writer would never make the cut. Anyway, Johnny was great and with June unstoppable, even now in death. I learned from him that you have to live it to write it well.
When did you begin songwriting? What instruments do you write with?
I guess my teenage years and memorably in my twenties. I would write songs, turn them into short stories and quite literally put them under my bed. I play piano and guitar.
Your songs pack a lot of emotion; what was the inspiration and writing process like for that song?
I had an idea that I could write a Christmas song and pay tribute to my country musical heroes. I played around with the idea in my head for a while before I grabbed my guitar, and pen and paper to put it all down. It was a process that came from my heart. I have lived the emotions that come out in my songs. I can’t write any other way.
Besides music, what else do you enjoy?
Oh yes, my Harley! A Heritage softail, my other love. I enjoy writing short stories and children’s stories and poetry and listening to classical music! Family is at the heart of my everyday life and my kids and grandkids keep me inspired and on my toes!
Do you draw inspiration from your everyday life?
Oh yeah, sure do, can’t help not! I wish sometimes I didn’t have to listen to the news or interact. My song “Up To Heaven,” about missing and exploited children suggests there’s always something in this life to wrench your heartstrings. You try and temper good with horrible and as a writer you have to fall more on the good no matter how terrible. And so when you write about beautiful things like my song “Forever”, which is timeless, passionate and relatable, it flows more easily from the heart, because music is only an extension of yourself.
My attitude is always positive and I see the good in things around me. I try not to dwell on the negative and live my daily life striving to be and do better. It is through this filter that my songs are created. Each song has a different feel and represents who I am as a writer.
What do you do for a living?
I have been a piano rebuilder forever, having rebuilt my first Steinway Grand piano at the age of 19. I am a master craftsman and lately have been spending most of my time writing music. I have a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Psychology with a minor in music and have my masters half completed.
Get Your Songs Produced by StudioPros
If you are interested in getting your songs produced professionally, don’t hesitate to contact producers Kati O’Toole or Robb Hutzal.
Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php
If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon!