We caught up with the genius behind the Valentine’s Day Serenade Project. Find your song here!
Here at Wanderable, it’s obvious that we LOVE love, and we wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day a bit differently this year. We caught up with Jonathan of YourTune, who set out to make V-Day special to every girl this year, by launching 121 unique short love songs centered around the most popular female names (all songs can and should also be used by anyone in a relationships to play for their OWN significant other). For our purposes, we picked some of our favorites here (based on our names, obviously!) but check out his YouTube channel to hear your special song, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Jonathan: I wanted to find a way to share my music, and it occurred to me that not everyone who wants to write a song, CAN write a song, especially for someone special. The idea was born from that – I wanted to share my music and ended up creating something designed for others to share too. Releasing it online for the world to use as how it sees fit is what I believe makes it real art.
What girl’s name is your favorite, or easiest to rhyme? Can you give us an example?
I don’t play favorites! I’m obsessed with perfect rhymes, so I had a much easier time coming up with rhymes for one-syllable names like “Anne” and “Jill.” It gets much tougher for longer names and it was fun to find interesting rhymes as close as I could get, like “Cassandra” and “a grand ro” mantic gesture. Splitting up words and kind of mispronouncing them in the song kept it really interesting for me lyrically. Some just couldn’t happen. The closest real-word rhyme I could think of for Rachel was “spatial” and I was not about to go and write a song about spatial reasoning and love or something like that.
Sentimentality plays very well, as in, “how I felt the moment I met you.” So does a song about a particular day or vacation. Don’t go too specific and lay it all out there for the whole song – great lyrics use metaphors and let the listener fill in the blanks! If you want to play the song in front of a large audience, I’d avoid putting any explicit details of private goings-on in them. You want to make your special someone swoon, not sweat from embarrassment. I’m sure I’ve broken all of those rules many times, so don’t listen to me.
Oh, and practice it!
How do you find time to write all these songs?
Something I learned about being an artist – you can’t sit around and wait for inspiration when you have a deadline! Songs had to be flowing out at a fast pace. I taught myself to sit down every day and just write and play. I built the time into my day and did never skipped it. I found myself looking forward to it every day. It was “me” time. I even did it on vacations or when I was visiting friends.
You live in LA— if anyone is interested, and in the area, would you come serenade their girlfriend on Valentine’s Day?
I would be happy to add a little music to somebody’s Valentine’s Day plan! Maybe I could be one of those guys who goes around to tables at fancy restaurants and plays songs for awkward first dates. I actually play piano in a band, and we have show on the 13th in Venice at the Witzend at 7:15pm, so, yeah. Shameless plug. Bring your SOs, it’s going to be good.
Was there any person in particular that influenced your songs?
Every person in my life has given me something I’ll keep forever. My own experiences are going to influence these songs, consciously or unconsciously, because that’s what made me who I am. In the end, we’ve all had experiences like these, which is why I hope these songs are enjoyed by everyone who listens.
On a music level, I’m very inspired by The Beatles, especially their early poppy love songs, which work well for a project like this. They and Ben Folds have many songs about “characters,” which brings a certain storytelling vibe to their music. I definitely found myself getting into that mindset as each song I wrote was really about a completely different person.