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119 Diamond Ridge Avenue
Canton, GA 30114
Cherokee High School
930 Marietta Hwy
My name is Kaitlin Stark, and I have been singing, playing instruments, and writing songs since I was ten. Granted, the songs that I wrote when I was ten were probably horrible and a disgrace to songwriters everywhere, but it’s safe to say I’ve improved since then. Someday, I hope to be a successful songwriter for the many vocalists of Hollywood, but until then, writing songs for my senior project sounded like a good idea- and a good idea it was. For my senior project, I chose to write and produce my own record, Unapologetic, with my childhood friend and music producer extraordinaire, Matt Mattson.
What I noticed while researching for topics to write my paper on was that the music industry my parents knew in the eighties and the music industry I know now are two drastically different businesses- and I was curious to know why. So, I decided that an informative topic to research was how technology has affected the music business, because after all, without technology, music would be white noise. (AKA, non-existent.) As I was google-ing and bing-ing and trying to scrounge for information, I learned more than I thought I would; one being that most music released now is extremely over-produced and super auto-tuned, and the other being that it takes almost fifty people to produce even a five song EP. So, four of my goals for this project were born- no auto tune, no computer generated sounds, no excessive takes, and no more than two producers on this record- myself, and Matt.
By researching how technology has affected music overall, it allowed me to go into recording, writing, and producing with an open mind, and a more organic aura. I didn’t want people to listen to these songs and just forget about them- I wanted them to hear my music and connect with it, but most of all, I wanted this record to feel real. I didn’t want it to seem like the average pop song that is played on the radio. I wanted people to hear actual instruments and the fluctuations in my voice, because when you sing live, that’s what happens. Now, as expected, recording the way I described wasn’t easy- as I possess the technology to record a song without any instruments or live singing. The easy way would’ve been to sing the song once, slap on some auto tune, never once break out an actual instrument, and call it a day. But, after my research, I wanted to put my all into this, even if it required my voice sounding a little raw, or the click of changing chords ringing out on the track. But listening back to them, that’s what I wanted- real, raw, honest, organic sounds.
When I’m older, ultimately, I hope to write songs for a living, while maybe living in a music city like Nashville, LA, or New York. This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, and the only thing I have ever felt really good at. It’s weird to tell people my dreams and goals for my life, because most people shake their heads and laugh. They say, “ Oh, that’s so great.” But really they’re thinking, “Oh, that’s cute.” And then I think about all of the people that have ever doubted me could possibly watch me accept a Grammy for Song of the Year, or an Academy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, and I feel a whole lot better. And even though awards aren’t really what I’m looking for, it would still be pretty darn great.
So, with all of that being said, I hope you enjoy my final product. These songs were written from the deepest parts of me, through some of the hardest and happiest parts of growing up. Now, if there were one thing I could end with, it would be this: my entire life, the only thing that’s ever really made me feel like myself is music. The feeling I get when I hear lyrics in front of a really good chord progression is something I will never be able to describe. So, if I could do one thing with this project, it would be to make you feel that feeling.