golden gram: How Does It Feel To Be Eight?

Graham LeBron
07 29, 2015

For the last several years, I've made songs as birthday presents for my niece and nephew. What started as me not knowing what a four year old would want has turned into a twice yearly songwriting workshop.

I spend some time beforehand, collecting videos and photos and asking my sister what do kids that age do and what happened to them this year. Then I take that info and see what I can come up with. Generally, I already have something in mind. One of my favorite things about my iPhone is the voice memo feature. I have hundreds on there, so I go through them, deleting all the bad ideas I'd forgotten about, and seeing if anything will work. Sometimes I've already actually come up with an idea for it, but this year it was mostly from scratch and from a combination of 2 voice memos. It has been a learning experience for the last 5 years and you can definitely see and hear the progress. Graduating from iMovie to Premiere Pro was a huge step in that direction last year. If you are already familiar with recording software, I highly recommend trying out a video program like it. I find myself using a lot of the same workflows, it's a similar layout and timeline too. iMovie was somehow so simple that it was hard to use. Learning to shoot and edit my own videos has been quite gratifying. It has also been fun to think about the songs evolving each year as I'm writing. Three was pretty simple lyrically, but as they get older I'm able to be more nuanced and clever. Who knows what Sixteen will sound like!?

My niece, Lily, had a lot happen since her last birthday, including moving to a new city, starting at a new school, and learning to ride a bike. That's a pretty big year for a kid, so I wondered how it felt to be eight...

Here's a playlist of some past years...

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