Writing “I Will”
My single “I Will” was released in May, and it’s completely different from anything I’ve done before. Well….depending on how you look at it. It’s not jazz, which is very often what I do musically. It’s something else. There is a strong element of gospel style, along with some blues and old school country influence. At least, most people call Lyle Lovitt a country musician, and he was a major inspiration for this song.
Lyle Lovitt didn’t only do country though. Check out his song “She’s no Lady” and listen for the jazz. The lyrics are fairly hilarious as well. However my favorite Lyle Lovitt song I first heard on the soundtrack of the film “The Apostle”. The track is called “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord.” Just try to sit still and not sing along!
It turns out that song was originally a much more traditional gospel song, sung by the Blind Boys of Alabama, among other covers. But none of them have that infectious ear worm quality that Lovitt’s version bottles.
I wrote the song “I Will” in a hotel, while on holiday. I had a bad cold, and ended up sitting out on the balcony in the evening writing these lyrics and singing them in my raspy, phlegm-laden voice. As a result, the melody started low and stayed there.
When I was writing it, I could hear a strong rhythm and a toe-tapping, hand clapping kind of vibe. I knew right away that I needed some back up vocals to give it the right texture, and in particular, someone with a gospel background. Fortunately I found exactly the right man.
Tresor Otshudi supplied the starring guest vocals for this song, and his range is amazing. A seasoned performer and songwriter himself, with a wide range of musical styles, he was a gift to work with on this, and makes the song so much more fun.
While this song isn’t jazz, it is acoustic and old school in the best sense. It has all the earthy elements that make jazz and blues appealing to me, and I hope you enjoy it too!