“Miss Movin’ On” – Behind the Song

This song has been quite the process. For this post, I’ll put it in a timeline for you:

Fall of 2008 – Eight-year-old Katherine writes her seventh song, called “Mess Up, Get Up”. This one is by far her favorite and her proudest work. Of course, it’s only 30 seconds long or so at the time. Give her a break, she’s eight. Regardless, she thinks it’s a hit.

Spring of 2009 – Still eight-year-old Katherine finds out the melody and lyrics of the chorus are almost directly from a song in the Hillary Duff movie. She’s heartbroken because she really thought it was her own composition, but little did she know, it was all a musical idea from a movie. She still considers it her greatest work, but she’s plagued with the knowledge that her mind deceived her and let her think she actually came up with that tune.

Fall of 2016 – Now that she’s doubled herself in age, a sixteen-year-old Katherine has taken up the practice of composition lessons where she writes songs longer than thirty seconds. She mentions to her teacher that she has a song notebook she started when she was about five, and he loves the idea of taking some inspiration from it. He noticed that she was always struggling to write lyrics because she was overthinking and letting her self-conscious teenage mind get in the way, so pulling lyrical concepts from an elementary school version of herself might just do the trick. She brings in the notebook and she tells him about the discovery of Mess Up, Get Up’s similarity to a Hillary Duff song. However, he assures her that they can keep the verse the way it is and make something totally different out of the chorus. And indeed, that’s what they did.

Winter of 2016 – Katherine finishes what is now called “Miss Movin’ On”. Just a little fun fact; the first verse of this new song is straight from the old song she wrote when she was eight! Aside from a few grammatical fixes, the lyrics and melody are a direct copy. It still has the same sentiment of the childhood version, but it is more sophisticated and now it is most definitely a hit. The instrumentation was a little different too; just voice, piano, bongos, and a violin solo before the bridge.

Spring of 2017 – Katherine gets an honorable mention for her song with the COMP Festival at Mizzou and is thrilled to hear that, just like she thought, it was a hit.

Fall of 2017 – Katherine hates this song. It’s one of the most basic things she’s ever written, and it’s so two seasons ago. However, all of her friends love it and continue to play it on SoundCloud. She admits it’s catchy, but she’s ashamed of herself for using typical pop chord progressions and cliché lyrical rhymes. She blocks out the song from her mind, plugs her ears when it plays, and shoots down any conversation where it was the subject.

Spring of 2018 – Her friends continue to play the song, and she doesn’t understand why.

Summer of 2018 – She needs a fifth song for the EP, and is deciding between two acoustic piano songs: Miss Movin’ On, and We Won’t Fall. She knows We Won’t Fall is probably her better work, but she knows Miss Movin’ On is more popular among her peers. Katherine acknowledges that We Won’t Fall is strong enough to be a stand along single if she wanted. Additionally, she realizes that if she wants her friends to be even more excited about this EP, she should put Miss Movin’ On on there. But not in its current state, certainly not. The vocals are outdated, and the style is completely different from her new electronic pop music. So, she sets out to revamp the entire song.

Summer of 2018 (cont.) – For starters, Katherine is now an alto and can’t sing the old melody with enough power, so she moves it down a key. Additionally, she varies the chord progressions a little more just to change up the patterns. She keeps the bongos just because they’re kind of fun, but that GarageBand violin has got to go. She used to play violin, but she’s not quite up to the caliber that she would want in a high quality production. Instead, she changes the entire violin part to a piano solo. Oh, and she moves the piano part up an octave just because. She then gets the grand idea of adding a key change after the bridge, so naturally, she finds some weird chords and makes it work. She then re-records the vocals to update them. Oh, and she moves all the midi and audio tracks to a new piece of software. Not fun. Lastly, she adds a few trap beats halfway through the song to make the acoustic ballad a little more upbeat.

Present Day – She loves this song. Katherine’s amazed that a song she wrote nearly ten years ago can still have so much meaning. Miss Movin On’s lyrics show that of course, there will be tough situations in life, but you just have to move on and forge ahead. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary to have the determination and persistence to get back up again, even if it hurts. Most of all, Katherine loves how it started as a thirty second song when she was eight, then became a piano/violin ballad when she was sixteen. And now, it sounds like those typical SoundCloud piano/trap beats everyone loves and hates at the same time. It’s probably one of her favorite songs on the EP now, and she can’t wait for you all to hear it.

– merakki

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