How can an independent artist reconcile a tight budget with the dream of making a musical project worthy of winning a Grammy Award, when she certain that she has written a pop/jazz-oriented song with the potential to become a hit?
…by drawing on research, knowledge and accumulated experience and…
by sharpening the wits!
With her own voice and the capable accompaniment of Ottavio Spagnol, the guitarist with whom she performs live and with whom she has a close musical rapport, Valentina SBS has developed an arrangement for vocals, acoustic guitar and hands. In it she explores a rainbow of sound possibilities and obtains, through numerous overdubs, the sound of a full band.
Valentina sings, in addition to the melody, all four background vocal parts, which interact with the main voice in unison or counterpoint. She sounds like four harmonized instruments, which at times play together with the lead voice, but constantly change, taking the listener on a journey through different sonorities and instrument sounds, from saxophone to trumpet to string quartet.
The acoustic guitar provides a solid rhythmic support. Spagnol’s excellent finger style technique is apparent; and the arrangement shows his versatility as he ‘turns into’ other instruments. In addition to his dialogue with the melody, Ottavio’s Larrivée model guitar plays the role of bass, providing a steady beat. His guitar even becomes a percussion instrument when struck in different parts, generating tribal sounds and a drum bass effect, typical of dance music.
The ancient need for rhythm finds valuable allies in the hands, adding occasional, very effective finger snaps and hand claps.
"You Have To Follow Me" is a bright, merry love song, with lyrics characterized by sounds and phonemes that highlight the melody and its nuances. It tells the story of an important sentiment and contains a real promise of love, with an invitation to always follow your heart.
"You Have To Follow Me" is strongly imbued with jazz influences in its melody, harmony, arrangement and the scat singing in the high-impact finale, where the voice becomes a wind instrument. The song is composed, written, structured and arranged in a manner both crisp and varied, constantly seeking out new colors, sounds, moods and emotions, with continuous changes in melody and harmony, in search of a perfect, attractive combination of hit and originality.
"Valentina has really dropped a beautiful Pop/Jazz gem with the release of "You Have To Follow Me". She reveals her true passion for the music and extending her beautiful emotional vocal range" (Mark Sherman, 2014)
"You Have to Follow Me is a great little piece. The composer, Valentina, sings not only lead but all the great background parts. She wrote the tune, the arrangement, and the lyrics! The guitarist backs her up beautifully. The piece has a lot of spark and great appeal, because there is something in it for everyone to appreciate" (Carol Sudhalter, 2014)
The single "You Have To Follow Me" is on sale on iTunes starting April 23 and the video is on Vevo and YouTube starting May 26.
Vocals, Music, Lyrics and Arrangement: Valentina SBS
Acoustic Guitar: Ottavio Spagnol
Tracking and Mixing: AmarcOrd Studio, Giuseppe Sasso, Marigliano, Naples
Mastering: Kevorkian Mastering, Inc., Fred Kevorkian, New York
Video: Red Box
Make Up Artist: Alessandra Mangione