One day, I stumbled upon the world of sync licensing. Many of the songs being licensed were three chord songs, simple melodies and lyrics, cute but nothing complicated to them. Our songs naturally tend to be cute, but with intricate progressions, so writing a three-chord song felt easily achievable. After all, the first few songs I wrote were similarly simple. I could easily do it again. Or so I thought.
I was going through a difficult time. As I re-evaluated my life goals and searched for answers, I would go to my car during my lunch breaks and attempt to write happy songs. Even then, I saw the irony. I would look at the list of themes that I had decided were sync-friendly and just brain dump. Most of it was terribly trite. We did finish a couple of these songs, and they weren’t bad, but none of it rang true to me. The result was lackluster music. Happy, upbeat, simple, but nothing I was particularly eager to share or spend a lot of money to produce.
During one of these solo car lunches, starting with yet another sync-friendly prompt, I found myself writing about what was truly consuming me. I forgot about the theme (independence) and followed my muse to the internal debate I was silently going through every day. I was feeling lost and trapped. I found myself wondering whether I was really enjoying that dream data scientist job I had. What really made me happy? Why was I so anxious all the time? Am I being selfish? Am I crazy?
It took me months to figure out why I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and what to do next. But in less than 20 minutes that day, I was strumming the chords and singing some of my most honest lyrics to date. It turned out to be a 5 chord song, ridiculously simple, with universal lyrics, all the hallmarks of a sync-friendly song. But it rang true. Perhaps because it was true. I finally got it. I locked the car and walked back to my desk feeling a little lighter than I did before lunch.
A few months later, I quit my job. I decided to dedicate a full year to building our catalog, learning production, and growing our music business. When I played the song for the first time, the audience reaction was immediate. I could see people connecting with the song, the melody, and my story. Unlike the dozens of happy songs that I half-heartedly tried to write while feeling unhappy, this one was a positive twist on emotions I was really feeling when I was writing. That was the key to the simple but authentic song. Although not everyone will connect with it, I’m confident that we’ll find a home for it somewhere.
The song is now in production and we will release it soon. In the photo below are the lyrics. If you’d like to hear the song, we’ll be sending it to our subscribers in one of our upcoming newsletters. Sign up now to get it for free: 23rdhr.com/signup. We send a newsletter every 4–6 weeks.