One of the most prolific artists of our time, Prince, AKA the artist formerly known as Prince, AKA Prince, wrote song after song that was relatable to the common human experience. He then delivered his songs in the most flamboyant way possible. He was all about defying expectations, pushing boundaries, and making space for all people to feel safe and included.
Fast forward one generation and you find another superstar following the example Prince set. Her songs are relatable, digestible, and can be easily enjoyed by anyone. As a classically trained pianist, her delivery of her music defied expectations and set a new precedent for what could be achieved by young, black, female artists. Her unique voice, despite being self-admittedly "mediocre", which I personally do not agree with, delivers emotion in a way that can't be ignored or overlooked. Much like Billie Holiday or Nina Simone, it was that emotive quality in her voice that made her a star. Almost anyone who lived through the early 2000s and was of listening age will instantly know her song, Fallin', by just the first few notes. Of course, I could only be talking about the hip and oh so zen, Alicia Keys.
So, when I heard that Alicia Keys had covered a Prince song, called How Come U Don't Call Me, and released it on an album under the slightly reworked name, How Come You Don't Call Me, I went out of my way to go on down to the CD shop and get it. And it was while I was standing at the listening station that I first heard the song that made me decide to become a singer.
I wanted to do that! Those runs, that passion, that disappointment, and that undeniable swag - I wanted it. I wanted it ALL. So, I learned how to sing it. And I listened to Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey on repeat. Mimicking them, trying to figure out how to make my voice do what theirs could do. I took lessons, studied online (once that was an option), and signed myself up for every singing related opportunity that I could find... including karaoke contests. Which is where I finally got to sing How Come You Don't Call Me for someone other than the spider in my bathroom. I won contest after contest with that song, winning cash and trips to Vegas, and judging rights on future contests. It was because of this song that someone approached me once and asked if I had a band, they'd love to play with me. I had never thought about putting a band together before and I had no idea how to run one, but I learned.
And now here I am, in Nashville, working full-time as an artist, singer, and songwriter.
That's the power of a song.
Finally, I've had the opportunity to demo my version of How Come You Don't Call Me, which is, for now, a stripped down keys only production that I named, You Don't Call Me Anymore. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to record a full production version, which really just means that maybe one day I'll be able to afford to pay for more musicians, studio time, and engineering. For now though, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take it this far.
As this song is only just a demo, it will never be for sale in this format and it won't be available on streaming platforms.
It is, however, available as a free download! So, if you like it, visit my store page and download it to your preferred music player.
Thank you for being here, friend.