Never Surrender. The track was inspired by a family member who was diagnosed with Cancer at the age of 24. I asked the young lady in question to write some lyrics about her experience battling the disease meanwhile I set about writing the back track. Spookily when we both got together to discuss the production we had both opened the song with the lyric 'When darkness falls upon you' The track was written and produced as a 98 BPM ballad using family members to sing various sections raising £2750 for the Wessex Cancer Fund. The lady in question has made a full recovery thanks to the skills of the medical team that treated her.
In 2006 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and again we felt the need to produce a fund raising track for the WCF. I asked Jan to write lyrics, but she said that she could not better the original lyrics of Never Surrender. However Jan likes house, so my task was to remix Never Surrender Into a house mix.
The first task was to find a trancy house pad. This was achieved by mixing patches form the Korg Triton, Korg X5D, and some samples from the EMU ESI400D. The filter sweeps were achieved using plugins and automation in Cubase SX2. Drums were programmed in SX2 using drum patches from the Triton. Bass was handled by a Moog Rouge using a Beringer Tube Composer to add fat. The sub bass sweeps were Rouge too.
The vocal was the most important thing for us, and we had a few discussions as to who we wanted to sing the track. I started to work with a young Katy Summer who applied to sing in the rock band that I play in. Kate was young shy and quite nervous, but even then I knew that she had great potential. Subsequently she has moved from strength to strength, singing live on cruise ships, function bands and recording her own material. She has worked quite a lot for my friend Barry Upton ('Steps Creator producer') Barry was commissioned to produce a number of albums for Gut Records including a re-make of the grease album where Katy sang all of Sandy's parts. I briefed Kate in the studio and she just went into the vocal booth and sang her heart out. It was that simple.
I don't want to be labelled as a house producer, because I produce many different styles, but I see this as a commercial mix and feel it is credible. It certainly helped raise funds for a very worthwhile Charity that has helped so many battle and beat a serious disease.
Further information is available at www.ourgatestudios.co.uk