I’m going to make a confession here. I was that little girl who stood in front of the mirror, hairbrush in hand, using it as a microphone, while I sang along to my latest record, dreaming of one day being a pop star. Well guess what? My dream has come true, thanks to my youngest son, who bought me a popstar experience for my birthday.
My friends on Facebook will already know that the first attempt was cancelled the day before I was due to go up to London, as the videographer had a family emergency. Then I received an email just as I was about to leave the house on the day of the second attempt informing me that they were having to cancel it again as the mixing desk in the studio had blown. Then, in August 2016, I received an email confirming a new booking for a date in July 2016. I had to inform them that, as I didn’t possess a time machine, I would be unable to attend. Finally, I was given a date in September.
In the past I’ve had to keep ‘mum’ about a flashmob that Woapa were taking part in and also a recording of a video to be given to Oxfam. I thought that was hard enough, but having had two failed attempts at my popstar experience, I decided not to say anything about the third date I’d been given, just in case it got cancelled again. I’m not really a superstitious person, but I was beginning to feel like this was jinxed and was never going to happen. But I’m happy to say that I’ve been and gone and done it, and it has got to be up there as one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far.
When the second attempt was cancelled, they offered me an extra hours recording time free of charge. They also said that instead of having to go up to London, they would arrange for me to do it in a studio in Oxford. So on Saturday 3rd September 2016, my hubby and I arrived at a little studio called Safehouse, situated in Cave Street, Oxford.
We arrived far too early as we wanted to make sure that we left enough time to find it. The technical guys were in the process of setting up the equipment, so I waited outside in the car until the appointed time. It was at this point, when I realised that it was actually going to happen, that the nerves kicked in and I told my hubby that I wanted to go home. But I didn’t, and the rest, as they say, is history.
There were three young men, Kit and Mike, who were the technical guys, and a young guy called Logan, who was there to video the experience. I found out during a break in recording, that I was his first popstar experience. He usually worked with his dad videoing weddings.
I was given a quick tour of the studio, it was so small it took about five minutes, and then Kit talked me through what was going to happen. Then I was in the recording booth, with headphones on, as Mike explained that to begin with we would run through the song a couple of times to get the levels right and then we would go for a take. The run through went without a hitch, but as I was launching into the chorus for the first time, everything went dark and silent. The computer had crashed! But Mike very quickly had it up and running again. I found it really amusing that this had happened, but it helped me to relax. I realised that I’d been waiting for something to go wrong, and now it had, but at least it was something that could be easily fixed. After another couple of takes, I sat back as Mike then worked his magic, cutting and pasting the best bits from each recording, to produce the best track possible.
Although I’d been offered an extra hour, it hadn’t been confirmed and therefore I’d only sent them one song choice. After Mike had finished working on the first song, we still had an hour left. Kit had been trying to get hold of the sound track for another song, but was unsuccessful. Undaunted, Mike found a way to download one and I had half an hour to record another song and for Mike to work on it. By this time I was exhausted and I could tell my voice was getting tired. But I’m absolutely thrilled with the end result.
My first song, ‘Can’t take my eyes off of you’, has been added to the Songmaker official chart, I’d really appreciate it if anyone reading this would be kind enough to go on the website and vote for me. How cool would it be for this ‘mature student’ and grandmother to top the chart? Here is the link. http://www.theofficialchart.co.uk/search.php type in the name Issi, and it should come up.
Here also are the links to my two songs, and the Songmaker website. Unfortunately, I haven’t received my video of the day yet. But will share it when I do.
Now on to my next adventure.
Isabel Johnstone 2016 ©