All entries in the business category

ILEA – A Custom Theme Song Explained

Creating a Custom Theme Song for ILEA (The International Live Events Association) was a pleasure. It took longer than usual to release because after the original production was completed, the organization decided to change their name. Their original name / acronym was ISES, which of course sounds like ISIS (the terrorist organization). ISES had used their name happily for many years until recently, when ISIS appeared in the Middle East. It was a good idea for ISES to re-brand as ILEA.

When ILEA declared their new name in May 2016, I had to re-write the chorus and bridge of the Custom Theme Song which I had completed previously. Since they liked the original version so much (but we refrained from releasing it due to the name change), I kept the chords, melodies and production.

It’s not always “cool” to mention the name of an organization literally in its song (an overlying theme or image that represents them can sometimes be better), but this was for re-branding, so it was appropriate. Of course, literally singing The International Live Events Association would have been too long, while pronouncing their acronym (ILEA) would not have rhymed with much. Rhymes are not necessary to have in a song, but they do help with a song’s catchiness.

That said, I decided to pronounce every letter in their acronym: I.L.E.A. It would make their name clear and unforgettable. Rhyming the last letter (“A”) with words like “say” or “day” didn’t lead to useful lines in the lyrics, so I re-used some of the rhymes from the letter “S” in the original I.S.E.S. version. It worked out pretty well. Since ILEA is an international association, using directions in the lyrics (East, West, North, Compass) would emphasize their world-wide membership.

If you watch the YouTube lyric video above, you’ll get the gist of what the association is about, so I won’t deep-dive into the lyrics. The short story is that the lyrics are written from the perspective of an event planner who is admiring her helpful ILEA network at her event. This is something most ILEA members can relate to.

That brings us to the music itself. The decision to make the song mostly mid-tempo electronica was easy. The target market for ILEA is very broad age-wise and interest-wise, so it wasn’t necessary to make a pure rock or pure hip-hop or dance-dominant (those are just examples) production. However, since many of the ILEA members are event planners, a production that was modern and classy was a must because those same elements are what event planners try to produce at their events. Going with some mid-tempo electronica did the trick. That said, I did include a few modern “real” instruments like acoustic guitars and horns in the background. These can please the ears of slightly older listeners and fans of all music genres which might leverage such instruments (adult contemporary, country, etc.). The music also needed to be comfortably upbeat to suit the celebratory nature of the organization, versus being at the other ends of the tempo and melodic spectrum.

My goal in every song is to have a strong and catchy and memorable chorus, and I think this one delivers.

After hearing the nearly final version, one of the ILEA Vice Presidents envisioned adding various sound effects to emphasize their members’ presence at live events, parties, weddings, celebrations and so on. He had a number of good ideas, but most of them I knew would be too “quiet” to be heard above the music itself. If you didn’t already know, it’s difficult to take sounds that are “quiet” in the real world and make them “loud” in a full music production. Have you ever heard something like the sound of bed sheets rustling over a rock song? Probably not. But something like a cowbell has a very loud character and can be easily heard in the densest mixes.

The solution was to add relatively “loud” sounds like glasses chiming up close and crowds cheering. Even so, to make both of those sounds heard above the music, I had to blend many types of glasses and different crowd recordings together, while treating them with aggressive equalization and compression. Can you hear them at the very beginning and end of the song?

The last interesting thing I’ll note here is the appearance of many spoken voices in the middle bridge of the song. A couple of years ago, I began integrating audiences into my live shows and recorded music. Most people get a real kick out of it, so I decided to interview ILEA members at one of their internal events. My question to attendees was, “What do you like most about ILEA?” I recorded their responses into my iPhone with a high-quality microphone, then brought the results to my studio and edited them into the music. It added a lot of life to the middle of the song instead of hearing the usual guitar solo.

This song took around 70 hours to write, record, mix, master and deliver. It was worth it.

Let me create a song for you for a big meeting, a wedding, a celebration, any event or for a marketing campaign.

Like a diamond, a song is forever!

ILEA ISES custom theme song

Trackers are Winners. Winners are Trackers.

I have stolen the headline for this blog post from a couple of self-improvement gurus, which must at least include Brian Tracy and Darren Hardy. I have recently returned from a trip in the amazing country of Iceland. Today, back in Toronto, I went into and updated my “Unbroken Chain” file. This is a simple time and task tracker that I created in Excel. The “Unbroken Chain” is so named thanks to the “link” you add every day as you work. If you miss a day (or a “link”) of doing at least something regarding your business, you break the chain of success. I heard that Jerry Seinfeld used this technique — his “link” was to write at least one new joke each day. Apparently the technique worked out very well for him. 😉

I was sitting here today wondering why certain things weren’t going the way I intended (business-wise). I realized by going through my tracker that the answer is obvious: I am not dedicating enough time to certain tasks. That sounds simple, but if I hadn’t been tracking what I’ve been doing for the last few months by day by task by time committed, I know I wouldn’t have reached the same conclusion. It was yet another proof to mistrust what is going on in your head. Records on paper (or an e-document) are much better.

As of tonight, I shall change my daily blend of task and time commitments. Thank you, tracker!

"A Path to Somewhere Wonderful."  --Photo taken by yours truly during my trip to Iceland on my first hike.

“A Path to Somewhere Wonderful” — Photo taken by yours truly during my trip to Iceland in August 2014 on my first hike.

Network Fretwork

For fun, I looked up the word, “network” at rhymezone.com and got “fretwork,” which is (of course) related to guitar frets. It was the only word that was a perfect rhyme. I found this amusing since guitar is a part of my passion.

I have been spending quite a bit of time networking: meeting new people in person, using social media and attending official networking events. I have sometimes been thinking of this as a questionable use of my time. It’s definitely not one of those instantly measurable return-on-investment things, which my psychology can have trouble embracing, i.e. I want instant return on investment due to my impatience. You also don’t know who you’re going to meet or what it might lead to. In any case, I am doing this because the business experts I have studied agree that it is very necessary for growth. Robot Dyniss is complying.

Speaking of Robot Dyniss, I have been frequently realizing as I meet new folks that I am doing a million things “right,” because the other folks do not appear to be doing the same. It makes me feel like I have a massive advantage. For example, I met a nice fellow recently who started selling me on his business, but he opened with a long comment about how other people might tell me that his company is “bad.” I know even without having studied sales (which I have been doing), that you shouldn’t open any introduction with negative comments unless you are explaining a prospect’s pain that you are able to remedy. I mentioned this kindly to him, but he replied with a very detailed response on why he was doing it. He justified it pretty well, but if I were in the same boat and felt I had to do that, I would know that I was working for the wrong company.

So I seem to be doing lots right. Let’s go, universe — let’s go!

Time for a New Approach

Back on January 16, 2014, I created a calendar to put on my wall so it was “in my face” all the time. The intention was to create urgency so I would make things happen quickly. Today is 5 months later.

The first attached photo shows the calendar just before I tore it off the wall today. Note the ticks until June 22. For all I know, the daily image showing August as an endpoint (my cash savings limit) has been negatively affecting my subconsciousness. What if the August date has been creating a failure target, rather than a success target? The second attached photo shows a wood (pine) board that I punched (karate-style) in January, too. It was part of a symbolic “breakthrough” exercise at the Toronto Power Group. However, the symbolism did not work. Financial BHAGs may have also been negatively affecting my subconsciousness. What if I didn’t believe them in the first place?

I review my goals every morning. This morning, I started seriously hacking at them because I have been missing my biggest goals. I gave myself many “shoot for the stars” goals, but in most cases, didn’t even “hit the moon.” “Hitting the moon” is supposed to be the consolation prize for one’s BHAGs. Having missed them has affected my psychology. I ask myself: Why keep setting them if they cannot be achieved? Therefore, following the common advice of, “Stop doing the same things if you expect different results,” I am tearing down the calendar and parking my big financial goals. I will focus on creating outstanding value for others and increasing my effectiveness instead. The money will follow. A few successful individuals whom I met in person recently said, “Never chase the money.” OK universe — this is my new approach.

Taken on the last day I'll have this on my wall. I want better subconscious nutrition.

Taken on the last day I’ll have this on my wall. I want better subconscious nutrition.

"Previous financial goals missed."

“Previous financial goals missed.”

What am I doing?

I sometimes experience moments where I have caught myself highly focused or putting intense energy into my work. I will flip into a personal reality check. It’s usually a bit humorous and a bit sad. I realize that I’m frowning or feeling tired and frustrated as I push through the work. The question that enters my mind is, “What am I doing?” And sometimes pessimistically, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” You see, the highly focused energy I might put into, entering new contacts into Outlook, Gmail, MailChimp — and then sending the contacts a personally crafted email — takes a lot of time. When I hit the email “send” button for a completed contact — I know that I might not ever hear back from him or her. So I question why am doing that task at all. Might there not be a better way to spend my time? Should I really be putting energy into something where I’m not seeing measurable results? I hate to use this word — faith — but it’s sometimes what I’m hanging on to. I’ve been studying many best practices about building a business, and I think I’m following most of them pretty well so far. But where is that payoff? I sometimes question it all. I shall keep on truckin’ in any case!
Faith Roadsign

I’m Going Corporate

I’m joking a bit with the headline. Yesterday I finished my new website to support organizations with my live show concept. The new website is alive as of today, so check it out! Creating everything from start to finish took around 2 weeks of hard work, but the end result is nice ‘n simple.

I struggled with the idea of spending a ton of time building that website, then spending a ton of time re-building this website (www.dyniss.com), which is overdue for a facelift. I decided that it would be smart to be as efficient as possible, i.e. I will eventually clone my new organizational website and use the clone here. Of course, there will be different pages, but it will save me a ton of future work. I’ll blog more about the other site soon because it’s a big bold new move.

Dyniss Keynote Concerts

Dyniss Keynote Concerts

Canadian Music Week follow-up

The last time I thought, “That was some of the best money I ever spent,” I had attended a Tony Robbins weekend. CMW2014 was an intensive 3 days of information absorption and networking. As for who I met who will create something mutually beneficial with me, it remains to be seen. I met so many people whom I will be in future regular contact with, that it is highly likely one or more of them will develop a synergistic relationship with me. How exciting!

Bruce Cockburn, one of my idols, was also one of the keynote speakers this year.

Bruce Cockburn, one of my idols, was also one of the keynote speakers this year.

Canadian Music Week Preparation

Around March 2014 (2 months ago), I wrote — for the first time ever — a short imaginary “movie script.” Writing such a thing was related to the concept of creative visualization. I jumped on the idea (although I was very aware of creative visualization in general) after seeing a YouTube video where one fellow was interviewing Jack Canfield about his success. The young fellow said to Jack that he had written a movie about meeting and interviewing him just like he was doing.
In any case, in my own movie, I meet a person or persons at Canadian Music Week’s 3 day Summit who will seriously benefit me. I will of course also seriously benefit them. That’s what all ideal relationships should be like. How this will come about and in what form I have no idea. I suppose that’s part of the fun. I shall follow-up in this blog with the magical result!
CMW 2014

Who are you?

“Who are you?” is the sort of question I’ve noticed most people struggle to answer. “What do you mean by that?” is the most common comeback. The answer is: If you had to put yourself into only 1 or 2 sentences that explained who you really were in the universe and/or what your biggest goal was — could you do it? Most folks I’ve seen reply with their names and career titles. Life of course can be much more than a career, although some people are 100% defined by it — and that’s cool too! But if you thought about it — would your career only define you?
I’m writing this post because I struggled over the last few days to create a TAGLINE for my name/brand. This isn’t EXACTLY the same as what I’m describing above, but I had to go to the very root of what I am trying to do / give / share with the world that is authentically me. PS I slightly updated my logo as part of the process. So here it is: “Dyniss the Man of Song: Transcending the live audience relationship.”
Cool, eh? And you are left wondering (in a very good way IMHO) what the heck I am talking about in the tagline. You’ll just have to see me live to find out. 🙂
Dyniss Logo

Video Demo Time

I had two full (and successful) test shows a week ago. But when I reached out to a booking agent I had never met, I realized from his response (and at least temporary rejection) that he didn’t fully comprehend what I was providing. Therefore, I decided that I must provide a clear video demo to book new shows. After editing a demo at home, I shared it with a few friends/family, asking for feedback. Wow — there was a lot of constructive feedback. I got pretty upset at first — not because of criticisms — but because I realized that I had to do it all over again. Time feels so short and I’m missing some of my primary goals with these detours. I don’t even know if the demo will capture anything for me.
Correction — after typing that, I know it HAS TO capture stuff for me! This ain’t no boring, “Listen to my mp3” way of doing things. Onward!

Photo by Vanessa Aquarius

Photo by Vanessa Aquarius