Backstory: “Going Up”

Oh the back story, isn’t there always a back story? This is a story about a little song called “Going Up” by Gedeon Luke. Gedeon is an artist that I have been developing for 3+ years. The song is actually the 1st song we ever co-wrote together. We have all heard the stories of how songs come from magical places, they write themselves, they are gifted to us, etc and I gather this tune falls into one, if not all, of those descriptions!

Gedeon and I met at my partner’s office which was probably not the most inspiring place to write but hey, you take what you can get. We sat around discussing some ideas and I was tuning my guitar as we chatted. After I tune up I always use the same 3 chords, D-C9-G, to check if the guitar is in tune. I start strumming the chords in a certain rhythm and Gedeon says, “Marc, I love those chords, they move me.” and I asked him to explain. He then proceeds to tell me how they resonated a certain feeling within him almost like a Gospel hymn. I thought about what he said for a second and said, “Wait a minute, I have an idea for a Curtis Mayfield inspired song!” and started strumming away. Well, in a matter of minutes the proverbial door bell rang, the skies opened up and the delivery of “Going Up” just happened; Gedeon began singing some melodies, I started grabbing some words and quickly soon after the song was done.

The tune is about love and hope and can be interpreted in whatever way you choose.

We’ve just finished Gedeon’s debut record and this song will be included on it as a featured duet with his baby sister, Evvie McKinney:

(Can’t hear the clip? Click here)

Lyrics -

Feeling so strange about so many things
Even the message of love and what it brings
We all need joy and happiness to reign
And with this song I’ll fight away the pain

I’m goin’ up up to feel the rhythm
I’m goin’ up up to dance divine
If you believe there’s love inside
I’m goin’ up up to give the sign

From the first time I felt your presence
There was no doubt, fear or questions
It takes me back to the place
Without you there is no grace

I’m goin’ up up to feel the rhythm
I’m goin’ up up to dance divine
If you believe there’s love inside
I’m goin’ up up to give the sign

The hope for a better day
will soon come my way
and the tears have washed away

What felt so strange about so many things
now with this song I’ll fight away the pain

I’m goin’ up up to feel the rhythm
I’m goin’ up up to dance divine
If you believe there’s love inside
I’m goin’ up up to give the sign

Gedeon Luke, Marc Swersky (c)2010

-Posted by Marc

A recurring feature on IVC, each “Backstory” showcases a song and shares the story behind that song’s inspiration and creation via the songwriter’s own words.


Marc Swersky is a two-time, Grammy Award winning songwriter. As a writer/producer/musician his albums have sold in excess of 50 million copies. Marc is also president/founder of Monocentric Music, a full-service entertainment and artist development company dedicated to mentoring young singer/songwriters.

www.introversechorus.com

This is How We Do It: Marc Swersky

In this edition of “This is How We Do It”, Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Marc Swersky shares (below) his personal songwriting process.
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About 90% of all my writing is done on guitar. One of the things I often do, especially when I write for a new project, is throw a guitar into open tuning. This provides a unique landscape that helps to broaden the possibilities of a song. As far as beginning the writing process, I generally prefer to have a title and a melodic idea for a chorus to start. It makes the process of creation much easier for me. On the flip side, a memorable riff is always a fantastic way to evoke an emotion. Take a listen to “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones or “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin. There are stories to be told right there in those riffs!

As far as co-writing goes, in the past it was always about sitting in a room together. Someone would have an idea and then off to the races we went. Now with technology, it is so different! I am presently writing with Brad Butcher, an artist in Australia. We have written four songs for his new record via Skype. He sends me a song he has started or just a lyric beforehand and then we spend two or three hours hammering it out. Then he sends me the revised version and on it goes! I have even been doing pre-production for projects via Skype. It certainly takes away the intimacy of sitting in that room, but I appreciate the time spent off of the NJ Turnpike!

-Posted by Marc

A recurring feature on IVC, each “This is How We Do It” offers a glimpse into the personal songwriting process of a particular artist.



Marc Swersky
is a two-time, Grammy Award winning songwriter. As a writer/producer/musician his albums have sold in excess of 50 million copies. Marc is also president/founder of Monocentric Music, a full-service entertainment and artist development company dedicated to mentoring young singer/songwriters.

www.introversechorus.com

1, 2, 3!.. The IVC Q&A: Marc Swersky

A recurring IVC feature, “1, 2 ,3!” will offer quick, three question Q&As with a variety of today’s working songwriters.

For this, 1, 2, 3!’s inaugural post, IVC is proud to welcome Grammy winning, songwriter/producer, Marc Swersky. Marc’s songs have been recorded by a wide range of artists from the likes of Joe Cocker to Hilary Duff. In addition to his songwriting duties, Marc is also very active in mentoring new singer/songwriters via his artist development Co., Monocentric Music.

Marc, great to have you on board!

-Mark
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IVC: Would you share one of your songwriting hacks/secrets with us?

MS: Songwriting secrets hmmmm… Simplicity is what I always strive for. Simple changes, not too many chords and lots of sub-hooks. Why try and recreate the wheel? If it was good enough for people like Robert Johnson, The Brill Building writers, Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson, The Beatles, Van Morrison, and Page/Plant - who am I to change that?

IVC: What advice would you offer the novice songwriter in terms of the craft, the business or both?

MS: Listen, study the masters and learn to play other people’s music. These are the three most important things that I stress to all of my Monocentric Music students. It’s the best way to help yourself understand the crafts of songwriting and arrangement. Also, always follow your initial gut instinct and really try and finish your song! It is way more gratifying. You can always go back later and tweak.

IVC: You do a good amount of co-writing. How does working with someone else change your approach to writing?

MS: I am strictly a co-writer and actually prefer the camaraderie. I am often called upon to seed ideas and generally feel a sense of wonderment after seeing how the songs twist and turn into something magical. 

-Posted by Marc


Marc Swersky
is a two-time, Grammy Award winning songwriter. As a writer/producer/musician his albums have sold in excess of 50 million copies. Marc is also president/founder of Monocentric Music, a full-service entertainment and artist development company dedicated to mentoring young singer/songwriters.

www.introversechorus.com