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Singled Out: Kady Rain's It Wasn't the Roses

06-21-2018
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Kady Rain

Kady Rain recently released her new EP called "It Wasn't the Roses" and to celebrate we asked her to share the powerful story behind the title song. Here is the story:

The story of "It Wasn't the Roses" starts during our first summer together, writing on Ben's porch, in 2014. Like most of the songs Ben and I wrote that summer, over 60 total in less than 3 months, it was late at night, around us we had two handsome tabby cats (Sophie and Oliver), and we were chain-smoking cigarettes (we've both since quit). We had actually finished writing a song earlier that day called "A Simple Lesson." By this time we were talking with a friend and Ben, who had been noodling on guitar the whole time, started playing a new chord progression. Most Kady Rain songs start with a chord progression that Ben brings to the table and IWTR is no exception. Without thinking and without warning, I immediately sang the entire first verse, with all of the melodic and lyrical trimmings.

We wrote the 2nd verse that night as well but the chorus wasn't fleshed out until the next day at Music Lab. Ben had the idea to try and write a big chorus with longer, more held out notes because he thought it would contrast nicely with the fast-paced nature of the verses. The chorus was written over an hour and I don't recall it being an easy chorus to write, but we got it in the end. The bridge also was written during this time, and again, Ben wanted to do something different vocally. Because so much of this song is spent in my upper register, and to combat listener fatigue, we gravitated towards a lower, less intense melody that could build into the final chorus nicely and give the listener a break from the all out brawl that the verses sometimes feel like.

We all REALLY liked the song, but it was a very different song at this point. It didn't have as much of the retro leanings that the produced version has so it wasn't necessarily as easy to interpret what the song should be, stylistically/genre-wise. This is important because we had a difficult time finding a producer that new what to do with this song, not an uncommon experience at all for artists but Ben and I usually have a solid vision for our music. This song was the exception.

Lyrically, "It Wasn't the Roses" is about an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend of mine. We were only together for 4 months, butwithin 4 months it went downhill really quick, to the point where, in May 2014, he tried to kill me and left me in the hospital for 10 days. The reference to roses harkens to an instance of abuse in which he threatened to kill me with a gun over text message and made it up to me the next day by bringing me flowers. The lyrics describe the feeling of knowing that you need to leave this abusive relationship if you want to survive (literally) but feeling torn about it because, for some reason, you feel like you have to stay. He was emotionally, physically and verbally abusive throughout the relationship and EVERYTHING IN MY BODY was telling me to leave, but it felt impossible to do so. It wasn't until he nearly killed me and left me with nothing that I finally let go. I nearly lost my life, I lost my job, I lost my apartment we had, I lost everything. But I hadn't lost my voice. That experience left me realizing that I had lost focus and control of my life. That's when I realized I had to make music again. This was the first song I wrote about my time with him, a mere four months after the incident. I wanted to write a song to document the experience and to show that it's okay to leave a situation to stay healthy.

Fast forward to January 2017. Two and a half years later, some 300 songs having been co-written by Ben and myself, a few million plays on the internet, and Ben and I have recently released the "All I Ever Wanted" EP. A collection of pop songs with an obvious nature, "It Wasn't the Roses" just never seemed to fit for no other reason than Ben and I were writing so much at the time with a few different co-writers that we pretty much always had a new song that was clearer in nature. So, naturally, these songs jumped to the front of the line. By the time we got around to "IWTR", Doug Helsel, who produced the "AIEW" EP in its entirety, had been producing three acts simultaneously and doing commercial and trailer work for Fortune 500 companies. Doug needed a well deserved break and wanted to focus on his own career as an artist.

Cordial well-wishing occurred and we set out on the course of finding someone to produced "IWTR" Ben did some searching on Soundcloud for producers and several did end up trying IWTR but nothing really turned out in a way that anyone involved was satisfied with. The persistent problem was that no one really had a vision for what this song was, ourselves included.

Finally, Yuri Zwadiuk, whose credits include Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Lil Wayne, DM'd me on instagram a few months later and introduced himself. At this point, almost all of the producers that DM'd me on instagram were literally the worst. They were all SUPER unprofessional and obviously just trying to sleep with me or get me to, as they so lovingly would type, "send nudes". They would call me sugar, or doll, or sweetheart, all of these nicknames and they would ask what city I lived in because they wanted to visit me so we could... "collaborate in person." If I did try to engage them professionally, they would be super flirty and annoying and, honestly, I'm 100% over that sh*t. So when Yuri messaged me and was very polite, with links to his work, it was refreshing. That alone made me want to listen to his music.

More important than the famous names in his catalogue, Yuri's work spoke for itself. We sent him some demos about an hour later and out of all six tracks that we sent, he singled out It Wasn't the Roses as his favorite! When Ben and I spoke with Yuri on the phone, again, he was very professional and polite and we could both tell that he genuinely wanted to work on our music. I remember he told us that his job was to make the song irresistible, which for some reason just seemed really badass at the time.

It took Yuri a little over five days to send us a version of "It Wasn't the Roses" that sounded 95% finished. That in and of itself is a minor miracle! We had been dealing with time-line delays a lot, so again, this was a breathe of fresh air. Also, something that didn't hurt, Yuri knew EXACTLY what he wanted to do with this song when no one else did. He had a vision and he executed on it.

It Wasn't the Roses also coincidentally [came] out on the 26th of May, 2018, which [was] the 4 year anniversary of that fateful weekend that I almost lost my life at the hands of a lover. So, after four years and numerous iterations, what seemed like a dead song at one point is finally coming out and it's an awesome feeling, I can't wait for the world to hear it!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!

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Singled Out: Kady Rain's It Wasn't the Roses



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