I have wanted to write songs for film soundtracks ever since I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie when I was 12. I can still remember feeling so moved by the orchestration of the music, and I used to replay the CD in my huge boom box every day when I would get ready for school! Not much has changed in that regard, I still throw in the Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack in my car when I take long drives. When given the opportunity to write songs as accompaniment to beautiful, scenic videos, I was reminded of those dreams I had as a young girl.
I wrote this song for a project shot in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and as I sat and watched the footage on repeat, with no sound, it was so incredible to be inspired by something that I had never experienced myself before. I had never been to this place, but the epic landscapes, waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets moved me, and I could hear and feel the sounds and music that would become “The Woods”.
All of the amazing original artwork for the EP was done by our good friend Kent Carollo. He is an unreal artist!
We shot in the most beautiful locations, I have gone back several times on my own since filming just to take in the scenery.
I approached Jesse Barrera about producing a couple songs for this project, and he completely nailed the sound I wanted and heard in my head. The ambient, “drippy” electric guitar, subtle piano, driving electric beat, and wide, airy vocals all came together to create this soundtrack-esque song that begged for a pairing epic visual. Fellow YouTuber Devin Graham and I talked for months about the visual possibilities with these songs, and when I got the final mix back of “The Woods”, I sat and listened to it and this story played out in my head. I wrote it all down and shared it with Devin, and he completely got what I was envisioning and had some really awesome ideas as well.
I had my sister Abby play the girl in the video, I kind of saw her as an alternate younger version of myself, and then she meets the older version of herself, who she can become when she gets through the hard times she is going through. To escape, she does what I always did as a kid, she goes out exploring into the woods.
The message behind the video is that we should draw close to those things that help us discover who we really are, or who we have the potential to become. For me, my connection with the outdoors helps me remember my potential as a daughter of God, as I can marvel at His creations and still realize that of all the incredible majesty in the world, His hand was also evident in creating me. As an individual person, He knows me, loves me, and helps me see who I have the potential to become.
As soon as the EP was complete, I knew that I wanted to release it on Earth Day, to celebrate the beautiful world we live in. I wanted to team up with an organization that would help do some measurable good when the EP was purchased, and I have always loved the WorldWildlife Fund and the great work they are doing all over the world. I decided to donate 15% of the proceeds of the EP to this cause, so that we can all team up to help preserve the Earth and protect endangered species as long as this music is out there for people to buy! I hope to continue to find ways to give back to our earth, as well as to support great causes that are making the world a better place through our music.
Sporting my WWF t-shirt! Such a cool organization and they have some pretty sweet gear up in their shop.
I’m so thankful for the wonderful people who allowed me the chance to create something so personal and meaningful, especially Devin Graham, who has always believed in me, not only as an artist and songwriter, but also as a person. So much of what I have learned about dreaming big and pushing myself I owe to him. He played such a huge role in the creation of these songs and videos. I always call him a dream weaver, and he truly is! Also Kent Carollo, who’s beautiful artwork accompanies the music so perfectly and acts as another dimension of the story I hoped would be told. Thanks to Jesse Barrera and the amazing Andrew Dixon for bring my songs to life and helping me share them with the world!
And of course, thanks to YOU amazing supporters, without you, this vision and inspiration would have just remained ideas on paper and in my head. Because of your dedication to my sisters and I, we are not only achieving our personal goals as musicians, but also our personal desires to share positive media and to strengthen belief in family and goodness in the world. I can’t express to you how much gratitude I feel for you, and I can’t wait to meet you all and thank you individually for allowing us to realize our childhood dreams.