For the last production stream of the week, Mike Shinoda started production on a new track titled “Crazy,” written by Sam Champagne and performed by singer Amber Lee. Champagne’s song was previously seen on Shinoda’s Twitch channel during a live stream when he briefly looked through Twitter posts people were submitting for #ShinodaProduceMe. At the time, he thought the song itself was good with room for improvement.
“… she [Champagne] posted her video singing it originally, and I was like ‘it’s really good’ and if you [Champagne] can sing it really good and really clean then do that, or if you have a friend that’s a really good singer, then do that. And she opted to have her friend Amber sing it.”
Shinoda began the production session by listening to the original version of the track where Champagne sang lead vocals and the final demo where Amber Lee took over lead vocals. He then commented on how the song changed when Amber Lee sang for the final demo, which is the version they submitted to Shinoda to work on. This last demo included a couple of vocal tracks, one for the lead vocal and one for the background harmonies, along with an instrumental track.
“The tempo changed a little bit, that’s one thing, but … she went halftime—originally doing the chords twice as long, the whole chord progression was twice as long. I think I might want to use the halftime.”
Starting to work on the track, Shinoda created three different ideas for the keyboard, experimenting with how the tempo could change during the verses compared to the chorus. Running a poll, viewers ended up choosing to have the keyboard track’s tempo be slow in the verses and fast in the chorus. After recording the new keyboard track, Shinoda then added effects and other sounds to emphasize this main keyboard, tweaking it a little as it didn’t sound quite right after adding the vocal over the top. After fitting the new instrumental track together with the vocal, Shinoda ran another poll to see if he should change the entire song’s speed, with viewers choosing to make the speed 130 beats per minute (bpm). Putting the pieces of the song together, Shinoda decided to change the intro, adding in a track of falling rain, and then focus on the rest of the song, adding more to the beat and fine-tuning the lead vocal, harmonies, transitions, verses, and the ending.
Sam Champagne is a singer and songwriter from New York City. She started a Youtube channel about a year ago, creating cover videos of popular songs, such as “Umbrella” by Rihanna and “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara. Champagne has also released a few singles, such as “Wake Up” and “Bonnie And Clyde,” which can be found on Soundcloud.
Amber Lee is a singer and R&B/soul musician from Brooklyn, NYC. She released two EPs in 2017, Amber Alert and Many Good Ages, which can be found on Spotify, and a few of her demos can be found on Soundcloud. More recently, Lee has also released a few singles, “LOST with YOU” in 2019, “Melanin” in 2020, and “SOTR (Show on the Road)” in 2021, which can be found on Apple Music. In addition to her music, Lee also owns her own business, Shea By Lee, a health and beauty store specializing in shea butters containing natural essential oils and mica powder.
If you weren’t able to see Sam Champagne’s and Amber Lee’s “Crazy” be produced live by Mike Shinoda, you can still watch the Twitch replay below! Make sure to check out both Champagne’s and Lee’s music, as well as Shinoda’s previous production sessions. And stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel weekdays around 10 a.m. PT, especially as he will be starting on two new songs next week, “Just A Dream” by Bella Goldwin on Tuesday, February 16, and “What You Want” by Daniel Sherman on Thursday, February 18!
As a special announcement, one of the previous tracks produced by Shinoda now has a release date set! “I Can’t Feel A Thing” by Judison will drop on Friday, February 26!