Starting production on the first new track of the week on Tuesday, Mike Shinoda was excited to work on an original song from a fellow Twitch streamer. The song, titled “What Is Yours”, was written and performed by an artist named Pealeaf, who is also an avid Twitch streamer and a part of Shinoda’s Twitch community. He began the stream as usual — by listening to Pealeaf’s original submission, which was composed of vocal and piano tracks — before asking Pealeaf to message him with any ideas about the direction to take the song.
Shinoda then shared three possible ideas he had about how to produce the song. The first idea was to use organic instruments, which he stated would make the track sound more like theater or pop-Broadway. The second and third ideas both included making the track sound more electro, with the difference between them being the speed. Option two had the speed of the song at halftime, while the third being faster than that.
After sharing these possible options for the track, Shinoda ran a poll for viewers to vote on them, with voters selecting the second option, electro halftime. Wanting to use Pealeaf’s piano track, Shinoda quantized it and used it as a base to start building more instruments around it. Shinoda then spent a considerable amount of time fine-tuning the quantized piano, changing and moving specific notes. While working on the structure of the song and “cleaning” it up, Shinoda had a few comments about the timing and parts of the track.
“Pealeaf, another songwriting suggestion, in this track you are giving people so much information all the time … you need to come back to things, we call them things you ‘hang your hat on’ … Your first verse and your second verse are not the same … Your first and second pre-chorus are different words. Your first and second chorus are different … there’s only one time that something repeats. What you’ll notice in super, super pop songs, is lots of repetition … Since your verses and pre-choruses are different, let’s make the choruses … the exact same thing.”
Focusing on each part of the song, Shinoda cut down the track to make it shorter, focused on editing the choruses to make them more similar, and added bass. Taking a moment to restart Ableton to fix some technical issues involving the vocals and instruments being out of sync with each other, Shinoda then spent the rest of the stream, and the next stream, adding more instruments and sounds to fill out the song, such as drums, cymbals, and fine tuning the mixing and mastering.
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Noire Lee, also known as Pealeaf, is a singer, songwriter, and piano player who first started taking piano lessons at age seven. While she is of Chinese descent, she was born and raised in Canada. This is reflected in her musical ability, as she can sing in not only English, but in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese. She is the lead singer for the electro punk-rock band Modern Limits. She also regularly streams on Twitch, playing covers of famous songs as well as her own original music at fan request. Many of these covers can also be found on her YouTube channel, and her original music can be found on her Spotify page under the name Noire Lee. She has released a few singles inspired by the electronic dance genre, such as “Thunderstorm” and “Beside You”, along with a few remixes of said songs.
If you weren’t able to see Pealeaf’s “What Is Yours” be produced live by Mike Shinoda, you can still watch the Twitch replay below! Make sure to check out Pealeaf’s music, as well as Shinoda’s previous production sessions. Stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel weekdays around 10 a.m. PT, especially as he will be starting production on a brand new song titled “Objects in View” by Alex Raphael Rose on Thursday, April 15!