Pop singer-songwriter, musician, visual artist Kira Takei
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Kira Takei

The Process of Creating "Tonight"

Kira Takei music single Tonight cover art

Hello everyone!

To celebrate another song release, I wanted to share a bit about the process behind creating it!

This song was heavily inspired by images. I knew I wanted to create a song that felt like seeing through strobe lights, lights reflecting off of jewelry, blues, purples and pinks, and had the energy of an isolated connection with muffled sounds of a party. Writing an upbeat, sort of dance song like this is not in my nature, so it took a bit of time to finalize concepts, lyrics, and the title - it was a long process, but I'm so thankful for it as it led to the beautiful final version of ‘Tonight’ you all know! This song required many different things within the writing process - some songs need to be typed, others need to be journaled, but this song needed me to turn my room lights to blue and pink, and use a highlighter to highlight all lyrics I wanted to keep. I finished writing the song like this, and ended up with a page full of highlighted lyrics. I can’t really explain why it needed to be that way, perhaps it was the atmosphere or visuals in my room that matched the song.

Before the writing process was really finished, I had sent a version to my producer, Kevin McNoldy, and it sat in the cue for a bit waiting to be recorded. Within that time, that’s when I realized it really wasn’t finished, and I made some adjustments a couple weeks before recording. I’m grateful that there was time to let it sit, and I could come back to it objectively. After those final edits were made, we began working on it in the studio. Kevin created the incredible track based off of the chords, and some inspiration for what I wanted the song to sound like - as soon as he sent back the beat, I was freaking out. It was perfect, and exactly the feel I wanted for ‘Tonight’. From there, we recorded vocals and went through the track to make any edits or additions. Kevin and I really were on one brain wave during the creation of this song, as we bounced ideas back and forth that just worked - it felt like it all made sense, and was coming together perfectly.

And now, the song is completed, and out for you all to listen to! I hope it can bring some light and joy to your day, and I hope you love it as much as I do. Thank you for joining me as I explain some of the process behind ‘Tonight’, and thank you for your love and support always!!!

‘The Heart of Us’ writing, production, and release experience

Kira Takei - The Heart of Us production

With every song Kira releases, there is a tedious, creative, and magical process behind it. From concept to release, the experience of creating a song is unique and specific to what that song calls for. In light of Kira’s most recent release, ‘The Heart of Us’, she decided to share a bit about her process for this song…

When thinking about concepts for a song, one would assume a love song is the easiest to write - and while that may be true for some, I always find myself gravitating to write more existential, and serious lyrics. After giving it some thought, I think I know why; an authentic love song is one of the most personal, real, and honest forms of showing affection - in a love song, the artist is straight up allowing someone to exist in their precious form of expression. For me, writing music is sacred, and as time passes I’m learning more and more about what I want to write about, and how that affects my artistry. In my now over one year long relationship, I have learned more than I can explain about holding space, patience, and understanding. I recognize this human has been so kind, loving, and supportive to me, and I came to realize I genuinely do trust them to treat my art the same. So, the writing process began.

Visuals, colors, feelings, tastes, and sounds bounced around in my head, forming lyrics that I felt best capture the beauty of my partner, and the love we share. The writing process took about 3 months - I wanted to be sure everything was just right, and felt authentic. When the writing was completed, I worked with my producer, Kevin McNoldy, to create the beautiful sound that is ‘The Heart of Us’. We worked through the smallest of details, recorded SO many vocal tracks, and listened to what the song was calling for. Working with Kevin feels like a growing light being bounced back and forth, with many “what if we tried...” and “would it be possible to…”. This creates the atmosphere of a creative playground, and it is one of my favorite places to play. For the cover art, I knew I wanted a picture relating to nature - my partner reminds me of the grounding, soothing energy of trees and fresh air, so I selected an image I took in Yosemite National Park in 2019. I loved this picture the second I took it, and knew I wanted to use it for a special project like ‘The Heart of Us’.

On Christmas, I wrapped my Airpods, and gave them to my partner - I had him put them in his ears, and I played the song. I was nervous to see his reaction, however, it was better than I could have hoped. He was moved to tears, and was left speechless for a few minutes after the song was finished. Seeing how moved he was felt like a gift to me, and was reassurance I trusted the right person with this song. I set the release date to January 14th, our one year anniversary.

And that’s the story of my latest release, ‘The Heart of Us’. I couldn’t have created this song without my producer, Kevin McNoldy, or my partner. Thank you.

Thank you all so much for the love you have shown for ‘The Heart of Us’, and be sure to stay tuned for more projects on the way! :)