Need the ultimate wow your guests moment for your first dance? Imagine the look on your wedding guests faces when it’s a bespoke song written just for you!
Listen to Alwyn on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…
Alwyn Thomas, Your Wedding Songs
James [00:00:05] Alwyn Hello and welcome to Wedding Espresso it’s fantastic to see you. So you’re Alwyn Thomas from Your Wedding Songs and you write bespoke wedding songs for brides and grooms. Now this is kind of like an amazing topic because it’s one of my favourite. I love my music as everyone knows.
So the thing that I really wanted to talk to you about was the ultimate first dance wow your guests moment.
James [00:00:38] And imagine just for a minute that you know everyone out there watching this that your a bride or a groom, and it’s come to the first dance and everyone’s very, very excited. It’s the highlight of the day and everyone can’t wait just to just to see you take onto the dance floor and begin your first dance. And then a track begins. And you’ve never heard it before. Like you were expecting that the bride and groom would go down direction a or direction b. But this song appears that you’ve never heard. And you’re like “Oh wow”. And then you start to listen to the lyrics and realise, this song is about the couple.
James [00:01:13] That’s just a whole other level I think of wedding day excitement and I have no idea why but at the moment I’m talking about it a lot.
And I actually wrote a song for Rachel for our wedding day. But it wasn’t used as the first dance song. It was actually sung during the ceremony. But the idea of using one as a first dance song, blows my mind.
I’m so excited about it. So I’m just gonna hand over to you, I just want to ask you know, how does this work? What can people have? Can you shine a light on it for everybody?
Alwyn [00:01:46] Yeah, yeah. I’d be delighted. It’s a brand new business venture for us. We’ve been in music production for more years than I would care to own up to. But the wedding business is a recent innovation. And it all started when my son got married about nine months ago. And his wedding video was so artistic, it just moved me to actually write. The photography was brilliant. Much better than my wedding 35 years ago, when it was going to be a you know a little cine 8 or whatever they were in those dates. The art was amazing. So the wedding video moved me, but I did think I could make the music a little bit better.
So I wrote a song for their wedding. And my daughter in law was blown away with it. And I said “well do you think people would like that?” And she said I think they’d love it.
Alwyn [00:02:44] So that’s where it started. It was a tune for the video. Then we found people were saying “oh can we use it for the first dance?” And I was like oh yes, you can use it for whatever you want. It’s your song. So we found that the brides they actually wanted it for their first dance. So when we got over the scary moment of realising that we were competing with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Eric Clapton and so forth. Once we got past that, we realised yes, this is the way forward for it.
Alwyn [00:03:19] So we make sure that the song is exactly what the bride wants. So you’ll see on our website when you go through the process that we just ask for a few simple questions.
What genre do you like? You know if you like 1970s rock, we will do you 1970s rock.
Like you say what is so exciting, is the lyrics can be generic or they can be about the bride. And I love the ones about the bride.
James [00:03:50] Because it’s more personal. It means a little bit more, putting a big stamp on the day, I think. What a fantastic memory to create.
Alwyn [00:04:02] For lots of them, the bride will use their pet name for their husband to be, and that will be used in the chorus, or the story of how they met, where they met. Not always a romantic meeting but you know, we put it in the song. And it’s what they want. So the first dance, sometimes it can be used for the second dance or at an appropriate time during the evening.
It doesn’t have to be first dance, if you’ve really got your heart set on you know having Perfect by Ed Sheeran…
because maybe that’s a tiny bit better than ours, possibly. You can still use that.
James [00:04:46] I would argue less impact but yeah, yeah. But open for discussion.
Alwyn [00:04:53] People can always use our song for the second dance or some other point in the evening. Brides are giving them as surprise gifts to their husbands. So a special wedding day gift. So yeah we’re basically led by the bride and groom as to the type of music they want. How personal they want the lyrics to be. You know what they want in them. And some brides, this is really exciting.
Some brides who sing themselves will actually perform it on the wedding night. I’ve seen that and that blew my mind.
The wedding speech is finished, and the best man said “Oh there’s this one further speech from from the bride”. And there were some puzzled looks from the audience, you could hear the click of a microphone and this radio mic appeared out of nowhere, and the bride stood up and sang the wedding song.
James [00:05:54] Amazing.
Alwyn [00:05:55] It was amazing. Absolutely.
James [00:05:59] So in terms of kind of, I’m just thinking from a bride or grooms perspective, they approach you and they like the idea of a custom song. How is it delivered? How is it recorded? What’s the process? How do they kick start the process? Where does it all begin? And where does it end?
Alwyn [00:06:17] Yep, dead simple. Go on our Web site which is www.yourweddingsongs.co.uk With an S. Very important you use the “s” otherwise it goes somewhere else. So your wedding songs dot co dot uk. And you just simply tell us the genre of music you like. A few things about yourself that you’d like to be incorporated into the lyrics. We then draft the lyrics, prepare some music, and send both for approval before we actually create the track. So you’ve shared the music. You can say no it’s not rocky enough, or it’s too slow, too fast. That’s the time for us to tinker with it. Get it so you’re absolutely delighted with it. And if there’s parts of the lyrics you’re not too keen on. We can change those.
Alwyn [00:07:12] So we get to the point where the customer says yeah I love that music. Love those lyrics. We then call in the singers. I’ve got some really exciting news about that for you.
We call in the singers then and we blend it all together. And you can have the song in whatever format you want. MP3 or WAV or if you like the old fashioned stuff, a CD remember those?
James [00:07:40] I’m an advocate. I’m a CD advocate.
Alwyn [00:07:46] We don’t do vinyl.
James [00:07:47] Yeah. I kind of missed the vinyl bit, I was kind of you know, CDs were my thing growing up. But I am physical media, 100% physical media. I am anti Spotify. I don’t do monthly music subscriptions.
Alwyn [00:08:01] Yeah.
So basically we also ask whether the customer prefers a male or female singer. Because we’ve got a stable of awesome singers that you can listen to on our website.
If you go to our website and click listen to songs, it will take you to samples of what we’ve done. And samples of stuff that is still yet to be finished, to give you an idea of the all the genres that we recover. But we’ve got some great singers. We’ve got a lady called Charisse Mai. Who you will see on our website. She sings mostly folk power ballads and pop. We’ve got Bethan Powell, who’s an E.D.M. singer. Oh a right dance powerhouse. She’s fantastic. We’ve got Jessica Helen Scofield. Now what’s special about Jessica Helen Scofield is not only will she sing your wedding song, subject to location, she will come and perform it live in the evening.
James [00:09:09] Wow. Wow. So that’s a layer of excitement.
Alwyn [00:09:12] Oh it is. We just started this in response to you know customer demand.
So we’re linking up with singers who are already providing the evening entertainment. And partnering with them. So they are the vocalist on your wedding song. And they can even then perform it live for you on the night.
James [00:09:35] That’s incredible because I was going to ask you actually if the song could be handed off to a band to be performed, rather than played on a C.D. But actually performed live. So you’ve just answered the question. Yes. The wheels already in motion.
Alwyn [00:09:48] Absolutely. Absolutely. So you know you can have it both ways, you can play it on the C.D. for a first dance, and then again towards the end of the evening, the band or singer can play it. But we’ve also had a partnering arrangement with a really, really awesome artist on Friday, called Siobhan McKenna. Siobhan is managed by the one and only Max Clifford. She’s going to be huge. So if I was getting married, I would be getting a song with Siobhan now, before she’s too big to work with the likes of us. Because I think she’s on the cusp of hitting the big time. And if you have a listen to her she’s Siobhan McKenna singer dot com. I’ll have to spell that because it’s an Irish name so it’s S I O B H A N M C K E E N A SINGER dot com.
Have a listen to her and she’s now one of our regular singers and you know she is a delight. And I think in years to come when she’s a superstar, you can say yes, she sang at my wedding.
James [00:11:06] A tip for the top, for 2020. Yeah. Brilliant. So I was thinking Alwyn, if the bride, I know you mentioned that the bride could sing, and has sung the song. I assume that it would be okay also to provide a bride or groom with just an instrumental version, if that was going to be the case?
Alwyn [00:11:26] Absolutely.
James [00:11:26] Or even both!
Alwyn [00:11:30] Yes they could have both. Yeah absolutely they could have a version with our singer, and they could have the backing track then for the bride to perform on the night. Some of the singers that that we use and also perform live are just pianists, so in that case we send the backing track to the pianist to use live in the evening. So it’s basically whatever suits, whatever fits. We’re not one size fits all.
Wedding days are you know, once in a lifetime, they’re so special. Everything has to be tailored for that event and has to be perfect ,and that’s what we aim to do.
James [00:12:14] Brilliant, brilliant. So I can’t not touch on this because personally I think it is amazing. But could you tell us a little bit about your background because you’ve done some work with Eurovision.
Alwyn [00:12:26] Yeah yeah love it. I absolutely love it. I know over the years it’s had it’s critics but I’ve been a fan of Eurovision you know since the year dot.
But I co-write with an artist called Jimmy Sion who’s one of the Greek potential Eurovision artists for next year.
I hope the interest in the UK will remain post the b word. But it’s actually wonderful ,and what I found working with Jimmy Sion was that he’s a rave EDM artist. So he’s really edgy, he’s out there. He’s different. He’s not the sort of artist I would normally work with. But he was attracted to me because of my linguistic skills. His mastery of English is very poor. So he was really attracted to me because of that. So I can take his raw energy and Greek style, and make it sound quite European and understandable in terms of the language.
Alwyn [00:13:35] But at the end of the day whatever genre you’re in, songwriting is songwriting. It needs to be structured. It needs to tell a story. The story needs to be stronger if you’re in the country genre, I accept that. Rave tends to be a lot more repetitive and short phrases.
James [00:13:54] More about a concept. Rave is a concept.
Alwyn [00:13:57] Yes yes. Well rave is rebellion isn’t it? But I think he is popified himself. So he’s come from the hard edge of rave to make himself a much more polished pop rave artist. So he’s on MTV, he’s getting airplay on MTV.
I think we’re going to take Eurovision by storm next year and I can’t wait.
James [00:14:27] I personally was slightly disappointed when I found that Darude was in the running for Eurovision, and then he wasn’t. He’s a personal favourite of mine, so I was a little bit gutted about that.
Alwyn [00:14:42] I’ll send you a link to the Jimmy Sion and you can have a little look.
James [00:14:47] Oh yeah that would be amazing. So yes so from brides and grooms perspective then, they’ve got the whole thing mapped out. They can come to you, it’s a very, very simple process to get the ball rolling. You cover basically the whole gamut of genres. Nothing is off limit?
No I’ve not been asked for a punk one yet. I’m waiting anxiously.
James [00:15:13] Anything could happen, anything could happen! So you know you have covered rock and you have covered ballads and sort of more traditional stuff.
Alwyn [00:15:22] Yeah. Most demand tends to be for love ballads. Although we do get asked to do pop music. The more sugary stuff. Which is fine because I’ve got the old keyboard here and you know we can knock up something that sounds very poppy. Although we would use the girl singers for that.
James [00:15:45] Brilliant. And obviously you’ve got all the samples on your website which is incredible. I mean there’s loads to listen to there. But if people just want to keep an eye on you, are there any social media channels that they should be watching.
Alwyn [00:15:57] Yes we’re on Twitter. And our Twitter handle is @alwynsmusic. We’re on Facebook at YourWeddingSongs with an s. I’m on LinkedIn. We’re also on Instagram. We’ve just got onto that platform. It wasn’t an obvious jump for us because we are sound and not photograph. But it’s getting so big everybody’s on it. I think it’s the future, so we do put photos on there. But we link it to some sound as well.
James [00:16:38] Right. Brilliant, brilliant. Well Alwyn thank you so much for sharing that with us this evening. It’s always a pleasure and a joy to talk about music. I love it. I can do it all day.
And the way that custom bespoke stuff is becoming available to brides and grooms now is incredible. And I love the idea of the personal first dance. Just absolutely amazing.
And I should also call it again guys. Do not forget the tip about… what was the singer’s name again, just remind me.
Alwyn [00:17:09] Siobhan McKenna. She’ll be at your Wedding and then in two years time she’ll be number one in the charts.
James [00:17:15] Tipped for the top. There we go. Yeah. Awesome. Alwyn thanks so much again.
James [00:17:19] Thank you James.
Alwyn [00:17:20] Pleasure to have you. Thank you very much for talking with us.
Alwyn [00:17:22] My pleasure.
James [00:17:24] All right take care. Bye for now.
Alwyn [00:17:25] Bye now.