“Whatever You Do” is the latest song I wrote and recorded, and the latest always tend to be my favorites… The other reason why I chose to release it first is that it is a good introduction to the “SuperCool-Guy style”: very pop, melodic, with positive lyrics.
Music and Structure
One day, my friend Viceroy and I were playing each other some tracks we were working on – as we often do. There was one track that he wanted some feedback on: it was an instrumental, it had two sections, and he wasn’t sure which direction to take it into. I immediately flashed on the first section – which essentially makes up the verse chord structure/hook for “Whatever You Do”: I thought it was very strong, very catchy, original, and I immediately heard a melody for it. I pretty much immediately got the idea for the chorus music as well, or at least the general idea.
The combination of chords, melody and structure quickly imposed itself as self-evident
Viceroy ended up taking the track in a different direction, but gave me his blessing for using his original chord structure and make a new song from it.
I made a deliberate choice of starting right off with the verse, without an intro, as the chords are prominently featured during the verse and an intro would have been redundant.
The counter-melody during the 2nd and final choruses also came to me pretty much right from the beginning.
I wanted an instrumental break after the 2nd verse, and the chords came to me as a result of playing around on the keyboard.
Lyrics can be very difficult for me, and I usually prefer working with lyricists. But in this case, they came quickly and easily.
The first line “Looking for something new, in everything you do” came to me from the very beginning and I took it as a starting point. I decided the song would be about a young adult, discovering the world and who they want to be. The song is a message of unconditional support and encouragement from the point of you of a parent or mentor. Hopefully, it is a message of support that can be applied to many situations.
My favorite line: “Beyond every crossroad, a path that leads to you” – in other words: you will become the person you are meant to be as a result of the successive choices that you make in life. Even if you don’t know where you are going, these decisions will take you there.
I sang and played every instrument on the track.
The main synth part is a combination of 3 sounds (Fat Rhodes from Roland XV-3080 + Bellatrix and Softabellum from NI Komplete).
For the drums, I wanted something very tight and simple, kind of like Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.
With every song, I like to try something new that I’ve never tried before. With this song, I wanted to try some guitar parts in the style of Andy Summers of The Police. I thought the guitar and synth would answer each other quite nicely. I actually played the parts with RealStrat on the keyboard, with the cheekily-named “Summer Rox” effects from Guitar Rig 4, and lots delay on top. There’s also some crunchy guitar coming in on the 2nd and final choruses, that give the song a bit more edge and energy, also played with RealStrat.
The strings during the musical break are possibly my favorite part in the song.
Viceroy helped me with the final mix, and Jon Astley mastered it.
WHATEVER YOU DO
Words by A. Robin / Music by Viceroy & A. Robin
Produced by SuperCool-Guy
© 2011 -- All rights reserved
Looking for something new
In everything you do
You've got the strength and the power to see it through
Beyond every crossroad
A path that leads to you
Follow your heart and you'll know what you're meant to do
If you reach for the sky
You may fall down low
Pick yourself up, now
Don't you let it go
You know I will always stand by you
I'm with you
Whatever you do
Been watching over you
Sometimes I've guided you
No need for that now, you're strong and you're coming through
(You're coming through baby!)