Ex Factor - Lauryn Hill Cover

I got into 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' much later than is acceptable but, as is the case for most great albums, they age so well that it doesn't matter when you stumble upon them. A song like Ex Factor sounds just as appropriate now as it would have when it was released and this is the kind of music that I aspire to make.

I'm not the kind of music listener that goes out and devours new bands by the dozens. I typically fall in love with a band or artist and then dive into their music full on. I like to know about the recording process, the inspiration behind songs, etc so it keeps me occupied for months listening to the music and tracking down interviews and reviews. This is where I'm at with Lauryn Hill's TMOLH. I must say that my favourite song on the album is actually "To Zion". I would have loved to cover that one because of the interesting guitar work and snare rolls but I figured the lyrical content of that song doesn't lend itself to a guy singing it. Zion is her son's name, and she was pregnant with him while making this record. You definitely have to check it out.

I picked Ex Factor to cover because it's lyrics are so crushingly sad and it was an opportunity to do a song that is really laid back. Also, I thought it would gel with the songs I released on 'Terrace' earlier this year and I thought that of all the tunes on the album I might be able to do something cool with it. I threw in some extra bass melodies and some different harmonies to try and make it a little different from the original. As far as the vocals go I'm aware of what I can and can't do vocally and I wasn't about to attack all of the acrobatics that Lauryn does on this song so I just kept it simple and did my best haha hopefully it worked out alright!!!

Trying out covers live can be a really fun way to not only get attention from an audience but to  "sit behind the wheel" of an artists work for a few minutes. "Oh this is cool how they get into the chorus here" or "I love this bass line" or "The vibe in this song is ridiculous even though it's slow". In the past with bands any time we would cover a tune it kind of affects how you move forward with your own songs later on. As far as this cover goes, because I recorded and mixed the song myself, I'm hoping it will affect how I record some songs in the future. The heaviness of the kick on her album is something I really want to work into my own stuff. 

I recorded the key's parts on my Roland digital piano and the bass parts using my Rickenbacker. Mike, my brother, recorded the drums on his electronic kit and sent me the files online to incorporate into the tune. It's a long song so I tried to keep it interesting by putting a pretty involved bass line in the third verse. 

I hope you dig the track! It was very fun making it

You can download it for free at: www.mattieleon.bandcamp.com


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