Welcome to the Birdie-Blog! Creating Wren Wilder: PT I
Hello wren-friends and welcome to the official Birdie Blog! I created this page because I was driving to work listening to music and realized that I don't have a space to share creative discoveries with you all. That won't do. I have too much of a passion in discovering new music, cooking good food, recommending cool art films you've never heard of, and the rest you'll find out by checking in on the weekly.
To kick things off, I'll just let you all know what I've been up to the past year, because it has completely transformed my reality and really proved that I can actually do ANYTHING I set my mind to. Okay... maybe not "anything", but I certainly never thought the past year would be possible and here we are!
Last year, I decided that my artist profile needed a makeover. My name (which was my real name, Brittany Ellis) and my image (which was galaxy themed at the time) didn't really match the distinct sound I created through my music. I never really realized how important that level of detail and cohesiveness was until it just clicked. When it did, my tribe of friends and I started throwing names against a dart board and "Wren Wilder" hit the bulls eye immediately.
I'll have to give full credit to my husband. I was taking a bath texting the tribe and asked him to sit by me while I bounced ideas off him (I usually like company when doing anything at all because I'm a hardcore gemini...). He heard the names I was toying with: Audrey Wild was top of the list but there was something a little out of brand in that name for me. Finally he said, "With that bird-like vibrato you have and your love of the outdoors, you should have a name that represents more of that. How about robin or wren?". Wren Wild didn't really have the same ring, but my hubby, Kyle, and I both immediately had it, WREN WILDER!
And so Wren Wilder was born; complete with folk-princess attire, boots on her feet, and sometimes a ukulele in hand! It became easy to create an entire entity from her character: she is essentially a part of nature who lives on the side of a mountain. She loves grand pianos, Wurlitzer pianos, organs, strings, and woodwinds. Wren is also a proud supporter of inspiring adolescent musicians and songwriters and plants a tree for every person that comes to support her at one of her shows (and two trees if they carpool or ride-share there). Her aesthetic involves brass candlesticks, antique lace, green velvet tapestries and a deep red-vintage dress (which is depicted in the album artwork for First Flight).
Once I had an image, it was time to start taking a look at my songs and decide what to put on the album. I had a clear vision of what music I wanted to feature on the debut and quickly started cleaning up my demos. I needed demos to give to the recording studios in order to get a proper quote from them on how much this would all cost. After squaring away my creative ideas, I started meeting with the recording studios and talking ideas with a few awesome producers. This was such a fun experience because I was able to get the thoughts and opinions of so many talented minds.
As a solo artist, it really taught me that making art, for me, is something I prefer to share with others. I love to bounce off of talented people around me and to have another set of eyes and ears on everything I do... and it's made me a better artist for it. This entire experience has made me a better artist, let's be real here! But once I met Joe Napolitano (through a good friend's recommendation) at Barefoot Studios in Hollywood, I knew that he and I would be working together on making First Flight come to life.
Joe has a long history in the industry, formally having worked at Capitol Records for over a decade. It was also very convenient and cosmic that we loved all of the same music, had a bunch of mutual friends, and even grew up in the same small town in New Jersey! That's really how I knew it was going to work. You don't just have all of these tiny connections with people you aren't supposed to meet. Someone once told me that each and every person we let into our lives, we've known in a past life. Maybe he and his wife were my parents in the last one, hahaha!
Joe's wheel-house was producing records that had that vintage-flair I was looking for. Joe is also one of those people that can hop on any instrument and add something flavorful and is featured on a few of the tracks in some capacity. His wife, Jillinda, added so much value in choosing who exactly was going to play on the record, as we needed to hire studio musicians. She came up with every name and those ended up being the folks we called down on our recording days!
Presenting: Joe Napolitano!