Archive for the 'music' Category

I’m so excited to finally release my first original song that I’ve been working on for a few years now!
You can hear it below and download it on iTunes right now!


As I mentioned in my last blog about the process of creation, this “sassy plea to unfaithful lovers” was written by Darryl Kromm of Canadian hit 80’s synth pop band Strange Advance.
Guitar was performed by my long time friend  and amazing guitarist, Erol Sora.

With the aim of creating the perfect 80’s inspired pop song, I looked to my producer Jarome to create something that would fulfill a long time goal of an original song that would combine the inspiration of my youth. Rather than try to create a copy of the great 80’s pop songs, Jarome looked to colleague and friend Darryl Kromm who already wrote some of Canada’s best loved and known 80’s pop songs.

Reworking Darryl’s upbeat yet dramatic account of the abandoned lover, Jarome created a modern ‘future disco’ musical arrangement to the 80’s inspired lyrics to create a cool fusion of two musical worlds.

Written and recorded in Vancouver, Cool & Careless was produced in Vancouver and Beijing, and mixed in Jarome Matthew’s new Beijing studio.

It’s already on iTunes, and it will also be available on your favourite online music store very soon.

I look forward to hearing what you think!

     Since I have been working with my friend and Producer Jarome Matthew for the past 3 years or so, we have been doing covers of 80’s songs.  We both love 80’s music, and have had a lot of fun bringing some of those songs back to life. Many of my happiest memories are of dancing at nightclubs in the 80’s with my friends, and I really miss that time when songs were really well-written – both in terms of the music, and lyrics.

     Although we have enjoyed recording these covers of 80’s tunes, we have learned how difficult it can be to get these songs “out there” as an indie artist.  Jarome knows how much I love songs from that decade, and that there are many more I would love to record, but he also knows that doing a non-cover song would be really good for me.  He has been telling me for the past couple of years that we really should be doing an original song.  At first I didn’t “get” that – I was just so excited because there are so many 80’s songs I love, and would really like to do my own version of. After having done a couple, I have seen firsthand that it is not an easy thing, especially when you are not “famous”. Every time your song gets on iTunes, there are sometimes hundreds of other versions that you have to compete with, whether you view it that way, or not. Add to that the fact that your version will always be compared to someone else’s, and things get even harder.

     Thankfully, Jarome is someone I know well and trust completely, so he was able to finally get around my stubborn side, and we did record our first original song recently.  Those of you that have kept up with my blog posts over the last few years will recall that we have done some work with Darryl Kromm of Canadian Band Strange Advance.  He most graciously agreed to do backup vocals on one of our cover songs for us. Now, he is letting us use one of his original songs that virtually no one has heard before . We are very excited to be on the verge of releasing our first song that isn’t a cover, and are totally stoked that it was written by Darryl! He is an amazing songwriter ( not just a phenomenal vocalist 🙂 and this new song he penned has an 80’s dance feel – just love it!

     It is a really cool feeling to know that once this new song is released, there won’t be any other versions for people to compare it to. There also won’t be huge roadblocks, trying to get it out there, as we won’t have someone saying they “don’t know who we are”, and therefore, won’t help us.  We are so grateful to Darryl for giving us this opportunity – without his generosity, kindness, and talent, we could not have done this.

     Jarome has sent me a couple versions of the song since we recorded it – he picked out what he felt were the best vocal takes, and played with the music a little bit, and now he’s ready to do a final mix.  It won’t be long now until he sends me a final version – maybe a couple of weeks.  I’ll let you know when it’s all finished. 🙂

     Here’s a “blast from the past” photo for all my club friends from the 80’s:

Heather Doré in the 80's

My Next Song

Posted by Heather

     For any of you that have been following my Blog posts for a while, you’ll already know that it’s been a little over a year since I was last talking about my next song.  If you are fairly new to this site, you can get filled in here.  Much has happened in the last year or so,  including the fact that my producer Jarome Matthew and his family moved to Beijing, China, where he has built a brand new Recording Studio.  Obviously, it was a little easier for us to get together when we both lived in Vancouver.  I’ve been up on The Sunshine Coast for 3 years now, and he lives far away, so logistically, it has been interesting.

     The moves haven’t stopped us from working on anything – it just makes it a little tricky when it comes to actually recording. Luckily, Jarome and his family had planned a visit to Vancouver recently which happened to fall during some holiday time for me.  We were fortunate to be able to arrange some Studio time this past Friday with Kevin Hamilton of Fresh Air Audio.  It was so good to see Jarome again, record a new song, and to meet Kevin, who was just wonderful.

Heather In The Booth

Jarome and I are both really excited to have recorded our first original song, which was written by Darryl Kromm. ( from well known Canadian Band Strange Advance )  All of our songs so far have been covers, so this is pretty cool to finally be releasing something virtually no one has heard before.

Heather In Booth Closeup

Heather Doré at Fresh Air Audio

Producer Jarome Matthew and Heather Doré

We had a great session in the Recording Studio, then we kept with tradition and went out for dinner to celebrate.  It seems every time Jarome and I record together, we always end up going out for a good meal afterwards.  As always, we made sure we split a couple of decadent desserts – after all, it was a special occasion, right? 😉

Producer Jarome Matthew and Heather Doré Dinner

Once Jarome gets back home, he’ll work on the song, and I will keep you posted as to what’s going on.  Thankyou all for your patience –  we’re looking forward to writing some of our own stuff together very soon, as well.  I’ll let you know how that goes …
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The Voice – The Final Four

Posted by Heather
In events, music
28Jun 11

     It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote about this amazing show.  Tonight, it was down to 4 finalists:

Dia Frampton  ( Team Blake )

Beverly McClellan ( Team Christina )

Vicci Martinez  ( Team Cee Lo )

Javier Colon  ( Team Adam )

     Part of the reason we keep watching this show is that it has something different pretty much every week.  Tonight was no exception.  Not only did each Artist perform a duet with their Coach, which was very cool, but they each also sang an original song written just for them. 

     Highlight of the night for us in terms of the duets:  Beverly and her coach Christina performing “Beautiful”.

     As for the original songs,  both my husband and I liked Dia Frampton’s performance the very best,  just barely edging out Beverly McClellan’s.    We absolutely think that one of these ladies will be crowned ” The Voice “.  They have very different styles and voices, but both are absolutely going to be superstars!

     The last few weeks watching this show have been so awesome – what a journey, watching the artists get better every week, and getting to know them, and their famous coaches.  It’s great to have a show that isn’t the same old format as many others – very refreshing.

     We are totally stoked to see the Winner of The Voice revealed tomorrow night on NBC !!!

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In events, life, music
9Jun 11

     This show just keeps getting better and better !  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read my previous posts about “The Voice“.   The second one is here.  You can visit the Official site on NBC, as well, here.  Tuesday night was the beginning of the Quarter Finals – Round 1.

     Singers from Team Christina and Team Blake took the stage this time, and both my husband and I had some clear favourites.  Hands down, we agreed that the overall strongest performer of the night was Beverly McClellan, ( on Christina’s Team ) who sang “Im The Only One”.  This was the perfect song for her – she totally rocked it !  This woman has one powerful voice, and knows how to take charge of a stage, and engage the audience. Unbelievable!  She nails everything she does.

     As much as I admire Beverly’s strength and power, I must admit, I love watching quiet, shy people have the chance to shine.  I absolutely understand how difficult it is to love to sing more than anything in the world, but to genuinely be a shy person.  Forcing yourself to keep getting up and doing it because it brings you joy, is at once hard, yet empowering.  This brings me to our next 2 favourite contestants of the night. Dia Frampton sang and played piano to ” Heartless “, and you would never have known that she was the least bit shy. Her voice is unreal – so incredibly beautiful and unique, and her performance seemed effortless.  Xenia, who seems even more nervous, finally came out of her shell a little, used some movement onstage, and smiled a lot more than before, when she sang ” Price Tag “.  This girl is young, and has so much potential. Her voice is phenomenal, and I don’t think she has any idea how good she is, which, in itself, is yet another reason to like her.  The quality and tone she has is just beyond words. Wow!  Both of these girls are on Blake’s Team.

     Although we didn’t think the song choice was the best on this particular night for Team Christina’s Raquel Castro, ( she has sung songs better suited to her previously ) she is still in our Top 4 for the night.  She sang ” Blow “, and did a really  good job, worked the crowd, used the space, and kept the energy up.  At 16, Raquel is the “total package” – she has a great voice, is beautiful, can dance, and knows how to work it.  This girl is going to have one heck of a career ahead of her – no doubt about it.

     All in all, it was a night of really amazing performances, but those were the ones we enjoyed the most.  I can’t wait until next week to see what happens next …

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In events, music
22May 11

       A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new singing competition show that we had started watching, called “The Voice”.  The thing that appealed most to us about the concept of it was that people were judged on just that – their voice – and not on anything else.  In the “Blind Audition” rounds, coaches competed to convince the contestants with the best voices to be on their team.

     The last couple of weeks, they have entered into “The Battle Rounds” , where each coach must pit 2 of their own team members against each other.  They sing a duet, and the coach decides which one stays on their team ( thus advancing to the “Live Broadcast” stage ), and which one goes home.

     So far, our favourite singer from the battle Rounds is Casey Weston.  She sang “Leather and Lace” against her teammate, and we think she did an amazing job.  If you like Stevie Nicks, you may want to watch Casey in action – her voice is incredible, especially for one so young.

     We are looking forward to watching the next Battle Rounds on Tuesday night on NBC.  If you haven’t already, you should really check it out.

The Voice

Posted by Heather
In events, music
2May 11

     A while back, I wrote a blog post about a show called “Live To Dance”.   The main reason my husband and I liked this show so much was because for once, there was no age limit for the Contestants.  ( Many similar competition shows required that you be 30 or under. )  They also let people dance to any genre of music they wanted, and did not limit the size of the group.  We felt this was definitely a step in the right direction to make these shows more inclusive.  Obviously, not all talented people with hopes and dreams are 30 or under, and not all people fit neatly into certain categories.

     We really enjoyed Live To Dance, not only for those reasons, but because it was a very positive show. The judges were encouraging, and built people up, rather than tearing them down, and creating a lot of drama.  After watching this show, I recall thinking to myself, “Now why can’t they do a similar show for Singers ? “.  It would be awesome to see people of all ages and genres of music on a stage, with a chance to have their voices heard.

     Well, we were very happy to see the ads on T.V. a few weeks back for “The Voice”.  This show is just for singers, and has coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee Lo Green.  The idea behind the show is simple: it starts out with what they call “Blind Auditions”, so named because people sing, but the coaches can’t see them.  Their chairs are literally turned away from the contestants, so all they can focus on is what really matters: the voice !!! Nobody can be judged for their age, what they look like etc., which we think is a huge step forward in these often superficial shows. You can read a brief summary of the stages of the show here.

     The first round of auditions was last Tuesday night, and the second round is tomorrow night, on NBC at 9:00/8:00 Central.  If you enjoy listening to good singers, and like to see talented people given a fair chance ( and not be judged by unimportant things, such as how old they are, or what they look like ) then please check it out!

     It’s about time they had a show like this !

     Now we just need to get them to have these kinds of shows in Canada ….

In life, music
19Apr 11

     I often get asked what kind of music I like best, and if I had to pick a favourite genre, what would it be?  Well, I like good music, regardless of genre. I think you have to be able to appreciate beauty in all its various forms, and music is no exception to this rule.

     If you’re talking dancing, I love some old school R & B and Funk, one example being Earth Wind and Fire.  I don’t know how anyone could sit still, and not dance to that groove.  I also love Swing n’ Jive music, such as The Stray Cats – all you need is a partner who has some mad skills on the dancefloor. ( and what girl doesn’t appreciate that ? ) Everyone who knows me well, knows that most of my time spent on a dancefloor was in the 80’s, and that I absolutely adore a lot of the music from that decade. I wrote a blog post about the 80’s a while back, and listed some of my favourite bands in it.

     I can admit to liking a good power ballad or two that bring back memories of school dances, and I think Crystal Gayle made me see Country Music in a different light when I was little.  I can appreciate some good old fashioned Rock n’ Roll, and more recently, I’m learning just how sweet The Blues can be, thanks to a Buddy from the Twisters.

     Obviously, there are many other types of music not listed here, but you get the point : most open-minded people can admit to at least liking one or two songs from pretty much every genre of music.  Good music is good music – to heck with the ” labels “.

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Sing The Melody, Please

Posted by Heather
In career, life, music
21Feb 11

     I remember a time when I’d hear a song on the radio, and would exclaim to my friends or family, ” I LOVE that song !!! “.  Admittedly, sometimes it was because I thought the guy singing it was cute, ( when I was very young ) but most of the time, it was because the song was well-written, and the singer’s voice was amazing.

     I have always admired people that can sing a song so beautifully that it moves you to tears – no fancy stuff, no embellishments or vocal acrobatics,  just a pure, rich, melodic tone to their voice. Their genuine emotion comes through in their delivery and phrasing, but it’s subtle, not over the top.

     Back in the day, people appreciated a good song, and a great voice.  You could close your eyes, and be transported to another place, and you never wanted the song to end. Think of all the Love Songs and Power Ballads you liked as a teenager … and how those songs still “get you” when you hear them, all these years later.

     A singer used to be able to sit on a stage on a stool in front of a mic, and just sing …. and people went crazy.  Back then, real talent was rewarded and appreciated, pure and simple.

     Nowadays, people expect a bunch of costume changes, elaborate sets, backup dancers etc. to keep their short attention spans focused.  Many of the famous singers don’t even have that great of voices, but they are marketed to look/act a certain way, and the masses lap it up, like a bunch of sheep. Some sound good in the studio, but live, not so much – this goes to show just how “manufactured” much of it is today. Why is that accepted?

     The main reason I’m writing this post is to address the issue of singing “runs”.  Well-executed runs, by such people as Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, and a large number of Gospel singers, are absolutely phenomenal.  We can all appreciate their vocal talent, whether or not it is our “kind” of music.

     What drives me crazy, is when contestants on all these singing competition shows try to emulate these people, and sadly, most don’t do it well.  There are only a handful of people that are able to pull these runs off, and it really should be left to them.

     I recall hearing Randy Jackson say to a contestant a couple years ago something like “That was great, you didn’t try and put runs all over it, you just sang the melody”, and I was very happy to hear that. When even the experts are saying that kind of thing, maybe some of these young people will get the message.  If you can really sing, you don’t need to drown a word in all these notes, to the point where no one can understand what word you were trying to sing.

     Just for fun, I Googled the subject of vocal runs, or melisma, just to see if I was alone in my opinion.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I am not.  There are a lot of articles on this, but one of the best I found was here.  Make sure you scroll down and read the part “What are they doing wrong” – it says it all.

     The best example for me of excessive vocal runs was when Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” came out, as is also mentioned in the above link.  Previous to that , I liked some of her songs, and I liked her voice.  To this day, if I hear the first few notes of that song, I run and turn it off. It is just too much, in my opinion. I may not be known as a Country fan, but I much prefer Dolly Parton’s version of the song.

     Even the handful of women who are really good at runs have songs ( such as ballads ) that I prefer the sound of their voices in – rich, pure and simple.  I want to hear a beautiful voice, not something drenched in vocal acrobatics all the time.  There is definitely a time and a place for it – in small doses, by a select few – but I think aspiring singers might want to find their own unique voice, rather than only trying to copy others …. just a thought.

     My husband agrees with me.  We were watching something on T.V. a couple weeks ago, and he said he wished people would just sing the melody, because “It’s not a yodelling contest ! “.

     Do you think that too many people are ruining songs these days by excessive vocal runs?  It would be great to hear some opinions on this subject.

Live To Dance

Posted by Heather
In career, life, music
29Jan 11

     I absolutely love to dance – it is definitely one of my very favourite things to do. Most of the dancing I’ve done has been in nightclubs, out with friends, having fun.  I have also taken some dance lessons, of various styles: Swing and Jive,  Ballroom,  and Tap. I would like to take Latin, as well as Belly Dancing, some time.  I suppose it is to be expected then, that I enjoy watching  ” dance shows ” on T.V.  The thing that I admire most when watching other people dance is not just technical perfection, but when you can really see that they absolutely love what they are doing.  The music just flows through you, and your body responds naturally – it is not forced. ( and certainly, not everyone is a natural ) For me, dance is an escape, a good way to relieve stress, socialize with others,  get exercise …. but most importantly, it is so much fun !!!

     Recently, we have been watching Paula Abdul’s new show, ” Live To Dance “.  What we really love most about it is:  unlike certain other dance shows that shall remain nameless, the dancers can be any AGE, any group size, any genre. 

     Similar  dance shows ( in Canada ) require you to be between the age of majority ( which varies by Province ) and 30,  or in the U.S. version, 18 – 30.  That has always bothered us – it seems so unfair.  So, if you are under 18, or over 30, and have big dreams of dancing, it’s not possible?  – that just seems ridiculous.  Talent does not begin at 18, and it certainly does not end at 30 !

     Anyway, I have to applaud this new show for being intelligent enough to broaden the rules to be more inclusive.  The judges are very positive and encouraging, and there aren’t the usual “mean” comments that are sometimes heard in these types of shows. They are honest with the contestants when they aren’t at their best, but any criticism is done constructively, which is as it should be.

     My favourites of the competition so far are:  Kendall Glover, D’Angelo and Amanda, and Twitch.  I really hope that one of these 3 wins!

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