The Story Behind Just A Picture

This is my first blog post on my website. I was debating whether or not to add a blog to begin with because, I won’t lie, I rarely post on my main social media’s except for a photo every once in a while. So then I thought what would be some interesting things people could read about and that could be posted frequently, so I thought about posting the stories behind the songs and/or albums that I’ve released and I’m going to do the same for future releases.

I had the idea of doing a solo album one night in the May of 2017 when I was watching TV. I’ve wanted to record a solo album since high school. But not only did I not have enough resources to do it at the time, but really I didn’t think I had the songwriting capability either. I only had a couple songs to my name, and one of them had already been released with OIM Appear. So I shelved the idea and didn’t think I would be able to do it until later in my life.

At the end of my high school career, and especially at the end of OIM, I wanted to start another band. When I got to Western, I asked around to see if anyone wanted to jam. I met a dabble of great musicians from a few of my classes, and at the end of the semester we all decided to join WIDR FM’s Battle of The Band’s 2017. We were all really excited. According to the guidelines of the competition, we couldn’t perform covers so we had to think up some songs in the next couple months.

The previous summer I had thought of this Am7 riff that I had struggled to write lyrics for up until December. Keep in mind, that was the December after the 2016 election that shook a lot of people including me. One night, while I was on winter break from WMU, I sat in the basement of my parent’s house in Rochester Hills to write the lyrics for Just A Picture. It was the first time I had written lyrics in over a year. I don’t consider myself a professional songwriter, not like other people who spend thousands of dollars to learn how to do it. But even so, I still thought I did a good job and I was proud of myself.

I recorded the demo (this was also during the time I was using Adobe Audition as a DAW.. not my best work) and sent it out to my new band mates who liked it instantly. My confidence in songwriting increased enough that I decided to also record a demo of a song I wrote in 2015 called The Turning Point, which I also received good feedback on.

WIDR FM 2017 Battle of the Bands poster

The second semester started and everything was set for my new band to play in the Battle of The Bands in February. Unfortunately, with everyone’s schedule, we didn’t have time to rehearse as much until then so we ended up dropping out of the competition. I did my best to convince them that we could still play a good show if we worked hard enough, but they didn’t want to do it anymore.

I won’t lie, I was really disappointed. Not only was I really looking forward to it, but I thought that I found my new main project in college.

I spent the next few months concerned on school. Especially since I had just started my new major of Multimedia Arts Technology. It wasn’t until after the semester that I finally decided that I was going to do an album on my own. It started off as just a small vision in my head, but the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. The thing is, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to actually go for it if it wasn’t for the song Just A Picture nor the optimistic hype I got when I was with Blue Lagunera, which ultimately only ended up lasting a couple months. I didn’t know it at the time, but that demise ultimately worked out in my favor.

That summer of 2017, I continued writing for the album and wrote Ten Years To Say Goodbye, Letter To Jade, and It’s Been A Long Winter. Other songs like Change and Walking Away I wrote that fall semester when I was back at Western.

In between writing Ten Years and Letter To Jade, I wrote a song called No Words To Say which I originally considered to be the name of the album. It was a chill soft-rock song about a girl who can’t find her way home that I wrote lyrics for and everything. But upon hearing it with the rest of the album, and after getting crunchy feedback from my co-writer, Autumn (who was a band mate from OIM), I decided to remove it from the album, but I didn’t trash it completely; I kept the chords and completely remodeled the song including the meaning and the second version will be featured in my next album.

I wrote Walking Away in November. I was hoping to get all the writing of the 8 songs done by the end of the year so that I can focus primarily on production in 2018. Although, with the removal of No Words To Say, I was only up to 7 songs at the time until I came up with a riff while playing around with my guitar. This was early in December. And with that came the last song written for the album, Lagunera.

Overall, I would say that the album is about my experiences during my first year in college. Because it ultimately led to the album itself. Complete with some high’s and some low’s obviously. But overall, an upbeat optimistic feel is what I went for.

"Just A Picture" LP Release Party. June 1st, 2018.

The only song that I would say lyrically stands out is Fade Away (The Turning Point) because it was written in 2015 based on events that happened my Junior year of high school. But still, it made a good addition to the album because it fit right into the feel that I was going for. Plus, out of all the songs I wrote in high school, that one was the only one I held on to because I had always hoped to release it someday. This album showed me that many things are possible and I can’t wait to keep going because there is much more to come.

Diego Agoytia

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