Shumayela Archives

What is Christmas?

What is Christmas ©1994 Grant Schwarz

I was asked to write a song for a Christmas Carols event but it didn’t end up being much of a ‘carol’. I was working in retail the time and was sick of the commercialism of Christmas and how so many people are naive to the truth about Christmas. ‘Christmas is about presents; turkey; relatives; good cheer; etc, etc’ – all those shallow sentiments are all I saw and heard.

If we lost all of our comforts and possessions – only the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas can remain. Nothing can take that away.

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16. The guitar 
tracks & vocals were added in the studio (in 2000), with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.

Shumayela

Shumayela ©2000 Grant Schwarz

While sorting through some music, I found on old acapella song called ‘Shumayela’. I thought it meant ‘come let us sing’ in Swahili, but I wasn’t even close. I liked the sound of the word, so I wrote this song about singing and celebrating freedom through Christ’s salvation.

I did the studio recordings only a couple of weeks after finishing it – and I couldn’t remember how to sing it!  I managed to mumble my way through it though.

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16. The guitar tracks & vocals were added in the studio (in 2000), with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.

What’s the use of crying?

What’s the use of crying? ©1992 Grant Schwarz

While wasting some time before heading off to an art show, I was approached by street-kid who asked for money. He was about 14 and a dirty, smelly mess. I didn’t give him any money, but offered to buy him some food.

Without going into every detail (full version here), I ended up giving him my shoes (he had none). That night after the show, I went home and pondered how unfair it was that I could just go out he next day and buy new shoes, while this kid did it tough. I sat down at my piano and then this song simply flowed out.

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16. The guitar tracks & vocals were added in the studio (in 2000), with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.

Nobody’s perfect

Nobody’s perfect ©1990 Grant Schwarz

I had a friend who suffered form ‘woe is me!’ syndrome – and it got a little tiring after a while.  This song is about believing that God has a plan for you that only you can fulfill – ‘God has heaps of someone else’!

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16. The guitar tracks & vocals were added in the studio (in 2000), with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.

He is the reason

 He is the reason ©1991 Grant Schwarz

This song is about why God make it worth getting up in the morning.  I was in 2nd year Uni when I wrote it, pondering my future and feeling pretty low about most things.  Then God pops a song in my head reminding me that He has everything under control!

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16. The guitar tracks & vocals were added in the studio (in 2000), with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.

 

Runaway

 Runaway ©1990 Grant Schwarz

This song is about when you feel like you can get away with anything and bear no accountability, just to find out you can’t run away from your choices.

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16.  The guitar tracks & vocals were added in the studio (in 2000), with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.  

Check out the original studio-live recorded version from 1993.  Pretty dodgy, but you’ll notice the guitar solo is essentially the same! 

Shine like a star

Shine like a star  ©1996 Grant Schwarz.

This song is  about believing in yourself and believing that you were created for something awesome!

I sequenced the music on a Yamaha QY300 and the drums through an Alesis SR-16.  The guitar tracks were added in the studio.  It was recorded in 2000, with 10 other songs in chaotic couple of days of budget studio time.  

The engineer wanted to experiment with a ‘tube channel’ on his new A & H mixing desk for the clean guitar sound, but I was never really happy with it.  Should have just trusted my own ears, I guess!