Set It All Free

From the motion picture “Sing“…

Ultra-cute story behind this, and a must-read to set up the song for you…

My daughter’s family very recently came down to Florida for a visit, and a few weeks before they were to arrive I asked her what the current favorite song of my two precious granddaughters was. Bells is 10 years old, and Gabby was 5 when this was recorded. They are absolute shining lights of my life. Both absolutely love music, are currently taking piano lessons, and recently had their first recital. I got to watch it on a FB video, but it breaks my heart that I couldn’t be there in person.

So, I ran with this idea of having the music for their favorite song recorded and ready for their arrival, so they could perform the vocals when they got here. When I first heard the original, I immediately realized it wasn’t exactly my favorite musical cup of tea. But it grew on me, and now I’d say it settles somewhere between Rock and Pop. The way we produced it transformed the song into a pretty hard-driving, catchy tune. Good thing, because after recording, mixing and mastering it, I’ll be hearing it in my sleep for a month.

When they finally got down here and I recorded their vocals, after a few takes it was pretty obvious that they were floating way in/out of tune and off-beat in spots, especially Gabby (she took a few liberties with the lyrics as well). But, being the wonderful Pop-Pop that I am (*grin*), I didn’t want to torture small children with 100 takes until their vocals were just right. So, I planned on taking care of that with some pitch and timing correction when I mixed the song down. Then, my wife and daughter heard the raw tracks… They convinced me to leave it as-is, and to be honest I’m glad I did.

I mean, here’s a 5-year-old girl belting her little heart out along with her sister to Rock vocals, like there’s absolutely no tomorrow. It’s got a powerful, raw quality to it that actually makes it pretty cute. In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to touch their vocal tracks, except for a few effects and volume automation to even things out. Plus, I surely would have been beaten severely around the head and shoulders if I did. Moms can be like that, ya know?

Seriously though, I’m really so proud of both their efforts, and couldn’t ask for more considering their ages. I can’t wait to see what the future brings musically for these two beautiful, loving little gals.

Hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think!

Listen to “Set It All Free” on SoundClick

For this tune and more, you can also visit my SoundClick Artist Page.


Very special guests:
– Izsabella Rose Mendez: Vocalist/1, 10 years old
– Gabriella Marie Mendez: Vocalist/2, 5 years old

All instruments performed and recorded by Craig Guerrieri at Cygnus Studios, Florida, USA (June 2017):
– Seagull Entourage acoustic guitar
– Gibson Les Paul Studio electric guitar
– Fender Stratocaster electric guitar
– Fender Jazz bass guitar
– Yamaha MX49 digital synthesizer
– Korg SQ-1 analog sequencer
– DW Drums with Zildjian, Paiste and Wuhan cymbals

Vocal arrangement and coaching by Nicole Mendez. Many thanks to you, my Princess!

Mixed and mastered by Craig Guerrieri at Cygnus Studios, Florida, USA (July 2017).

2 thoughts on “Set It All Free

  1. Your granddaughters are absolutely adorable you must be so proud. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year


    1. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving this kind comment, Kathy. It gets pretty slow around here sometimes. You’re right, I couldn’t be prouder of them, in so many ways. Music is really starting to have a huge impact in their lives, and both are even taking piano lessons now. They are the absolute shining lights of my life.

      Happy Holidays to you and yours, hope everyone’s well and happy on your end!


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