Faith Morante is a Senior Software Engineer who's been working with X-Team for well over two years. She recently posted two songs in our #club-music channel for which she wrote the lyrics, so I was curious to learn more. In this interview, we discuss how she wrote those lyrics, what the stories behind the songs are, and what her bigger music goals are.
You wrote the lyrics for both zmbs and guiding sign. What's your creative process for coming up with lyrics?
It always comes off the emotions I feel and the experiences I’ve had. I’m not so good at explaining my emotions to people, but with lyrics or poems, I don’t have to be. Instead, I can tell stories, and I feel like I can express those stories better through lyrics.
My process usually starts with a few words or lines, after which the next words just follow. I actually don’t know how it works, but it’s a really fun process for me. Sometimes I ask myself a few guiding questions:
- Can I ask a question about the emotion I feel?
- What parallels or opposites can I incorporate into this?
- Are these words too deep or hard to pronounce?
You worked together with your friend, who's a musician, on these songs. How do you give him directions? How do you help him turn your lyrics into cohesive songs?
I give him song references. For example, zmbs is heavily influenced by the Beatles. I wanted it to sound like Strawberry Fields Forever. As a lyricist first, I'm careful with the words I use in my songs. So when my musician puts in placeholder words, I make sure to change them so they fit with the story of the song.
So what are the stories behind zmbs and guiding sign?
They're both quite personal. I'm bipolar, and zmbs describes my experience in the hospital when I was struggling with a manic episode. It was a period when I felt like I couldn't be myself, as if I was going through the days like a zombie. I felt constrained. I think it's important to share this with the world to raise awareness about mental health, which is why I wrote zmbs.
guiding sign came about after having had an argument with someone right before someone else asked me for directions. It made me think about how easy it is to give directions to someone who's open to it, but how much harder it is to give directions to someone who's not.
What do you like most about writing lyrics?
Writing lyrics has always been about storytelling for me. They're a way for me to express myself and, because of X-Team's Unleash+ budget, I can now afford to turn my lyrics into actual music together with my friend.
And what's the hardest part about writing lyrics?
I write my lyrics without knowing what the music around it will sound like. That's the hardest part. Rhyming is hard too, but a fun kind of hard.
Do you have bigger goals you'd like to achieve with your lyrics?
My short-term goal is to produce an album and then upload it to Spotify. The album would be about my past experiences and emotions, with both some happy and mellow songs. I like how Harry Styles does it. There's not much of a central theme; he tells his stories through his songs.
And I'd also like to help my musician friend. Get a manager for him so we can produce even more songs together.
Do you want to join a company full of musicians and creative people like Faith? You can! X-Team is always looking for experienced software engineers. Send through your application today.