WARMER MIXTAPES #890 | by Sonya Titus

1. Extreme | More Than Words 
I first heard this song I think when I was living in Norway on MTV. I loved the video because it was two men singing such amazing tender Lyrics. I loved the Percussive use of the Guitar and I love the Harmonies. This song is special for me because it remained one that I always wanted to sing at concerts at School... Could never play it myself... And then one day... I decided I wanted to pick up the Acoustic Guitar and learn it. That lead me to want to write on Guitar instead of Piano, which had always been my Instrument, even though I had never been taught the Guitar... And this song also... Influenced my Music Writing style. I slap the Guitar a lot and use it percussively.

2. Eva Cassidy | Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland Cover)
Eva Cassidy's smooth, sultry, tender yet powerful coaxing voice was a huge inspiration to me... How much Control and Power one can have over her own voice and capture the listener without having to use pure brute Power all the time really made me believe that I could have a chance. This song and her made me believe more and have hope for the Tenderness in mine. I also chose this song to sing in my Final Performance when earning my Professional Acting degree. I always get so many lovely compliments when I sing this song... Something about the style of her version and the influence of the way she sang it must really ring True with my Voice. It's special to me because it gave me some Confidence in my own Singing Ability.

3. The Police | Every Breath You Take
I don't know what it is about this song... But every time it comes over the Radio, no matter who is talking, they must stop and this must be turned up. I love the driving Bass line and the Simplicity. It has Power inherent in the Musicianship and the Recording. Even though it's simple Chords, repeating Bass line... It has a Power over me and makes me feel good about myself... Must be a Vibration in the song, in the Notes, in the Melody... Because it remains one of my Favourite Songs Of All Time!

4. Whitney Houston | I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton Cover) (The Bodyguard Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The Bodyguard album was always on play in the background of all my Playtime activities when I was 8, 9, 10 years old. I used to love trying to sing it just like Whitney... All her Trills and when she comes on and off her voice are ingrained in my cells. This song floods into my head whenever I start randomly singing... This is the song I sing. Automatic. I even sing the Sax Solo like it's her Voice singing Lyrics. I truly think this song and her Fluttery style and Lilts and Vibratos have informed and aided, from that early age, my ability to do my own style of Trills and Scale Run Downs which are now a trademark of my own style... I probably learned these from both her and Mariah and adapted them into the way I was able to sing them... Like learning a Language when you are Young... I believe this song is the main reason I am able to do Trills and such at all...

5. Alanis Morissette | You Oughta Know
Her whole album, Jagged Little Pill, was one of my Childhood albums. I never tired of and played it Non Stop for pretty much all of the latter 90's. I would choose all the songs off the album because I knew them all my heart, but this song was gutsier than most of the others. My voice really suited hers and I felt great singing this song. It allowed some of my Anger out and I loved how directly and unashamedly she sang to her ex lover. Her Quirkiness showed me, I guess without me knowing at the time, that Singer Songwriters could write whatever they wanted and it could still be Successful and Powerful. Lyrics and Heart coming directly from the Artist in Pure, Raw Form. I love her guts and Un-Embarrassment!

6. Michael Jackson | Man In The Mirror
Like Alanis, I cannot choose one song. His Greatest Hits album was another that I listened to incessantly. This song, like most of his songs, resonated with me because the Lyrics are about Self Improvement and Compassion for the World. Tenderness and Warmth For Other People, Different To Yourself, Acceptance and Awareness and making the World Better using these qualities has always really hooked into the same desire to bring these qualities into the World that I have within me. I love Michael's use of the Voice and the words as Percussive Instruments... They become part of the Beat which really makes a Multi Dimensional song that you just HAVE to tap your foot and pop your head to.

7. Tracy Chapman | Give Me One Reason (with Eric Clapton)
Like Every Breath You Take by The Police, there is something in the Vibration of this song and it's gutsy Simplicity and Tracy and Clapton's Voice that just makes me feel completely brimming with immense Music Pulsation and Verve. I get such a hit of Highness from the Bass line and think the song has a great journey.

8. The Isley Brothers | Harvest For The World
This song has this positive Summer Cruising vibe that I love. I remember having the best runs with this song playing in my earphones. Quite often I more listen to Music to get me to move, to dance, to be motivated when I am exercising in some way or other. This song just makes me want to keep dancing and jumping about. I love the Lyrics and how they are, again, about bringing the World together and giving Love and opening up your heart. I always endeavour to write songs from this place. I like soothing people's souls and worries and fears with my songs.

9. Earth, Wind & Fire | September
This song is just Pure Happiness and Joy wrapped up in Sound! It just sets a standard for Up Beat, Positive Music that is Timeless. I heard this song, after not hearing it for a while, when it was one of the backing track songs to one of my favourite recent movies, a French comedy drama, The Intouchables, one of the funniest films I have ever seen. It's a great song and makes you wanna get up and Boogie!

10. Eagles | Hotel California
There is something slightly eerie about this song... The Chord Progressions... And I love all the different Verses and how they tell a story. They paint a picture as the song goes along and this song perhaps was one of the songs when I was 14, that inspired me to want to learn the Electric Guitar. I taught myself, by ear, the Guitar Solo in this song, with no previous lessons. This is one of those songs, that I cannot say any one particular reason that I like it, it's just that when it starts playing, everyone else must stop talking and this song must be turned up. It's got this power!