“SAME SOUL” – Dream Collab featuring, Lauren Ruth Ward and Desi Valentine Presented by Jack Daniel’s
Crafting a musical composition takes spirit and soul, much like the making of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey. This collaboration between Lauren Ruth Ward and Desi Valentine took them back to their roots, as they uncovered key steps to balance each other’s musical style, independence, and authenticity throughout the process of writing and recording their new song.
Like making whiskey, good music comes from true craftsmanship, collaboration and being your authentic self. We paired Lauren Ruth and Desi Valentine to create an original composition. Before the two artists could merge their different styles, independence and authenticity, they took a trip to the heart and soul of Jack Daniel's, where dream collabs happen every day – Lynchburg TN.
The experiences shared in Lynchburg ignited inspiration for this original song, “Same Soul.” Each layer of the song not only represents a different part of the singer songwriters, but also embodies the foundation of Jack Daniel’s – Soul.
In addition to their experience in Lynchburg, “Same Soul” was also rooted in how Lauren and Desi stay true to themselves. Both artists have completely different musical styles and backgrounds - Baltimore-born Lauren Ruth Ward’s Americana pop is influenced heavily by ‘60 and ‘70s rock, while London-bred Desi Valentine injects the spontaneity of the jazz and old school soul of his upbringing into his own snappy take. Merging the two together with a common purpose, created something remarkable. It was a “perfect marriage,” Valentine says.
Both Ruth Ward and Valentine have relocated to L.A., and like any transplant to a new city, holding tight to your roots is paramount in remaining authentically yourself.
What kind of values are important to you as songwriters?
Lauren Ruth Ward: Loyalty is very important. I think loyalty also starts with yourself, being loyal to yourself -- which kind of shakes hands with the importance of authenticity, and how that kind of forms your moral compass. And then you've got integrity: Following through with your word and having a conscience about it. To create a good intention, you have to have to have these things. It kinda goes back and forth, and they all kinda shake hands.
Honesty, and storytelling, vulnerability -- all my lyrics I write myself, and they're all things I've been through. It’s super easy for anybody who's interested to get to know me, because you just have to listen.
What role do those musical roots play in your songwriting process?
Lauren Ruth Ward: Roots are an indicator; they help remind you of your intention, of what will help you navigate and keep you centered. There's so many distractions and there's so much to do with your life, it's easy to get distracted and derailed. For good, for bad. It's always nice to just go back to your roots and check in.
Desi Valentine: Remembering your roots is to remember the reason why you actually make music in the first place. Especially before I'm about to do a big writing project or start working on a record or something, I like to really soak myself in the influences that made me make the type of music that I make in the first place. You default back to where you started, and I just can't help but resonate out. We take influence from so many different styles -- I love country, I love rock ‘n’ roll -- but to get back to soul to get back to jazz and blues, it's where I kind of find home again.
Embracing your roots speaks to being true to yourself.
Lauren Ruth Ward: I've never fit into the norm, the box. Being accepted the way you are is the best feeling; to not have to change. To have to be alert and feel like you have to change is really uncomfortable. Being authentic means being yourself, so that kind of equals freedom to me.
Desi Valentine: I couldn't agree more with that. Authenticity a lot of people try to be it, but -- Lauren Ruth Ward: It's an oxymoron.
Desi Valentine: It's a complete oxymoron, absolutely. Trying to be authentic is undermining the authenticity. I think in our line of work, we have to dig in and find the truth. The minute that you can tap into that, that's when you can really move people, and people can really just feel it.
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