Wedding presents: The gift of song

All wedding presents are special. They’re given with love and the heart-felt well wishes of guests to newlyweds in the hope of a long and happy life together.

But some wedding presents leave a mark and memory that last a lifetime and go well beyond being a mere ‘present’, they truly are gifts, and they don’t have to be big or flashy or expensive, just special.

It this sentiment that drove talented Queensland musician Dana Stewart to start her rather inspiring business, Gift a Song Productions, and people, especially those preparing to walk up the aisle, are loving it.

In the business, Dana and her fellow muso and business partner, Tony Cisneros, share their considerable musical talents with the world, writing highly emotional and personalised songs for newlyweds, though they have also written songs for birthdays, anniversaries and, even, the odd funeral.

“Most couples have a song they consider theirs, something that reminds that of where they met or how they feel about each other” says Dana, an award-winning musician, who sings, plays everything from guitar to conga drums, and also writes music, “but having a song written for you and about your one-in-a-million story takes the concept of “our song” to a whole other level.

“Couples adore the idea of having a song that truly is “their song.”

Among the many instruments Gift a Song Productions’ Dana Stewart can play are the congas

“I’m a big old romantic at heart and music moves me in a way nothing else can. Lots of people feel that way, so having a song written about you, that is played on your wedding day, either as your first dance or as you walk down the aisle makes one of the most special days of your life that little bit more special.”

Dana, who grew up singing and jamming with the likes of Killing Heidi’s Ella Hooper and the boys from Grinspoon as well as several international artists, says the entire songwriting process takes about three weeks.

It starts with a very thorough interview where she interviews the couple (or the guests giving the song as a gift) about the couple’s history, how they met, what they like etc.

“I try to get an idea of who they truly are as individuals and as a couple and I write from that space,” she adds. “By the time I sit down to start penning their song, I feel like I’ve known them for years and that’s crucial for writing a song that is about them and not some soppy, generic tune.

“It takes time and a lot of work, but the result is worth well worth it.”

She’ll then find out what their favourite genres of music are and write the music in a suitable style.

While most of her clients ask for pop, rock and country ballads to be written for them, Dana and Tony have created songs in most genres, including hip hop, world music and, as two client requested, “we want a song written in the style of The Eagles” or  “the kind of song that Foster and Allen would sing.”

Between the two of them, Dana and Tony play six instruments, including drums, keyboards and percussion and, of course, they can cover both male and female vocals in multiple ranges.

This song, Love Like Mine, for example, is written in sung by Dana and written in dance pop style while For Real is an example of their slow groove style with an R and B top.

“A song is the perfect wedding gift from a groom wanting to convey his love to his new bride or a bride wanting to do the same for her new groom, but it’s also a brilliant and truly standout, lifelong gift that guests can pool in together to give to the newlyweds,”

Dana, who estimates she has written 100+ songs from scratch in her many decades as a performer, adds “I put a little piece of my own heart and soul into every word I write and every note I sing, so I like to think that every song we create for a newlywed couple really is a wedding gift they’ll remember and treasure for the rest of their lives. It sure beats another toaster!

You can view Dana’s Easy Weddings profile here.

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