True Colors

Don’t be afraid to let them show, your true colors, true colors are beautiful, like a rainbow  ~ Billy Steinberg

Unluckily, like many of you, I have encountered hurtful prejudice in my life, which is why the song “True Colors” has always had a strong meaning for me. Personally, I also connect it with the necessity of surrounding oneself with people in life who are empathetic with whatever struggles one might have to endure – like written in one of the opening lines, “don’t be discouraged, oh I realize…”.

Made famous by the American pop artist Cyndi Lauper, and topping the billboard in 1986, “True Colors” is the only cover song on my new album ‘The World I Am Livings In’. It was written by the American songwriter Billy Steinberg and Tim Kelly, who also wrote one of Madonna’s first hit songs “Like A Virgin”. “True Colors” was both the title track and the first single released from Cyndi Lauper’s second solo album.

The song has been covered by many artists like Phil Collins, whose 1998 version was released as a single and became very popular on Adult Contemporary radio stations. One of the latest ones is by Over twenty years later, the title has almost become synonymous for looking beneath the surface of a person’s appearance, standing for a prejudice free world. In 2007, Lauper launched the “True Colors Tour” in an effort to support gay rights and fight hate crimes.

Billy Steinberg originally wrote “True Colors” about his own mother. Tom Kelly altered the first verse and the duo submitted the song to Cyndi Lauper. Their demo was in a form of piano based gospel ballad like “Bridge over Troubled Water”. Steinberg told Songfacts that “Cyndi completely dismantled that sort of traditional arrangement and came up with something that was breathtaking and stark.”

Atmospherically, I wanted my interpretation to possess a tranquil but flowing quality which is why I tried to sing as effortlessly and soothingly as possible but still achieve some tension. The atmosphere for the recording is set up at the beginning with a trip hop cajon groove supporting a hypnotic, arpeggiated classical guitar. This approach carries through the entire recording creating somewhat of a dreamy lounge feel. Musically, my version is more influenced by European nu-jazz than synth pop. The instrumentation is classical guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, cajon, electric piano and synth pads.

I hope you enjoy it!


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