I first met Michael Peloso at an Indie Collaborative event in Philly on May 2nd of 2016. It was my first Indie Collaborative event, and it was nice to meet a fellow songwriter based in NJ. He was very pleasant and amicable to talk to, and on that stormy night in May, I knew he was someone I’d like to work with on a songwriting project.
Michael is a prolific lyricist with a penchant for writing deeply emotional songs, and I was excited at the possibilities of this collaboration.
On May 9th (a week after that fateful meeting), Michael sent me a set of lyrics and asked “tell me if you think I’m on the right direction as far as genre?”
Boy was he ever headed in the right direction!
“The bittersweet emotions of a father in the contrasting throes of wanting to hang on and having to let go” is perfectly captured by Michael as he wrote about his daughters during a moment of melancholic introspection.
Those original set of lyrics would serve as inspiration for what would become our latest single of the same title: CAN SHE STAY.
After playing around with the words and song structure to fit the melody in my head, the original vision was to give it a country music flare and shop it to artists in that genre. Michael took the reigns in that regard, and for the rest of 2016 and early 2017, we both worked on other projects, including another songwriting collaboration between the 2 of us called WITHOUT YOU (demo version).
Fast forward to June of this year. I knew Michael and I have something special and deeply personal in CAN SHE STAY, and I wanted to put my musical hand stamp on it. In my mind, the words needed to take centerstage, with every other musical elements taking a minimalist and supportive role in this song. So with the wonderful arrangement of producer Lorrie Ilustre, I started working on the recording and on July 4th, I surprised Michael with a pop-ballad version of CAN SHE STAY.
The rest, as they say, is history.
It has been my profound privilege to have received Michael’s homage to his wonderful daughters as conveyed in his original lyrics. And aptly I echo his sentiment when he said to me “If this is the last song I ever write, I will be ok with it.”
Here is the official music video of CAN SHE STAY.
(Directed by feature film director Daryl Denner, filmed by Fictional Films LLC, with DP Rodney Reyes, and executive producer Mylz Tolentino