Stevie Wonder – Overjoyed – my best cover yet!

Song: Overjoyed

Artist: Stevie Wonder

Album: In Square Circle

I don’t mean to be immodest when I say that this is the best of the covers I have posted. Hey, I did say MY best! 😛

With that out of the way, I will post the cover first and then my lengthy justification for the above statement so you have the TL DR right up.

So….number of reasons why this came out better than any of the other covers I have recorded and posted on my channel:

  1. As a Stevie Wonder fan, I have listened to this song far too many times to have kept count and also practiced singing it lots and lots of times. So I had super internalized it to a degree that may not necessarily happen with every song. That is, I could sing this song without thinking about what melody, what words I have to sing next AT ALL. Mostly the words, I am usually good at memorizing the melody and less so the lyrics.
  2. This song in particular worked well with the interface/DAW and the settings I used. Recording soft songs used to be a sub optimal experience before for me because I had to use a fair amount of power to ensure the vocals came out loud enough in the recording. But this song needs to be sung in a very relaxed tone. With the DAW, I could finally relax. My technique has also evolved by now to the point where I can maintain an open tone without putting in too much effort behind the note.
  3. As it happens, I am not super comfortable yet with using compression because I am nearly redlining the dry vocal take as it is and any compression will only add clipping. That would normally lead to TOO dynamic a recording but in this song, it works well IMO. It’s not like your typical 80s power ballad where you really launch into the high chorus dramatically. Instead, you kind of soar gently with a nice arc into it. So the fact that I haven’t diluted the dynamics at all might have helped. Added to that the fact that I use delay and reverb with a lot of restraint.

Something about the song itself. It came on an album that did well commercially back in 1985 but is not particularly well regarded critically. My good friend Vats (if you know the band Rainburn) jokes that the reason I like this song is it is actually an out-take originally recorded as part of the Secret Life of Plants session (that is, in the 70s). There is something to that theory as I have a distinct preference for 70s rock compared to the 80s. And let’s face it, most of the rest of In Square Circle is pretty dire by Wonder standards (I do like Never In Your Sun in spite of the production).

So, to wrap up, I hope you did like the cover enough to justify my hardsell, lol. I hope this one transcends genre and language boundaries. It is a very melodic song about a very universal theme – love. If you liked it, do subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. And if you would love to hear particular songs from me, do drop in your requests. If I am technically able to sing the song (in terms of range and virtuosity required) and if I can find a good karaoke track for it, I will gladly take a stab at it.

P.S: Full disclosure – The video is NOT taken when I was actually recording the song. Owing to some technical issue, I am not able to run both the DAW and the camera app on Windows simultaneously. So I recorded audio and – wait for it – separately recorded video singing the song (but took the audio out from THAT recording). Aw, you thought I lip synced? 😀 I wanted to but I am not good at acting. I can’t make the mouth movements look realistic. I need to feel the jaw muscles working to look convincing at singing. 😀

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