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I loved the reoccurring theme throughout Kimberly’s ALL THAT DRAMA the book of poems that encouraged self-expression. She often wrote about being confident and proud of who you are and not being afraid to be different. This was all I needed to get started.


Joe and I wanted this one to be a pop hit, so we pulled out all the tricks, starting with the hook (it’s also called the chorus or refrain). When I came up with the line “In My Own Skin”, Joe and I knew we had something. I told Kimberly what we had and she called back the next day to tell me that several of the teenagers she had met with the prior day had no idea what “In My Own Skin” meant. I was shocked. Did this mean we should change our direction?


I slept on it and woke up the next morning with resolve. I told Kimberly, “if they don’t know what that means now, they will!” Joe and I moved on with In My Own Skin.


The rhythm and beat we extremely important. Joe worked for days to find the perfect groove and I worked on a syncopated and catchy melody. This was the first song we wrote with a vocalist already in mind. His name is Matt Carlson, and 18 year older from Charlotte. Joe and I had worked with Matt on several projects and we knew he was our guy.


We began the production of the instrumental track confident that we had the key, tempo, beat and attitude perfect for Matt’s voice. We were right! No rehearsals necessary. He came into the studio and kicked it.


We only had one issue. We had no bridge and Matt was booked for only one more hour. As Joe worked with Matt on the voice recording of the 2nd verse, I jumped into another room and started crafting a bridge. The pressure was on. 15 minutes later I had it. The lyrics were the perfect ‘moral to the story’ and the melody showcased Matt’s voice. We immediately recorded it and the song had everything it needed to be a hit on the radio; strong beat, catchy melody, memorable lyrics, cool sound and great voice.      



as told by composer Bruce McKagan

Matt Carlson

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