Frequently Asked Questions
Tell Crissi about someone you love, and she'll write and professionally record you an original song made just for them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I place an order?
When you click “add to cart” on the product page, you’ll be prompted to fill out a questionnaire with details about your loved one, including the reason for the song, special memories you share, and the general vibe you’d like the song to have. You’ll be directed to a secure server to pay for the song, which you can do conveniently with a credit card. Within the next 48 hours, you should receive a personal email from me to follow up with any questions I might have, and then I’ll get to work on your song.
How long does it take?
The general turn-around time for a song is approximately one to two months depending on the time of year, so it’s good to order your song well in advance of any special occasion, in case I get swamped (as life gets busy with shows, recordings, and a baby!). Songs can be done as quickly as one week though, so please contact me if you need something fast. The rush fee is generally an extra $50.
How will I receive my song?
As soon as the song is completed, I'll email you a link to download your files via Dropbox. You shouldn't need an account to download your files, just look for the "download" button in the top corner of the screen. Depending on what you've purchased, you'll find a few different files there. At the basic level, you'll receive a .mp3 and a .wav of the song (.mp3s download faster and stream easily, .wavs are heavier, higher-quality files), and a .pdf of the lyrics. If you've requested instrumental or accapella versions, or the guitar chords for songs, you'll find those at your Dropbox link as well.
You'll also be mailed a copy of your song on CD, sent to the address you provide. The CDs are made to look like tiny vinyl records, and they're packaged in a cardboard sleeve with a heart-shaped enclosure, along with a signed copy of the lyrics. The CD will be shipped in a plain bubble mailer with no indication of what's inside (in case you and your loved one live at the same address and the song is a surprise). You can request additional copies of your song on CD when you place your order, for $5 each.
I do my best to ensure that you will receive your CD well in advance of your special occasion! I have yet to have a CD not arrive on time. If for some reason I don't complete the song early enough for regular mail, I'll ship it to you via Xpresspost at no extra cost to you.
I'm not great at writing things out; could i talk to you instead of filling out the questionnaire?
I would sincerely appreciate it if you could do your very best to fill out the questionnaire for me. The lyrics are the heart of the song, and in order to work on those, I need to have your story written out. If you tell me everything in person or over the phone, I'll have to record our conversation and then transcribe it, which can add several extra hours of work to the process. If you are really struggling with the questionnaire, reach out to me and maybe we can just tack on a small fee for the extra hours to transcribe your story from a conversation.
The questionnaire is a little too long for me to complete in one sitting. Can I have a .doc copy to work on at my own pace?
Absolutely. Just contact me and I'll set you up with the document.
I don't have a credit card. Can I pay with PayPal instead?
Yes! Just contact me and I'll send you a PayPal invoice. You'll have to fill out the questionnaire as a .doc, since we'll be bypassing the website, so I'll send you that too.
Can you play my song at your next gig?
I would love to! It's actually really great when you ask me to do this, because it gives me a chance to tell other show-goers about my custom songwriting. Please let me know at least one week in advance so I can practice it and do a good job for you. There are some gigs where I might not be able to do this, for example, if I have a very short set, or if the performance is curated for a special occasion. You can also hire me to play at a private event and debut your song for your loved one personally. Just reach out to me and we'll make it happen.
Who owns the copyright?
I retain the copyright for the song. You are free to share the song however you wish, provided that it isn't being publicly distributed, used for commercial purposes, or earning money in any kind of way. When you purchase your song, you're required to agree to these terms. If you'd like to own the copyright for the song, maybe because you're also an artist and you'd like to be able to perform it, contact me and I'd be happy to work out the terms with you.
How can I share my song with my friends/family?
You can share your song through your personal social media accounts (say on Facebook as a video, for example), by email, with burned CDs - really, you can share it with whomever and however you like, as long as you aren't publicly distributing it or making money from it in any way.
Will my song appear on a CD at some point?
It just might! Some of these custom songs end up being my favourite songs that I'll play all the time at shows. Some of them will eventually make their way onto my albums. That's why I keep the copyright for the songs - so I can share the good vibes with as many people as I can (which is the whole reason why I make music!). At some point, I'd like to make a stripped down album of my favourite custom songs.
What if I don’t like the song?
As far as I know, this hasn't happened yet! But I want you to be happy. If you're really not satisfied with the vibe of the finished song, let me know and I'll do my best to fix it as soon as I can. It could take a little while to schedule a re-write, but I feel you're spending good money on this and I don't want you to be disappointed in any way.
Something isn’t quite right in the lyrics of the song, can you correct it?
Absolutely! I do my best to not make any big assumptions in the lyrics, especially when it comes to explaining specific moments in your history. If I feel that there's something in the lyrics that might not be 100% accurate (usually it's a small detail, like, "was it really dark out when you met, or was it only the early evening?"), I'll contact you before finalizing the song to make sure it's correct. Of course, if you catch something that isn't right, just let me know right away and I'll fix it!
Can I pay in instalments?
Unfortunately, I can't accept payment in instalments at this time. To be honest, the one time I worked out a payment plan with someone for a rush order, they only paid the first payment, and then left me hanging as soon as I delivered their song. Not cool!
I play saxophone/drums/bass, or make beats, or sing. Can I add something to the track?
Yes! It's always extra special when the song has your personal touch to it. I'll record the song first, and then send you a rough mix for you to add your part to (you'll have to be able to record yourself on your end). Then you'll send your part to me, and we'll get it mixed and mastered. This does add some extra time to the process though, so please try to request your song well in advance if you'd like to go this route.
Is there anything you don't write about?
My only real rule is that I won't write a love song for someone who doesn't already love you back. It doesn't seem fair - like, if you're not able to win them over on your own merits, using a song feels like cheating, or manipulating them, somehow. Does that make sense? Also, what if it backfired, and then the person you love hated me for conspiring with you, and then anytime they heard my music, they got a bad feeling? That'd really suck.
But other than that, I'm comfortable writing about all kinds of love. I've written songs for the obvious romantic pairings of husband and wives, and boyfriends and girlfriends, but also for families - for grown children and babies, for parents and grandparents, and I've even written several memorial songs to honour loved ones who have passed away.
Can you record a commercial jingle for me?
Absolutely! I'd love to! However, the terms for this are significantly different, and we'll need to fill out a contract. Send me a message and we'll work it out!
Where are the songs recorded?
I record all my love songs in my home studio using a range of professional equipment acquired over the years. Songs are recorded with either a classical guitar (Godin Multiac) or a clean electric guitar (1964 Fender Jaguar), and vocals are performed on a Sennheiser E935 microphone. For fully produced songs, bass is either a Fender P Bass or a sampled stand-up bass from Kontakt 5, and percussion from Kontakt 5. All sessions are recorded in Ableton Live, engineered by myself, with mixing and mastering by my husband Soul Brother Mike.
How did this all start?
I was nearly broke in February 2016 when my mother suggested I record covers of love songs for people to give to their sweethearts on Valentine's Day - something that PEI singer-songwriter Meaghan Blanchard was doing. I decided I needed some songwriting practice so I decided to offer people full-out customized love songs instead. I launched my idea on February 2nd, not knowing if anyone would actually take me up on it, and I ended up writing and recording 12 original songs in just 11 days. The story was picked up by local media outlets, including CBC who broadcasted a segment about my custom songs on TV across the country. All that great exposure resulted in a lot of interest, and I've kept up writing these custom songs year-round ever since then. You can hear more about this story in my TEDx talk on YouTube.