We all have those songs that speak to us. They may be the songs we listened to most during a difficult time, or the songs that were on the radio when something amazing happened. Either way, we all have a song story.
North Dakota native Kyle Bylin, a music industry professional and author, sought to bring these stories to live in his latest novel, “Song Stories.”
The following is a conversation I had with Bylin about the inspiration for his book and the process behind the idea.
Paige Johnson: What was the inspiration for “Song Stories?”
Kyle Bylin: Many songs in my music library have developed a personal or deeper meaning. When I listen to these songs, I don’t just hear the sound of the music or the words in the lyrics. I remember the people and moments that they became associated with in my life. I feel the emotions that I felt. These songs aren’t just attached to a string of memories. They are the thread that runs through the story. The soundtrack that plays during the movie. I knew that I had stories about songs. But I wanted to read other people’s stories, too. That is what inspired and motivated me to edit this book.
PJ: How did you find the people you wanted to feature in your book?
KB: I asked people that I met in the music business if they had a song that meant something special to them and if they’d be willing to share the associated memories and emotions. Many of them told me intimate stories about songs from their personal lives. I made tough calls about which stories to include in the book. Each story had to be significant. It had to be relatable to a wide audience. It had to reveal how the song makes the person feel.
PJ: You’ve written books before. What was different about writing this book?
KB: “Song Stories” focuses on emotions. My previous books centered on ideas. They investigated how technology is changing the way that people listen to music, and what those developments could mean for the artists that create those songs. The writing styles couldn’t be more different. An argumentative essay needs to convince you of the writer’s view. It needs to weave a series of facts and opinions together. A personal essay needs to interest you in the writer’s story. It must connect you to them in a personal and intimate way. I had to encourage my contributors to share important details about sensitive moments. It wasn’t easy. I had to trust in my ability to edit this book.
For more questions and answers from Kyle Bylin, read on via The Spectrum