I feel like every gift I give my wife, it falls short of what I would call enjoyed. In the past, I've tried things like a hot air balloon ride, tickets to shows, a computer, jewelry, and more. But recently, a buddy of mine told me about a service where you can actually have a song created for somebody. I was immediately intrigued because I generally like to presents to people that aren't material.
I've always felt like the best gifts for people, especially loved ones, are experiences (rather than something they hang on a wall or wear). So, I thought I would give it a try, and here is how it went down.
Part of the reason this sounded intriguing was because I hadn't even heard of this service. Therefore, it might actually be a true surprise to Sarah (my wife), as well. But honestly, I didn't know. Shopping for things like clothes or jewelry for somebody can be a pain because I don't even know what I'm looking for half the time. And since I know she loves music, my initial thinking is this could be a gift grand slam.
So, first things first. I honestly didn't know what to expect because, personally, I have ZERO musical talent. So, I headed over to trusty old Google, and searched for Songs With You. And voila, Songs With You pops up.
At first glance, I didn't know exactly what to expect, whether it was a place where you write your own lyrics or sing lyrics written for you, et cetera. But, it became pretty clear that you actually don't have to do either!
You simply need to tell their musicians a few things about the person. Then, this company actually does all the work - writing the song, producing, and recording it.
The first step on their website is to choose a song style. Since it looks like their artists are from Hawai'i, I sampled each of the 3 main styles they offer. Hing: They all are quite good.
I mean, honestly, I have no idea what is best for her, so I chose My Story to You. But, they also give you the option to have the musician choose for you, which I thought was nice.
They also have the option to choose either a male or female vocalist for the song. Since I am a guy, buying for a girl, I thought a male vocalist would be best (but really I think she would've loved either).
Enter your story or memories in the song submission form.
After selecting the song style and gender for the vocals of the song, you are lead to a song submission area where you answer about 10-15 questions.
The questions are easy, nothing crazy. You actually set the occasion, which kind of gave me the idea to use this service (if I liked it) again for holidays or an anniversary gift. I told the story about how when we met - she was dressed as a boxer, myself a soccer player. You're then asked to provide a few personal details about the person (which is where I listed how I felt when we first met).
After entering those details, I named the song, hit SUBMIT, and boom, off to a secondary page offering delivery time.
The songs are promised to be delivered within 7 days (including weekends), but they offer a rush delivery service (4-days) as well for an extra fee.
Luckily, I hadn't procrastinated this year for her birthday, so I didn't have to rush it. I then proceeded to payment, and the total was $179. Not too shabby considering it's a custom song and they have to write the lyrics as well. The order was placed, and now I just kick back and wait.
After 6 days (1-day ahead of the scheduled delivery), I received an email from Songs With You and from my musician, Griff, who wrote the lyrics and recorded the song for me. The email came with both an MP3 and a streaming link to listen to the song on my phone.
I really didn't know the best time to deliver the song. So, I decided to surprise her by telling her I heard a song on Spotify that made me think of her. So, after dinner I acted like I was just finding the song on Spotify, and instead played it on our home speakers.
At first, the song started with a dedication that I wrote for my musician to say "Sarah, my love, I wish you the very best 39th birthday, love always, Justin." Instantly, she knew this was NOT just any song. As the song kicked off following the message, she was in utter shock at this actually being about her (well, us) and how we met. She stopped everything and listened intently to all the lyrics about lasagne, her trip to the dentist after a crazy night, and the first time saw each other.
She immediatley teared up, and I knew right away this was a seriously awesome gift. A gift like no other that finally, truly, made her think I finally found a kickass gift she'd loved.
A song about somebody doesn't get any more personal, especially because you can create your own background story, memory, inside joke, or whatever else you want to include in the song.
This gift was really meaningful. Along with myself, I didn't know you could have a musician create a song for somebody. The fact that the lyrics were created about HER, and US, made this really special. I think Griff, my musician, nailed it, and the end result was that Sarah really felt like I went out of my way for this gift.
Unlike a piece of jewelry or an iPad, or whatever else people give each other as birthday gifts, this song was 'OG' Original. It is a gift that is unlike any other, and completely unique. So, it basically defines what an original gift can be.
My song was $179. I didn't know really what it would cost, but this seems fair considering it took Songs With You nearly a week to write and record my song. They nailed the song, so I felt like it was worth it.
I personally enjoyed this gift almost as much as my wife enjoyed hearing this gift. The experience was seriously unique, the reaction Sarah had to my song made everything worth it. When all is said and done, the criteria I listed above: Personalization, Showing You Care, Originality, and Price all were spot on. I wouldn't have written this review unless I didn't think it was worth recommending this to you for whatever occasion you have in mind.