People often ask me how I write songs and what my creative process is like. Most of the time, the early sketches of the song will arrive as I’m singing and improvising on piano or guitar until I hear or feel something novel that I think would be worth recording.

In this post, I’ll cover the story of the song “Day In, Day Out” from its inception to its release.


The song came out by fluke. I was actually trying to find an arrangement for another yet-to-be-released song called “Ocean Heart”. I was playing the individual notes of the chords and trying to find a pattern that would be unexpected while humming random melodies. I eventually ended up with something that I thought was pretty enough to record on my phone as rough voice note so that I could come back to it later.

Months later, I revisited the voice note and thought it sounded pretty decent, so I attempted to recreate it. As I was jamming on the piano, I suddenly stumbled upon the chorus and the words “day in, day out; it follows me” all at once (which rarely happens). The melody—sung in falsetto—and the lyrics struck an unexpected emotional chord with me. It was then that I finally committed to finishing the song. I plugged in my equipment and recorded a more polished sketch of the track:

Lyrical content

Lyrics are often the hardest part for me. I suspect it’s because I’m trying to avoid facing the emotional truth behind a song. Or maybe it’s the difficulty of articulating and making peace with what the song is trying to tell me. 

I’ll usually sing and record an unfiltered stream of consciousness. Then, I’ll re-play the recording to myself over and over to figure out what real words might be hiding in the gibberish lyrics, and if there are any recurring themes that are trying to make themselves known.

I always need to find an emotional truth to a song for me to commit to it. The song doesn’t necessarily need to be about me, but I need to be able to relate to it. For “Day In, Day Out”, I wrote from both my own perspective and others’. Sometimes it’s remembering what someone said to me or imagining what they might be feeling in our interactions. It’s not unlike the experience of dreaming:  where you might find yourself talking to multiple people, but really, you’re just talking to yourself and imagining everyone’s dialogue.

What the song is about is up to every listener’s interpretation which is just as valid as my own. For me, the song brings back memories of when I moved to Vancouver years ago, without knowing anyone in the city. It was both liberating and lonely to start from scratch: free to rebuild your identity from the ground up, but also searching for a familiar face in the crowd to have a connection with.


Musical production

“Day In, Day Out” was the first time I programmed more complex drums and synthesizers for a song. I didn’t think of myself as a “producer”; I always saw production as a natural extension of composition and songwriting. 

I was still learning Ableton at the time and used the default instruments and plugins that came with the software. Aside from an analog JUNO-60, all the sounds came from stock plugins. 

For the rhythm section, I drew a lot of inspiration from Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace and wanted it to feel unpredictable, glitchy, and syncopated:

Next, I added a groovy bassline to keep the song’s momentum moving forward in the midst of the dreamy atmosphere:

Finally, to give the track it’s dreamy ambience, I added another layer of pianos that were drenched in reverb:

You can listen to the final track on your favorite platform here. 

Music video

The music video was inspired by a zen parable called “The Elephant Rope” which goes something like this: 

As a man was passing a group of elephants, he suddenly stopped. He was confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds. But they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why. “Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young we use the same size rope to tie them. And at that age, it’s enough to hold them back. However, as they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them and never try to escape."

I contacted Aemphis, a dance choreographer and filmmaker who was able to bring the idea to life from rough storyboards that I had mapped out. 

Cover art

The cover art was illustrated by my good friend Maryse Daniel, a Montreal-based artist. I wanted to have a visual style that would be used for what I hope to be a series of singles that would be all part of the same album.

She did an amazing job to find a common visual language for the covers of “Day In, Day Out” and “Moon I” to unify them in the same universe:

In closing

“Day In, Day Out” was one of the first singles I released as “The Moon & I” and marked a change in musical direction for me from my past work. It will always have a special place in my heart as one of the first songs that I produced and launched entirely by myself.

You can find links to the lyrics and for streaming here.