Chapter 9

15/04/2012 15:03

“Bruno, Rell is gonna come in the booth and go one round with me,” she says as she is clicking around on the computer looking for a track. She brings the one she wants up and walks to the booth, joining Pharrell, putting her head phones on. I restart the track, and they throw lines back and forth at each other, stopping a few times, mostly for Pharrell to tell her to sing it a little differently, or put an emphasis on a certain word. After an hour Pharrell walks out and says, “It’s your turn man, be on your toes, she went easy on me.” 

Bruno walks in and puts his headphones on, “Give me a minute to figure this out,” he says. “Oh, i’m sorry, was that tutorial with P not enough for you rookie?” He starts laughing and says, “Oh you’re gonna eat me up in here huh?” “That’s my speciality,” I say smiling up at him. “Are y’all gonna flirt all day, or can I start this track?” I look towards P and give him the middle finger. A different track comes on, the guitar and piano sends a slow country tune through my head phones. I put my hand up in the air, “I’m gonna listen for a minute,” I listen to the beat, eyes closed swaying back and forth and I’m not sure if I have the guts to sing what’s coming to mine. “Okay Rell, restart for me,” I say, and then I lay my heart out, right there in the booth. 

Boy it’s been all this time

And I can’t get you off my mind

And nobody knows it but me

I stare at your photograph

Still sleep in the shirt you left

And nobody knows it but me

Everyday I wipe my tears away 

So many nights I prayed for you to say

Pharrell stops the track, “So we’re gonna go there huh?” “Sorry Rell, it just brought those words, give me a happier beat if you want a happy song,” I say, not even looking up at him. “I can go with this,” Bruno says, “Start it up for me, I’ve got shit to lay down.” P starts the track over and we listen to my bit, then he speeds through the hook, stopping at Bruno’s part, “Ready?” “Hit me,” he says, and then he lays it down, right there in front of me, staring me in the eyes the whole time. 

My friends think I’m moving on

But the truth is, I’m not that strong

And nobody knows it but me

I’ve kept all the words you’ve said, in a box underneath my bed

And nobody knows it but me

But if you’re happy, I’ll get through somehow

But the truth is, I’ve been screaming out

“Bruno, take that last part from your chest,” I say, poking him, “Screaming out,” I sing, kinda growling it. “Yeah, Yeah, I like that,” Rell adds. We go over bits and pieces a few times and then we walk out of the booth and sit down, singing back and forth to each other, working out the hook. After an hour we go back in and lay it down, stack our voices, picking at each others weaknesses, helping each other, perfect. 

“I need a break,” she says walking out of the booth. She walks completely out of the studio. “Is she gonna be okay?” “Yeah man, you and I, we can be in here all day without seeing daylight, she feels like the walls are closing in after a few hours.” After 20 minutes she doesn’t come back, “Okay, let’s go check on her,” he says. Ryan and I follow him out. We walk in the house and Pharrell starts laughing, “Awe hell naw Chris,” he says to her. She’s rolling her hips, following the workout DVD on her tv, “Come on Rell, let’s get your booty right,” she says doing a salsa step over to him, grabbing his hand and pulling him back to the middle. “Chris, this workout kills me! I could barely move after doing this last time!” “What is this?” Ryan asks. “Brazilian Butt lift or something of the sort,” Pharrell says. “Okay this is our workout for the day,” she says picking up the remote and starts it over. 

Ryan and I join them, doing salsa steps, rolling our hips around, lunges, squats. I last about 20 minutes and then I crumble to the floor, “My cheeks are on fire! I can not do another hip rolley thing, I don’t think I can even crawl at this point,” I cry, not even attempting to move out of Ryan’s way. “Damn Bru, I can’t do this shit with you under my feet,” he pushes the edge of the couch a couple feet back, and Chris and Pharrell both turn around and scream, “NO!”