With “Gotcha” from Louis Schoorl

Monday, 10 Dec 2012

Louis Schoorl describes Gotcha with an unmistakable smile in his voice over the phone – a legacy of the good times he spent writing a 60s-inspired song with some of Australia’s brightest talents.

Gotcha, the cheeky theme song from Australian comedy/drama film The Sapphires, was co-written by Holland-born, Sydney-based producer/songwriter Louis Schoorl, Ilan Kidron from The Potbelleez and pop princess turned film star, Jessica Mauboy.

“Sometimes co-writing sessions are hard and you really struggle to get something down,” says Louis. “But this was one of the most natural sessions ever. It was definitely one of the best songwriting experiences I’ve had.”

Effectively strangers when they first came together to write the tune at Louis’s Limestone Studios in Sydney, the trio soon became friends as the musical chemistry between them blossomed almost instantly.

“We just clicked,” says Louis. “The vibes were so right. It’s not like we walked into the studio and started working on the song straight away – we got to know each other’s characters first. We spent the first hour just talking and having a few laughs. When that happens, everyone’s spirits lift and you end up with a better song.”

Being commissioned to co-write the title track for the most popular Australian film of the year was unlike anything Louis had worked on before. “The brief was really different this time,” he said. “Usually they just ask for a radio hit or something but this time there weren’t many guidelines about where the song needed to go. It didn’t have to be about the movie or fit with a particular scene – they just wanted something retro and soulful that was reminiscent of the sixties.” That suited Louis just fine.

“Getting inspired from older style music and making it into something new is one of my favourite things in the world to do. Plus I knew I was writing for this amazing movie that everyone’s been talking about – it was a really different experience for me and I was just so excited.”

Over the next thirty-six or so hours, the trio wined, dined, laughed, listened and wrote together. “We spent a good few hours listening to a hell of a lot of soul music and old classics,” he says. “Marvin Gaye, Dinah Washington, Diana Ross of course… Shirley Bassey, The Isley Brothers….that really got me in the mood and helped me get a feel for where the song should go melodically, how the chord progressions should move and where the song should fit production wise.”

Once he’d finalised those elements of the song with Ilan and written the lyrics with Jess, it was time to press ‘record’. It came together just as easily as the song itself. “Jess sang it exactly right in the first few takes. We didn’t have to re-tune, we didn’t have to do anything – it was just perfect, almost instantly!”

“Listening back to the song now, the chorus still makes me smile,” he says. “You can just hear how much fun Jess is having – it’s in her voice. That’s something we all shared – it was a lot of fun.”

 


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