Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

INTRODUCING: Paint My World

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Great music is powerful. And as someone who gets a lot of inspiration from music, I’ve always wondered – why aren’t there more songs that tell stories about how we feel as innovators and leaders who’re at the helm of culture and team development? 

There are so many powerful poetic and creative songs, and they’ve taught me some immensely powerful lessons in life, in love and relationships, in friendships and social connections, and even in mental well being. I adored the BTS, Disney Classics and Stromae – and they all told stories through their music! Because music is often born out of real life experiences – from trauma and heartbreak to love and blissfulness – if you listen closely, you can feel the feelings of someone who is singing from their heart. So… I thought, if we are hungry to find more songs that reflect the journeys of innovators and leaders, then we’ll need to create them together!

This is why as we got into the journey of building InnovatorsBox® Studios, I knew how important it would be to introduce original songs that could tell the stories of how innovators feel and then encourage them in their journey. The mixed experience of being curious and courageous while also feeling misunderstood for being the odd one who’s thinking differently is something I have experienced many times over. But I’m not alone. As I speak to many other innovators, they share similar experiences. 

It makes sense. Innovators, in essence, see something different, build something out of nothing, and speak up when others say let’s keep the status quo. 

The reward, when done well, may be high but there are far too many rejections, risks, and failures that happens  along the way in that messy journey. I remember how empowering it had felt when I realized that the feeling the fear of being bold is ok because that makes me human! We’re all innovating and can create more – if we just have the courage to know that being authentically you, speaking your own voice, is what matters.

So when my team came to ask me “What is the story you want to share in this song”, I immediately knew what we needed. 

A song dedicated to the innovator’s journey. 

I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you to this first original song by InnovatorsBox® Studios that speaks about how innovators (you, yes – you are an innovator!) feel as they create their own world and universe. 

There are no labels that stop us from imagining who and what we can be. 

I hope our song “Paint My World” inspires you to continue to paint your own world. We need more innovators like you to paint more color into the black and white narrative of what society dictates to be a way of living and succeeding in life. Let me dive back into those chocolate desserts with my flip flops to my next meeting again.

See you on the other side, innovators!

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TUNE IN TO THE BEAT

And if you are like me, you love learning more about the who and the why of how a project comes to life. So I’m thrilled to take a moment to introduce you to my talented music team who made this original song come to life.

Meet Serin Oh, a singer songwriter and our Creative Producer and Artist-in-Residence at InnovatorsBox® Studios. I’m so thrilled that Serin said yes to our creative production as we build the Studios. Serin’s journey as an innovator too is a true reflection to what we wanted to communicate: creating your own voice by taking the roads less traveled. Serin shared with me how it was important for her to grow as a singer-songwriter, but not in a conventional way. Having released her first three singles after Berklee Music school, she knew how important it was to trust her voice to tell her story. And I mean, how do you not fall in love with her voice!

"During my own journey, I often forget that every quirky personality trait, strengths and weaknesses I have in this craft, all add up to who I am and who I hope to become. I hope through this song, the listener is encouraged to embrace their individuality and their unique journeys."
Serin Oh
Creative Producer and Artist-in-Residence

This is why I was so eager to have Paniz Farokhnia, our Music Producer and Engineer at InnovatorsBox® Studios. Her love in making music that tells a story was something she deeply cared about!

"When I open up a blank session the idea of having limitless possibilities is one of the most beautiful concepts to me. It feels like the exact same way a painter might look at a blank canvas, the painter can use and mix any color in the world and paint or draw any object or scene that they decide in that moment. For this exact reason it was meaningful to work on this particular song. You can paint your own world in any and every aspect of life. In my heart this idea resonated with how I see music production and that limitless of possibilities."
Paniz Farokhnia
Music Producer

I asked them also what inspired them in how they wrote the lyrics which I loved how it came together:

“The lyrics were inspired by a short story that the CEO, Monica H. Kang, shared with me about when she was beginning this journey as the Founder of what is now InnovatorsBox. Lily Williams and I took that story to convey it lyrically while Paniz created the sonic world of the song’s story.

The pre chorus that says “palette of color in your black and white world I don’t expect y’a to understand me” is a great point in the song where it shows the individuality between the person with the “color” and the person who does not, that at the end of the day, just because someone IS on this road of building their own world, they don’t have any expectations for others to understand which levitates any potential reverse judgement.”
Serin Oh
Creative Producer and Artist-in-Residence

Well, what about the beat?

“When I first heard the concept we were going for in this song, I immediately heard a more fun and playful beat in my head. Originally I had a keyboard synth as the main instrument but something about it didn’t feel like it was capturing the energy and playfulness of the lyrical and melodic aspect of the song, that is when I decided to switch over to the electric guitar as the main instrument!

I strongly believe that music production is there to support and help tell the songwriter’s story. It all goes back to how great the lyrics and melody are. Working with such talented songwriters like Serin and Lily made my job super easy and fun.”
Paniz Farokhnia
Music Producer

As you can see each line and beat was created with care and the thought of what we can communicate about you, innovators. Still we went back to the drawing board as it’s also important to reimagine how we communicate visually so we worked with Rowanne Chang our Studio Graphic Producer to communicate this vision of painting a universe of possibilities. 

Rowanne is someone who has worked in both live music production and promotion – so she knew just how important a visual can be to communicate the story of a music. So it didn’t surprise me when, as we shared our vision, she knew immediately how we should tie the stories together to communicate that limitless voice.

"When Serin first showed me the music, it told the story itself. I was a nerdy kid when I was little, and I can never forget the feeling of being different from the other kids. Which is interesting because as kids, we'd be scared to be different from others, but as we grow up, we're so eager to be outstanding... to be different.

I create this visual with a hope that it lets people know that it is okay to look up at the sky when you are walking in a busy crowded city, that it is okay to keep that weird little kid in you as you become adults, and that it is okay to be different."
Rowanne Chang
Studio's Graphic Producer

And when I asked Rowanne what resonated with her when working on the visuals for this song, she shared:

"I like how this song brings me bright colors and energy. I chose to put the crowded neon city in black and white because that is how I feel when I lose touch with my hope and my dream. But this song encourages me to be bold and be honest with myself. And I hope that people feel the same way as they listen to it when they are taking traffic or feeling drawn by work and it'll cheer them up."
Rowanne Chang
Studio's Graphic Producer

As you listen to this song while you’re going about your day, or when you need a little pick me up, I hope that it reminds you to be bolder, to be your authentic, unapologetic self, while remaining kind to yourself. 

And share away the beats with your loved ones, or just anyone. It may just help them stand up proud in their unique and quirky way. It may help them paint their own color!

About the Author

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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