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A Toronto Music Teacher's Top 5 Valentines Day Songs

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are limited in what they are able to do and find themselves thinking outside of the box to find interesting ways to spend time with friends and family. Valentines Day is quickly approaching and people are finding themselves looking for a special way to spend the day with their significant others or for a way to tell somebody how much they care about them. We have compiled a list of some of our favourite Valentines Day songs to help you get started creating a fun and romantic soundtrack for your day, no matter how you decide to spend it. If you're a musician, most of these songs are fun and challenging to play and would provide a great opportunity to serenade your significant other. If you'd like a hand learning these or any other song, don't hesitate to contact Greater Toronto Music School to arrange for virtual music classes or music lessons in Toronto.

Outkast is an Atlanta, GA based American hip hop duo formed in 1992 consisting of Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin) and Big Boi (Antwan Patton). The group is widely recognized as one of the most influential and greatest hip hop duos and have achieved critical acclaim and commercial success. Their lyricism, positive messages, catchy melodies and their experimentation with genres like funk, soul, jazz and psychedelia made them pioneers and helped to carve out a sound that is instantly recognizable.

The song Happy Valentines Day begins with Andre 3000 introducing himself as Cupid Valentino, the modern day Cupid. He goes on to declare that "every day's the 14th" and wishes listeners a Happy Valentines day. In their signature style, the song features clever lyrics, a melody that listeners will get stuck in their heads and clearly draws inspiration from many different musical styles. While this is not the most romantic song on our list, it is certainly a great song and worth a listen! The track can be found on the group's Grammy award winning double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

It is interesting to note that Andre 3000 and Big Boi are both skilled producers and played a large role in the production of this album, which began at Andre 3000's home in Los Angeles. This was a change of pace from the large studios that the duo were used to working in and they enjoyed the atmosphere working from home, "it didn't start in the studio because if you have a bunch of people around, they're coming from the party and I'm in there singing falsetto ... those vibes didn't match.", said Andre 3000. Now more than ever, artists are able to produce commercial quality recordings with inexpensive equipment from their own homes. If you are an aspiring producer, Greater Toronto Music School has many knowledgeable instructors who will be able to help you develop proficiency in the studio and to compose and produce your own compositions.

Ed Sheeran is one of the greatest songwriters of our time. Born on February 17th, 1991 in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, the singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and business man first started to gain recognition on YouTube after his first recording was released in 2004. He continued to release music, growing in popularity and signing with Asylum Records and releasing his debut album, + (pronounced 'plus'), in 2011. The album contained his first hit single and topped the UK charts.

In 2014, Sheeran released his second album, x (pronounced 'multiply'), which featured the single, Thinking Out Loud. The song was a smash hit, becoming the first single to spend a full year in the UK top 40 and earning him Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Solo Pop Performance. The lyrics of this romantic ballad touch on a deep love that will last decades, until both people have grown old and enjoyed their lives together making it an ideal Valentines Day choice! Sheeran has described the song as a 'walking down the aisle song'. It features a very soft and beautiful guitar part that your guitar teacher in Toronto can help you learn.

Sheeran has faced plagiarism allegations for this song on two counts. Once, the family of Ed Townsend, who wrote Marvin Gaye's Lets Get It On, sued Sheeran claiming that the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic compositions are strikingly similar. The case was dismissed without prejudice, however, two years later he was sued again on similar grounds. This time, by Structured Asset Sales, who owned 1/3 of the song and received $100 million in damages.

The Beatles were an English band who formed in Liverpool in the 1960s. Widely regarded as the most influential band of all time, the group was comprised of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Star. They played a large part in developing the 1960s counterculture and were integral in pop music being recognized as an art form. The band took influence from rock music, classical music, Indian music, psychedelia, traditional pop music and ballads to create a sound that is uniquely their own, truly revolutionizing the music industry.

All You Need Is Love was written by John Lennon but credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership. It was released as a non-album single in 1967 and was Britain's contribution to Our World, the world's first live global television link. The song begins with the words "Love, love, love..." repeated with a beautiful harmony. Singing in harmony with others is an amazing experience and the ability to provide background vocals makes any musician a valuable asset. For aspiring singers or instrumentalists looking to add harmonies to take their band to the next level, Greater Toronto Music School has many wonderful vocal coaches who will help take your singing to the next level.

Alicia Augello Cook, known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American singer/songwriter. She is a classically trained pianist and began composing at an early age. Amazingly, by the time she was 15 years old, she had signed to Columbia Records. Her debut album, Songs in A Minor, was released in 2001 earning her 5 Grammy Awards, selling over 12 million copies world wide and securing her place as one of the greatest R&B artists of our generation.

Keys' sophomore album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003 and was inspired by the death of singer Aaliyah, the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks and other events that deeply impacted the singer's life. The album's second single, If I Ain't Got You, discusses how material objects do not provide what humans really need. Keys recounts her inspiration for the song, "The song idea came together right after Aaliyah passed away. It was such a sad time and no one wanted to believe it. It just made everything crystal clear to me -- what matters and what doesn't." It's an extremely powerful performance and earned Keys the Grammy for best female R&B performance. Notable pop group Maroon 5 has also released a version of this song.

For an aspiring singer/songwriter, studying an artist like Alicia Keys will be helpful to progress as an artist. There is so much to be learned about songwriting and musicality and this insight can be applied to original music. At Greater Toronto Music School, our instructors are available to help aspiring musicians, either through online music lessons or music lessons in Toronto, and will help to improve singing skills, compositional skills and teach any singer to accompany themselves.

Endless Love was written by R&B legend Lionel Richie and was originally performed as a duet with the incomparable Diana Ross. The duo declare their 'endless love' for one another throughout the ballad that Billboard has named 'the greatest duet of all time'. Other notable recordings of this song include versions by Luther Vandross with Mariah Carey, Kenny Rogers and rerecorded by Lionel Richie with Shania Twain. Produced by Richie and recorded for Motown Records in 1981, the song was used as the theme for a film adaptation of a novel with the same title and although the film was only moderately successful, the song was the second biggest single of the year and the most commercially successful single of Ross' prolific career.

Honourable Mentions

No matter how you decide to spend your Valentines Day this year, we hope you are surrounded by loved ones and good music! There are so many great songs that are appropriate for this special occasion and we encourage you to explore others and find ones that are meaningful to you. If you have a song that's special to you, please let us know in the comments and if you'd like help learning how to play it on your favourite instrument, give us a call to arrange for online music lessons or music lessons in Toronto.

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