Little Girl The Remix with E. Walter Smith – E128

Matthew Campbell of My Wedding Songs and singer/songwriter E. Walter Smith chat about his new song “Little Girl The Remix” and his career.

Purchase “Little Girl – The Remix”

E. Walter Smith’s “Wedding Day!” is the perfect soundtrack to the most important day of a couple’s life…Wedding Day!

The honey baritone, Pop/R&B/Dance singer/songwriter’s career started in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and then blossomed when he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and recorded his New York Times About.com Top 5 R&B Wedding Song, “Little Girl.”

E.’s contemporary brand of love & romance offers a fresh vision for a timeless covenant, and breathes new life into hope and “happily ever after.”

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Show Notes:

  • Writing and Performing Song for Brother
  • Promotion in St. Thomas
  • Vow Renewal at Festival
  • Song for Bride’s Processional
  • Performance Preparation
  • Your Style of Music
  • Music Influencers
  • Performing as Nat King Cole
  • Inspiration from Talent Show
  • Favorite Personal Songs
  • The Story of Little Girl – the Remix
  • Little Girl – The Remix Details
  • Custom Wedding Songs
  • Upcoming Projects
  • Wedding Day Project

Welcome everybody to the wedding songs podcast. I’m Matt Campbell. Today, I have a very special guest E. Walter Smith He is a singer-songwriter based in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Welcome to the show E. So good to see you, man Always a pleasure to have a conversation with you and just be in your presence I want to hear more about your backstory and your singing and creating music.

Writing and Performing Song for Brother

But before we do that, can you tell everybody a story of performing at a wedding in the past? Sure. of the most memorable stories is a continuation from one story to another. When my brother decided to get married, one of the big things was, of course, What are you going to get him?

They had dated for a while and she was a wonderful person. We had known her and wanted to get a gift that was obviously going to be very special. So a friend of mine suggested the idea of writing them a song. My first custom song. And so what I did, I thought of his story, thought of her story and put the song together and titled it “I Do”.

Then from there, after having written it and recording it. It was all about the performance of it. And this was in Lake Tahoe and all the family and friends were there. And then quite honestly, it was one of the first songs that I had written that I’d be able to actually perform in front of friends and family and that kind of thing.

So it’s the Lake Tahoe. It was a wonderful celebration. It was a wonderful performance. And that kind of started the whole, wedding project.

Promotion in St. Thomas

And then from there, I actually, Was invited to sing at the launch of a brand new spa at the Wyndham Bay hotel in St. Thomas. So a radio station was having a big promotion. They fly me out to St. Thomas and, all because of my song. I do. And we land and I’m just sitting saying, Oh my God, you know, my song has got me to St. Thomas, you know, presidential suite, the whole nine yards.

And then I sing at the launch of that spa and the crowd, I mean, it was just, and then they do like maybe 400 weddings a year. So, I mean, they’ve seen every kind of wedding, but this was something kind of special. So that was great.

Vow Renewal at Festival

And after having done that, there was a festival of sorts called For Sisters Only that was in Charlotte, North Carolina. And, they invited me to come sing at the vow renewal of about 100 couples, 19,000 people in attendance. And these couples are lined up coming down for the vow renewal to me singing. I do. That was very memorable and very, very memorable. I know you said, was there one, but there were several that really. Kind of made that extra special.

Song for Bride’s Processional

And then, one of the other ones was a good friend of mine. We’ve done a lot of shows together in the past and he gets married and invites me to sing at his wedding. It was a three-tiered kind of procession down the aisle where they’d stop, kind of wave at the fans, turn around, kiss, do it again, four pews down, you know, all to my song, I do so, I know you asked for one, but, that combination really was what motivated me to continue to write and complete The wedding day project.

Performance Preparation

That’s awesome. If you’re a performer going to sing your song, are you getting there really, really early just to make sure that you’re going to sound good on the system that’s there? Is there any prep that’s done beforehand? How does that work? so the short answer to that is absolutely yes.

From a technical standpoint for me, one of the most important people in the room is the sound guy, which is usually the DJ. And, the reason why, he or she is so important is because at the end of the day, they have total control over my performance. I try to talk to them way in advance, let them know, the song that I’m performing, do you want me to bring it on a thumb drive, do you want me to email the track to you, you want me to put it on CD, you want me to have it on mp3 player, you want me to have it on the phone, I bring all those anyway, because having done this for the past three and a half decades, I’ve seen it all, I’ve done it all.

I’ll never forget one show I did where, I brought two copies of it on cd. The DJ took a break before I went on and he’s eating chicken. You already know. He gets chicken grease on the cd. So midway through the song, when I’m performing the upbeat tune I’m performing and start to skip and stop.

I’m like. And he’s wiping his mouth. I said, ladies and gentlemen, don’t even worry about the DJ had to take a little break, but you know what? The band still will continue to do a remix on the CD, put the new CD in, fast forward it and the party continued. So, yeah, I have an amazing relationship with the DJs and the sound crew before the show starts.

So that when I show up, we’re all on the same page and leaving as little to chance. As possible. If you fail the plan, you, plan to fail. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And it just takes once. Yes. As with anybody, that’s a performer, I would say we all learn from our mistakes and move on. Absolutely.

Your Style of Music

How do you classify your style of music? At its core, love and romance. I’m a big believer in happy endings. I’m a big believer in love never fails. Love conquers all. the genre is pop. R&B dance, pretty much, got a lot of soul and neo soul involved and Motown feel, I’m a baritone bass.

So, when I drop my jaw and anything out of my body, you already get, a kind of feel for where it’s going to go. But, content-wise is typically, it’s a love and romance and, every genre has room for that kind of message or that kind of theme. And I try to, cover all of that, throughout my catalog. Cool.

Music Influencers

Well, let’s step back just for a second. Who would you say has influenced your music the most? Any musicians? So growing up, I’m a shaker, I’m from Shaker Heights, Ohio. And so growing up in the sixties and seventies in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a lot the musical influences ranged. So my voice sounded like this when I was 10 years old.

So I was silenced by the music teacher because it was just way too much. And so, I ended up playing bass guitar. And in that, the thing, classic rock. So, it was Kiss. It was Journey. It was Styx. It was Michael Stanley. It was James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, and so did a lot of that stuff.

And, then When I turned 18, One in a Million came out by Larry Graham and it was like, oh, now see, I can do that. I could do that. And that’s how things really got started in terms of my vocal career. It was on the corner of South Woodland and Alderston Road in Shaker Heights, Oh.

So how top down WJMO radio plan. One in a million and I’m singing that and that’s kind of like what started it but over the years, it’s been everything from Kiss to Cameo, from Nat King Cole, to Rogers and Hammerstein. In fact, when I warm up, I’m singing Hi on Hill, hi, hi, from Sound of Music or, or Disney’s Jungle Book.

Now I’m the King of the Swing of Soul. those are the songs that I use to warm up because those are the songs. I know the lyrics too, because I’ve been singing it, all my life. And they’re in my range and, they’re technically sound and, includes, tones and scats and, their great warmups for me.

So, that very broad range, is my palette, if you will, to create, the music that I create and even the song list I performed. Cause. Of course, I’ve got the songs that I’ve written, but if I’m doing, a reception or a brunch or a VIP or whatever it is, a lot of times not everybody knows the E Walter Smith stuff.

So I’ve got to do, you know, I’ve got, I’m working on that. Not yet. We’re working on that. Right. But I’ll do Nat King Cole, Gino Vannelli, Lou Rawls. Elvis, Queen, I covered Kenny Loggins. I cover pretty broad spectrum of music because when I know it, I grew up with it and it tends to resonate, with the audience that you serve.

That’s cool that you got that wide range of influences because I’m sure that really made you who you are today. Yeah. Absolutely. The good, the bad, the ugly. But it’s me. Yep. We are who we are from our experiences.

Performing as Nat King Cole

Speaking of that were there any, I know you mentioned some already, were there any non-wedding magical performances that you want to share?

I think 2017, I had the opportunity to play the lead role as Nat King Cole. Then that came cold, Natalie cold store. My dad flew in from Cleveland for the performance and, a little context, my dad is the dad that. Anything we did, he was there and he and mom were there for anything I did now, like I said, coming up, I was all American hoops.

So it was primarily, basketball games. I ran track. He was, he was a track star. So I ran track cause dad ran track, but anything I did, you know, he was there. And a little more backstory. His dad was a tap dancer. The whole E. Walter Smith is a result of not so much my father, who is Walter Smith, but my grandfather, who was also Walter Smith, and he was a tap dancer up in Cleveland.

And anytime the big acts came to Cleveland, you know, be it Count Basie, Papa Heinz, or Duke Ellington, he would be the opening act. So, because it kind of skipped a generation with dad, although my dad was one of the original members of the Del Vikings. The bug didn’t hit him, but for my grandfather, you know, because dad came around when he and grandma got married, that kind of, killed his career.

So I take the torch. And so, here’s my opportunity to do Nat King Cole in front of Dad. And so. We killed it. It was an amazing performance.

Inspiration from Talent Show

but one of the things that really inspired it was because, prior to getting that role, when they had their 50th anniversary, we took a cruise, a cruise of the Caribbean on, Royal Caribbean.

They have like a star search, kind of talent show. I sang at that. And I won that. And I won singing unforgettable. So all the family was there for that. obviously cause it was their 50th.

 The talent show happens, I sing, I win, and mom and I are going to the elevator, going to the room, and this guy comes up to me, he goes, that was amazing, can I get your autograph? So I said, well, sure, and I look at mom, well, sure, and so, you know, get a guy to autograph, and he gets on the elevator, and mom goes, yeah, so next time you sing that song, how about you autographing on the back of a check?

So mom always, kept that carrot in front of me. And,but nevertheless, again, what happened, that was a talent show kind of thing. And I’d done those and that was special, but, playing the role of Nat King Cole. I mean, that was. That was amazing.

We did from 2017 to 2020, as a matter of fact, but one of the most special was, was that having dad in the audience and then everybody, they got to meet dad. Mom had died, about eight years prior to that. Then it really kind of continues to be, you know, One of the most memorable because my guy was right there.

Yeah. He’s definitely one of the greatest singers of all time. All time. I love his song L O V E. That’s one of my favorites to play. Yeah. L O V E. It’s all the way you look at me. absolutely. Through the years, you have released many wedding-themed songs. Congratulations.

Favorite Personal Songs

Do you have any favorites that you’ve released? Well, at the end of the day, all of them are favorites. They’re like your kids, you know, that’s the class. But, I told you about, I do, front row. So many brides have a problem finding a song for the entrance of the honored guests and a lot of them, if they don’t want to use, a symphonic piece.

An instrumental piece, they have a tough time finding a piece that is really specific to that particular moment. So I wrote Front Row with Donna I. Douglas, who is a Grammy Award-nominated, Dove Award, 200 songs, 200 different languages from Usher to Brooklyn Tab just on and on and on and on and on.

And the Babbie Mason, of course, is, a gospel, giant. And so we got together and wrote Front Row. Really it was the replacement of me always having to sing Sunrise, Sunset. Cause that song again from being from Shaker Heights, comes to Fidler on the Roof.

So I’ve been hearing that song at Bar Mitzvahs. And so I knew that, but, you sing it a thousand times and it’s like, well, I’m putting together this project. So we did front row. That’s one of my favorites because I got to write with them as well.

I mean, these are, amazing writers, celebrated. And then, for the interest of the bride, a song titled Take a Step it’s from the perspective of the groom at the altar, telling the bride, to take a step. As she’s coming down the aisle. I write for love and romance, but also write not only for the fans.

And so in that, I’m like, everybody. Watches, the bride come down the aisle, but they seldom actually celebrate the guy. So in the middle of the song, I say stop. I love your gown girl. You’re so pretty mean the world to me so that she can actually stop and if you want to turn around and show the gown off and do whatever it is.

I wrote that into the song. Then of course it’s still as the groom at the altar, telling him to come down. It’s become one of my favorite favorites because, Miguel Wilson, who was one of the top, the formal wear designers actually used it for one of his promotions on Instagram.

So that was very cool and confirmation I might be on to something. And then when my sister got married, she was living in Japan and actually met somebody on black people meet who was in DC and the guy, my amazing brother in law Keelan flew to Japan to meet her they were both Getting close to 30 and we’re kind of like gave up on the idea of, falling in love and getting married, having a family and it finally came together. So I wrote first dance as a celebration. And that.

I did at a bridal show one day that was another memorable one. Cause it was the new birth church bridal show. New Birth is one of the mega-churches here in Atlanta. This is when they were doing bridal shows and it was huge. in, one of the major auditoriums and it was something else.

And then one other, I wrote three versions. Of a song called We Married, the Bride Slide. You go to every wedding and at some point there’s going to be some kind of line dance. when I would go home for the holidays, Mom and Dad would always be rehearsing for an upcoming, Christmas party, whatever they were going to, getting ready to do the line dances at the party.

So they’d be rehearsing and what have you. And I’m like, I need to write a line dance song. And so, I’ve got three versions of it. And, the one version is kind of a pop R and B version.

The other version is kind of like a salsa dance version. And the other version is kind of like a Southern soul version. different, scratch and mixing and the whole nine yards. Those are real exciting. To celebrate, the song we married, we married, so that’s becoming a favorite.

The Story of Little Girl – the Remix

I love how you’re releasing all of this music and that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to have you on today is because you recently released little girl, the remix version.

Can you tell us a little bit about the behind the story of the song? On that same night that my sister. And, Keelan got married, they were off on the honeymoon. Me, mom, dad, and my brother, Steve were just in the living room, just kind of hanging out. And dad, tell dad starts doing this.

And so mom goes, go ahead, Walt, whatever’s on your mind, go ahead and say it. And so he goes, well, when your sister was born, I prayed that I would live long enough. To be able to dance with her on her wedding day and that it just happened. And a big part of that being very special was that about 18 months before she was born, we lost twins.

And it’s very traumatic. And this was during a time when the ultrasound didn’t let, you know, if it was a boy or girl, you just got prayed for a girl, but you didn’t really know. So the big prayer was that. We’d have a healthy baby and Lord, it better be a girl.

And so Beverly pops out and then you fast forward to the wedding day and dad, his prayer, his dream, his wish had come true. So that’s why there’s a line in the song, I prayed that I’d live long enough to be able to dance with you on your wedding day.

That’s the story behind it. Some of the other influences is the fact that I haven’t started any kids myself, I’ve had great relationships with other, daughters of friends and what have you, and those relationships, including, you know, carrying them off the soccer field or going to the teachers conference or going to the recitals and all that.

A lot of those experiences went into writing the song. After I finally had it written, just the whole process and working with musicians and sound folks and all of that when I had actually written the song, I guess it was for my sister’s, the way it was, it was influenced by my sister’s work, but I let a friend of mine read the lyrics and just not even hear the song, just read the lyrics before I’d even recorded it.

He had not called his daughter in nine years, but after reading the lyrics. Just crying all over the food court table. He calls his daughter for the first time. The rest of that story is he died four years ago and his daughter was there. And I met her for the first time. So. It’s that kind of song.

When I finally had it written, I got little girl, she was 16, named Tatiana, American Idol season six to sing the little girl part. Because what was very important to me was to write a song that was actually a duet where the little girl and the father were, sharing the beauty and the magic of their relationship.

Because there’s not a lot of those kind of songs in the marketplace. And I know that, the struggle in finding a great father-daughter song has always been the one that’s, you know, what song really tells our story. Typically that story is one-sided. Either the daughter is singing it or the father is singing it.

But this song here You know, both are singing it and I got, Glenn Purdue to do the music and it’s just, an amazing piece. And so Tatiana, like I said, season six, American Idol. So, you know, she’s amazing, we get into the studio, and I do my part and she goes in and just kills her part.

One take. And like maybe a couple punch ins, cause I heard her take it. I’m like, what the, do this right there. And thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So she leaves. Delete everything I just did. Kill everything I just did because she just killed me and there’s no way I’m going to let her just completely upstage me like that.

So I went back in and we fought and struggled and fought and did, what ended up happening, yeah, that song has, just opened up so many doors, you know, I, I use it as the theme song for, for my podcast. I also, for three and a half decades, I’ve run a financial group where we do insurance, wealth building, legacy planning, and I use it for a podcast that I do called Daddy Daughter Days presents the talk conversation with successful fathers and daughters about when they have the talk about insurance, about building legacy planning. So, it is just, reaching out in so many different ways to not only help those same fathers and daughters, celebrate Daddy Daughter Day, but also introduce the ideas of financial literacy and legacy and asset protection and all of that.

And all of them in the same umbrella. So. That’s the little girl story. So here we are today. We’ve made it available for download for both, just like a radio play kind of thing, as well as the presentation. If the fathers and daughters want to sing together and it is going to be lead song on my project that will help me totally kind of revamp, you know, I’m going to be marketing at least the wedding day project, maybe some other things I’m doing as well.

It’s interesting that you reached out many years ago as well. Promoting your wedding day project. And we worked together back then.

Little Girl – The Remix Details

Now, we’re just continuing that relationship. I’ll definitely have links in the show notes for the song, but where can people listen to the song and purchase the song just for those that are listening while they’re sitting at their computers.

That’s right. Very simple. thelittlegirlsong.com got to include the, the. I’ll take you right there.

Custom Wedding Songs

You were mentioning custom songs. Can you just talk a little bit about that process as well? So the custom song process is one that is, much more, I’ll say complicated and involved than one might think from the standpoint that It’s not just a matter of just kind of sitting back and come up with a song. You know, when you’re doing a custom song scenario, what you’re doing is making sure that the song that you’re writing.

It’s telling the story that those that are hiring you really want to have told and then once they’ve been able to share with you and answer questions as to what influences on why it’s so special to you after it’s been sung, what do you want to have happen after that? What kind of feeling do you want those that are listening to it to have?

It’s for a special moment, it’s something for a special event, you know, and when you get all of these kind of answers to the questions, you then have to use your expertise and your creative talent to take what they’ve said, and really make it come to life. Because I do a lot in the love and romance space, I’m able to tell a story and create a picture in a person’s mind that’s really vivid with all the colors and the textures and the taste.

And so, you’ve got to be able to. Asks the right questions to get the right information that’s needed to create something that is really, special for that particular person for that particular moment. So that process oftentimes is a lot of back and forth. And there’s even been instances where the conversation went to.

I never really knew that I felt that way. I said, well, that’s why you got me, you know, that’s why you got me to help you tell your story. And so that’s how the process, starts. Then once you have just the concept, the idea down, And you have to determine what kind of feel you want.

Do you want it a ballad? Do you want it a mid-tempo? Do you want it an upbeat jam? Who are some of your musical influences? Just all those other kinds of things. Do you want just a guitar? Do you want an acoustic? You know, just all the elements they want, to make sure That they’re more than happy and proud to, play it on 12, you know what I mean?

Just keep turning it up because they love it so much. Well, I have to interject too that there’s a difference when you’re working with somebody of your caliber. That you’re going to get a finished product of something that’s a studio quality. song that you can be proud of that’s personally yours. It’s not your off the shelf Walmart song you get on a CD.

We try make sure that everything is on brand because, at the end of the day, that’s all you got. And typically when people press play, it doesn’t come with a story, just press play and there’s no B League, there’s no Pop Warner, you know, music. It’s like either good or it’s not.

Upcoming Projects

As we wind down, is there any upcoming projects that you want to Share? hopefully I had wanted it done this week, but I think it’s gonna take another week or so. I’ve got a song titled, She’s Like, that, was originally written as a duet. In pulling it together, it just became, one, a lot easier for me just to do it as a solo.

And two, it went from what was going to be a ballad into what is kind of a line dance beat. Very simply, it’s a guy telling his friends and anybody that will listen, What is new girlfriend or what is new woman is like, you know, she’s like a life full of sunset.

She’s like Somerset secret, you know, got Pevenson secret, you know, on and on and on and, wonderful song. Honestly. It was initially inspired. One day I was sitting back, watching YouTube videos and I saw, Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines singing.

And I’m like, you know what? I can do that with somebody that I won’t mention, cause they didn’t wanna do it. So I wrote the song. Because, the idea was, we were talking about this girl that we met and what she was like, and at the end of it, she walks across the mall and it’s like, we both say that she is, and it’s like, We both like the same girl, and that was the initial, inspiration behind it.

But yeah, I tweaked it a little bit and now it’s basically the same thing, but now I do it as a solo. And it ends very cool. and what I’ve done, with social media being what it is. And having to, pull out so many different kinds, of content-based, posts that, show different sides and elements and what have you, I’ve kind of tweaked the first 15 seconds so that I can have, different things coming up, every day.

And it won’t be boring and it almost be like, who is he going to use next? How are you going to do that? So that’s, what’s kind of taking about another week to kind of tweak, to make sure that the horn blast is right and make sure that I’m using, all the other kinds of just technical things to make it really hit with you. But the name of that song is going to be, she’s like, it and everything else, will definitely be able to find it on, ewaltersmith.com. And it’ll be on all the streaming platforms. At least for a little while. Just to reiterate ewaltersmith.com, make sure you go there.

Wedding Day Project

Is there anything else that you want to share today with our audience that we might’ve missed? I would say this, as you are looking for that amazing moment on your wedding day, I want you to think of my wedding day project.

It’s a nine-song project that has music for every element of your wedding, from the entrance of the honored guest, to your procession down the aisle, to your first kiss. To the first dance to the father-daughter dance to three versions of the bride slide, which can be your last dance. It can be your first dance after the dinner serve.

But the bottom line is that it covers your whole day. In one project. So definitely, make sure you go to EWalterSmith.com and just click on weddings and all those songs come up. And then also, if you like what you hear and want me to perform live, definitely reach out to me.

If our schedules align, I’d love to be a part of your special day, because I know that just offer a different element that honestly DJs can’t offer because they’re not singing vocally and I partner a lot with DJs because, a great presentation as you know, the DJ, I’ll do a set, I’ll come in and do a set.

And it allows us both to create an entertainment package that is absolutely amazing. Then also, I do sing the songs live. So if you want to, for a ceremony, I can do that. And again, you know, VIP receptions or, the rehearsal dinners and that kind of thing, I’m available for all of that, destination weddings.

Like I said, radio station at St. Thomas flew me out. At the end of the day, I recognize the fact that this is one of the most precious moments of your life and it’s important to me know that if asked to be a part of that, I step up and give you everything that you’re looking for.

I’m absolutely committed to being able to do that and looking forward to meeting all of you. I love that because you’re mentioning working with DJs and I’ve actually talked about this in a past episode where there’s a fusion between having a musician there and having the DJ there at the wedding reception.

Having that surprise of somebody coming out and actually singing the songs live, there’s so much more excitement that’s there. And I think that’s a fantastic idea. So E where can listeners find you and follow up with you again? Everything is ewaltersmith.com.

E Walter Smith, TikTok, facebook is EWalter.Smith. But if you go to Google type, E Walter Smith. You got me, Spotify, all the streaming platforms, all the songs are by E Walter Smith and, that’s how you do it.

If you remember E Walter Smith, you can find me. What’s the website again for Little Girl the remix, thelittlegirlsong.com? Awesome. Well, thanks E for being on the podcast today. Stay tuned for next week with another episode of the wedding songs podcast, and make sure you give us a five-star review on your favorite platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.

Thanks for listening and have a great day. Thanks, Matt. All the best. Everybody.

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