Songwriter Sandy Zeleznik will compose a song just for you

Songwriter Sandy Zeleznik will compose a song just for you

Personalized songs a thoughtful wedding gift

  • May. 27, 2019 7:30 a.m.

– Story by David Wylie Photography by Darren Hull

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Imagine walking down the aisle to your very own personal song.

Kelowna born and raised songwriter Sandy Zeleznik wants to create a unique memory capturing a major milestone: your wedding.

“Marriage is an amazing thing. It’s a happy time, a life-changing event,” she says. “Your own song is a keepsake for life, just like pictures, just like video. I put my heart and soul into it.”

Sandy has written hundreds of songs, and has been honing her craft for years.

The first wedding song she wrote was for her niece. Personalized songs became a thoughtful wedding gift she gave to those near and dear.

Sandy knew she had found a unique niche in the competitive music industry — adapting couples’ vows and how they met into professional demos that rival radio songs.

“After I wrote my first wedding song, it brought joy to me and a sense of passion; it was such a wonderful feeling,” she says. “Some things just seem to come into trend. A good friend sang me down the aisle when I got married. I never thought to have a personal wedding song back then.”

Sandy says she writes music as therapy and, along with weddings, has also written songs for funerals. One was even picked up by MADD Canada for a candlelight vigil.

“It’s funerals or weddings. I choose weddings,” she says. “I like to make people cry, I guess: tears of joy or sad tears. I’m an emotional writer.”

She’s also versatile and enjoys crafting funny songs

as well.

“Not all wedding songs have to be slow and emotional; there can be some great humorous songs for the reception,” she says.

Chasing her childhood dream of writing songs has been a long time coming.

Sandy married and had kids, raising them and helping her husband, James, run Jazel Homes in the Okanagan. But music never went away. With her kids grown, she now has more time.

“It was always in the back of my mind,” Sandy says. “You hear about people who are artists and they get a little bit more time when they’re older and they can pursue it. The dream can come true. I can take my song-writing to the next level and I can put everything I have into it. When you love something, it’s not work.”

Sandy specializes in pop and country songs. She now writes every day in some way, whether it’s at the piano, with a pen and paper or in her head when inspiration strikes while she’s living life.

Recently, Sandy recalls, the house she grew up in was torn down to build townhouses, and she was there to watch the demolition.

“When that house came down, you would not believe the memories that came back. It’s like when someone dies,” she says. “Not a lot of people see their house that they’ve grown up in torn down.”

She adds: “One such memory was when I started singing at five years old. I sold tickets to all the neighbours for five cents. They all came to see me. I had a little tape recorder and I was standing on these round grey concrete stairs. I had a skipping rope for my microphone and I sang to the Partridge Family,” she says.

“Shortly after witnessing the house being demolished I wrote a song to that memory.”

The hard work has been paying off. Sandy has been making gains in the music industry. She’s had songs picked up by indie artists, met with publishers, and has co-written with writers from Nashville, Vancouver and Kelowna.

“You have to have a lot of patience,” she says. “There is magic in song-writing, like anything artistic. Some people get to pursue their dream when they’re young. I had to wait until I was a little older. There is a time for everything — whether you’re young or old. You can pursue your dream at any age. It’s a tough gig, but I’m in it for the long run. I want to make someone a wonderful song.”

Her personalized wedding songs have been well received, with people saying they rival some of the songs currently on the radio.

“I was very humbled by that,” she says. “It just brings so much joy to people.”

She says the songs are perfect to accompany the bride down the aisle, a first dance and as a wedding video soundtrack. To use a song on a video that’s posted to the internet costs a copyright fee that can be exorbitant — depending on the song.

Some of the songs are recorded by professional studios in Nashville, where she hires world-class musicians and singers. She says she likes to be in the studio when her songs are being recorded so she can make sure her personal flair is reflected in the final recording.

Others songs she records herself. She plays on her grandma’s old piano, on which she learned to play. She also has a newer piano and two keyboards.

One of her highlights was writing a song for her son’s wedding: “It was an honour to do their song; I had a few tears writing that one,” she says.

Sandy and James just celebrated 30 years of marriage.

“I haven’t done one for us yet because I’ve been too busy,” she laughs.

She is now working on an album of personal stories.

More information at sandyzeemusic.com

Arts and EntertainmentLifestyleMusic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Spirit of the North Kennel Photo: Jennifer Small
Dog sled adventures in the West Kootenay

Spirit of the North Kennels in Salmo offers dog sled trips

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Most Read