By Cari Cole
The relationship between you, the artist, and your music is not necessarily an easy one. Just because you can write your own songs doesn’t mean you love how they turn out.
Sounds weird huh? But it’s true. It takes a while of writing songs before they start coming out the way you hear them in your head. You have to develop the muscles first, get exposure to other great writers, co-write, find your writing style, your voice – even, your signature. Often times you find what you want by finding what you don’t want first.
You’d think you’d love everything that comes out of you. But it’s not true. Songwriting is a well-crafted art and just because you might come up with a song on the fly once doesn’t mean every song written will be a good one. Besides, you probably spent years working at writing for that one song to fly out (or you were just lucky). It’s one thing to have something to say, it’s another to bring it to life.
Plus all the hours, months, and years you have to put into your songs and music before you see any results! That’s often the hardest part that drives most artists nutso. However, if you stay the course, keep refining and polishing your craft you’ll finally arrive at the door of your beloved (and yes, it will take longer than you think, but it’s worth every moment of the journey to get there!)
In the meanwhile, you can speed up the process by falling more deeply, madly and passionately in love with your music than ever before. Because just like in a relationship, when you love yourself more, you attract the one you’re looking for. It starts with an attraction and builds into love and intimacy. It’s a process that needs your commitment to love first.
The message is to allow that process of falling in love to happen. Date yourself. Date your songs. Do you really like them? Or is it just fun in the moment. Do they leave a lasting impression? You wouldn’t marry someone you didn’t think you could go the distance with – right?
Here’s how to fall in love more madly, more deeply with your music than ever before. It’s the key to great A & R.
1. Don’t Rush.
Too many artists feel the need to rush to get their new music out. It’s good to be so inspired, but the problem is you end up putting up stuff that is not your best. Well, how do you keep your fans inspired with new stuff and work behind the scenes on your masterpieces? Use video for releasing creative versions of covers and Soundcloud to post demos in between records. But don’t ever rush to release music that doesn’t fit your signature sound. It’s a big mistake. Click here for more info on an opportunity to define your message, sound, and direction.
2. Songwriting is a Process That Needs Nurturing.
Give yourself ample time to write songs. And be sure to write more than you need so you can choose the best. Great records are often the result of choosing from 4-5x the number of songs needed. I heard Stevie Wonder once said he wrote 115 songs to choose 12 – something like that. While you don’t have to write that many, it gives you some idea of the process songwriting giants use. Don’t skimp here.
Also, there is a process to writing an album that allows the songwriter to dig more deeply into what is going on with them during a certain “period” of their life. Like Van Gogh or Joni Mitchell had their “blue period”, a collection of material allows you the opportunity to find what your soul is saying and have something greater to bring. It could be the very thing that helps you find your signature and brand. So don’t skimp here either. Click here for more info.
3. Be Ready to Step Up in a Big Way.
If you are looking for better results than you’ve had before, then you’ll have to do something different than before. The same process will generally give the same results. In what ways have you been holding yourself back in your music? Do you need to become a better singer, songwriter, lyricist, melody writer, musician? Do you need to learn or examine better chord progressions? What would make you a better artist? Don’t overlook the details of this or be afraid to grow, it could be just the thing the doctor ordered.
4. Make the Music You Want to Hear.
Linda Perry once said to KT Tunstall during the making of Tiger Suit when KT was having “a moment” in coming up with the material. She said, “stop trying to please your fans and your label – make the music you want to hear.” Nothing is more powerful to an artist who is primed and is a good writer already. Sometimes we get in our own way. People pleasers beware. What do YOU want to hear? Nothing less will ever be your legacy.
For more info on how to delve in deeply to this process – I have created a course called The Signature Songwriting Circle that takes you step-by-step through the entire process of creating songs with a message (YOUR message) that will demand your audience’s attention. Artists who have taken the program say this and more is possible, read more here. I hope this helps to lead you to your most brilliant work yet.
Share one thing that has helped you in the comments below.