Despite knowing that there is a production crew behind a single a 3-minute song, majority of the audience still have a hard time fathoming the fact that the same song might’ve held an emotional memory for the artist. Even if the listeners do recognise its sentimental value superficially or relate it on a personal level, undoubtedly it is strikingly different compared to what the artist has experienced.
That much is glaring but ever wondered what it takes to digest the amalgamation of emotions, summarise it into a narrative, add melodies and rhythms till the 3-minute mark and perform your very life in front of people? Of course, this might not be the case for the musicians who have a production crew behind their cause, but the fact remains. Even as a mere lyricist, imagine the experiences Sia Furler must’ve had when she wrote Pretty Hurts and Beyoncé’s own experiences to deliver a stunning piece on stage.
If you wish to not only be able to generate creative ideas but put out an entire artistic performance, here are some methods you can implement.
1. You Are Your Own Inspiration
“The most personal is the most creative” is a quote by Martin Scorsese that was recently brought to light again by the Oscar-winning director, Bong Jong Ho. Who better to bring forth an organic, emotional performance if not the person who has gone through the said event? Apart from having an extraordinary vocal range, control and style, Jessie J is a singer who had written title tracks that were heavily inspired by her childhood. Who You Are is an anthem about self-love and staying true to one’s identity, a revelation once she overcame the trauma as a child who was constantly bullied.
Such events don’t have to be entirely personal either. You don’t necessarily need to pour out your entire life story on the forefront to get your audience to relate to your music. Perhaps you can have your music be a commentary piece on society just like how Childish Gambino did with his track, This Is America. This chilling track was a commentary on several issues, mainly: America’s gun epidemic, the sadly prevalent racism, especially towards the Black community, and society’s rampant indifference after a tragedy.
That’s a lot to take in but if you don’t wish to be political, you can always opt for another route. After all, genuine and organic storytelling is what pulls people in.
2. It’s Time To Jump Off The Cliff
The Queen successfully broke through the industry with their debut song, Bohemian Rhapsody. Unlike the conventional songs that stop at the 3-minute mark, this song is a confusing masterpiece. Not only does this song span for 6 minutes, but it also has several sections to replace its lack of chorus. It has an intro, ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock section and a reflective coda. It was unlike anything the public has ever seen and it immediately became a commercial success, topping the UK Single Charts for nine consecutive weeks.
The easiest way to gain public attention is to be different. Just like Queen, to stand out from the crowd, you will need to just do something the rest has yet to touch their hands on. In order to be able to do this, you not only need to expose yourself to several circumstances, art and music genres, but also be open-minded to dip your toes into such areas.
If you’re a vocalist who had their fair share of vocal singing lessons, pick up your drumsticks and enrol in Singapore’s drum lessons for adults instead. Each instrument has something to offer. For instance, a percussion set helps tremendously with the rhythm of the song and a guitar’s rift can easily add texture to the same song.
To be well-versed in the mechanics of sound, you first need to explore. Look at FKJ, for instance. This French multi-instrumentalist is also a singer and producer, and has explored numerous music genres from a very young age. Him being comfortable and competent in music matters allow him to create Tadow with Masego. Tadow was an improvised chill-house piece that served as a breakthrough for both collaborators.
3. Be More The Good – Be Phenomenal
Of course, the last tip is rather self-explanatory. To gain recognition from the public, you need to be great at what you do. This means having exceptional skills and music sense. Whilst the latter is much harder to cultivate, you can only improve your set of skills with constant practice. Learn music and fully understand its mechanics, not only in theory, but practical as well. Only when you have a trained ear, will you be able to pick out the nuanced complexities in a song.
If you are dedicated to creating a new song, you will never run out of ideas. Jot down every idea, every inspiration and every new thing you’ve learnt. There’s nothing like creating something that was once a part of you, and have people express their appreciation and recognition for your hardwork.