If there was only one song you could write, that one song you stand for, what would that song be like?
Would you tell a story to someone? Would you self-express your strongest emotions in a therapeutic manner? Would you tell the world something that needs to be told? Would you preach? Would you provoke? Would you whine?
What would that song sound like? Which instruments would be in it and who would you want to listen to it?
Why am I asking this? I know as an artist, we don´t want to shrink our many layers down to a mere surface, we don´t want to keep doing the same thing over and over again or become stuck and inflexible. Change is the only constant there will ever be!
And yet, it is my believe, that knowing what is most important to you as a songwriter can help you “find your voice“, “sharpen your lens“, “help build a fanbase” and “evolve as an artist“.
Finding a “direction” is crucial to growth! Pulling back and forth and into all corners might be fun for a while, but it will keep you going in circles, never really walking past crucial milestones…
Song ideas stem from real life!
Think of it this way: As a human being, we cultivate certain character traits, obtain certain convictions…some that are stretchable and unmolded, and others that are non negotiable. In that sense we are like trees…we need to both be grounded and shooting for the stars.
Staying true to yourself makes you strong, upright, and more powerful in terms of having a unique voice! Standing for something you believe in as a songwriter is important to stay sane in this business and as an artist in general! And it helps attract likeminded peers, aka fans.
To illustrate how broad that core message could be, I want to quote country singer Miranda Lambert who said: “My music is about being strong, even in your vulnerability.”
You see, a definition like this leaves you plenty of options, but still points out what most of your songs have in common.
So I urge you to explore your core principles, your most important messages, your strongest sounds and your true artistry!
Find your own style and then go crazy! In as many ways as you like!