I work with a lot of young artists who are trying to figure it all out. Every one of them makes choices and learns from failure to make themselves stronger. Most of them seek to work with collaborators to make something bigger and better than either of them could create on their own. However, sometimes they get a little left out of the collaboration…
Here’s What I Do Not Want For You
You will meet other artists (and by that I also mean producers, writers, even in this case your manager or your agent) and start a collaboration, and sometimes your collaborators will simply use you to benefit their own career.
What I do not want for you, is for you to create music with a collaborator, and find that people are most interested in what your collaborator brought to the table.
Let’s say that you are a singer/songwriter working with a producer who is adept at creating the beats and musical hooks, and knows how to record and mix the tracks. However, he’s not strong on writing lyrics, in fact he might argue that the lyrics aren’t really important. The finished product will be his production paired with your great singing voice. It sounds great, and you can make a video for the song, and everyone seems happy, until you are performing the song live, let’s say with a piano or a guitar, and suddenly the song has no power to move an audience.
Here’s What I Want For You
You are a creator, developing your voice and your unique art. There’s something that only YOU can deliver, and you want your art to revolve around that unique identity. Your collaborators will ultimately help you create some great work, and that work will feature all that is fantastic about you, AND all that is fantastic about their skills and taste.
What I want for you, is for people to hear your music and gain a confidence for what you are and what you can do.
In the example of working with the super-producer, what I want for you is to create, together, something fantastic that shows off what you can do, just as much it showcases what he can do. That means that when you perform the song without the benefit of his production, you can still capture the emotions of your audience by delivering what is ultimately a great song.
So, What is Your Superpower?
If you’re going to be mighty, to be tough, to take charge of the music that you release under your artistic brand, start by telling me what your superpower is:
- are you a great songwriter?
- are you a great interpreter of others’ songs?
- are you a great performer?
- are you gorgeous?
If you aren’t yet mighty in the way you’d like to be mighty – say, you want to be a great performer but aren’t there yet – then get yourself trained and develop your skills. Take charge of how you want to be seen and heard.
By the way, I didn’t add that last point as a joke… If what makes you special is your looks, that’s fine, but maybe it means you should be a model instead of a musical artist. If, however, you want people to think of you as a great songwriter, or a great performer, then be tough and make sure your art demonstrates that. Any day of the week, I would rather be entertained by a great entertainer who may or may not be gorgeous; I have no interest in being entertained by someone gorgeous who is pretending to also have some mighty musical talent.
I look forward to seeing your might in action!
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