Ever experienced a piece of music that ticked every theory box but still didn’t move you?
You can often hear it in the latest pop tunes or music fad.
Music like any art is a at it’s best a gut level expression of who you are, and it’s those honest feelings that people connect with and into which they buy. So no matter how close you follow the rules, it will still pale in comparison to a piece that was made from genuine inspiration and heartfelt emotion that someone wanted to express.
All the best tracks I’ve made, I’ve had clear ideas of what i wanted to achieve or how I wanted it to work people. When I don’t have that vibe, I can spend ages and get no where. This works in different ways for different people, but the essence is the same, you have a strong emotional feel your trying to convey in the music your making. The same thing goes for your progression as a producer, no matter how much inate skill you have, you still have to work like a bitch and then some. Nothing good comes easy, and you have to push through the barrier of pain to reach the next level on a constant basis. However, its that challenge that also inspires you. I don’t ever think I need to practice such and such, I just want to do it. When I don’t have that feeling, I don’t.
At times when I’m not feeling so inspired I love to check out interviews with people I admire, not always musicians, but people who have got up and chased after what they dream of. I stumbled upon this interview with Steve Jobs of Apple, on the great site TED. It’s a short 15 minute talk about living your life, trusting your instinct and doing what you believe.
For musicians this can often be hard, you have to make money and be creative continually. There are endless preasures to ‘sell out’ so to speak and make what the masses like to hear in order to live. In the current climate of low sales and saturated market that is ever more true. Digital download sites like Beatport almost create a focus of the hot tracks to replicate and styles that are currently in vogue. To this i say it’s great to draw inspiration from the biggest tunes of the day, but you must stay true and express yourself in your music. People buy your music to hear your expression, your interpretation of the rules. So you need to follow your passion for your particular style, hone it, develop it, live it and breath it and trust that eventually people will buy into it. In order for people to buy into it, you must also believe in it …
Check out Steve Jobs interview below about living your life through your passions. This is broad talk but the same principles apply to both life and music, if you care to separate the two… njoy