By Justin Gray (songwriter/producer and founder of www.wearemdiio.com)
Making music is your passion.
Most of your family won’t understand that. Most of your friends won’t understand that. Friends and family. Two F words.
You’ll forever be the music cousin at the wedding who is constantly confronted with the question “but what do you do for a living?”
“Like…how do you pay for your life?”
“What’s your real job?”
They don’t get it. They won’t get it. Most people never will.
But music is your friend AND your family. I’ve made lifelong connections with people that have lasted YEARS because of music. I’ve created deep deep bonds over songs no one will ever hear. Just because they’re special moments. And not just collaborators.
There is connective tissue between you and…say…Mozart or McCartney or Kanye. We’re all members of the same club. And it’s a VERY exclusive club!
Apologize in advance that my favorite F word did not find it way into this blog. Although it would be feasible to fabricate false facts, here are Five F bombs to fancifully focus your fetish for fantastic folly...full stop. Apologies for the feeble foible…for real.
Find - Making music alone is boring. It can almost become a task. Creating with other people is the best part of writing songs. The interaction. The camaraderie. The lifelong bond you will always share, even if it’s only one song. Find the right people and expanding your creative tribe every chance you get. Find the right collaborators, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Fun - Songs are the musical fabric of all our lives. It ties us together in similar ways that Family can. Shared experiences at concerts with thousands of other people leaves lasting positive energy. Woodstock ‘69 yes! Woodstock ‘99 not so much. But having fun in the studio is ABSOLUTELY paramount. Enjoy the time. Don’t take it so seriously. The song you’re writing today might become someone’s wedding song, or their first kiss, maybe you’re breaking someone’s heart or saving it? That’s cool!
Feed - Feed your soul. Feed your creativity. Feed your passion. Feed your curiosity. Read, watch movies, listen to music. Open your mind and energy field to the universe allowing yourself to be influenced by your surroundings. Listen to people chat at a cafe. People are poetic without even realizing it sometimes. Be a voyeur of human behavior. It will make you a better songwriter.
Finish - Mistake #1. Not finishing your song. Doesn’t have to be great. Doesn’t even have to be good. But completing a song puts closure on a concept. Leaving incomplete ideas on the table can be crushing to your ego. For sure! But not finishing songs can become a bad habit that easily turns into writers block.
Future - What does your future look like? It doesn’t have to be perfectly articulated, or even that clear. We don’t always see the forest through the trees. It’s ok if the goal is a little blurry. Vision can do that to people. Reward yourself by dreaming big! People don’t succeed because they fear failure. Even if your vision is to get a Beyoncé cut, and you don’t…is that failure? You spent the day creating something out of nothing that will exist in the ethos for endless generations to come. You made that! Holy cow!!
The Coda: Music is not about music…it’s about a multidimensional and emotional connection that we make to others, with others, and for others. Maybe you’re writing a song with collaborators, or performing for 1 person at a lobby bar in Costa Rica, you’ve bonded with another human…Forever. When you think about it that way…it’s quite fascinating.
See ya next week, and keep writing them hits