So you wake up one day and you decide you want to make music. You find you’re pretty good at it and you start to contemplate actually releasing it into the wild. After all, if you like it, someone else will like it too.
But then…but then…you start talking with people and they’re like: “So, what is your music about? Why do you sing the way you sing?”. And your answer will probably range from “Um…” to desperately hoping you get sucked into the Hell from Doom Eternal and turned into a Spider Mastermind so you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness that is these four words: “I do not know”.
That was me when I started doing this stuff some 9 months ago already. Babies have been born since then and it took me that long to finally figure out the answer to that question, which we’ll get to in more detail in a separate post. For now, the short answer is: I am more or less an outcast in how I do things and what I say, and I was tired of middle managers telling me I’m wrong and making me feel guilty for it.
Finding your voice as a musician is hard. By voice I don’t necessarily mean your singing voice, which is hard enough as it is. What I mean by it is finding the all important answer: “Why am I doing this? What is my purpose as a musician? Who am I singing these songs to?”. Or in short: “What is my mission statement as a musician?”
Think about it. Every musician has this. And while that’s debatable for certain pop stars, they too have an answer to that, which is, getting filthy rich and not having to work another day in their entire life. Yours might be different.
Maybe you want to let out some deep feelings of resentment towards people telling you that you should get a “real job” as if being an artist is some degrading way of living. Maybe you’re tired of having to suppress your thoughts and words because your boss doesn’t want to upset some big shot who is throwing money at them. Or maybe you just want to unite people with what you’re singing about.
So how does one do this you ask? Quite easy…not really. You simply have to take a moment and literally ask yourself: “Why am I doing this? What sort of thoughts do I want to express in my music? What do I hate about my day-to-day life that I want change? What is the one thing that my music can say to others that I can’t say without fear of getting fired?”.
Yeah, quite a lot of stuff you’d need to go through as you can see and trust me, it will take a little bit of time. But as a starting point, your answer to “Why am I doing this” cannot be “Because I love making music”. Everyone who wants to make music loves the idea of it. You…you need more. You need to find the people you’re singing to. And you cannot do that if you yourself don’t know why you’re doing this.
So go out there and figure what who you are.