I struggled with the idea of this article for some days now for fear of being misunderstood, but I sincerely hope that you get the message I am trying to get across to you.
Creative people are hardly satisfied with their work and most times, they do a lot to please themselves. In doing that, they often overdo things lol. I know this!
In music it is no different, most creative artistes wants to “express” themselves in their songs and there’s nothing really wrong with expressing yourselves except that it tends to put the focus more on you than your audience. I have always said to my students that your music is not for you and it is not about you. Your music can be a blessing to you, no doubt, but it is not primarily for you.
If you understand this, then you must always keep your audience in focus while writing, arranging or recording the song. This is a key factor. Some of you want to express yourselves so badly that you put everything inside the song and end up losing your audience. If your song must command Influence, it must CONNECT with the audience. I can not sing that enough.
I understand the burden of creativity and how it pushes you to go overboard if not managed, but as an artiste, you need to decide what you want; to show that you are creative and gain applause or to connect with your audience and gain influence? That decision will shape your creativity in some ways. I know it is possible to gain both applause and influence but even so, the best way to do that is by connecting with your audience.
A few months back i read an article written by Frank Edwards.. Oh by the way, today is his birthday. Happy Birthday to you sir.. Lol, see the burden of creativity at play there.. Hehehehe.
In that article, Frank said that most young artistes do too much in their songs, loads of riffs and runs, adlibs and all inside one song that simplicity would have helped her ministry. He made reference to Sinach and how simple he did “Way Maker” and most of her songs, asking if they actually thought Sinach doesn’t know how to do all those extras?
I understood frank very well. A song is best kept simple. I have said it a million times that “the greatest joy of your audience is to be able to sing your songs without having to score it”. Please read that again.
When Sinach did ” Way Maker” she left out some parts of the song which she later added in her subsequent Live recordings. I recently have this conversation with the artiste I am managing. We were working on this song and i insisted that it should be kept as simple as possible for the audience to connect effortlessly. He on the other hand felt that there was nothing wrong with expressing yourself well in the song and adding many words as long as it further explains the message of the song.
Everything can not be inside the recording, keep it simple, you can do more on stage while ministering that same song. I have watched Travis perform Intentional live on stage many times and its always nothing like what you have in the Original Recording. Don’t use your creative hands to kill your songs. Always put your audience in focus to help put your creativity in check. I hope you learn something from this.
Amachree Ikijana Alex (AIA)
Celebrity Music Coach
Music Content, Influence and Business Coach.