• identity persona genre - how do you find it?
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identity persona genre - how do you find it?
on: June 19, 2019, 13:52:13
hi everyone,

i searched for this topic and saw some discussion but not specifically this? maybe  i missed It?

for years i have been searching for my identity in my music. i worked on a “voice” i felt was mine, i thought about themes i wanted like “vulnerability” “brutal honesty” “melody”. and i played with genre words like lofi indie pop electronica. and have collected favourite sounds,songs, artists over the years that i relate to... but still it doesn’t all click together the way i imagined it one day would.

but when it comes to song writing... i feel like i can and will write anything, i have little control over it, the more i think about it the harder it is, and the songs aren’t easy/possible for me to sing, or they’re a genre i don’t really understand.

i get so jealous when i hear a girl on youtube covering someone’s song on acoustic guitar so beautifully and easily, but then i often realise they’re copying a popular style, and i can’t do that, it’s not in me... there’s a guy in my song writing group writing amazing pop songs but his style is totally mimicking someone like bruno mars... and it’s great for him, he’s writing all these great songs... but i just can’t... i have to be true to ME, whatever that is.

i think a big part of it is my voice, which i don’t understand well. and writing more until patterns start to form, “oh wait, this trick works for me, oh wait, this sound works for me..”. etc...

but i want to know how others have dealt with this problem, have you ended up in a totally different genre because the songs people responded to were the “country” ones or the “quiet electronic ones”?
 do you persist to try to find a unique voice? or is that a waste of time? 
do you write all kinds of stuff, or have you always had a strong identity...
when you found your identity or persona, how do you think it happened? are you happy with it?

for context
i’ve noted artist’s first EPs like Lorde or Courtney Barnett, they had five songs and each one was a completely different style. and then ONE song got radio airplay and that song became the map for their sound, their identity, how they sang... everything!

id love to hear your thoughts.

lu
“everything is simple, nothing is as straightforward as it seems”.— Me


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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 16:12:16
but i want to know how others have dealt with this problem, have you ended up in a totally different genre because the songs people responded to were the “country” ones or the “quiet electronic ones”?
 do you persist to try to find a unique voice? or is that a waste of time? 
do you write all kinds of stuff, or have you always had a strong identity...
when you found your identity or persona, how do you think it happened? are you happy with it?

I know just what you mean with this @lu77 .  I started writing many years ago because I just was not a good enough player to do justice to someone else's song. That was a very frustrating time for me as a solo artist. My solution was....to just write songs from what I was feeling and experiencing and to simply not worry about genre.

Because of that....and because of my simple style of playing.....I had no choice but to just be me. I was playing bass in a cover band back then in small venues and I started doing originals in between sets. I learned quickly not to expect anything from my audience and to just keep going.

Years went by.....and I just kept going. That is the secret. Be true to yourself, play and sing honestly and within your limits and  your unique style and persona will surface naturally.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 19:53:00
@lu77

I don't even know why I started writing songs, it just started back in high school. All of these years I've never given thought to the things you bring up. Thinking about it, it may have been because as a musician/songwriter I never really felt good enough. I was never good enough to be in a band, the few times I played for people back in the day wasn't really met with kind responses. In other words doing this professionally never entered my brain.

As far a finding my voice, I think we all have influences and those influences probably shape up the kind of  stuff  we do today. Even when I cover songs I like they mostly sound far from the original.

Now if I thought back in the day that I had talent, I would probably be concerned with how to write the popular song, and how to sound like the bands and people that were popular. That would be so I could make living.  I think the artist is described most of the time as sounding like some other artist.

So, I just sound like me (which probably sounds like my influences) - I can't write a rock song for AC/DC - I can't write a rap song of Emem, etc. but I guess I have just found my own voice over all these years because of  inexpensive recording equipment and a SoundCloud site.


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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #3 on: June 20, 2019, 01:52:48
Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. I thought I was the only one that has such little belief in my talents at the start... but I do know that as a kid i used to sing like Madonna, Cyndi, etc but it just never felt like something I could "pull off" even being a more minor player in the grunge scene like Kim Shattuck (The Muffs) or Courtney Love (my least favourite human on the planet) it just felt so false to be "playing" at being them while I watched friends doing it with no qualms...

i'm glad i'm not the only person that has a passion to sound like myself and i'm glad there might one day be a light at the end of the tunnel where it all comes together if I persist!

Louisa


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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 12:44:04
Hi @lu77 ... it's great to already read these replies because one thing I have discovered whilst being part of the Kitchen is that

I AM NOT ALONE

Virtually every member on here has a unique voice, or style or 'thing' and the beauty of this place is that they can all co-exist without the usual rubbish associated with 'likes' and other social media trappings. I might not like on a personal level every piece of music I hear on this forum,  but I respect every artist for being true to themselves.

One of the roles of places like this I feel is to nurture and help develop people's confidence, to allow them to fall, help them get up, hold their hand when they aren't sure and help them to fly.

You are right to stand by your unique vision of the music you want to do. Yes there are genres and styles and rules in music by hey, break them all, because otherwise you might regret not trying to find that expression of that inner you.

Songwriting is such an intimate process that it needs to come from your core otherwise what does it really mean ? 

So just remember ... "You Are Not Alone"

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"Love and Life is all about connections"


Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019, 01:58:45
I can certainly attest to an understanding of this thread and every post in it... especially the original from @lu77

Remain true to oneself is definately key. It occurred to me very early on that if you cover other people’s music you could only hope to be a 2nd best copy. Nothing wrong with learning from others... but don’t try to be them or even be like them... be yourself.

I was visiting with a friend last night... a monstrously talented and accomplished musician who was raised by a world famous jazz trumpet player. He told the story of how his dad kept telling him “... you think they are better than you? They are not smarter or more talented than you... the are just working harder than you...!”

Hard work, persistence, study, practice... not only will you get better, but you will find your voice. 😎


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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #6 on: August 04, 2019, 04:21:58
thanks @1roomstudio

i went to a conference after this and the message that all artists kept reiterating, atleast the really successful ones, was to not try to plan and calculate, not try to fit a mould, just be true to yourself,  the best work comes from there.

this really resonated for me, andhaving now written an eps worth of songs that feel very me, i believe them. just need to fight in the DAWto do the same kind of faithful to myself work and get some demos done.


Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #7 on: August 04, 2019, 06:06:56
thanks @1roomstudio

this really resonated for me, andhaving now written an eps worth of songs that feel very me, i believe them. just need to fight in the DAWto do the same kind of faithful to myself work and get some demos done.

Sounds you are almost there😎


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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #8 on: August 05, 2019, 13:50:07
just need to fight in the DAWto do the same kind of faithful to myself work and get some demos done.

That is a battle worth waging though. Once you find a comfort zone you'll be able to just make music.


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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #9 on: August 06, 2019, 02:13:57
This is a very interesting post @lu77 and some interesting responses already.

I think the idea of identity is key with any form of creativity and related to this is what your aims are.

For me, I just love to play guitar and for a long time I just noodled away and wrote a few songs. I get a lot of enjoyment from this and over the last few years have got a little bit more serious about it.

Thanks to this site, I've had a few people singing my songs for me and I then took the next step to join a band. The band was great for a couple of years, we played a lot in Sydney and got some radio play. Sydney has its challenges compared to Melbourne from what I've heard but we had a good time.

However, my identity as a guitarist was getting more and more diluted as I had to fit in with the singer/songwriters aims and ideas.

I left that band last last year and formed my own band and am now playing smaller venues, open mics etc. but with 14 songs that I've written and I'm now also singing. So I'm actually closer to having my own identity but the compromise is that I play to smaller (very small mainly) audiences and am very unlikely to get my songs heard anywhere.

However, as I'm doing this purely for fun and to be able try and create something on the guitar, I'm comfortable with that.

cheers



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Re: identity persona genre - how do you find it?
Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 00:25:41
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 00:46:15 by Mar T. »
Hey @lu77 , those are very interesting questions.. I stopped questioning about. You know, we're all part of a large and very complex social system. We're influenced by sounds we hear when we grow up, songs we hear when we're in love, or angry, sad, happy, afraid (or whatever feeling). We're influenced and defined by what we hear (and see/experience/feel/think).. When I post my tracks people often hear 80's influences.. Well yeah.. that's part of me..
I'm sure I have a signature voice and a unique (personal) musical 'feel'. All I do is I'm adding on top of who I am and what/who influenced me.. Everybody will hear that I collected (life experience) a 'base' and I'm building on top of that 'base'. Yes, as a 'study to self improve' addict I'm always in to learn and add to my style (singing/playing). I just add what I create OR reuse what I like by copying around. As long as it fits 'me'. As a songwriter it's about creating, but also about liking your influencers (and let them influence you). As long as what you create feels signature/authentic to yourself you're fine.. And in that case it will sound authentic to others as well imo.
Hope that helps a bit, difficult question!
Cheers, Love and Peace,
Mar T.
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