I recently got in touch with a music production studio, to look into recording one of my songs in the studio. I wanted to know what it’s like to produce works in a professional environment.
The studio got back to me quickly, and one of the first questions they asked is: “What artists would you say you’re like?”
The question took me aback!
My guess is that it’s a very common question in the music industry, as only a couple of weeks ago, I went to see a show of a singer-songwriter in Toronto, whose voice was described as “Amy Winehouse meets Janis Joplin”. I was intrigued by that, and checked her out. She was really good! And her voice did sound like those two great singers at times.
I think it’s a common practice to market a new artist, by linking their works or voice to a well-known artist. That’s how you draw people in initially.
That said, I can’t think of an artist that I am like. But moreover, I don’t realy want to sound like anyone, even in this early stage of my music “career” (if I can call it that!)
I think my voice is quite imperfect. If it’s not for singing my own songs, I wouldn’t dare to dream of being a singer! But I know from the start that I don’t want it to sound like anyone else’s. I want it to remain distinct, with all its natural imperfections.
Same thing for my songs, I don’t really want to write them like any of the great songwriters that I admire. When somebody says my songs remind them of some great songwriters, I’m happy to hear that, but it’s not my goal.
Well, it’s not easy when one’s still figuring things out for oneself, and not having some kind of model to follow.
Being self-taught, there are things that I know well, and there are “basic” things that I have no clue of. My older sister once asked, “What genre is your music?” and I replied, “I have no idea!” I still really don’t know. I listen to all kinds of music: classical, jazz, rock, pop, world… and enjoy what I enjoy, and just hope that the great music would influence my own music in one way or another. Most of the time I let my intuition guide me.
The fun thing about not knowing is that it gives me greater freedom. There are fewer rules that I have to follow. I’ve broken all kinds of conventional rules and didn’t even know it, or knew but didn’t really care.
My artistic goal is to discover and maintain my uniqueness as much as possible. And to protect it from my own ambitions.
As I told my sister the other day: “I hope I will get better and better… 🙂 ”
What are your thoughts on this matter? Drop me a line below.