Written By: Nicholas Di Lorenzo
Songwriters, artists and creatives are always trying to push the envelope, discover and create, how you go about this has a direct impact on your engagement with your fans and others. The following three questions are ones I feel all creatives should ask themselves to help them develop greater understanding, direction and clarity in their creative endeavors.
As a mixing and mastering engineer, understanding and empathizing with artists and their intent is a critical part of my job. I often find myself asking these questions to creatives who are answering them for the first time, and after some discovery through these questions can unlock new insight and opportunity for themselves to connect their music with their listeners.
Who will this music impact, and how will it make an impact?
If you aim to please EVERYONE, you end up pleasing NO ONE at all. CONTEXT IS KING, and knowing who your creativity will serve and how it will serve them will allow you to identify critical aspects of your music, songwriting and production to focus on.
Example: House Tune destined for the clubs.
This music will impact club goers and it will make its impact on them through the driving four on the floor kick drum which they can all dance to, easy to follow the groove of the bass line and memorable repetition of the vocal hook.
The key things we can focus on here would be, the KICK drum and it's IMPACT
The simplicity and groove of the bass line
The repetition of a memorable hook.
In hindsight these may appear as obvious things to think about; however, having something written down, on paper will allow you to continue forward with whatever you're doing with clarity, and remind you of the critical components to nurturing the best out of what you're doing.
Is this "a song" or just "another idea".
Often I'm finding as creatives going down the rabbit hole, getting attached to the labour of love and ignoring new opportunities. Not all songs, ideas and projects are created equal, and this is why I encourage all creatives, and especially you reading this to write as much music as possible. By doing so, you will create many new opportunities for amazing songs as you do horrible ideas. Asking yourself if what you're working on is A SONG or just an idea, allows you to divide and conquer, putting your ideas aside to provide more time to create new ones, and identifying the songs with the potential to focus your efforts on releasing. You may even find down the track songs you had destined for release are better served sitting on the shelf as an idea to be later revisited in favor of other material you have which may have a more significant impact on your audience.
If I could strip this song down to two or three parts, which would they be?
Most listeners aural abilities won't allow them to engage in more than 2-3 critical components at any given time, combine with that the passive manner in which most people listen to music and all those a small details you spent hours crafting are all but forgotten over the key elements which impact a listeners initial response. By identifying and being conscious of the core elements which 95% of your listeners will remember and engage with will provide you with an opportunity and insight for you to craft all those small details around them, embellishing and creating a more significant impact for your listener to engage with the core message of your song.
Nicholas Di Lorenzo