Every so often I get struck with an otherworldly creative flow state genius. However, more often than not I'm just working and it's an uphill slog. In my own experience, when I'm in that special creative state, the art I'm making is an expression of me. It's not cookie-cutter and It's not for you.
Now when I say “not for you” that does not mean I won’t be sharing my art. It means that form of expression came out of my soul in an authentic and vulnerable way. It was of me and for me.
I have a side music project called “INST” where I release instrumental pop cover songs. I do it mostly for fun. This work is creative but I wouldn’t say a large part of my soul is going into the music. These are not original works and for the most part I am analyzing the existing production elements of a song and trying to replicate them with an acoustic guitar. Music has the power to steer culture and change the world. However, instrumental pop cover songs likely won’t be responsible for such change. I don’t know if work created in such a way can.
In part, we love the music we love so much because somehow the artist has found a common thread between us and expressed something we know to be true about ourselves in a new way. However, whatever magic happens in that experience is minimized or nonexistent when art is born from an inauthentic or invulnerable place. The music I love ends up being for me regardless of if it was ever intended to by the artist. Personally, I find that to be a beautiful exchange.
As an artist I want my music to be heard. I want to be genuine and I want to be authentic. However, I also want to be successful — whatever that means. It’s easy to look at someone else’s work and think I could write and produce a song like that. They did this type of song and now it’s very popular… I could do that type of song.
We can imitate and replicate out of curiosity or fear. I am often curious and experiment with music production after being inspired by someone else’s work. I almost always feel that I learn and grow when I do this. However, when I try to capture someone else’s lightning in a bottle out of fear it never works.
Founder of @lostharbormusic