Tuesday, June 1, 2010

must write today

My co-writer called yesterday and said he was available to write if I wanted to, but I hadn't written the new chorus to the song we're doing yet, so I had to decline. It was Memorial Day anyway and spent time at home, but I must work on it today! I want to present at least 3 ideas to him so he can choose what he likes the best. It's an exercise for me to try to write in specific ways, for instance: if I'm writing a country song, I'll probably not add a lot of jazz chords, but keep it simpler. Not that all country songs are simple (just listen to "More Love" by Wynonna - wow), but I know my co-writer is not crazy about what he calls "weird" chords...haha..
But that's OK, I'm trying to not only write songs for myself, but for other people as well. So sometimes I have to be flexible and try to compromise on what I like with what someone else likes. It's not all about me! (Just like in real life - eh?) It's about pleasing the massive ear of the public ultimately. I'm not writing with my co-writer for my own personal artistic satisfaction - we're writing because we want a hit in the mainstream country market. And that's OK. I do lots of different styles and do my Jazz/R&B stuff a lot, so it's OK for me to write something simple. I've got no problem with that as long as I balance out my musicality. Let's face it, guys who write film scores have to write to the plot of the film, so the music has to be in line with the theme of what's going on. So they can't write a polka to a love scene, even if polka is their favorite kind of music. I'm trying to write to actually earn money, so sometimes I have to put my own needs aside and write for whom the money comes from. If I'm only writing for "art for art's sake", then I'm going to be very hungry.
I know it's important to stay one step ahead of what's going on in the commercial market, and that's tough to figure out, but since I write R&B, my country music always has a tinge of R&B/Soul, which is a good thing. I think that's unique and has a place in the market. That's not trying to be something I'm not, that's being who I am in a different environment. Acclimating myself to where I am - being me in a different color of skin like a lizard. Today I will wear the red skin, thank you very much!

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