A musician friend of mine asked me a couple of days ago what my audience is — who am I making my music for. The question is important and valid, but it caught me off-guard as that has not been the way that I’ve approached my music; perhaps naive of me. These days so much is about marketing and targeting, but honestly that has not been on my mind when writing or producing the songs on my upcoming album. My primary aim has been to create beautiful music and to express myself in an authentic way through my melodies and lyrics. I’ve done what I’ve felt like doing stylistically and I’ve done it as well as I possibly can. I haven’t written these songs solely for myself, but I also haven’t catered to anyone in particular.
My friend told me about the way he has built his admittedly impressive career, and that targeting a specific audience, researching what they like, and then creating music that speaks to those people has been his approach all along. It was a kind of revelation to me, and made me reevaluate my own MO, somewhat nervously at first. I can see how being well-educated on the current trends, and the likes and dislikes of a specific community could be important. Knowing what artist I sound like, who’s on my level and who’s below — apparently these are all things that I should be thinking about and very aware of. He had many smart things to say about making and marketing music, and I listened intently. I have much to learn and I like to find new and more effective ways of doing things. But in talking to anybody, it is good to remember, that in a world of 7.046 billion people, there are 7.046 billion ways to do things. Just because somebody else is doing something doesn’t mean that I should.
What I have created in my new album is an amalgam of all of the music that I’ve lived my life to and the artists that I’ve fawned over. They are all filtered through my perspective, my voice, my human body. I did not research and try to hit a particular niche of people with it. Instead I have trusted that if I build it, putting my soul and ass into it, they will come. Whoever ‘they’ (=you) are. I must say, I look forward to more and more discovery on that front..! The future will surely bring bright new ideas, interesting new connections and fresh new ways of operating, but I am satisfied with who I am as an artist at this very moment, and the way that I’ve approached things. It is true to who I am right now. And with that, I say with much delight, that it looks like my record will be finished: mixed and mastered, next week. Now that’s some cause for celebration!
“But my way of writing is rather to think aloud, and follow my own humours, than much to consider who is listening to me; and, if I stop to consider what is proper to be said to this or that person, I shall soon come to doubt whether any part at all is proper.”
― Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater