Here’s something that might make you hot under the collar! Most of you artists sound exactly alike when talking about your music. Yup! Does this sound familiar? “My music is only inspired by real things I been through”, “If I could make at least one person’s day better with this song, then I did my job as an artist”, “I just speak from the heart”, “I aim to inspire people” etc. PLEASE STOP SOUNDING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. People will NOT remember you if you blurt out the same answer that’s been heard a gazzilion times. And in our usual manner, first we rub your mistake in your face, then we offer you the solution to the problem! Read below the 5 phrases to avoid and how to replace them!
5. I only write about things I’ve been through
Lord have mercy on the interviewer that will receive this answer yet again within the next 24 hours. We bet that every 30 minutes or less there’s an artist out there who’s saying these exact same words. Please do yourself a favor and never again pronounce this phrase. Because the truth of the matter is, MOST artists only write about real-life-based events. Even ghostwriters write about things they’ve experienced first hand. And they are so good at writing, that you will never know when the likes of Drake or Beyoncé are singing someone else’s lyrics. And to the large public, that does NOT matter. What matters is how the songs make the public feel. And if there’s a deep, instant connection, who is the actual author becomes irrelevant. So here’s how you switch that answer up to make people PAY ATTENTION to you! “What is the central theme of my artistic project?” – this is the question you need to answer before all else. Everybody has a core subject they’re specialized in. Some write love songs, some write motivational hip hop bangers, some take pride in their improv jam sessions, some freestyle over laid back instrumentals, some excel at dissecting social issues etc. And they’re ALL real-life inspired. You see how you’re selling yourself short when you’re not being specific? So if you mostly talk about your business and family, SAY SO! Instead of the overused aforementioned phrase, use instead: “I am highly motivated by a 6 figure bank account and by the relentless support of my brother so my music reflects that.”
4. I wanna inspire people
Slap yourself before we do. There is not ONE more generic answer in this world than number 4!!! We would have put this as the “winner” but we decided on another phrase that could permanently damage your brand image. So this answer here might as well be titled: “I am too lazy to have ever taken the time to actually understand what value I bring to people through my music” So when you hear all these self-proclaimed branding and business gurus saying “bring value to the people”, they don’t go beyond that phrase themselves because they don’t know what they’re talking about (keep in mind that only 3 out of 10 businesses will get to the 10 year mark. So applied to business people, only 3 gurus out of 10 might know what they’re talking about.) As a musician, the value is in your music! And more exactly: “How does my music make people feel?” If it makes them feel pumped, THAT IS YOUR VALUE! Accordingly your answer should be “My records give you that extra mood boost to get your ass up and make sh*t happen!”. In case your music makes people feel sad, there’s value in that too! “My music helps people confront their inner demons and put into words their darkest feelings so that they can make peace with it and move on. Knowing you’re not alone also helps.” If you don’t believe us, remember that Eminem became famous for the twisted narratives he’s promoted over the years.
3. I wanna buy my mom a house
Ugh… Everybody else before you did it, a whole lot of people are doing it in this very moment, and very many individuals will continue doing it in the future. And no you don’t. You don’t want to buy your mom a house. You want the clout and appreciation that comes with it. If you’re really that good hearted and that is your ultimate goal, you’re not gonna tell anyone about such a personal objective. Hell, you’re gonna ruin the surprise for your mom! So stop. And think. And be honest. If you’re truly that altruistic and are succeeding for your family and not for yourself, rather say “My family deserves better and I want to break the generational poverty curse.” Trust us when we say, people will like you more if you say “I’m tired of being broke!” than “I wanna buy my mom a house.” This house thing sounds so disingenuous that you’re better off not saying anything instead.
2. All my songs are great
No they’re not and you know it. You wanna hear the uncomfortable truth? You sound terribly insecure if you hit the interviewer with that answer. It takes a self-aware and courageous individual to be able to pinpoint his strengths and weaknesses. Don’t trash talk about your music but DO be honest which records of your own you favor more and why. It gives you a lot of credibility as a musician knowing what rocks your boat and the reasons for it. It’s seriously amateurish answering with phrases that include everyone (is good), everything (sounds awesome), everybody (deserves to succeed), all (my tracks are great). So don’t.
1. I just wanna have a good time
Do you know how relative good times is for everyone??? For somebody it might be a threesome with drugs on top. For someone else – simply going back to no-mask days. For other people the good times took place when everyone in their family was alive. Please, please, please, for the sake of your own hard-earned money that you’re investing in your career, specify, specify, specify. If your song is about getting lap dances from the strippers, call things what they are! If your record is about spending a romantic evening with your highschool crush, do mention it! If you’re trying to remind people to appreciate every single moment, tell them your song is about living in the present! You’re missing out on real connections when you’re being too generic.