Yes, there is such a thing as telling people too much about yourself. But what are the ramifications when you’re doing that as a musician? Not too pretty. While you may gain sympathy in the beginning, the story soon gets old, probably uncomfortable, and worst of all, your brand image gets associated with negative connotations as oversharing even something positive will still create a negative ripple longterm. Read below to find out what is considered oversharing, how to avoid oversharing while staying true to who you are, and how to rephrase your traumatic past not to alienate people who haven’t gone through the same events.
3. What is oversharing as a musician?
“Oversharing – (noun) the disclosure of an inappropriate amount of detail about one’s personal life.” as per Google. Oversharing is not pretty or cool. In 2021 oversharing is actually desperation veiled in social media posts seeking sympathy or approval. The sad thing is that many artists are doing it in their quest to stand out from the bunch. But when everybody is oversharing their background story, daily struggle, addictions, you’re not standing out. You’re part of the norm (why gossip columns still have any readers is beyond us ’cause many celebrities are doing their job for FREE instead.) We’ve seen 3 instances that are huge oversharing turn-offs.
1. Basing your entire catalog on your traumatic past
2. Detailing too avidly the crimes/situations where you’re the perpetrator
3. Dreaming too much about your success that has yet to happen
You see, all 3 will work against you. You have to think of your music as a walking, talking, breathing thing. Better yet, a person. Now, would you be a fan of someone who talks about nothing else but his past abusive relationships? No, you wouldn’t. You would get depressed yourself after a while no matter how moving his story is. Would you care to buy the merch of a person who constantly threatens people and recounts how he murdered someone? No, you wouldn’t. If anything, you would stay very, very, very far away from this person ’cause you never know what’ll cross his mind. Would you take advice and follow someone who hasn’t achieved anything notable yet but he promises he’ll do so some day? Yet again, you wouldn’t. Because dreaming is cool but not when that’s the only thing you’re doing.
These 3 ugly situations are exactly what happens when you overshare in your music or social media posts. Always remember this is your JOB if you ever want to make a sustainable income off of it. And build in your mind, or on paper for that matter, the psychological profile of the person you’re creating through your songs. Is that someone you’d give your money to? If not, recalibrate your message, visuals, online presence until your music becomes someone worth of your dollars.
2. How to avoid oversharing as a musician while staying true to myself and who I am?
In one word: balance. If you’ve made 2 songs about the toxicity from your past, now switch the subject and talk about the things you’re grateful for. If you made an entire mixtape on your gang-related activity, by all f*cking means, talk about your money instead for a minute and leave the guns and drugs out of it. Brag about your Balenciagas and Gucci shoes. Better yet, dedicate a damn record to your mother. If you’re noticing an “undertone” of anger here, it’s because we don’t condone violence. Thirdly, if you are too young to have achieved anything but got big dreams, talk about the things you like in the present moment. Or the people you enjoy as of now.
The motto you should always go back to as a songwriter and public person: “As with anything in life, too much of something is bad for you.”
1. How to reformulate my own experiences as not to allienate people who can’t relate?
We’re willing to bet you have NEVER even heard this question anywhere else prior to this article. Why? ’cause nobody analyzes or goes as deep as we do. So the answer to this question is: do what Drake does. And more specifically, insert general statements every now and then when talking about yourself. Here’s the hook for Laugh Now Cry Later: “Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but I guess you know now, baby/ I took a half and she took the whole thing, slow down, baby (baby).” The two lines are a general statement (made clear through the use of the we pronoun), and a personal statement (talking about I and she.) That was an obvious example. But here’s what he does more subtly: use words that indicate large groups of people thus diverting away the attention from just himself. One Dance: “Strength and guidance/ All that I’m wishin’ for my friends/ Nobody makes it from my ends/ I had to bust up the silence”; God’s Plan: “I don’t wanna die for them to miss me/ Yes I see the things that they wishin’ on me/ Hope I got some brothers that outlive me/ They gon’ tell the story, sh*t was different with me”; Know Yourself: “Runnin’ through the 6 with my woes/ Countin’ money, you know how it goes/ Pray the real live forever, man/ Pray the fakes get exposed”
So before you lay down the lyrics in the studio, analyze whether they only speak about you and if they do, insert some general statements here and there. It will allow people who haven’t been in your shoes to find an opening window in still connecting with your record.
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