The first thing that anyone interested in creating music is confronted with is what their sound is. Whether you sing, produce, play, or engineer the touch you have on music is as unique as your fingerprint and it is a relationship that grips you from the very start of creating.
When I started making music I was confronted with the idea of invention vs. innovation. Not that I was inventing music, but that I was creating music that was going to be considered “mine.” In the beginning, when learning to make music/songs I was taking inspiration from those whose music I enjoyed most. I had come from a background of Dj’ing and it brought with it many forms of inspiration that I took from the likes of A-trak, Skrillex, James Bay, Black Coffee, Cafe del Mar, Mumford and Sons, and many others, but the challenge was to be my own DJ, someone who plays music and makes you feel a certain way unique from others. DJ’s have the ability to make your heart race to the beat of a drum or zen you right out and slip into a meditative state (honestly.. with great power comes great responsibility). I was certain that I was going to be my own type of DJ but I didn’t know how, it wasn’t until I got my hands on music creating software (Ableton) and began the journey of true authentic creation that I was able to get a hint of what my sound was going to be.
I believe in the philosophy that we stand on the shoulders of people greater than us and later on people will come to stand on our shoulders and so on and so on. The idea is more along the lines of innovation rather than invention and that music as a medium of expression is something that we don’t solely create rather we bring to life through us with the immediate help of our physical existence and those that inspire us. One thing that I was told by a friend was no two people will ever pick up a guitar and sound like anyone else. The way you slide into your notes, hammer on or off, play certain chords using certain hand positions, you name it, the way someone plays the guitar is always unique from one person to the other.
As we learn to craft, we learn to delve into a space of creation that becomes more common and more comfortable until creating feels as easy as walking. We no longer sound like our inspo’s but we become our own.
The idea of finding our sound begins with a homage to our role models and our inspirations, a moment of gratitude for the motivation that they were able to pump into each of us. The next step is the gradual movement towards creation in a space that feels uniquely our own through the skillset that we developed by those who inspired us.
The Devil Wears Dollars…
It is believed by many great artists (Prince, Lenon, Marley, and others), of all forms and facets, didn’t want to own what they create and that the capitalization of such material is something that makes them uncomfortable. However, it is the world that we live in and one that we need to accept as we move forward in with our creative careers.
The role money plays in our creative expression is one that I believe can hinder an individuals ability of truly finding ‘their sound.’ The simple fact of profiting from what is popular vs. what is in your heart cripples many from truly expressing authentically and purely. Once we learn to separate the results of our creation from the actuality of creating we then come to know what our ‘sound’ truly is.
Our sound, for individuals in the music industry, is more closely related to ‘our soul’ and the ability to express our soul through our craft is the beautiful reality that we live in and one that anyone that creates will come to find solitude in. So whether it be your sound, your dance, your art, your building, your dish, etc etc, it is all simply an expression of your soul and the more related you are to the act of creating rather than the act of profiting the more your sound will be true to you and less everyone else.
I’m contemplating if a better question of searching for your sound would be Searching for Your Soul? Food for thought.
A quick side note. The reason why I chose trees and the sky as the thumbnail image for this blog was that my inspiration comes from nature and that as I continue to create music all that I am trying to do is find my place in the symphony of the cosmos. I want to be connected with nature and bring that connection to reality and I would love to bridge that relationship through music and so The forest or the mountains, the rivers or beaches, the meadow or the spring, Nature is what inspires me to continue creating.
Wholeness, Love, & Light
Shaanvir Singh Thiara