I just thought I'd share a piece of really good songwriting advice given by Jay-Z (no don't stop reading yet!).
I'm not into rapping at all but he was recently on a UK program called 'Later With Jools' which is an hour long and showcases many bands, and they always play absolutely live. You could search youtube 'Later With Jools' and see just how many bands are on there. For instance this week he had about 8 groups on, 1 being Steve Martin ( yes 'THE' Steve Martin who as well as being a comedian is a very accomplished Banjo player, and straight after he had 'Alice In Chains'! Now there's a mixture.
Anyhow back to my point. Jay-z performed his 'New York State of Mind' and I have to say it was very good.
Afterward the host, Jools Holland interviewed Jay-z and as a parting shot said to him, 'as the undisputed king of rap what advice would you give any young up and coming musicians about making it in the music business?' His answer was this: 'Don't fake it. Play what is true to you'.
OK so you're thinking, well that's nothing new. Heard that before. Yes me too, however( here's where I hopefully make my point) the very next act on was 'Sting' formerly of the Police. Well he sits there and with a lute player and sings this weird kind of Gaelic sea shanty and I'm watching him and listening and thinking to myself 'this is rubbish'. Yes it ticked all the boxes for the style of music(Sting is a very talented songwriter after all), but did I believe him? Was he credible? NO! Was he faking it? YES! And it showed.
OK, I'm not exactly in a position to criticise Sting, but I suppose the point I'm trying to get across is that Sting's 'Real' songwriting identity in the Police got him to the top of his game. If he were just starting out now I doubt very much whether his current music would get him any recognition because it's not coming from the heart!
Yes I could write a jazz funk song that would sound like 'James Brown' but my heart is in rock music.
I'd be interested in any other thoughts
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