Tuesday, November 10

The Power or Ability To Invent

In a recent interview with Billboard Magazine, rocker Lenny Kravitz explained why he virtually ran away and spent the last 2 years living in Europe.

"I moved to Europe because of the climate in America -- and I don't just mean the economy or politics," says Kravitz. "It was also what my record label was going through. People were getting fired every week. There was no money, and people were operating out of fear as opposed to creativity...it just became a drag."

"I was like, 'This is not what I do,'" says Kravitz. "I do what I feel. I don't hire the producer du jour or have so-and-so rap on the middle part of a song."

His words got me thinking about how to stay creative in a world filled with bad news, no money, and constant struggle. Sometimes it just seems like your best isn’t good enough and you’re forever climbing a steep hill. So, I searched the internet for some ways to keep the mojo going, to keep the creative juices pumping. Here’s what I found…

Be willing to explore new ideas - Too many times, people find themselves in the same situations, surrounded by the same people, but wonder they keep getting the same results. America is probably the most diverse country in the world. Just the food you eat can take you on a global adventure so why not do the same with your music, writing or your surroundings? The next time you find out about a show or an event that might not "fit" with what you’re used to, take the plunge and check it out. You just might like it.

Always take notes - Whether you use a notebook, the notes section of your cell phone, sending yourself a text message, or using a digital recorder, you must take notes. You ever notice how the best ideas come at the most random times, usually inspired by something your friend says or something you see just walking around. I don’t know how many times I have thought of a hot line for a song, but later forgot how the melody went or even what the word were. Beyond writing down your next hook, just jotting down what you see for an hour straight while you sit at the bus stop or at a cafe could provide so much inspiration and realize a little stress.

Follow other creative people - Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked In, ReverbNation, Imeem, are just a few of the sites you can find an endless amount of creative people to follow. They have to be in just music either. Broaden your circles and follow people that work in other creative industries such as design, art, or dance. Or just follow people that you think have something creative to offer. Also, go to events that are NOT held at clubs, lounges, or venues. Atlanta is filled to the brim with more than just music.

Tidy loose ends later - A lot of musicians, artists, and songwriters are perfectionist in some shape or form. Too many times, we are caught up in how this song or project compares to what is on the radio or TV, what the "haters" might say, or how we can become the next Beyonce or Jay-Z. Instead of focusing on what can go wrong, just have fun with what you are creating and worry about the details later. That's what the mixing and mastering sessions are for.

Encourage risky behavior - Say whatever you want to say, even if it sounds weird. Dress however you want to dress whether or not it fits the latest trend. Don’t be afraid to stand out in a strange way. That is how trends are made and how music continues to evolve. Perfect examples = Lady Gaga, Prince, Michael Jackson, Afrika Bambaataa, Eminem, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Erykah Badu, etc.

Share – You need feedback to improve. By sharing your music with friends, family, on MySpace, on Soundcloud, at I dO Music, in mixtape form, at shows, or just catching the reactions of people as you blast your music in your car, you can get an idea of what needs to change, what needs to stay, and if you need to start over all together. *NOTE: for this to be affective, you have to stop thinking that everyone is a hater.

Start – Sometimes, this is that hardest thing to do, but it is the best way to keep that creativity intact. Just start writing, freestyling, singing, dancing, humming, tapping your feet, or drawing. You might be surprised what you come up with.

Feel free to post some of your tips on how to be and maintain your creativity. I look forward to hearing how you keep it moving. Later!

What's your take... leave your comments below.

I dO Music!..."Empowering Musicians Worldwide"


  1. Jawar was great, very informative and made it very comfortable to ask questions and engage the speaker, i will attend any fuction where he is speaking in the future.

  2. What was a blessing and a curse to music majors and music minors was sampling, not sampling in it self, but the way it was used. Labels let sampling take the place of human creativity now the time has come where how creative with computers can musicians be. I have seen so many bands survive on machines that plays the chord, plays the drum beat, and we put an old school sample over it now its called music. Thats fast food, so many critics talk about quality and the sound of your music when they are not listening to your creativity when they say sound and quality sometimes this means it doesn't sound like whats on the radio and thats where we as artist and musician say HATER. If we had the dollar ammount to make it sound maybe radio ready we wouldn't come to these labels to buy into what we are doing. Herbie Hancok was picked up for his creativity as well as his ability to play and produce and write. Half of the critics don't know music history but they know Soulja Boy! I like him but I know my history. If labels want to see a big return on there investment in these artist test their own creativity. Looks can be bought, talent can be taught. Creativity is gift from GOD. Our people have been eating this cheap uncreative music for so long they want broke real musicains to bow down to paid fake ones. Thats why Nas don't want to work with Kanye. I dont think he hating, but Nas creative level is on anotha page than his he made an album with no guest appearances, and today that would be creative for a rapper to do,but labels don't do that so until people do or music execs. write creative checks this game is gone always neglect creativity and thats TRUTH!!!!!


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