Last Thursday morning, as I was starting my workday, I received an email with some glorious news! “Your Release Banshee is live on Spotify!” was the subject line, and that’s all I needed to see to get a little excited. After jumping through several hoops to finish the song and complete the submission process, my new song was finally live for the masses! It’s somewhat of a nervous excitement when this happens. On one hand, it’s a big thrill to think that a song has finally hit the big streaming services. On the other hand, as an artist, I’m constantly thinking to myself: “But, wait. Was the song really done?” This is always a challenge for any type of artist. How do you know when a piece of art is truly “done?” I recently read a quote that essentially said, an artist’s art is never done, it’s merely surrendered (to the masses). I like that idea. At some point, after putting in countless hours of writing, crafting, performing, recording, arranging, mixing, refining, and mastering, you just have to say “it’s good enough!” and let it go.
The inspiration to create this particular song came from several sources, one of which was a multidimensional muse: my girlfriend (she not only motivated me to get back to creating my own music, but inspired lyric content as well). Many months ago, she played a song for me on Spotify that was one of her new favorites. Don’t ask me who or what it was. I’m now too old to remember such things (I turned 50 last Saturday). But, the point is that I listened to it, thought to myself, “this sounds like several other songs produced in recent years,” and then I heard myself say OUT LOUD: “There’s really nothing special about it. I could have done that.” To which my girlfriend immediately retorted, “yeah, but you didn’t.”
Those words really stung for a few seconds. But, as I took a moment to ponder what she had just said, the meaning of it all bathed me in this acquiescent calm that seemed to shroud me in enlightenment. “She’s absolutely right,” I began thinking. We bantered some more about the musical and production aspects of the song. Meanwhile, I cleansed my initial bitterness with her wisdom and arrived at this epiphany:
“The worst recorded song in the world will always be superior to the one that was never recorded at all.”
In other words, until you have actually gone through the grueling steps of getting it out of your head and captured in a format to be heard, your song idea is only that … an idea. Whenever you hear that mundane song on the radio and think to yourself, “This is so simple, *I* could have done this,” the truth is you didn’t do it. Someone else *did*.
And, this idea applies to any work of art, frankly. The uncreated work of art will always be inferior to the created one. No one will ever be able to love (or hate) a creative work that stays in your head. So, the challenge is to push yourself to actually *create* that thing in your head. When you do, you may have a newfound appreciation for those artists that publish even the most “mundane” of songs. You have to hand it to them–at least they got off the couch and did it.
With that, I present to you, “Banshee.” Sorry for the long-winded philosophical discussion, but hopefully it will inspire YOU to go create that thing in your head.