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You wind up creating from silence, like painting a picture on a blank canvas that could bring tears to somebody's eyes. As songwriters, our blank canvas is silence. Then we write a song from an idea that can change somebody's life. Songwriting is the closest thing to magic that we could ever experience. That's why I love songwriting.
My strength was in singing and songwriting, which was a new discovery for me when I was 18. And I decided if I pursued songwriting, which is what was closest to my heart, then there would be no competition. I would just live my life being myself and living my dream.
I've never thought about songwriting as a weapon. I've only thought about it as a way to help me get through love and loss and sadness and loneliness and growing up.
I consider music to be storytelling, melody and rhythm. A lot of hip-hop has broken music down. There are no instruments and no songwriting. So you're left with just storytelling and rhythm. And the storytelling can be so braggadocious, you're just left with rhythm.
The rule of songwriting: say what you want to say, say it again, say it a different way, then say it again.
As far as songwriting, my inspirations came from love, life and death, and viewing other people's situations.
I think songwriting is the ultimate form of being able to make anything that happens in your life productive.
For a songwriter, you don't really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they're made of, and wonder if you can make one, too.
But my strength was in singing and songwriting, which was a new discovery for me when I was 18. And I decided if I pursued songwriting, which is what was closest to my heart, then there would be no competition. I would just live my life being myself and living my dream.
We have this really retro vibe and style of songwriting and, personally, I wasn't embracing the current state of music until I fell in love with hip-hop. It felt good to suddenly embrace where music was headed, and I think hip-hop is the best at that, because it feels so progressive and everybody wants to be the best.
If you pour your life into songs, you want them to be heard. It's a desire to communicate. A deep desire to communicate inspires songwriting.
The guitar influence that affected my songwriting came from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
The idea of songwriting is a transformative thing, and what I do with songwriting is take situations that are quite ordinary and transform them in some way. Apart from things like the murder ballads, the songs I write, at their core, are quite ordinary human concerns, but the process of writing about them transforms them into something else.
I'm definitely a fan of juxtaposition. Using the most beautiful line to say the most horrific thing - I think one of the main things in songwriting is definitely friction between the words and the melody.
I criticized the whole American songwriting industry and the pop side of it and I was bitter about it. And I stepped back and thought 'Why are you bitter? You can't just stand there like every other indie musician and criticize this so-called 'generic' music when you're not doing anything to challenge that.'
Marina and the Diamonds
I don't claim to be a particularly good father. I'm flawed, let's say. I've certainly been affected by the experience of having kids... trying to be a father, at least. It's an amazing process. It's like songwriting: it's a complete mystery to me. I don't understand it - but I've certainly written about it.
Loudon Wainwright III
I stand firm behind the belief that, for me, songwriting isn't something that I do or command, it happens to me. I can either choose to stop and acknowledge it, or put it off and hope that it won't fade away. 'That Wasn't Me' is no exception - it came together more quickly than any other song I have ever constructed on my own.
For me, songwriting is something like breathing: I just do it. But that doesn't mean you're fantastic.
Songwriting is my way of channeling my feelings and my thoughts. Not just mine, but the things I see, the people I care about. My head would explode if I didn't get some of that stuff out.
Songwriting's a weird game. I never intended to become one - I fell into this by mistake, and I can't get out of it. It fascinates me. I like to point out the rawer points of life.
When you have kids, you see life through different eyes. You feel love more deeply and are maybe a little more compassionate. It's inevitable that that would make its way into your songwriting.
My songwriting is like extending a hand to the listener.
You know, I would say that songwriting is something about the expression of the heart, the intellect and the soul.
Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It's something I don't feel like I really control.
My songs are basically my diaries. Some of my best songwriting has come out of time when I've been going through a personal nightmare.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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