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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.
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.
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.
For me, in songwriting, I have a route I can take. Maybe there's some forks, I can go this way, this way. But I know those roads. I still have the experience behind me.
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.
I love my complexion, but like so many of us, in the early years at primary school, I grew up thinking that my dark skin wasn't a great thing. I've found freedom in music and songwriting, which has given me a freedom in how I present myself. I'm glad I've got makeup to celebrate that with.
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.
As far as songwriting, my inspirations came from love, life and death, and viewing other people's situations.
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.
My songwriting is like extending a hand to the listener.
My style of songwriting is influenced by cinema. I'm a frustrated filmmaker. A fan once said to me, 'Girl, you make me see pictures in my head!' and I took that as a great compliment. That's exactly my intention.
I think songwriting is the ultimate form of being able to make anything that happens in your life productive.
Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It's something I don't feel like I really control.
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.
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.
I don't believe that songwriting has to be profound, but I truly believe that it's a crime for you to go outta your way for it not to be.
Raymond Chandler managed to write about L.A. his whole career. Should I keep going writing about New York? Is that what I should be doing? Songwriting doesn't work that way.
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.
My main thing is just to keep writing. I've been doing some songwriting that's for my own record, I suppose.
I mean Gorilla was really our first sort of goes at songwriting.
The rule of songwriting: say what you want to say, say it again, say it a different way, then say it again.
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.
When a lot of musicians change styles, their songwriting suffers because they want to be different.
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
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.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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