Finding Your Voice in Today’s Music Industry
“Stay in your lane”, is a statement we have all heard at some point in our lives. This is an expression commonly used in the music industry. This is simply another way of saying, “Stay true to yourself.” As an Artist, this is essential to tapping into the depth of introspection required for the development of conscientious art.
Are you trying to find your lane? Chances are if you are reading this post, you have an interest in creating music with a positive message and desire the quality sound to accompany. Also, you have likely already had a dialogue with yourself internally or with others regarding what is considered “popular content”. Straying away from this may decrease your chances of being “successful” or creating a hit record, right? Wrong. Emphatically, no is my answer. Why so serious, you ask?
Well, if your genuine originality isn’t accepted by the masses then maybe your art is only intended to reach one. That one, could be you? My grandfather always said, “There is nothing people like more than hearing their name and the sound of their own voice. Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.” The message: learn to be a good listener.
What your voice is projecting to the world is also, arguably more so, conditioning your worldview & actions along with those who consume your music (See: mind/body feedback loops). Is what you are dishing out healthy for you as well as others? Is your music or the music you consume made up of a lyrical “diet” that is promoting personal growth or is it a breeding ground for negativity? You are what you eat.
My position is that as an Artist you have a great responsibility to yourselves and your audience(s) to find your lane. In doing so you will find your voice, you will discover greater truths about your character & eventually identify the “niche” or “lane” that only your originality & depths can reach/teach. Additionally, you won’t be full of regrets later in life having created an “alter ego”, “alternate persona” or character that influences people in a way you wouldn’t have. We never know the age or the future professions of the minds that we are shaping through our art.
I understand that some of this goes against the worlds definition of art. Some would say these ideas are “suppressing creativity” but I say, learning who you are is the inspiration you are seeking to further your art & find your lane. Finally, with technology and mass media being what they are today, expect any “role” you play for entertainment purposes or otherwise, to influence many generations to come.
About the featured blogger: Zack Fraley is an artist / songwriter and is based in Cherryville, North Carolina.