"Authentic" is a pretty interesting word right? As a singer and songwriter, how do I channel my authenticity when i'm so influenced and inspired by other people? When I listen to music and I love the beat or hook, or I love some of the lyrics, there's nothing wrong with feeling inspired by it and I allow myself to feel it, but ultimately when I sit down to write, either alone or through collaboration, our inner voices are the ones to shine through.
When I started *this* journey, I hadn't really written any proper songs and even though I had performed on stage, it was so long ago, it didn't feel relevant to the person I am now. Through the last 18 months, the best advice I've ever gotten from some incredible industry people is to write from the heart and listen to that inner voice. Writing from a place where it doesn't feel forced is so much more liberating than stopping the flow when you're trying so desperately to find that one word that rhymes with the difficult word you've just written. I've also been told to just keep writing, just keep that tap in full flow and let all the thoughts and feeling pour out and then go back and edit later and that's been a really useful tool for me. That's not to say I haven't agonised over words and phrases, gone and looked and re-looked and looked some more at what i've written and then feeling the fear and doubt creep in. Instinctively, you know a good lyric when you feel it, and if you're all in the room together fist-pumping the air with massive smiles on your faces, you kinda know it's working!
For me, it's also important to be really self-reflective. Are the words saying what I want them to say? Is that the best phrase I can come up with? Can I find a different way of saying something that's been said so many times over? As a songwriter, you want people to relate to what you're writing about and what's great about collaboration is you all get to verbalise your feelings on a particular subject, whether you've experienced it or not, and bring that all together into something really powerful. That for me, is being authentic and true to yourself, rather than writing what you think people will want to hear... x