Learn To Make Music For Yourself - Stereo Stickman

Learn To Make Music For Yourself


In fear of veering off too suddenly with each new idea, I’ll begin on an apparent tangent, then return to the title thought in a way that will hopefully make sense. After all, real art isn’t pre-conceived, it just happens… right?

We’ve never seen the world so overflowing with independent music before. So many people, perhaps every third we meet, harbour some kind of creative desire to break free from the rat-race and live the righteous life of a tormented musician.

We share this playing field in its most crowded state. We also share the unprecedented memory and effects of all that has happened, in life and in the music scene, since COVID first graced the airwaves.

So lets consider this, the recent industry impact of 2020 and beyond, the cultural shifts even just in conversation – where the thoughtful ‘take care’ was abruptly replaced by the much more restrictive ‘stay safe’. Everything changed, from the scene to our soulful perception. We care about one another, but we also want our opportunity to shine, and that’s where so much gets lost in translation.

For many, the pandemic marked a chance for deeply-rooted introverts to finally crack through to the now broader than ever mainstream – to live out their long-standing, extroverted dreams from the comfort of their own homes. The internet, virtual living, became an acceptable and even encouraged pathway. Quietness got loud, darkness became colourful, and those who excelled on the stage were suddenly exposed for their lack of ability behind the scenes.

Prior to this, the opposite was the more crushing truth – talent at the desk was rarely if ever celebrated; never given its chance to shine in a real-life setting. The lockdown meant that the shy creatives could finally take the time to create, and with a genuine belief that things would take off for them. The narrative had altered slightly, but it was still, at its core, the very same thing.

The misconception is that to make music is to strive for some kind of pedestal, to desire being swept up and celebrated. How many times have you heard someone respond to witnessing any form of talent with the line “Don’t forget us when you’re famous!”. It’s embedded in our society, that music and art must lead to riches, when really, the reality for most artists couldn’t be further from the truth! We therefore begin making music for the wrong reasons. To gain adoration, recognition, respect. Rather than to access the inner emotions, depths and uncertainties of being; qualities that more naturally drive the true artist towards her instrument.

This is what we are missing now, ever since the fame machine began to gobble up so many dozen more contenders every week. We’ve lost the expression and connection in place of conversation and image. Even an image of someone being thoughtful is still a preconceived image designed to get views.

It’s not healthy to endlessly photograph yourself, to think so much about yourself. It’s natural to express yourself, sure, and to feel part of the world, but that means actually being involved in it – not somewhere seemingly above. (Those people aren’t artists, nor are they ever very interesting.)

For the love of everything that makes music so universally beautiful, and helpful, and inspiring – pretend to yourself that only one other person in the entire world will hear your work. Someone who matters to you, whose opinion you value, and whose heart changes the very rhythm of yours.

Better yet, in fact, pretend there’s nobody else at all on the planet. You’re the last surviving artist, and all you have is your memories and your musical ability to pass the time with. Take yourself there, wholeheartedly; imagine it as real. And NOW make the music. And practice, and perfect it. Only for YOU.

That’s what the world wants to hear, honestly. Something that feels like a kind of slept-on secret, a hidden gem we were never supposed to hear, but which accesses the depths of our being in a raw and unrivalled manner.

That’s the music legacies are made of. And that’s the music we need more than ever right now.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

Stereo Stickman


Stereo Stickman is an online music magazine offering the latest in underground music news, as well as a platform through which unsigned artists can reach a wider audience.

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