How does one get inspired? Where do the creative juices flow from? Whatever the answer is, everyone has their own approach and it’s never predictable. From the perspective of a dancer, I have my ways on creating and making a song which I would like to share.
First of all, there is no wrong way in creating. There are infinite directions you can take. Through my eyes, or should I say through my feet, groove and emotion are important to me so these are the few key things I try to remember when writing but being a dancer shouldn’t force me to see things only in that way. These are things that I hold dear in general and it’s natural for me to want to create that. Sometimes, I write with a melody implanted in my head or I might have the instrumental first, I get a sense of what the beat is and then I write with that vibe in mind. When I first started singing and songwriting, I tried to keep my dancer side separate just because I didn’t want to devalue one by playing out the other in my creations. I wanted to be equally strong in each without relying on the other. In the beginning it made sense, and maybe still does but now I think when you use all of YOU and your skills to create, you approach your project from more than one angle and you can relate to a bigger audience; not only to the general public but to dancers alike for example.
With groove and emotion aside, I try to also look through the eyes of a music lover, (R&B, Hip Hop, Funk…), and if I didn’t know me would I listen to my stuff. Which I believe is a given but this is an incentive for trying to do my best and what is authentic to me. You want the words to come from a sincere place wither there is a banging bass line or not. Being open to constructive criticism is needed. Assuming the person is a positive human being, remembering that they are an audience too, helps you structure your song differently from a place you would have never seen otherwise. Assuming it doesn’t override your artistic integrity.
As much as dance and songwriting are two different activities, they have a lot in common. Both rely on the one source which is Music. They both are creative forms of expression. They both can share stories, sentiments and can paint pictures in your mind when seen or heard and you can either structure them through time or it can all be improvisation and freestyle where it is created on the spot. Stripped down to nothing but an idea, the question lies more with how do you want to convey your idea? Though I do think that songwriting can be more personal just for the simple fact that words are self-explanatory. Where I get my creative juices from are the same for dance and singing. I can even say that being a singer/songwriter has improved my dancing!
Before this comes to a close, I would like to thank the S.A.C. for asking me to be a part of this blog. And thank YOU for taking the time to read this. Again, there is no wrong way to create. What us, street dancers, would say, “Crash and create”, which means there is no such thing as a mistake in the process of creation. Whether you were to do that dance move or not, it was meant to happen. SO WORK IT!