Creativity happens through inspiration.
I wouldn’t call myself an artist, but my love for music and mashups lead me to cover songs on occasion. Either through an emotion, a sound, or through words, I create new interpretations of songs that I love…and based on the songs I have up on SoundCloud, I love songs from KING and Kendrick Lamar. Don’t judge me.
As a creative through blogging and content curation in the music realm, I’ve learned that doing your work without a break or calming period can really burn out your creativity. So, I thought it would be awesome to share some of the things that I’ve done in the past and have learned from others on how to continue cultivating your music creativity. Check out these seven ideas below:
1. Listen to music from another time period or another genre.
Many things that happened in the past come back to life, and that’s completely relevant in music. There are so many sounds and trends that exist now that have been remade to make it current or futuristic, so why not look to the past for the inspiration for your new sound? You can even try something outside of your musical taste and find something new there.
2. Find a quiet place to be alone and/or pray, meditate, or journal.
I know, I know. A music creative in silence? Hear me out! With the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes, all you need is some silence and alone time to get back into focus. Pray, meditate, read a book, or just be still. Let your thoughts come to you. Declutter your mind and write them down in freeform. A lot of times, once you let things out of your mind and put them on paper, you’ll find some great ideas.
3. Take a nap.
A lot of times, we’re cranky, angry, and unmotivated because we’re tired. Most of us don’t get enough sleep. So, when you feel this way, take some time out and get a little shut eye. Take an hour and get some sleep. I’m sure you’ll feel better afterwards.
4. Bring out your inner child by playing with kids.
Shonda Rhimes touched on this in her conversation about her kids and her work (aka her creativity or her “hum”) in her TED Talks: kids are really awesome because of their playful nature, imaginations and even their desire to learn. For example, my nieces, in all of their varying ages, have all been interested in music, especially once they got their hands on my old keyboard and even my trumpet. I’m convinced that because of those experiences, one of them plays the trumpet and another plays the trombone, which inspired me to pick up my trumpet again. Even with doing one of their favorite activities, like make-believe, coloring, or getting outdoors, it will inspire you to make something new or look at something differently.
[Oh, and make sure these are kids you know. I don’t need to remind you all of the importance of not being a creep or breaking laws.]
5. Have conversations in person and on social media platforms, then collaborate.
Some of my blog posts have been inspired by conversations with my brother and with people on social media, especially through Twitter chats (which I’ve talked about here). Being open to hearing different viewpoints could widen your scope and inspire you to create something from that conversation. One of the things I have recently started doing is talk to people about my ideas during the planning stages. Bouncing those ideas have helped me look at the idea in a different way that, in all honesty, made it better. One example is my season playlists. Some of my friends get a sneak peek of the sounds and critique them before I release them to you all.
6. Travel or go outdoors. Just get moving.
Traveling is essential in providing you with new experiences to put in your music. You don’t have to go far to get some inspiration either. Try going to a part of your city or state that you’ve never been to that and make a day trip out of it. If the money isn’t looking right, make sure you at least get outside! The sun and fresh air will do wonders to you after being indoors on a computer for a long period of time. While you’re outside, move around. Walk around or get a workout in.
For those that do want to get outside of their city, click here for a bunch of festivals you can check out this summer!
7. Learn something new, like another art form.
A lot of people that create one art form are usually pretty creative in another one. I know of producers that are phenomenal photographers, videographers and painters. Seeing art in different ways can transfer into your music. Continue learning and step into another art form for a while.