Many young artists are told to write and make original music so that they can be unique. But what does this mean and how can it be done?
Making and writing original music is an ongoing process and can be achieved in a variety of ways. Creativity is very important and this can be sparked by learning new things or working with new people. Everyone is unique so stay sincere and true to yourself.
Being original will help the music you make to be successful. However, find out how you can also be original with your image, as well as your music.
What does original music mean?
An original piece of music is a new composition that combines musical elements in a way that hasn’t been done before. New songs do often sound like existing pieces of music because they are influenced by other songs. However, new songs often have enough differences to be deemed original.
How to make sure your music is original
Artists often have multiple sources of music as their influence for a song. If you have a single influence then you can simply end up imitating an existing song. However, by combining different influences and especially contrasting influences, you can make sure your music will be original.
For example, there are a lot of pop songwriters that might use recent charting hits as their influences and as a result, songs and hooks can sound quite similar. The Millenial Whoop is a good example of this. However, someone from a completely different genre, such as heavy metal, can combine these pop influences with their metal style. This could end up producing something completely original.
Does original mean unique?
Original typically means the first or can also apply to a creation that isn’t a copy. Unique is defined more along the lines of being different to anything else. These are very similar concepts but it is important to distinguish some differences.
How can you be unique?
Every human being on the planet is different and has had a different experience of life. Therefore, everyone is unique. Of course, this includes anyone who’s thinking of making music or writing songs. Being unique doesn’t mean your music will be original though because it is easy to imitate and copy other artists you like.
How to make unique music
Making unique music will require you to find your own sound. This includes your voice, your songs and the production of your recordings. Listen to lots of different artists and genres and think about which ones inspire you the most. Also, work with other people, keep making music and remember to be yourself because you’re already unique.
How to write original music
Writing original music first and foremost requires great original songwriting. The song is the foundation of all popular music and becoming a great songwriter should be a priority for any aspiring artist. You should learn about songwriting techniques, including how to write a chorus, writing hooks and structuring songs. This will give you the foundation to write great songs.
How do songwriters write songs?
There are plenty of professional songwriters out there who are responsible for many of today’s biggest hits. Every songwriter has their own style and method of songwriting. For example, some like to write the music first whereas some start with lyrics.
However, many hits are written with a team of songwriters. This is typically done in songwriting sessions where songwriters get together and collaborate to write songs. Try writing with some other writers and see if you can create something original together.
How to make a song
Once you’ve written a song, the next step is to make it into a recording. This can be done in the studio but there is no reason why you can’t record it at home. There are many different ways to record your song but like your songwriting, your production should be original and unique.
How to make your music sound unique
If you are new to recording then it is a good idea to work with a producer. Find a studio near you and they may have producers in-house. If not, they may be able to recommend a producer.
Once you’ve found a producer, have a listen to their music and see what their style is like. If you have ideas from records that you like then show them to your producer. Hopefully, they can adjust their production skills to fit with your vision whilst still maintaining elements of their own style to create something original.
How can I record a song at home like a studio?
Many songwriters are taking on the role of a producer for themselves. This is mostly because of the development in home recording technology over the past 15 years. Quality microphones and audio interfaces are very affordable so many choose to turn their own homes into studios.
What do you need to make your own music?
Production equipment has never been more affordable and you can start making music with basic software on a computer. Some songwriters have even started recording on devices such as tablets and smartphones. All you need is a microphone, which could be your phone microphone, an interface to convert the audio signal and software that can record it.
Be an original brand
Being original doesn’t stop with your music. Your image is a big part of your brand as an artist. The best way to present your image is through visual content on social media. This will allow you to showcase your style and image directly with your fan base, as well as growing an audience online.
You will stand out and be instantly recognisable when your brand is original and unique. A new fan will see you and will hopefully have a vivid and unforgettable image of you as an artist. This is what helps turn talented artists into cultural icons that maintain their relevancy years after they come into the limelight.
How to be original on YouTube
YouTube is an incredible platform to build your brand and image online. It is a global platform with millions of people using it in countries across the world. Even if you’re in a remote location, there is still potential for you to start growing your fan base across the world.
You need to be original to be successful on YouTube. There is so much content on there that is can be really hard to stand out. However, there are plenty of ways for you to be original. You can put your own spin on vlogs and music videos and collaborate with other artists on visual content.
Remember to promote your videos and engage with your fanbase. Ask them what they want to see and you might find some original ideas through them.
How to be original on Instagram
Instagram is another great platform to promote yourself on. There are plenty of opportunities for engagement on Instagram too. You should make the most of interacting with new people to promote your music and brand identity.
The best way to be original on Instagram is to showcase your day to day life. No one else will be living the same kind of lifestyle as you so it’s bound to be unique. If you try too hard to be something you’re not then it can backfire. People will be able to tell that you’re being insincere and it’s also hard to maintain in the long term so focus on being authentic.
Unfortunately, being authentic and sincere doesn’t always translate into great content. If you genuinely don’t get up to anything interesting then how are you going to create interesting content from your day to day life?
If this is the case then don’t worry because there is always a creative way to present yourself. Use your creativity to come up with ideas that make the most of your situation. If you’re struggling for ideas then try and bounce some off your friends or look at other Instagram accounts for inspiration.
How to be creative
Being creative definitely comes more naturally to some than others. However, everyone has some creativity in them. The more you practice being creative, the easier it will come in the future.
It’s important to remember to not be too hard on yourself when coming up with ideas. If you’re not coming up with great ideas at first then don’t give up. You might need to go through 100 bad ideas before you find the right one. Ideas also evolve and change over time so just because it isn’t great now, doesn’t mean it won’t be great in the future.
How do I start creativity?
Getting inspired is the first step in starting the creative process. It’s hard to be creative when you have no motivation to do so. Listening to amazing music or seeing incredible live performances is a great way to get the initial inspiration. You’ll find it a lot easier to go in a creative direction now that you’re motivated.
The next step is to get lots of ideas down. It’s very rare to get a golden idea on your first attempt in any creative discipline. Let your ideas grow, develop and evolve and be patient enough to allow this to happen.
How do you brainstorm ideas?
Brainstorming is a great way to spark creativity and get new ideas. Brainstorming ideas can take place in several different ways but it can be most effective when working with others. This is why songwriting sessions can be more effective and efficient than writing solo.
One way to brainstorm is to use a mindmap and write down ideas branching off of a central theme. You could also create a mood board with visual examples collaged together. Whatever you choose, make sure there is a goal and purpose that the brainstorming session is working towards. If you don’t then the planning could go on forever and nothing will get done.
How can I be more creative?
One of the best ways to improve your creativity is to be more open to experiences. If you maintain a narrow-minded approach then you’re going to be very limited with the ideas you can create. Learning more about the world and about things outside your comfort zone will expose you to new ways of thinking.
Once you’ve been exposed to new experiences, don’t just brush them off and go back to your old way of working. Really try to process them and integrate what you’ve learnt into your way of working. This will help create new avenues of inspiration and creativity that will enable you to find great ideas and be more original.
How do you make your music better?
Don’t expect your music to be completely original and professional straight away. IT is far more important to focus on improvement and getting better. Getting new ideas, experimenting with new ways of working and meeting other creators will help inspire you to improve.
Think of making original music as a continuous ongoing process rather than a distinct outcome. Consider making original music and then going on to your next project. If you simply do the same thing as you did before then it isn’t going to be original, it will only be a copy of what you’ve already done. Continue to innovate and develop yourself as an artist and find new ways to make and write original music.
Tell us who you think are the most original and unique artists making music right now in the comments below.