I have been thinking about this lately, as I used to write songs myself but I haven’t done any for over ten years now, I have just stuck to the singing. I don’t know at what point I decided to stop or if anything happened in particular to stop this creative habit but it stopped. I just developed the mind-set that people should stick to what they are good at, and there were always songs that I listened to on the radio or downloaded, that were so well penned, that I believed I couldn’t do any better… But maybe it should be part of your whole passion project to do it.
I’m going to reference Lady Gaga here (I’m a fan) as she is a powerhouse of a female performer, an accomplished songwriter and composer, who writes and performs her own music. She is a musical prodigy who learned to play the piano by ear at age 4 and wrote her first song shortly after.
Lady Gaga says she is fine with people who ARE good singers but not writing their own material. But she doesn’t see the point of people who CAN’T sing well but also don't write their own material.
"But then you think about artists that can’t really sing, that have songs written for them, and it’s like, well why are they artists? Why are companies paying money to promote them? Because they’re beautiful and look good on camera and are kinda-sorta singing along?
It’s like karaoke for pretty girls. When you’re a singer-songwriter it doesn’t really matter if you’re beautiful. What matters is that you create a relationship with your fans, and they care what you have to say.” Lady Gaga
Elvis Presley never wrote any of his own songs, but he was a great performer and will always be labelled the King of Rock n’ Roll!
I have wrote in my book, ‘The Ultimate Guide To Singing For A Living’ that the voice sometimes comes secondary to the look and it is true unfortunately. Video killed the radio star… People started to take notice of what the pop stars looked like more than how talented they were. That is where the TV show, ‘The Voice’ became successful…
It didn’t matter what you looked like all they heard was the voice! But me being a little cynical is presuming that all applicants get pre-screened before they get through to the official auditions.
Your voice, your instrument; you are a musician in your own right.
Even if you don’t play a physical instrument externally, your vocal chords are the chords that make the sound, no different than those of a guitar, but people cannot see them! If you are not in a band or don’t have anyone to collaborate with, you can make your own music with the likes of Garage band and other software that is available.
Singing on a live stage is so different to singing in a studio. Some singer’s sound great on the stage in a large packed out venue, filled with atmosphere and background noise, and then not that good in the studio, where you hear the pure clarity in the voice. This is why Simon Cowell is always on the lookout for the next ‘recording artist’, the one who will excel in the studio rather than on the live stage of the x-factor. He is purely in the business of selling records.