Singing with Intent: Telling Powerful Stories

Article by Suzen

“It’s our job to open the conversation, to shine the light and inspire new paths of thought.” – Suzen

As an artist my main goal is to tell/sing/share stories and ideas that promote healing through authentic expression on a platform that hopefully reaches the world. Wow, that is a big statement. With the amazing technology we have today we have the capability to spread the word quickly…but how do we capitalize on communicating our thoughts and feelings on deep topics? Here is some food for thought on telling your most authentic story.

Sing with Intention by Telling Powerful Stories

    1. Know Your Intent
      I’m not talking just about the surface layer of knowing that a song you’ve written or are performing is about “love” or “betrayal” or “joy”. Those are huge words and it is our job to dig deeper than the first layer of general understanding. Think about the specificity, allow yourself to daydream into the moment and naturally your mind will dive deeper into those thoughts and feelings. Which brings me to my second point…
    2. Express From Your Core
      Never play at the “idea” of a feeling, it takes away from the honesty of truth. Don’t worry about making it look pretty or pleasing initially. Trust yourself enough to not skip over the deeper part of a lyric. You’ll know once you’ve hit the sweet spot because it won’t feel like you’re trying to ​perform or show or prove something…​instead there will be a confident feeling of expressing a truth. Which leads me to the last mini point…
    3. Don’t Edit the Truth
      It is our job as artists to honestly express what is going within us and in the world. Be empowered by this purpose and let it inspire deeper storytelling. You never know who might need the story you are telling. You’re never alone in how you feel but as the artist you may be the first one to speak up about it. It’s our job to open the conversation, to shine the light and inspire new paths of thought. To leave an impact you must wholeheartedly embrace the truth. We feel it, so we can heal it and move forward.
Article by Suzen
image credit: Doug Kelley

Article by Suzen

What does it mean to be “Dangerously Creative” in an age where women are still being viewed as a minority in the entertainment business?…well, in my honest opinion it is knowing that there aren’t any game rules when it comes to building your musical empire. And when someone tries to put you in a box…RUN quickly.
Your greatest investor is the one you look at in the mirror every day. Call the shots, make the moves and create something great.

5 Tips for Being Dangerously Creative as a Woman in Music

    1. Know Your Worth Outside of Industry Politics
      Being an independent artist alone is a journey especially when it can feel like you’re swimming in a tank of sharks in the great city of Los Angeles or any large metropolitan beast. Music is pure but business demands a whole other mindset. I’ve learned the best way to navigate through the mecca is to study it on your own and have mentors you can trust when you do have a question. Yes, networking is key but the best way to know if you’re connecting to an opportunity or walking into an odd situation is to educate yourself. Never let anyone make you feel less than for not having a billboard hit, plaque or grammy…YET; key word is yet;) If I would have listened to certain ‘contacts’ who said I couldn’t write, play an instrument and didn’t have the right ears to make my own music then my records and music videos that my fan base connects to and loves would have never made it out the gate.
      Always hold your professionalism but feel free to walk away from a deal that doesn’t sound right. If someone is asking for three grand to make a song or two I suggest you reconsider the actual value, worth and why. Music is not just about a great song, great marketing is also involved…and I believe that if you really tap into your artistry you are capable of both. Don’t sell yourself short of your own capabilities and don’t ever feel like you have to buy something to add value to your art. The city is home to some of the greatest undiscovered talent. Seek passionate individuals who want to create and build.
    2. Stay committed to your vision as an Artist & Define Your Sound
      In the midst of creating and building projects you will run into a variety of critics who claim they can make you a ‘better’ artist. My theory is know your vision and if someone offers advice that is helpful then use it but feel free to ditch the rest. This is your process and your art. Do not settle and do not fold to someone who doesn’t respect it. With all my projects I am the creative head and make all final decisions. Be the boss babe you are and speak up in rooms if you disagree with something. In terms of getting your vision organized I always suggest making realistic timelines for yourself, knowing your budget/goals and trying your best to meet your deadlines. Should you push back your own deadline re-evaluate what you are missing to hit your goals.
    3. Build a Team You Can Trust
      As much as I believe in being your own boss I also believe in a great team. Step into your leadership power and find people you can trust to develop your sound that takes you to the next level (aka the best representation of you as an artist). In addition to engineers and producers research great directors, photographers, make-up artists, stylists and other creatives who can help bring your art to life in a visual representation. Even if they don’t fit your budget many are open to conversations or can guide you to a colleague you can collaborate with. Also, never be afraid of what my friends and I like to call, ‘Youtube University’…as modern day artists we have an overwhelming amount of free information available at our fingertips so use it!
    4. Take Time for the Creative Self
      I find I am at my best when I practice divine self care. Self care can be a beach day, a solo writing session in your own space or a creative day trip to an inspiring destination. It can even look like a small meditation in a very busy schedule and making sure to drink enough water (hydrate that voice!) and work out. Your growth as an artist is a process and hopefully will never stop. As people we are constantly changing and our art grows with us. You will be honing in on your musicality and developing through the ages; which is a beautiful thing. I believe that artists are athletes and athletes are artists, meaning we train and work incredibly hard on our craft daily, so make sure you are keeping up with your mental, spiritual and physical health so you can be your most dangerous creative self.
    5. Tell Your stories.
      At the end of the day remember it is your face on the product and music. Have an intention with your art and know your audience. The most fierce women in music from Beyonce to Adele to Diane Warren (just to name a few) all stay honest in what they are communicating. To go through this journey and alter yourself and music to fit a cliche will eventually make this process daunting instead of exciting. It is the most vulnerable thing to share private thoughts on a public platform and to that I give immense credit to the brave writers and performers who share their light. Be brave, speak up and share your story. Your authenticity is what people will connect to.
Overall, I hope these words empower you to create the art you feel in your heart. (*que hallmark music).
How will you use these tools and ideas in your artistry? I’d love to hear from you.
Article by Suzen

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