I classify myself as a singer/songwriter, meaning that I am a singer and songwriter equally. While that may not be the right path for every artist, it was certainly the right one for me.
The Singing/Songwriting Connection
Singing will always be a passion for me. I love the feeling of performing for a live audience and feeding off their energy. Recording is a fun process, too.
However, my love of music was accompanied by a love for songwriting. When I was six years old, I wrote my first song. It was about a bear chasing me, so it never became a huge hit, as you could imagine. But to this day, I use my imagination and emotions in each lyric I write. No one else has lived my life, but there are people who have gone through similar traumas. Knowing that performing and producing the music I write can touch people’s lives is reinforcement that I’ve found my calling.
When a song is sung by the writer, I think it brings everything full circle. Most of my lyrics are tied very closely to my own personal life and struggles, so the process of living it, writing it and performing it gives me the chance to convey the energy I envisioned during the writing process and bring that to my fans. If someone else were to perform my songs, I don’t know that it would have the same effect.
Although I think performing self-written songs always allows for the most authenticity, but covers could be one exception depending on the artist.
My career might be easier if I were to use songs written by other professional songwriters, but that isn’t my style. I am as much a professional songwriter as anyone else in the business. The only exception I’ve made is doing covers.
Anyone who knows Blacklist Union knows we’ve done quite a few cover songs. However, we’re always sure to attribute the song to the original band. In my eyes, I think adding our own unique twist to well-loved tracks is a compliment to the singers and songwriters who created the originals. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Regardless if a person is a singer, songwriter, cover artist, or any combination, I think it’s important that we respect each other’s art and continue to lift each other up. Instead of negativity, it’s better to focus on love.