Are the type of songs I produce a true snapshot of what I'm really all about musically?

BY Allison OuthitPublished May 31, 2012

I'm a self-proclaimed singer/songwriter. I play guitar, harmonica and I also sing. Not publicly at this point ― it's more of a bedroom thing but I have produced music that's been used on soundtracks on a couple of projects. I've found that I can get interested in and play a fairly wide variety of music. My problem is that when I pick up my electric guitar, all I tend to want to play is hard rock. It's fun and makes playing music exciting. However, my voice is absolutely terrible for this kind of thing. I realize that we all tend to play music that we like to hear but that's seriously not what's coming out at the end of my songwriting process. In my mind (and on the electric guitar) I enjoy blasting through some blistering rock. However, when I start to create songs on my acoustic they, well... come out rather soft and mushy. So to summarize: In my mind = ACDC. What comes out in reality = Air Supply (shudder). I've also written a number of children's songs, and my wife encourages me to go in that direction. I think that's a one-way ticket. I don't think anyone is considered a serious musician after trying to become Raffi's competition. Any thoughts on the artistic process? Do you think that the type of songs I actually produce myself are a truer snapshot of what I'm really all about musically?

Hidden in your question is a bigger question that, in my experience, arises from time to time to torture just about every artist I know. And that question is (cue dramatic orchestra burst), "WHO AM I?" Finding yourself as an artist is never easy. But I think most artists would agree that until you really, truly know who you are, you will never manage to be both successful and happy at the same time. So you've got to work at it. But in my opinion, you should approach the craft with love and passion rather than following where you think the money is. If you are going into this thinking "All I need to do is write a great song and I will be set," you are delusional. If you love metal, play metal. If you love children's music, play that. Write what you know, write what you love, and don't worry about it sounding cool/not cool. The sappiest music is cool if it's authentic.

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