I have been writing songs since I was about 14 years old, so, about 11 years now. My songs have, of course, changed and evolved in terms of genre and topic with growing up and different life experiences. My songwriting started on the piano, soft songs about breakups and being a sad teenager. The next several years through highschool, ages 16 thru 18, I moved to acoustic guitar and started writing breakups and sad songs on that. I stayed true to my songwriting of a acoustic pop, singer/songwriter genre because that was natural for me to write. That was what naturally came out as I wrote songs. Nevertheless, through college/with age I have found myself trying to force myself into different genres and venture into more "popular" genres or the type of music my friends were listening to. I found myself feeling less satisfied and frustrated with my songwriting when doing so. I know of other artists who switch up their genres in order to stay more relevant, some successful, some maybe not so much. A good example of a successful artist that did so is Taylor Swift, who, started off as a country singer who has now blossomed into one of, if not the, largest pop singer of our time. Nevertheless maybe her case is more like she finally grew up and found her true sound with her growing up. That and probably a bunch of help with the people she had around her to become as big as she is now. There is a lot of right place, right time, right people in the music industry.
Success is hard to find as well as hard to define. I personally have come to terms with not being a Taylor-Swift-selling-out-stadiums level singer, but I still have goals and aspirations of being able to keep doing music as my job for as long as possible. Or, I have said many times, work in music to the point where I make enough money to pay rent. Music isn't just something that I happen to be good at, it is something that gives me purpose, it is my passion. I have always been a quiet, reserved person, but, when I get up on stage and I am in my element, I feel like a whole different person. But at the same time, when I am performing, I feel most like myself.
Performing and songwriting are two different beasts to conquer in music. When I perform I like to cover many different genres, whether it's pop or rock or country. However, I have been writing a lot more lately and in that I have explored where I am in my genre adventure. I have recently felt as though I am right back to my roots, right back to the acoustic pop singer/songwriter vibes. At first I felt disappointed because I was hoping maybe with growing up, that would have changed. But after a few songs, it honestly feels great. Right now, where I am in my life, I feel most satisfied and happy when I don't have to force anything. I sing and write exactly how it comes out of my brain and into my fingers and through my mouth.
2024 just started and I think I am going to try my best and let my music naturally happen. Staying authentic and honest with myself. If one day I start writing a different vibe/genre, or maybe co-write a song with somebody of another genre, I will let whatever happens, happen. Just because I've been writing the same genre now, doesn't mean that will always be the case. Life goes through lots of phases, we all have experiences that shape who we are and who we become. My music and the lyrics I've been writing have matured with me. I tend to worry if I can be relevant or if my music is something people will enjoy, a lot of worries stem from the genre I write. But, at the end of the day, my music was first and foremost an outlet to get my feelings out. A form of therapy. I think in general with all aspects of my life, staying authentic and not forcing myself to be anyone or any genre that I don't feel is myself is the most important thing I can do.