I love knowing that people are connecting to my lyrics, my music and me.
I'm not afraid to go out on a limb, style-wise or with lyrics. I don't ever want to be afraid to cut those types of songs because radio might not play it.
And I think that's a singer's job. You know, to really interpret a lyric. There's an art to it, and I think some people are really great at it, like Tammy Wynette and George Jones and Tony Bennett.
I didn't really think I would be a musician. I always thought I'd be a writer. I wanted to be a writer in college, but I thought I could be a better musician. I loved the process of writing music and lyrics more than I loved the process of sitting at my computer and writing. Because of that, I thought I would be a better musician than a writer.
The thing about Sondheim is that it does get very cerebral. You do need a faculty with words and a love for the lyrics to not just pull it off, but to have an appreciation for it.
I think I have a vested interest in thinking that the lyrics are important, but I think for us it's important that we all write things that mean something to us, and I think we're not really in the business of writing la-la-love-you chart pop songs. It needs to have a personal pulling in the gut for me, to want to write anything about it.
Vocals are not central to what I do, and I've never liked singing live. I've always been more inspired by rhythm, texture, harmony than vocal melodies and lyrics. Plus, for me, I can better express my musical ideas through instrumental music than vocal music, the emotional interpretation of which can easily supersede the actual musical content or aim.
I would never sit and write a song in front of anyone, because you're so vulnerable. I don't know at what point in the process that it becomes acceptable to pass them on. When a song wants to be written, it will be written. When it does come, I will very rarely go back and edit lyrics. I'm quite a rational human being, and the only part of my life that I can't rationalise, or can't make sense of, is how a song gets written or why.
That was my intention, was to have it be from the perspective of my high-school-aged self, and to try and emulate the music that I listened to at that time. So to write essentially like a pop-punk song about musicals. I wanted the dichotomy of the tone of the music with the lyrics and my singing voice.
From a very young age, music was very much in my house. I would sit with my mom, with the old LPs, listening to The Beatles and Carly Simon and Lionel Richie. The old LPs used to have the lyrics. From there, I would put on dance and music displays for my family, just to entertain them and make people laugh and smile.
"The River" [song] is also, yes, very metaphorical. Rivers are cleansing. As long as human beings have been on the Earth we've used rivers to cleanse ourselves. And, for me, the lyrics "something in the river," I think is - well, the river is a metaphor for where I was at the time.
When I first started writing lyrics and stuff, I was writing it to garage, and obviously garage kind of progressed to grime.
I wrote lyrics that were intensely personal to me a few years ago. Maybe people know me better now.
I get the lyrics of a tune and interpret them my way.
Rick Black writes with the honed elegance of a poet so in command of lyric sentiment and the efficient evocative use of language that what results is indeed as urgent and vulnerable as true prayer ... There is something profoundly human and completely necessary about Star of David.
I started cutting my teeth on "Someone To Watch Over Me" [George Gershvin] in the college. I've sung that one for a while. There's something so simple and sweet about that lyric.
You can find me in the melodies, the chord progressions, the song style and structure. The lyrical places you fine me most are in the lyrics that 'show' more than 'tell.' I like to describe what the listener is seeing and let them make up the middle rather than telling them.
When you're given a song, it's my job to record the lyrics, story and emotion, and make everyone who is listening to the song believe that it was my words and experience.
I have had much to learn from Sweden's poetry and, more especially, from her lyrics of the last generation.
I write my lyrics the day I sing the song, so even when I have the basic things, I'm thinking what can I change, what can I add, how many harmonies can I do.
I love to write and have the basic foundation of what the song's all about. Then once the drums are done it's time for fun for me, because I don't know what I'm going to sing yet, and melody-wise I don't even have my lyrics written...
I think the whole concept behind lyrics is you better mean what you say, or you should like, become a storyteller. I mean, there's a lot of bands who are just storytellers, and then there are bands who actually have something valid to say. And the bands who have valid points are few and far between.
I actually find a lot of pleasure in writing lyrics.
Sometimes I'll listen to a lyric and I'll be so pissed off that I didn't write it.
Music is my catharsis for that. It's an incredible blessing that I have this way of expressing myself through music and lyric, and I'm so grateful for that in moments of pain or of suffering - that I have this means of channeling it; it's really amazing. My band as well - having them around and being able to jump on stage and bond together and share that energy is really uplifting as well.
When I see other rappers' lyrics of "I don't do what I don't like to do", I feel like it's really cool and there's also an envious side to me about it.
We have certain rules for traditional lyric poetry in Korea. I twist my body, confused by what to say and how to act, facing these rules. Confronting traditional lyricism, I speak with a bare body without the tattoos of culture on it.
Alienation between the content and form happens frequently in my poems because I obstinately carry on dismantling my body, an act you can also call "dismantling delusion." I think that after I dismantle my female body, I can finally dismantle established lyric poems.
I thought Everything Ecstatic was the happiest of them all - hence the "ecstatic" name. The whole concept behind that was total out-and-out euphoric mania. I think tracks like "Smile Around The Face" are the jolliest things I've ever done, really. But one of the things I like about my music is the fact that it's instrumental, so there are no lyrics to guide people.
Many of my lyrics are about having sex with prostitutes.
I've just really been into melody and lyrics and songwriting. Writing a rap, to me, is easy. I could write a rap like that. But writing songs and melodies and s**t that's hopefully going to stick around for 30, 40 years is f**king hard...If you have good songs and you're talented, people will eventually come to your shows, people will buy your music.
I'm a bit of an insomniac. I'm always thinking. I've got a lot of ideas for lyrics and shows. I have a notepad by the side of the bed and voice recorders around the house.
The kind of poetry I write, lyric poetry, I think is really concerned with intimacy, with mystery. That needn't be religious mystery, there are mysteries to do with everyday life.
In fact, I love singing. I just have a small problem with pitch, tune, melody, and lyrics. But that's never stopped me.
I don't really plan what comes out of my mouth, and that's what makes most of my lyrics entertaining.
I've always felt like my music would stand for itself and I would stand for myself. So I've kept my music a little bit esoteric, and I've kept the lyrics a little aloof. I try to say something important, but I don't necessarily preach.
Everybody has their own way of hearing songs. My fans are usually pretty on point. Sometimes they go all the way to the bottom of it. It's fascinating to me how far an idea can go. I wrote most of my first album in my mom's kitchen, and now I can go around the world and hear people recite those lyrics, and understand the story, even though they're not from the same area I grew up in.
My lyrics say I have morals, I have confidence, I have weaknesses, I have strong points, that I am a human being.
I always write lyrics first and the rhythm and the melody come from the lyrics. It always comes from the lyrics: words have rhythm and words have melody.
There is a great temptation with songs, melodies and lyrics to overcomplicate them but in fact, you find that the most enduring melodies are often the simplest.