We remember remarkable people, amazing things, and wonderful experiences with a magical fondness. All these things come back to a moment in time when something “extreme” happened, and something new was born.
When considering “extreme”, I’m not referring to hardcore music or outlandish behavior. I am referring to an intense commitment to a stimulus in creative form. Perhaps the wonderful experience involved an ultimate peace that is rare, and difficult to replicate. The remarkable courage of Ghandi. The amazing ease of use in the iPhone. Whatever the greatness may be, “extreme” is often inherent. This extreme stimulus is often coupled with risk.
As songwriters, we need to take risks. Duh. We’ve heard this time and time again. It’s our job to explore the unmapped terrains of our experiences, emotions, and the bizarre world around us. But go ahead and tap into the memories others would avoid, challenge the emotions that seem unspeakable, and attach a melody to them. “Extreme” leads to great songwriting. It leads to profound statements that draw listeners and merit further thought. True scribes set in stone what people should believe, and wise compositions garner attention. Something that stands out and makes people stop what they are doing and listen, is often extreme. Without entering the world of extreme, without daring to be weird, without attempting something overzealous, potentially-awkwardly personal, beyond your comedic comfort zones, or otherwise… Who are we as songwriters? Who are we as creative people? I think we would be normal creative people. And there’s nothing interesting in that.
If I were you, I’d go there. Don’t hold back. We want to make statements in Columbus Songwriters Association, not merely parrot cliche ideas that have been repeated time and time again. Accept the challenge: Embrace the extreme.
– Joey Hendrickson
Founder, Columbus Songwriters Association