It may come as no surprise that musical artists choose to express themselves through their music. Every note, lyric and beat let them paint a bigger picture and divulge a longer story. In simple words, music is a way of making a statement.
Leo Tolstoy once said, “Music is the shorthand of emotion” and when you think about it, it is. Music and artistry in that sense can elicit powerful emotion and sentiment. Distinguished artists like Adele, Lionel Richie, Prince and even the King of Pop himself, the late Michael Jackson have used emotion in their music to tell either a personal story or discuss a current worldly situation. Nothing’s forever, nothing is as good as it seems hence why musicians write these songs to relish these moments – little and large. Now of course, you may be thinking that if this is the case then every song to ever be released should be this way but, an artist merely composing a song doesn’t mean that all of a sudden, they’re the new Shakespeare.
A personal favourite of mine, “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake may sound like every other love song when in reality is dedicated to Timberlake’s grandparents. With his powerful lyricism he induces such powerful emotion in us, all by simply telling a story. Even melodies in between the chorus and the verse help bring out that feeling. This song, and other classics such as Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”, Bryan Adam’s “Here I Am” and the Beatles “Hey Jude” are just a few cases of musical artists communicating with their fans.
They say these are the golden years of music so yes, modern songs like Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 You” also follow this same ideology. In these songs we can see artists explore layers and layers of emotion.
So now that you’ve got an idea on what it means to be expressive with one’s music you must be thinking how? How do musicians do this? Well, they think about a past or present ordeal of theirs and correlate that with the song in question. For all the sunlight of our past and darkness in our present artists tell their stories. Some of them may easily be uncovered but others, not so much.
So next time you listen to your favourite artist’s songs be sure to take a closer look and think to yourself, “What are they trying to tell us?” Because remember, even the sidewalks we crossed and streets we’ve drove past have stories. In fact, just to help you train your eyes a little, I’ve got a little task for you. Olivia Rodrigo, a musical star who first rose to fame on Nickelodeon is thriving in the music industry with her fervent and fiery music. So, in this very article lay five lyrics from well-liked songs of hers. They are no more than 10 words so it should be a piece of cake. Ready? 3!2!1! Search Ahoy!!