I'm writing a manifesto...
I’ve started working on a manifesto. For diversity in music. I want to tell you the story behind it.
Today I want to talk about a topic close to my heart: age and music.
I’m just sharing my subjective story, which probably doesn’t illustrate the whole picture of how things really are. It’s just my experience as a 30+ years old artist, coming back to music after a nice break from the industry.
Some of you might resonate with my words. Some might even feel inspired to nurture your creativity. Others might feel this incredibly boring. Whatever emotions arise as you read, let me tell you, this is a vulnerable piece for me, as every post on my publication.
Let me know what you think.
Since the end of the COVID restrictions, I've loved London and its music scene.
I feel like buzzing every time I am out these days.
I’ve been going to quite a few gigs of emergent singer-songwriters. It helps me stay inspired, and I meet incredible artists as an artist.
It also gives me food for thought.
In the majority of the performances, I witness very young artists under 25 years old. Most of the time, the audience is also very young, mainly made by people under 30 years old.
When we talk about ‘emerging artists', we might argue that we think of peeps in their 20s. Some might add that when you're 30 years old, you are probably already too old to appeal to a vaster audience in the mainstream culture.
Is that fair? Maybe not. But it is true that when it comes to mainstream music, not many people get to become well known/famous/popular in their 30s.
It is also true that some incredible young artists have been making music since their teenage years. To them, it might seem it’s taken them ‘ages’ to get where they are.
But what about those artists who started sharing their art a bit later in life? What about those artists who had a break in between? They had to pause, suddenly stop and find themselves going back to their creativity after years?
You might think that no one stops them, us, to show up in the world. And it’s true. No one is stopping artists/creatives from performing and expressing themselves.
However, as listeners, I believe we can foster a more encouraging space for people of all ages to feel encouraged to share and believe in their creativity, art and music.
But let me share a bit of my experience here…
A few weeks ago, I went to a beautiful singer-songwriter circle, which was super cool…
After the gig, I came home, and I was both high and sad at the same time.
High because the night was just incredible, the artists were fantastic, so inspiring. However, I was also sad because I felt particularly out of place. Not represented. The lyrics and songs I heard that night were lovely, don't get me wrong. Some of them were also super profound and special. Other songs - as they should be - were just representative of a different period of my life.
Being one of the oldest people there, I wondered how nice it could be if this type of night had a wider audience and a more comprehensive age range of emerging artists.
This got me thinking about age, opportunities, intergenerational exchange and how important this is. I thought about the many artists I'd love to listen to. Their different stories and life experiences. I thought about what I could do to co-create something new with other artists so that, as the audience, we could start to expand our horizons.
My conversation I am too old to make music kicked in… 😅
Let me tell you… when I start telling myself, ‘it’s too late’… it’s not fun. And after all these years, I am getting bored of my thoughts and beliefs. 🤯
The good thing about being in your thirty, though, is that you are probably more compassionate with yourself; you love yourself more and know what makes a difference in those sad moments where all you want to do is feel sorry for yourself.
For me, it is a night of good sleep. And writing a song about it…!
I went to sleep, and it was perfect. I woke up at 6 AM the day after, and I was so inspired that I sat at the piano and started writing and singing. As it's always been sitting in the background, a verse came out, wanting to be sung.
And so, that feeling of being out of place gifted me with so much joy and creativity…
As I was writing my new song (which I look forward to sharing with you!) I had a realisation: I want to create a manifesto for my music 👏
Why? To remind myself what my music and I are about.
So this is the start… it’s work in progress!
I want my music to be empowering, vulnerable and inclusive. I want it to be conscious music that invites everyone to turn within: to reflect or connect with oneself.
I stand for a peaceful, creative world where everyone can live a life of freedom and self-expression.
I want to make music that empowers people to live authentically without caring about what others do and think. Without worrying whether it'll please or fit into the mainstream music industry.
Going back to the music industry and age…
One of the things I feel sad about is that there aren't many artists who make it (what making it means is not clear btw..) in the mainstream in their 30s.
I find that in 2022 we are still very much influenced by the image of an artist. We could argue that to be a 'pop star' that's what it takes.. but does it matter?
I think that ageing and getting older is a privilege, and not everyone has this privilege somehow - I wish I'd see more women in their 30s, 40s, 50s etc., in music. I wish I'd see more variety. More celebration of what it means to grow up, discover oneself and our creativity, even later in life. I am intrigued by stories of artists who reconnected with their music and art later in life.
And so, why not create space in the mainstream industry for content, songs, lyrics, and music that also comes from different age groups. I bet there are people out there who are longing for this.
Why not re-thinking what a 'role model' should be. Why not expand our vision so that everyone feels represented. So that we can celebrate women of all ages and their beauty, wisdom, and experience.
I am inspired by the possibility of a creative world that is fully represented and where people can recognise themselves in different types of artists. And so if we want the mainstream to change, we gotta start from somewhere... perhaps we can be the one nurturing this conversation.
I dream of music that speaks to real people about real people. I want my music to encourage women of all ages to be celebrated, seen, and admired.
In that case, music is really for all. It is a reminder (and a celebration) that life is transformation, that it is impermanent and that all stages of life are so colourful and beautiful.
I am sharing with you this, my friends. And to all the women in my life, please remember that the world needs you and your art! So be out there, my friends, share, be YOU, and live fully!
I’ll be sharing my manifesto in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.
And… inspired by this songwiters’ night, I’ve started thinking about co-creating something practical and specific to support other artists. Again.. another good reason why you should stay tuned.
Love to you all. 💗
🎧 If you fancy listening to some of my music on Spotify in the meantime, click below.