In last week’s American Idol episodes, I felt there were 2 lessons worth exploring. The first has to do with the choices the Contestants were making – and you’re making as an artist whenever you create. I felt that the American Idol Contestants fell into two categories. The first are Artists who were making decisions and choices that were about the music. These Contestants consistently get feedback from the judges that they know who they are as artists.
So, what does that mean? I don’t think it means that they know what genre or type of music they should be classified as. It’s more that they are focusing on songs that suit their instrument (their voice) and then invest time and energy to serve the music in a way that is uniquely theirs.
Lesson 1: Focus on expressing yourself in a truly unique way that serves the art and the audience.
Miley Cyrus put it really well when Katie asked her what she does when she gets negative feedback – and Miley said – “You have to remember why you’re doing this – it’s about the music.”Which makes a huge assumption. I think with some of these contestants and perhaps many of the musicians in the world trying to “make it” in the music industry. For some of them, it’s NOT about the music. It’s about ego. It’s about the fame, fortune, or filling some emptiness inside of themselves – not by making art, but by getting attention and recognition. It’s not about the music.