To find my true self. My unique identity. Because there’s no such thing as originality. Human mind is a very complex system. Digesting a piece of music is just like absorbing abundance amount of information all at once. There are rhythm, melody, harmony, lyrics, and sound (timbre, or tone). It takes time to process those information, until eventually it becomes part of who you are.
We will and shall never be our music idol. Because if you were, you aren’t unique anymore–you are just like someone else. You could borrow either steal the same idea (one or more from musical elements inc. rhythm, melody, harmony, lyrics, and sound) but you must be fail to succeed. You are only succeed in communicating the same idea(s) when you fail to deliver with the same expression.
So, the question shall be what music should i listen to learn a form of musical expression that works and what we can learn from them. Yet so many things to listen and learn, so little time.
The following list is highlight taken from my personal experience, from music i loved and enjoyed to listen most. Pretty much describing where did i get my influenced from. Along the way, i will update this list. Take it with grain and salt. If it works for you, great–if it’s not create your own list. Your own list, will be your musical influence
Pretty much everything from pop-ish songwriting, creative lyric crafting, to crazy progressive experimentation with any musical elements. Thematic solo guitar at its best. I love George’s solos. Lot of their early works influenced by black music from previous era, so yeah essentially Beatles approach to express musical phrases felt like white british guys playing black music in their own idiosyncratic way. Not convinced?
Have you ever heard Beatles covered by Sarah Vaughan or Stevie Wonder? It’s like listening to a new song with more soul.
ROCK! without the necessity of being jerk nor mean. Beautiful polyphonic melody and progressive harmony. Treat Backing Vocals as its own instrument. Sometimes, it has its own lyrics. Great story telling with lyric and composition. Theatrical at its best. Enough said. Brian’s solos quite technical, without the necessity of being athletic with lot-of-tuplets in hundreds bpm tempo like most of lead guitarist did in a rock band. Creative way utilising guitar (and its sound) to mimic | create orchestration.
White american hippies playing the blues. I learn how to incorporate bluesy electric piano riffs from Ray’s phrases. Theatrical in a minimalistic way. They don’t even need a bass player. Poetic lyric crafting without being cheesy.
How to create progressive music without being progressive band. How to become more than musician but artist, expressing your art with music. Bold with musical idea and sound. How to express diverse musical nuances through guitar and effect pedals.
Especially their early works which produced by Tore Johansson. Well basically this category also covers any artist produced by Tore, including Solveig Sandness, Jenka, and a lot of Bonnie Pink albums. How to steal your idol musical ideas, incorporate them to your own works. In Tore’s works i heard a lot of Beatles influences. How to communicate musical expression with Lo-Fi sound without being heard as hipsters nor (too) vintage. How to use synths without being futuristic. The Cardigans is also showing good example of being sweet but ROCK simultaneously. In other words, IMHO they succeed to ROCK without the necessity of being a rock band. Their rendition of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Iron Man was my intro to eventually listen to Black Sabbath.
How to create great, memorable, classic guitar riffs. How to drum like Bonzo. How to play groovy, funky yet ROCK drum beat at the same time. And yes, that HUGE live drum sounds is monstrous.
How to play BADASS bluesy rock organ like John Lord.
Well, if you enjoy The Beatles, The Doors, and Deep Purple. Kula Shaker is unquestionably influenced by them. White british guys playing rock n roll, with a lot of Indian ethnical idioms. Not just musical idioms, a lot of their song sounds like authentic Indian songs. How to incorporate ethnical musical instruments and idioms and make your own, without being heard as traditional. Beatles previously also have done Indian theme in their songs, but Kula Shaker have taken it further and make it their own. Kula Shaker rendition of The Ballad of Thin Man is my intro to eventually listen to Bob Dylan.
How to create electronic dance music with band ensemble (wihout being a DJ nor EDM producer). How to sound retro-futuristic. How to properly utilized synthesizer in a combo band format.
How to pour your heart and soul into songs. So much love. Great songwriting with melody and beautiful chord progression without the necessity of being too jazzy.
City Pop. Japan’s overlooked ’80s disco. Actually, a lot more than disco. How to be retro but sounds futuristic at the same time. Japanese guy singing pop song with a lot of black music soul, groove, and funk. How to have a soul like black music, but still being Japanese. How to write (typical Japanese popular) songs, with beautiful progressive chord accompanying melodic song. How to embellish small musical ornaments here and there.