I know of a lot of artists that believe having influences within their music is a negative thing because it means their music isn’t different or unique its just a copy of someone else work. I can see where these people are coming from, but I have to disagree. I believe taking influence from others is a great thing.
Lets make it clear now that when I say ‘taking influence’, I definitely do not mean copy or imitate the work of others. That isn’t good. When I say that, I mean taking an idea or a recording technique or a guitar tuning or something and adapting it and sculpting it to create a completely different aspect which you then fit into your own work. I think influences are great because, it firstly is a way for people to talk about your music by comparison. For example, ‘that guitar part sounds like Kodaline’ or ‘that bass line is like a Red Hot Chilli Peppers track’. Its a good talking point. But beyond that, I feel it gives your music some more character. Almost like a very brief history of music evolution in each track. I do think that you should try to make your music unique and different or at least your own but that doesn’t mean that you have to do something wild and radical if you don’t want to.
So influences… They can be from anything at all. Take a look at Heavy Metal for example. You could say that those shredding lead guitar parts have taken influences from the melodies of classical music. You probably wouldn’t think that those two genres blend that well, however take a look at this classical metal guitarist, Dan Mumm, cover a J.S. Bach piece of music. Do you think that they fit so perfectly be pure coincidence?
The point is, you don’t have to be influenced by the genre of music you’re writing in or a similar genre. Take inspiration from anything or anywhere. You don’t even have to be influenced by music. You may be influenced by the Rocky films to write motivating lyrics about overcoming your limitations and being the best you can be. See what i’m getting at?
What are you influenced by? x