THE NEW STORYTELLERS

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. – Native American Proverb

Musicians like taking a picture tell a story. But while a picture freezes a single moment from a stream of flowing moments, musicians gather those moments and merge them into one. Some say a picture is worth a thousand words is used to say that it is often easier to show something in a picture than to describe it with words. Yet the storyteller has access to a limitless array of words to express themselves. But not all musicians do this. Some can stun an audience with an audacious stage performance, while some others have a voice with a range very few could replicate. But very few musicians are creating a niche of their own. They do not just do music, and sometimes they fly under the radar. These are our storytellers the social commentators.

Storytelling is an art. More than just a process, a method, or a technique, storytelling is the art of narration. As musicians, this consists of building your unique world and telling your story. Music is more than the song and the artists goal must be to get the audience to invest in their personality and their world.

Storytelling is a great tool to stand out from the crowd. The art of storytelling allows you to capture the attention of your listeners beyond your music. Getting your audience involved in your musical projects is the most difficult step to take. What you have to keep in mind is that your world is just as important as your music. The art and power of storytelling is all about immersing your audience, touching them emotionally and involving them in the journey you have taken.

The most successful artists know the value of storytelling and know how to sell themselves. You have to stand out from the crowd in order to coexist within a highly competitive industry.

Think of your musical world as a mini series consisting of multiple episodes. As a musician, every you do is an opportunity to move your story forward and make new connections with your audience. Every performance you play, every video you create, every new song you release, every social media post you send out, every article that is written about your project is part of your story. And that story stimulates imagination and passion and creates a sense of community between you and your audience.

Knowing who you are is key to know what you want to transmit!

By associating yourself with your favourite artists, you instantly give the listener something to reference before pressing play. You control the narrative.

Your cultural heritage or even just where your from may be a characteristic of your music and what you represent. We did it through hip hop culture in the 80’s, we accessed a supportive global culture. If you choose to incorporate culture into your musical identity, it can bring a supportive audience directly to you.

Your story as an artist can sometimes be enough on its own to find an audience. Your personal experiences are part of your story and can motivate people to become emotionally involved and contribute to your success. It can also be a source of inspiration for those who have endured similar experiences.

Building a universe around your musical project!

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As part of the art of narration, storytelling requires creativity, vision, skills, and practice. It is fundamental that you follow a creative process of your own. This creative process helps you know where to start from, how to develop your visions and how to perfect the practice over time. The same applies to storytelling.

In the world of social media where you need to get noticed, you have a multitude of platforms to express yourself and share your musical project.

The challenge is therefore to know how to juggle between these different platforms because your story can take many forms and suit different platforms at different times. Some elements can be read or watched and others listened to. The communication medium you choose depends essentially on how you want to express yourself, as well as how much time and money is invested.

Also think about the new modes of broadcasting available to musicians such as podcasting, which not only allows you to engage in a more human dialogue with your fans, but also to maintain narrative control over your story.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Your audience and the media will see right through you.

What aspect of your life will connect emotionally with your listeners? How far can your creative potential go? These are the elements that will attract fans and music critics alike. It’s all of these things that need to be at the center of your story.

Basil Reynolds

Coaching Consultant

Finding the Music Inside