Whenever I work with a young artist I stress the facts that it's not about the gear, the studio, the producer or anything external to your original intention of what you're creating. You are making art so make it the most it can be without worrying about what others will tell you they think it should be. If they are so good at making music then they should go ahead and make their own art. In the meantime you, as the working artist making your mark on the world of music, should only focus on what you want to bring into this world. That being your version of the art that you are making for your fans and yourself.
Below is G Love's version of the same conversation. As someone who's been writing music for quite a while now he certainly knows the difference between what people think makes a great record and what really makes a great song.
It's all about the song.
By G. Love
G. Love songwrting advice.
Its all about the songs, its all about the songs. Its a line you hear a lot when we talk about successes and failures in music.
Ultimately, you will succeed or fail based on your ability to write great songs. All of my talk about business hustle, practicing your guitar, life on the road and everything else really doesnt matter if you dont have the songs to back it up.
Hendrix, Clapton, Page and all the great guitar players were obviously masters of their instrument, but the fact is there are a thousand guitar players who can play that good. The main reason we know and idolize these masters of guitar are their songs.
Jimi Hendrix could've just been another unsung excellent guitar player in someone elses band if he hadn't written his first smash single and blown up overnight. We love and can sing Jimmy Pages guitar parts by heart, but we wouldnt even know all those riffs and solos if Page and Plant hadnt written the greatest songs of all time. In the end, its the song.
I write songs. Day in and day out, they wake me up in the morning, I dream them, they give me inspiration and make the hairs stand on the back of my neck. They can make me happy, they can piss me off and frustrate the hell out of me. Writing songs gives me a reason to live. I always think about my songs as my children. You have a burst of creativity — ahhhh, that felt good, and then bang — another song is born.
This is a great article and I suggest the serious songwriter to continue reading it over at Guitar World.