Somebody left a comment on a video of a song I wrote and performed. It read:
[…] your voice is so unique.
I wondered momentarily if that was a compliment or an insult. But in any eventuality it struck me as true, that in a very real sense – whether by accident or design – nobody sings exactly the same way I do.
I went for a walk earlier and Rickie Lee Jones’ Matters came on my iPod.
Doesn’t matter if you’re fat
Wear a helmet or wear a hat
If you’re sorry or if you’re sure
Who you are is who you were
Who you were
Who you were… matters
There is much talk about about making ‘great’ art and, actually, making ‘great’ art is tough for a number of reasons – not least the anxiety a need to be ‘great’ can often produce. There’s often talk about finding an agent, getting published, signing a deal, finding an audience. These things are all perfectly wonderful in their own right. But what I would like you to do today is really understand that you are unique, that nobody else in the world would’ve created that thing you created in exactly the same way you did. And I think that makes it special and gives it a value we don’t often appreciate.