I know it’s been a little while, but I’m happy to finally be publishing a new Music Monday here on the blog! I want to make sure that all of my posts are my most authentic work. I never want to post something simply to produce content or “fill space”, so I’m allowing myself to take a week or so off of Music Monday here and there if I find that I don’t have an artist/topic that I’m truly excited to write about.
With that said, today’s post is going to be first of many specifically targeted on songwriters. Being a songwriter myself, there are so many amazing artists that I admire and am influenced by, especially successful female songwriters. There’s a sense of empowerment and motivation that I feel by looking at these women’s careers and strength in such a cutthroat industry. Their stories help keep me moving as I continue to travel my own journey in music, motivating me to work hard and encouraging me to stay true to myself.
3 Female Songwriters That Inspire Me
Regarded by many as one of the queens of songwriting, Carole King was revolutionary. I’m currently reading a book about her life, and thus far, I’ve been astounded by all I’ve learned about her start in the industry and the success she achieved at such a young age. By nineteen years old, she was a chart-topping songwriter, a wife, and a mother – talk about a woman of iron. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”, written with her first husband and co-writer Gerry Goffin, was one of the first Carole King songs I knew growing up. Now, her Grammy-winning record Tapestry has become one of my top favorite albums. Through her soul-baring lyrics and impassioned vocals, I feel like you can hear the authenticity of Carole on that record. She’s an artist I’ll always admire, for her golden songwriting and immeasurable grit alike.
I remember hearing “Merry Go ‘Round” on the radio, and it was like this little fire sparked inside me. I didn’t realize then, but that was the first time I experienced Kacey Musgraves, a woman who would go on to become one of my favorite artists and most prominent songwriting influences. Her peppery-yet-perceptive lyrics and rhinestoned persona soon captured my heart, awakening the lover of retro country-western music within me. I realized that there was something more out there in the country music world than the poppy stuff being played on the radio, someone, I should say, that was creating modern and catchy country that maintained the classic sound of the genre. Soon after, I realized that I too wanted to make that type of music. It’s evident in Kacey’s writing that she pays attention to every detail, doesn’t settle for the first word that comes to mind, and makes a conscious effort to prove her point while avoiding mundane-ness and clichés. Because of this, Kacey sets herself apart from the pack, declaring her unprecedented originality and blazing a trail for songwriters like me to follow.
As a young girl fascinated with my first songwriting inspiration, Taylor Swift, I discovered Liz Rose’s name listed as a co-writer in Taylor’s CD jackets (which I read obsessively every time T-Swizzle dropped a record.) Since then, I’ve heard hits like “Girl Crush”, penned by Liz, Hillary Lindsey, and Lori McKenna, and “Crazy Girl”, a collaboration with Lee Brice. However, I became truly taken with Liz’s songwriting when I heard “Swimming Alone” from her 2017 record of the same title. She tells a coming-of-age story that feels immediately relatable and personally nostalgic, brimming with insightfully-crafted lyrics that personify the feelings of independent womanhood. Other tracks on the album, such as “Grocery Money” and “Tulsa”, possess that same character – honest storytelling that compels the listener to reflect back on themselves. That’s the type of songs I strive to write, and it’s songwriters like Liz Rose that give me the courage to fearlessly tell the truth in every line.
After reading today’s post, I hope you are feeling motivated and inspired – maybe even enough to go write a song yourself! Like anything artistic, songwriting can be a tedious, frustrating process, but the feeling of creating something that truly expresses how you feel, or tells a story in just the right words, is so rewarding. We can try to make sense of a situation or emotion with our minds, but sometimes, it’s just easier to solve things with a song. That why I started writing in the first place, and though I get discouraged sometimes, songwriting was the first love I ever had, and the greatest.
Have a fabulous week everyone! I’ll talk to y’all again soon.
Much love, and happy listening.
READ MORE: Resolutions 2018 (check out my goals for this year!)
The post Music Monday: 3 Female Songwriters That Inspire Me first appeared on AbundantlyKate.