Who are some of the people who have inspired your work most in your life? (this could be in business or art or music or teaching, etc)
Write down three of them.
Now do some research. Who were three people who heavily inspired their work?
Go one step further and find out who inspired them…
What you end up with is a great network of exploration that will help lead you to more inspiration.
(This exercise was taken from “Steal Like an Artist”, a great book by Austin Kleon, www.austinkleon.com)
I, Tim Coons of Giants & Pilgrims, have gone ahead and done this above exercise for myself and hope to make a playlist from the musicians I’ve found soon. Let me branch this out.
Three artists who have greatly influenced my song-writing:
Bon Iver is an American indie folk band founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. Vernon released Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was recorded while Vernon spent three months in a cabin in northwestern Wisconsin.
When I heard Vernon’s first well-known album, I was so excited that he had recorded so much of it himself. The layered voices and instruments gave me a sense of permission to create the basement recording of “Frailty”. That album of mine is found here.
Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and musician born in Detroit, Michigan. Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came. He is best known for his 2005 album, Illinois, which hit number one in the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and for the song “Chicago”.
The beauty and strangeness of Sufjan has also been permission-giving towards my creativity and how I write. His use of antiquated items and children’s instruments remind me of the kind of things I found in my grandmother’s house- organs and bells and noise-makers that would entertain me for hours. The use of those instruments are instantly nostalgic for me. I thank Sufjan for inspiring their use.
Jeff Buckley– an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. After a decade as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, Buckley amassed a following in the early 1990s by playing cover songs at venues in Manhattan’s East Village, such as Sin-é, gradually focusing more on his own material. After rebuffing much interest from record labels and his father’s manager Herb Cohen, he signed with Columbia, recruited a band, and recorded what would be his only studio album, Grace, in 1994. Rolling Stone considered him one of the greatest singers of all time.
If there is one source that has inspired how I try to sing, it’s Jeff Buckley. I remember falling in love with the album Grace and heralding the song “Hallelujah” as my favorite of all-time (pre-Shrek explosion of the song’s usage).
So who are artists who inspired Bon Iver?
Who are artists who inspired Sufjan Stevens?
Who are artists who inspired Jeff Buckley?
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan