Aside from the obviousness of this phrase, there are many more levels that can be extracted from this plump fruit, fresh from the tree of human wisdom. If you read my last article, “Pablo Picasso is not an asshole”, then you will know what creativity or imagination is. Let me pamper your minds with the definition of imagination:
im·ag·i·na·tion [i-maj-uh-ney-shuh n]
1. The power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images (reproductive imagination) or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems (creative imagination).
So if creativity is us rearranging all we have known, then what is known to you will only be known because you exposed it to your self. The things you expose to your self more frequently are more likely so come out of your creative output. So essentially you are what you eat, or what you eat is what you create!
So if you want to become an indie rocker, than listen to indie rock! If you want to experience death by metal, than listen to death metal! Keep in mind, that in the modern realm “genres” are very diluted. You can take parts of Bach and apply them to Krunk rap if you wish!
If you want to write catchy tunes that get stuck in peoples heads, than don’t be afraid of listening to pop music. If I mentioned, “Single Laides,” by Beyonce, you may cringe and think, “You bastard, Why did you mention that?” But behind your internal voice reading this article, I’m sure Beyonce is echoing through the chasms of your mind.
I offer you two versions of this song - the original with horrifying arrangements (feel free to listen to this for 10 seconds):
Here is the second version with the brilliant arrangements of Jack Conte and Natale Dawn from Pomplamoose (which if this is the first time you have heard of these guys, I highly suggest you view some more of their videos... I am very jealous of what these people can do)
If you want to write catchy tunes, you need to listen to tunes that get stuck in your head much like, “single ladies” or “mmm bop” by the androgynous pop trio, Hanson. Don’t be afraid of the negative social context, these songs are catchy because they are well written! Don’t listen to the cheesy pop orchestrations or the lyrics; I try to imagine the music as a string quartet, this way I can hear the power in the songwriting as opposed to the teeny bopping vomit invoking message.
If you are feeling “dry” creatively, don’t forget to lubricate your frontal lobe and listen to music! It will help you remember why you started to make music in the first place. Not to mention it will help you fill up your musical toolbox.
This concept of “you are what you eat” applies to other areas of creativity as well! For example, when I read the harry potter books, I felt like J.K. Rowling was my internal voice. Also I remember I went on a Shakespeare kick for a while and I noticed the syntax of my writing turned backwards and my vocabulary was replaced by old English.
So remember… you are what you eat or what you eat is what you create! If you are displeased with you’re creations, than start consuming new music!