Many artists grow up being influenced by other music. It’s part of every performers musical evolution and formation. Hopefully it remains as just an influence, and mixes with their own individuality to form something unique on its own.
Artist who eventually become successful found a way to be unique in their own right. Striving for uniqueness avoids the pitfall of a comparison. When artist try to imitate their influences, they often risk becoming a copy of an original. Copies are always compared to the original and most often dismissed as simply a copy, or discarded because the world already has too many copies of the original.
Striving to keep the line from blurring between influence and imitation is not just a goal, it’s a key to success. When we do things just like others are doing them, it lends itself to comparison. You risk being labeled as a copy.
When you’re unique, it removes the tendency to compare to anything else. People have to judge uniqueness on its own merit.
We live in a world where everything is a brand. Branding has become one of the keys to success for any business. Successful brands convey the perception that they are unique, one-of-a-kind. The products and services they offer may be the same or similar, they may even be no better than other products of the same variety … but the brand of uniqueness is what sets them apart.
Think of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, they are both artists but they can’t be compared. Starbucks sells coffee, but they have built a brand. People stand in line and wait … not for coffee … because of the brand. Apple makes iPhones, they’re still phones, but people stand in line when the latest version is release. The Eiffel Tower is still a tower, but no other towers come to mind when it is mentioned.
Brands are geared toward creating experiences, emotions or attitudes you won’t find anywhere else. A product can be compared, but an experience takes a consumer to another place. Experiences tap into our emotions. Emotions make us want more of the experience.
Everyone artist, musician, songwriter or person has a story to tell. Life gives us all our own unique story, chapter by chapter. Your story is what makes you who you are. It becomes a part of what you do, or should be. It’s a part of your brand.
Strive to be original, strive to be YOU. Build your brand in such a way that it can’t be compared. No one can be you better than you … and you can’t be someone else better than they can be!