I’ve been learning some things about the creative process recently. And it has to do with limitations. Or the lack of them.
Here’s my thought: only place boundaries on yourself for specific creative reasons, not to fit a certain genre or to be the artist others expect you to be.
I was a “folk” musician so I would only use “real” instruments (no keyboards, only pianos, no drum machines, only live drums, no electric guitar, only acoustic). I think I was actually condescending about it.
I limited my options just to fit a pre-determined box of a genre, making music that people expected a folk artist to make. But genres change and evolve, so why try to fit the definition of today’s “folk” music?
Think about it — “pop music” literally means the popular music of the day. Popular music changes over time (I mean, The Beatles were pop in their day). And any change within a genre happens because of artists who don’t try to fit into any of the current boxes, artists who stretch the boundaries. (Basically, I don’t like genre labels).
So with the album I’m recording now, I have no boundaries and I’m recording everything I hear. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But at least I tried.
And it’s been so worth it. I think this is the best music I’ve made so far and, more importantly, it’s the most meaningful to me.
All this to say, don’t limit yourself unless it’s for a specific creative reason, to see what you can do with less.
Otherwise, let every idea out then sort through the good and the bad later.