It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of singer-songwriters. I’ve gushed about Sara Bareilles, Adele, Jill Scott and others on my blog.
What I admire most about these artists is their ability to take their pain, disappointments and setbacks in life and use them as the building blocks for lyrics with which listeners can identify.
Sara Bareilles’ Gravity, Adele’s Turning Tables and Jill Scott’s He Loves Me are beautiful songs. Each is the perfect marriage of skillful storytelling, gripping emotion, perfect melodies and gorgeous vocals. These women are masterful storytellers who courageously share very deep and personal stories.
Below is a raw video which features Sara’s vocals and the pure emotion of her song Gravity; a revealing interview with Adele where she shares the stories behind song on her brilliant, Grammy-winning 21 album (it’s loaded with F-bombs, but SOOO worth it to anyone who wants to learn more about the storytelling process) and an excerpt from VH1 Storytellers: Jill Scott in which she uses great storytelling and humor as she performs her song, The Way. These are compelling examples of women who set their lives to music. The skillful use their craft empowers them and engages listeners.
As writers, artists, performers, we strive to do the same. To tell our listeners, readers or viewers a story with which they connect on a deep and powerful level. A story that in some ways helps them give voice to their own pain. Makes them realize they are not alone in their experiences – good or bad. We can learn the art of captivating storytelling that forges a deep connection with our audience from any great storyteller, regardless of the medium.
What if you don’t aspire to be a writer, songwriter, artist or actress? Recording our stories – our thoughts and feelings – is a cathartic, soul-cleansing experience that helps us move on. Past the heartbreak. On to the next chapter in our lives.
It doesn’t matter whether you share your stories publicly – perhaps on a personal blog or here on All Things Girl – or in the tattered pages of a diary which you promptly put in your nightstand or underneath your mattress each night. Just write them. Set your life to words or music. Set yourself free.