One of my regular reads, believe it or not, is the Costco Connection, which is actually a very well-written publication, produced by my favorite place to shop for food and other stuff.
This month, there’s a featured article about Lady Gaga, “She Was Born This Way.” While this might have been an article I could have easily skipped, I noticed that it was written by my good friend and local Detroit music expert, Gary Graff.
I’m glad I read it because there’s a great quote about creativity and the courage to act on your impulses that resonated with me. Maybe it will with you, too.
When Gary asked Lady Gaga (aka Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) whether she ever hit a point of despair about getting her own career going after writing songs for the likes of Britney Spears, Fergie, and New Kids on the Block, here’s what she said:
“Of course there were. But a record deal doesn’t make you an artist; you make yourself an artist. If you only believe that you’re an artist when you have a big (financial) advance in your pocket and a single coming out, I would say that’s quite soulless. You have to have a sense of your own greatness and your own ability from a very deep place inside you. I am the one with the litmus test in my hands of what people need to hear next.”
So how many people working on the radio today have their version of a “litmus test” about what works for the audience – and what doesn’t? Lady Gaga most certainly has incredible consumer radar and has connected with millions of people through her music and her social media presence.
Much of this is obviously innate, but it can also be developed and learned, too. Having the confidence to know in your heart of hearts that you are a personality – an artist – is part of that process.
Having a sense of your own greatness is another. And having that instinctual sense of knowing what will resonate with your audience next is a true gift.
What’s your litmus test?