Musician: A Perspective

My Thoughts on People Who Make Music

Adhi Waluyo
4 min readJun 21, 2020

Have you ever wondered why there’s a certain song that you really like? I’m talking about how there’s a kind of melody which suits your “taste”. From there, I began to think that musicians were selfish. They only compose certain songs which they think are good enough for us to hear. However, I feel like that’s one of the rarest things in life where you can benefit from people’s flaws.

Most of my heroes are musicians, they have radiated something which many people perceive as a way to please them yet they please themselves first. Nevertheless, musicians have made such a huge impact on accompanying me through ups and downs. Another huge impact? Of course, I become one of them too.

My first try in composing a song was a horrible one.

You know, you may want to observe the early days of a band when you like them a lot and you must be amazed how they evolve to a certain level of musician. I have experienced this since I am a hardcore Beatles fan. When I first heard their demo (where they played in a live audition in front of Decca Records’ official) I have no idea how they can turn to be one of the pioneers in innovating the recording techniques. They continue to create unique sounds and incorporate different genres. Nowadays, many musicians start composing something from their own room and later they’ll become festival headliners. Mac Demarco is one of the examples, his early songs mostly released in lo-fi (low fidelity). He enhances his recording quality and produces better output, along with his improved songwriting skill. I think musicians enjoy this process very much, they subconsciously challenge themselves to compose better songs each day.

Sometimes, musicians have to face a difficult situation to pursue their dreams.

Kevin Parker, the mastermind of Tame Impala, made a huge step back in his college years. His father didn’t want him to enter the music industry then give him the advice to be enrolled in college. He was contacted by his record label when he was on the way to college to take a final exam. After that, he didn’t take the exam and start to make more music. There are many other stories regarding this and I’ll just give you a glimpse of it: John Lennon being underestimated by his aunt and Alex Turner defer his college study for a year. If you want an extreme example, here’s another one: in the ’70s there was a band called “Klaatu” got mistakenly for The Beatles due to the Beatlesque sound on their first album. Shortly after the people realized it wasn’t them, their album sales drop massively.

Another interesting point is the meaning of the songs.

They may want to write about their sad time of their life, it may become someone’s gold in overcoming problems or even reminiscing certain moments. One clear thing, it’ll make people feel better. For example, Noel Gallagher, the chief songwriter of Oasis, have talked about one of his songs meaning which is “Champagne Supernova” in an interview:

Interviewer: You know, the one thing that’s stopping it being a classic is the ridiculous lyrics.

NG: What do you mean by that?

Interviewer: Well, ‘Slowly walking down the hall / Faster than a cannonball’ — what’s that mean?

NG: I don’t fucking know. But are you telling me, when you’ve got 60,000 people singing it, they don’t know what it means? It means something different to every one of them.

Noel Gallagher may write nonsense lyrics, however, people perceive it differently. When I sing my favorite song in a gig, I remember every moment which relates to the song. I went to The Libertines concert in 2018 and when they played “Can’t Stand Me Now”, I sang as loud as I can while I remembered how I got along with a group of friends who have mutual music taste, realized that we all discovered The Libertines together.

I think that moment is everything for musicians, they definitely would be appreciated. I once performed with my band in front of a crowd who barely knew us, they might not be singing our songs but some people put their phone down and continue to watch our performance. It’s a magical feeling and to draw people’s attention to us is an important achievement. If you haven’t experienced local gigs which consist of unknown bands, you should try it. So do well-known musicians, you’ll realize they all have the same purpose which I have stated before: a way to please themselves.