I thought I would so something a little different today, but I still wanted to keep it music related. So, here’s a little fact about me. I am a huge movie buff. I’ve probably watched thousands of movies. You would think I wouldn’t have time for that, but you find the time for the things you love—even if that means you have to sacrifice sleep.
Some of my favorite albums are movie soundtracks. When I’m working out, cleaning, doing anything that doesn’t deal with my own music, I love listening to the music of others, especially soundtracks. I am a music fan first and foremost, and there’s just something about a good soundtrack that moves me.
The Wedding Singer
Say what you will about this movie, but the music was amazing! (And I thought the movie was pretty amazing as well, but I digress.) It’s just so purely 80’s that you can’t help but love it and sing along with it, even if it is an Adam Sandler movie. This movie picked some of the most iconic songs of the New Wave era and really made it work on the big screen. It helps that you get a cute, funny love story along with the music.
Romeo + Juliet
I loved this movie, and I will fight you about it. Just kidding… about the fighting part. I love this mix of the old and new, the classic and the modern. This was such an anachronistic experience that worked really well. The songs on this soundtrack captured the yearning, the dark and twisted desire, the pain. Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest tragedies that we have, and this music managed to encapsulates that tragedy well. It will remain one of my favorites.
I love hearing how other cultures bring music alive, and Slumdog Millionaire does this with such style. While Romeo + Juliet uses modern music in a dated setting, Slumdog Millionaire’s music itself is a blend of the traditional and the modern. Hearing this music framed in the movie context makes it such a treat visually and aurally.
FYI: My mom is a HUGE Prince fan, so that’s how I got into Prince. Purple Rain isn’t the best movie out there, but the music is really amazing. I mean, it’s basically a whole Prince album rather than a soundtrack. You can’t deny that Prince was a talented artist. There was always something so intense and authentic about him that I can only hope shows in my own music.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World
This movie is so fun and amazing! I’m a bit of a gaming and comics geek, so this appealed to me so much. The soundtrack features music by many lesser known bands, and this really fits with the weird, outcast type vibe that you get from this movie and its characters. I’ve probably listened to this soundtrack a few hundred times. I wish I was kidding.
So, there you have it. Do you like movie soundtracks? What are some of your favorites?
Every since I was a little girl, music has always been my first love. As a young child, I was fortunate enough to have parents that saw the value in kids being involved with music. Neither one of my parents were musically inclined, but they loved listening to everything from classical music to Motown hits to modern rock. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t surrounded by music in my household. One of my earliest memories was dancing with my father when I was around 4-years-old to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” which is kind of funny when you think about. Here I was this girl from a family that couldn’t even hold a tune, and now, years later, I’ve moved away from home and I’m looking to strike it big in the music world. Like Frank said:
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knewWhen I bit off more than I could chewBut through it all, when there was doubtI ate it up and spit it outI faced it all and I stood tallAnd did it my way.
I kind of think that if my grandparents had encouraged either one of my parents to pursue a life of music that things would’ve been much different for them. I might not be here at all if that was the case. Then again, I might’ve grown us as the daughter of one the world’s most celebrated artists and hated making music.
In any event, I appreciate my parents introducing me to music, even though they could have taught me to pursue more practical things. When I was 6-years-old, I started playing the piano. It was the first instrument I learned to play. I was the youngest student that my piano instructor had ever taught, and she took me on as a student because she said I had an ear for music after allowing to play around on the piano.
Over the years, I learned to play many other instruments and started singing while I was still in elementary school. Music isn’t just a thing that I do. It lives in my soul. It’s been there for me through the good times and bad. When my father passed away with cancer, I wrote pages of songs to help me heal. When my best friend got married, I composed an original piece to play at her wedding to celebrate this happy occasion.
It’s like this to me. Music can express our deepest feelings, and it allows us to understand the depth of feeling from our fellow man. Even if we don’t have firsthand knowledge of the words used to compose lyrics, the melody can move us. We can feel the emotions that the artist is trying to convey. Sometimes, a song doesn’t need words at all for us to understand the meaning. Even if our meaning is different from what the artist intended, music is such an interpretative form of communicating with each other and songs will speak to us on different levels.
Music is a universal language, and without it, I don’t know where I would be. I don’t even want to imagine the world where music was never in my life.
So, some people have asked me about my process of finding inspiration and how I go about writing my songs.
Before getting that question from a few people, I didn’t think much of my songwriting process until I talked with other musicians and realized just how varied the process could be. I mean, I knew it differed from person to person, but I guess, sitting and talking about it with people really made me think deeply about the creative process. If you do something all the time, you stop thinking about the process and you just do it because that’s what you’ve always done.
I wish I could say that I was one of those people who could churn out tons of the content at a drop of a dime, but I’m not. I wish I could say to myself, “You know what, Lizzie? We’re going to write about love today.” I write with my feelings, and that could change from one day to the next. Hell, that could change from one minute to the next, and I go with it. I found that trying to force myself to write about things I wasn’t feeling would either result in me a.) becoming blocked or b.) producing the worst crap you’d ever read.
My songwriting process is a response to the world around me, to the things that are going on in my life. It’s my way of expressing my feelings about everything from heartbreak to injustices that people suffer every day. I have to be feeling something in order to create music. I find inspiration in looking at the news despite how depressing it all has been lately. I go out and I observe people around me. I look at people and try to pretend that I know their story. I give them this whole intricate life that causes all these feelings, words, and ideas to just come to me. I write music about the causes that I’m passionate about.
Yes, sometimes, I’ll lock myself in my apartment and write endlessly in that frantic madness that people think characterizes creative types. I will not talk to anyone for days until I finish writing my latest and greatest song. During these times, it’s easy for me to forget to eat until I feel like the job is done. When I tell people that, they just nod at me like, “Yeah, you creative types are like that.”
Other times, I go out and I live and breathe among people. I may take photos of things that stir feelings. I may write snatches of phrases that come to me in my notebook, but I don’t isolate myself from the world. I take it all in, all the feelings and thoughts. Eventually, these fragments form a whole.
This was a really good question, and it took me a little while to find the words I wanted to say about how I create. I know how I create. I just didn’t want it to sounds too cheesy or too vague. I hope this is helpful and coherent to someone out there. Until next time!