Monday, 11 March 2013

Heed The WARNING: Tell A Story Like BIGGIE - 'Lost In Music' Competition, March Music in the ESP Spotlight


As mentioned during the Creativity Week introduction, songwriting is one of the major talents that I consider to be a huge part of the foundation of Creating Music - it also happens to be one of the most unrecognised and underrated. The art of creating an alternate reality for circa 3:30 minutes with a composition that comes from your mind, is one of the greatest, most unexplainable abilities I think it's possible to have. Not everyone can successfully do it and unfortunately, popular music has become less and less about that. But in my humble opinion, when it comes to Creating Music, the desire to tell an engaging story should always be your starting point.

One of my favourite musical quotes comes from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. They famously recounted the events that led up to it as follows...Sitting Janet Jackson down for one of their now legendary production meetings in preparation for her '20 Y.O.' album; they began to talk plans and concepts. Since the beginning of their working relationship, every project since 'Control' had an underlying theme or message.

The first thing they asked her was: "What do you want to say with this album?"
Janet answered with words to the effect of: "I'm not sure, I don't think I have anything I want to say right now..."
To which Jam and Lewis replied: "Well then you shouldn't be making an album."

That is one of my favourite musical stories of all time, because I believe it's fully true! It's all very well and great to have what i like to call 'Junk Food Music'; in other words, music that exists for the sole purpose of making you feel good, but offers no value whatsoever in life. But the songs that tell you something, or take you somewhere are the ones that leave a legacy and that's why I've chosen this particular artist for today's 'Lost In Music' Spotlight feature.

BIG Poppa aka The Notorious B.I.G
"He loved it when we called him Big Pop-pa" and us? We just loved it when he rhymedThis weekend saw the 16th (yes, it really has been that long) anniversary of the death of Christopher George Latore Wallace - better known to most as The Notorious B.I.G. One of the most prolific lyricists of our time, I can't say that he held my Number 1 spot in my list of All Time Favourite MCs, but there was one track in particular that definitely made him a contender.

The story told in 'Warning' never quite matched the video - I actually prefer the track version, as there's an element of jest in places, despite the underlying violence of the scenario that unfolds. All about fake friends that make nice to your face, whilst plotting your actual demise behind your back; the rage that follows and the consequences of talking too much to the right and wrong people over the most hypnotic of Hip Hop beats now as infamous as the man himself. This is and will forever be my favourite track of his; the one that showcases his talent for engulfing you in his wave and carrying you along on the crest of it.

Although this is the 'toned down' version of the video and song, please be advised that this track - for those unaware, is not for the easily offended.

Ladies and Gents: 'Warning' by Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls...



See why it's A Classic? My list of songs that demonstrate this kind of graphic storytelling ability is an endless one - and I'm not even a Songwriter. I do create written pieces from ideas though, and it's a 50/50 toss-up for how easy / difficult that can be. Tell me fellow Writers and Composers - do Artists like BIG inspire your work? If so, how? Share your views in the Comment Box below if you have learned anything that you consider valuable from Artists like these and how their influence is evident in your work.

For the first competition of the week, it's only right that I tribute the other major date from this weekend and so, for today's supereasy question that will win you a FREE #ESPspotlight Review if you enter by 20:13 tonight (Please see terms and conditions below for full entry instructions), answer me this:

What is the name of Christopher Wallace's Mother?

Entries are accepted via email only. Tweet confirmation of your entry to ESP Ltd. on Twitter and LIKE the EricaSharlette Promotions Page on Facebook - that's it! And don't worry if you don't win - you can still claim 50% off orders for ALL EP and Mixtape reviews placed between now and Thursday (usually £12.50) - all you have to do is include the #MarchMusic hashtag at the time of booking!

Yesterday I asked you:

The forename of the designer's show that we attended is shared by a well-loved Scottish Singer  - Name her and her biggest hit...

The answer was: Lulu and her biggest hit to date SHOUT!

Enjoy, share and don't forget to enter!

Until the next...
ES ;)

PS. DON'T FORGET your ABC! It's easy as:
2. Tweet confirmation of your entry using the #MarchMusic hashtag to ESP on Twitter then,
3. LIKE ESP Ltd. on Facebook by 20:13 tonight to be in with a chance!

'Lost In Music' Competition Terms & Conditions:

  • Only one entry per person, per day.
  • Prize refers to ONE single/EP/Album ONLY.
  • Entrants MUST complete all stages for entries to be eligible.
  • Answers should be submitted via email, with confirmation of entry tweets containing the #MarchMusic hashtag sent to ESP Ltd. on Twitter.
  • Entrants must LIKE the EricaSharlette Promotions Ltd. Facebook Page for entries to be considered eligible.
  • All methods of entry should contain the #MarchMusic hashtag.
  • The #MarchMusic promotional code must be applied to claim the 50% discount.
  • Entry deadline is 20:13 each day, winners will be notified via email within 24 hours.