I've been working on making an EP for a while. And by "for a while" I mean I have songs I wrote in 2011 that still haven't seen the light of day yet. I could blame it on being busy, or wanting to perfect my craft, or growing out of certain songs, but honestly it all comes down to the same thing: not being comfortable with starting.
Being a perfectionist, I want my project to be flawless. I listen to the music I love and the female artists that have inspired me, whether it be Lights, Paramore, Grimes.. whoever, and I hear perfectly crisp and planned out pop songs. I hear thousands of dollars of production, hours of perfection, and the product of many minds and companies putting together the best thing they can.
And for some reason, I think that my very first EP that I'm making in my bedroom on my laptop needs to be exactly like those records. "If it doesn't sound like that, I'm not releasing it." The truth is, every single one of your favorite artists made a shitty EP on their laptops. They found whatever mics they could, recorded in their basements on cheap equipment, and proudly put it out there into the world.
They put their shitty art into the world. And eventually, they got better. They wrote better songs, made better productions, received more expensive help, and then they released another song. And another. And every time it was better. And people like you started noticing.
I spent this week searching for and then listening to the shitty first EPs from artists that I absolutely love. And they're surprisingly easy to find. I fell in love with the grainy and unprofessional works from the bands and singers I've come to know so well. And I realized-- hey. The stuff that I'm making right now kinda sounds like this. Maybe it's even better. Maybe I should just release my art into the world.
The best artists in the world started out scribbling. The best chefs burnt a pancake or two. The best writers have files on their computer filled with grammar mistakes. And you know what? They kept doing what they were doing and they got better.
To all my friends who are working on projects that "aren't good enough"... trust me, they're good enough. I've heard so many amazing things be created and not be released into the world, and I just want everyone to know that making bad art is necessary.
Writing this is kind of just self-motivation to keep going on my project. Learn when to put the pencil down, when to bounce the session, when to submit the piece. And then move on to doing more. Dwelling on something that you've been working on for years could be preventing you from creating something even better next time.
So that's the message I'm putting out into the world this time.
Make bad art. And let it go into the world for people to see. Trust me, your future self will thank you.
Here's some of my favorite "first EPs" I've found from my favorite artists. Take a listen: