Saturday, December 08, 2012

Words Matter

Gail Mitchell's enlightening Q&A with Billboard Magazine's "Woman Of The Year," Katy Perry contains some great advice for radio personalities, song writers, we communicators of all kinds.

For example, what's the most essential element in creating a hit?
"Come from an honest place and connect with the truth.  (Speak in) color.  I love idioms and old sayings, puns and humor. I love language. I'm one of those people who is really interested in the definition of a word and its synonyms. Every day I'm asking everybody I'm hanging out with what something means and what it means to them. Even if it's a word I've heard over and over. I'm a hoarder of words. I have a little recorder that I put everything on and have it transcribed by someone I trust because it can get very interesting on that recorder. I have lists of titles, whatever I'm feeling.  There is kind of a math and science about a perfect pop song. But I would prefer doing math, science-and heart. Lyrics can end up on T-shirts, on the inside of wedding rings. They're important. Anyone who says beats are more important obviously doesn't have a heart. They are tin men [laughs].  I feel there's a stripped-down, 1970s vibe that's coming. How many more songs can we hear that sound like a monster truck rally? I enjoy some of it, but radio is starting to sound a bit the same. Like I'm excited for "Begin Again" by Taylor Swift. That's my song right now. It's so genius, so perfect. I feel there's going to be a bit more heart, hopefully. I don't mind the dubstep stuff but there's no emotional connection. I just want to actually hear a song that has no "swell" even for just one minute. Can you imagine?

Thanks to Gail and Katy for a terrific air personality and station imaging coaching session in one paragraph.

The people who make the best of the music we play are extremely conscious of the words they choose.

Are those of us who talk between those songs as aware that every single word matters?

Is anything you said today likely to end up on a t-shirt?

1 comment:

Holly Gleason said...

it's funny how many people don't think content matters...
making it great or right...
they just shovel or pitchfork tired hay at people, then wonder why no one cares, blames social miasma + Honey BooBoo (cause Snookie is soooo Partridge Family) {& we didn't think it could get any stupider, right?}

People know the difference!
Care enough to reach deeper, and be amazed. Just because time-strapped executives, people who don't love the music or creatives who don't respect the soul of the people listening (who will only know, in many cases, what they're exposed to, not the same as a mandate) won't invest the time, brain cells or passion to discern the more compelling songs, words, connective points --
people inherent know and respond.
Even if they can't express it in the focus group, you can feel the energy shift.