4 keys to unlocking musical creativity from Analea

Vocalist, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Analea creates groovy, soulful music paired with introspective lyrics.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Analea is crafting a new project and performing locally with their personal outfit featuring Alzena Bell Gilbert (keys) and Dandy McDowell (drums), and as a bassist for artists such as Ghosdee, Robot X, Sarah Anjali, and Kamra.

Below, Analea sat down with us to share their four key themes and experiences related to how they unlock creativity as a musician.

1. Know your priorities (and act on them)

There’s no universal top priority that applies to every musician. However, having a clear understanding of what’s personally most important for you and consistently making decisions around that can make a huge impact on your music.

“I was in college at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I didn’t even really have a career until the end of 2021,” Analea shares. “The development itself was full of many blocks of all kinds; my biggest one was trying to release a project (Beautiful People) on a timeline when the whole world had come to a pause. My priority was the deadline, as opposed to the quality of sound, and I honestly have no idea why.”

“I’m currently overcoming this challenge with my upcoming project, A Different Place. My breakthrough was realizing that I need to put my soul into every part of the process—writing, producing, performing, and releasing. My intention with this project is to deliver the highest quality music that I’m capable of producing.”

2. Know what you want to say

Regardless of whether you make lyrical or instrumental music, starting by identifying the big-picture theme that you want to convey to your listeners can be greatly helpful in unlocking your creativity.

“My music is like my sonically aesthetic coming-of-age journal,” Analea says. “So, my pre-production routines include living, learning, connecting, growing, writing, and planning. I often go into a project with a theme or message in mind—regardless of whether I’ve mapped out the lyrics, I know what I have to say.”

3. Listen to others

“My inspiration comes from listening,” Analea tells us. “I’m always discovering new music—listening to playlists, watching film and television, seeing live shows, using Shazam in the grocery store, and going to jam sessions. I’m most inspired by the people in my community, and participating in a jam where everyone is creating in real time is such a powerful way to tap in. My collaborators open my mind to tones and techniques that I would have never come up with on my own. I always start writing by myself, but the songs that really feel complete have been influenced by my people.”

If you’re in an environment where it’s challenging to get into a room with other musicians in person, check out some strategies for getting the most out of remote collaboration:

4. Take creative risks

Last but not least, it’s hard to achieve creative growth if you never push beyond what you’re comfortable with. With each project, consider going out of your way to try something new, whether it’s incorporating a new mixing technique, taking a different approach to songwriting, or bringing in a collaborator.

“My most recent experiment was assembling a big band for A Different Place,” Analea shares. “After working with a three-piece band in a live setting, I decided that the songs I wanted to produce needed a much bigger sound.”

“My 11-piece band consisted of guitars, bass, keys, drums, percussion, violins, cello, flute, saxophone, trombone, and clarinet. It wasn’t more than I could chew, but I definitely took a massive bite. My approach was to book studio time, and then schedule some arrangement and rehearsal sessions, and then record everything we prepared.”

“The project isn’t even finished and I’m already thinking about what I’ll do differently next time. To be transparent, I wish I had prepared everything with the band before scheduling studio time. But, there was this beautiful rush of excitement in our process and I’m really proud of all of us for pulling it off. We don’t have a release date yet, but soon you’ll get to hear the results for yourself.”

What was your favorite tip from Analea? Do you have any tips for unlocking creativity of your own that you’d like to share? Start a conversation with us and a community of other music creators via the Splice Discord.

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February 5, 2024

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and creates music as Namaboku.