ALS: QLD Poetry Festival has long been passionate about showcasing songwriters and their lyrics. Do you have any tried and true process for writing lyrics? Do they tend to inform the music or is it the other way around? And who are the songwriters in Brisbane that create a stir in your world?
Usually, I start writing on an instrument and some lyrical ideas will flow from there. Each instrument can kind of dictate what type of mood the music/lyrics will have. For example, if the music idea starts on piano, it will pretty much have a mellow, sadder feel for me. And so melancholic lyrics will usually come soon after or simultaneously.
At this stage of the writing, I try not to interfere or judge too much as it creates blocks. The most important thing is having that creative flow and to get a rough structure done with the words and music together – while you are feeling it. You can always critque the piece later on down the track, but at that precise moment of writing, I try really hard not to criticise or ask questions. I guess it’s the only time in my life where I feel like I don’t judge myself. That’s why I love it so much.
I think I prefer to write starting with music first as it tends to “open the door” on possibilities to the lyrics. I can write vice versa but music first is the way I prefer.