I once read an article that detailed the ways humans interact with commercials.
Now I can't quote it directly, but it went along the lines of humans don't connect with the product, they connect with the emotional content that is being portrayed.
I thought wow, this is some epic marketing insight, how can I apply this to my career as a musician?
Well it's actually a smart way to write a song about pretty much anything.
Take for example everyones favorite thing: cat videos.
Now you might just write a song about a funny cat video describing what you see.
It could be a blues sorta thing "woke up this mornin, with a lil kitty on my face" or something like that.
I hear you screaming already "oh come on Nick, that's really no great secret!" - and you're right, which is why we won't be doing it this obviously.
In order to write a succesful song it must be emotional and connect with your audience in a meaningful way. (I just came up with that, but feel free to quote me on this)
Cats are cute and maybe that video was funny, but a song describing a funny cat video is a bit like explaining a joke - it ruins the fun.
Instead we need to focus on the emotional elements and imagery in the video that we can use.
What does the kitten make you feel? Warm, fuzzy, motherly? Or does it fill your heart with the sudden desire to smile widely?
I was going grocery shopping with my partner and I was telling them about this epiphany and they turn to me and say "Pizza"...
Now I thought they where suggesting a topic to write a song about, but what they actually ment was "we need to buy pizza, you've been stuck in a manic episode again and I need pizza".
Anyways, I took this as a challenge and focussed on the warmth, the feeling of home and how it brought us together in our tiny apartment in the middle of a cold winters day.
We snuggled up on the couch and ate.
The song feels like a love song and is to this day the most "cute" song I've ever written. And it's secretly about pizza, not a person at all.
But it feels that way, because we as humans connect to emotional content on a personal level.
It's this knowledge that marketers and brands use when they craft tear jerking commercials for a super bowl half time.
So here's your homework assignment:
look around your apartment and find a thing that connects you to a feeling.
Coffee is the obvious one, as coffe is love (quick plug: if you like this blog, consider supporting me on Buy Me A Coffee ), but I'm sure you can find at least two to three things that you can connect to a specific moment in time, where you felt something specific enough to warrant writing 2 verses about.
Try it out, it will feel silly and stupid but it will help you tremendously to overcome writer's block.