Be Weird! Be Proud!

Are you tired of being force-fed the same generic radio-friendly sound from some popstar who looks like a younger version of last year’s hottest artist? Then you need to pick up an instrument yourself and make your own weird music. It can be as easy as combining two genres that wouldn’t traditionally go together, like polka and death metal, or jazz and industrial goth. Or you can make your own subgenre. Feel free to experiment. If you want to collaborate with other musicians, maybe reach out to someone who plays an unconventional instrument. It’s really up to you. The possibilities are endless.

Art is all about pushing boundaries. Many artists use this as an excuse to be as offensive as possible in their lyrics but don’t feel like you have to take that route. Instead of punching down, you can still piss off the gatekeepers of the scene by warping the music they hold so dear, and that’s a lot more fun. If it weren’t for artists who wanted to break the rules and reject the norm, we wouldn’t have the dada movement or arthouse cinema, punk rock or no wave or noise, etc. You get the idea.

Once you have a couple of songs ready to go, the next step would be performing them live. You might want to have a look that matches your musical style. It can be wildly colourful clothing, or a spooky mask, or just a lot of makeup. It all depends if you want to turn heads or obscure your identity. It’s all about creating a persona that will get people talking.

Not everyone will like what you’re doing when you’re starting, and they might never get it. Hell, they might even be one of the writers for Bucketlist, who will not hesitate to tear you apart and slap you with a bad review. Who cares! Your music is not for them. It’s for your own damn enjoyment. If you do end up with a couple of fans, that’s great! There will always be a select few who will continuously seek out the unusual, who are instantly attracted to what they don’t understand, who have developed an ear for dissonance. 

The sad reality is that the majority of musicians will never be successful. It doesn’t matter how talented they are or if they write music everyone likes, the music industry has a way of chewing up and spitting out artists that there’s no point in striving to reach that peak. One day you can be on a sold-out world tour. The next day you’re playing on the street corner for quarters. The sooner you’re content with playing to a room of about a dozen people, the more satisfied you’ll be with any progress you make in your journey. You’ll probably never make a change in your lifetime, but you’re planting seeds for the next generation of musicians to come along and push those boundaries further. Just be proud that you chose to do something different instead of copying what everyone else is doing.

Also, send me your weird music because I eat that shit up!

Written by Chris Aitkens
*Edited by Dominic Abate

About Chris Aitkens 69 Articles
Chris Aitkens has been writing about music since the tender age of 16, getting his start writing reviews for Vermont-based zine Verbicide. More than a decade later, he has dedicated his life music. Having graduated from Concordia’s journalism program, he is now working graveyard shifts as a board operator at Virgin Radio, CJAD 800, and occasionally, CHOM. He also hosts his own radio show on CJLO 1690AM called Sewer Spewer, a weekly guide to Montreal’s punk and extreme metal scene. In the little free time that he has, Chris sings in a shitty punk band called Gutser, and from time to time, writes about horror movies for Nightmare On Film Street. None of these ventures have made Chris wealthy at all. In fact, he’s more broke than ever. But it’s all worth the sacrifice to live a life filled with art.

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