Lately Gavin has been doing a whole lot co-writing with other musicians. In his previous albums he was rather strict on that he wanted to do everything all by himself. He has said that he enjoyed the feeling of all the pressure ending on him, him having all the responsibility.
In my opinion it was all good. Just look at the album ‘Free’ for example. I just love it. Gavin says it’s not the loudest album there is, and that it’s sounding more like escaping the big machine, and that is exactly the thing I love so much about it.
At first I had hard time to accepting that Gavin is now giving away the power of creativeness, as I thought it was, when he started collaborating with others. I thought he was giving himself away.
Later I found out his opinions on it, and it suddenly made more sense to me. So, why does he co-write, then?
If I know something about Gavin DeGraw is that with him you can expect the unexpected. In this way his doubt that he might be doing the same things over and over again and becoming a dull artist, is probably not going to happen anyways.
In one interview he said that for an artist it is not a flattering thing if someone could say after hearing one song, that they have heard them all. According to his own words Gavin doesn’t want to be that artist.
So, one of the reasons to co-write for Gavin is to be diverse and avoid the predictability. He said that he wants his albums to be as diverse as possible, stay interesting to people. He says that sometimes this change every artist needs to go through needs some adjusting from the fans, too. On the other hand, he doesn’t want that change to be too drastic, for he doesn’t want to alienate those who love him for his previous songs. But I agree, that you can’t remain the same, and keep going in the same time. We all change, and one thing I so much love in Gavin’s music, that it truly is diverse. There’s always some song that fits my mood.
Gavin says that co-writing is cohesive interaction with different styles and personalities. He describes it as a learning process. He makes it sound as he would have wanted to have some new challenges, that he is finding a new way of expressing himself or his art, because he wants to become a better artist.
Trying new things is always a good thing. Either you learn that you can do it, or then you learn that you can’t, but either way it’s an experience and you can build on that.
As Gavin said, collaborating with other musicians is his way of keep the ball rolling. And it’s rolling, rolling pretty good.
Or what do you think of this newest collaboration with Armin van Buuren? I absolutely love it. Can’t listen to it without tears in my eyes. Really. So beautiful.
What about me, and my hesitation with this co-writing, then? Well, he has made his point, and I can understand his reasoning behind it. I have adjusted myself to accept it, and actually enjoy it a whole lot. I love many of the co-writed songs, I do. I still wish that he wouldn’t give away all the selfish ‘I-want-to-do-it-all-by-myself’-attitude, for I would want to see also songs he has made all by himself.
You know, for me, when I think of writing (as I do write a lot), co-writing a story can be a learning process, indeed, and it can help you to diversify your expression, and all, and it can be good. But it’s easy to forget who you really are when doing this, easy to go behind opinions that really aren’t yours. In a way I feel like it’s an easy solution. If co-writing is used to be as a learning method, and not as a final outcome, then I can do it, then I see the point in it. Maybe I’m just too possessive of my own thoughts and words that I need to jealously protect them from others.
From this pont of view Gavin is very brave for doing this. Accepting the challenge. Being willing to try new things. And that is something I can really look up to.