Copycats


copycats

According to the Wikipedia:

A copycat (also copy-cat or copy cat) is a person (or animal, or computer program) that mimics or repeats the behavior of another. The expression may derive from kittens that learned by imitating the behaviors of their mothers. It has been in use since at least 1896, in Sarah Orne Jewett’s “The Country of the Pointed Firs”. The term is often derogatory, suggesting a lack of originality.

They say there is nothing new under the sun, yet people are so determined to be original. In everything I do, I strive to have my own ideas, thoughts and opinions, and to some extent, going against the status quo has cost me. I’ve been known to be very opinionated! People do not like those who challenge the system or question those who have been given the priviledge to lead others. Yet, I’m sure I’m not completely original. However, when it comes to my own thoughts and musical expressions, my writings, my silly ideas….it comes from down deep, from the life experiences I’ve had…many of them very painful experiences…some are turned into the positive, some are still hurting melodies lingering in my heart. My songs come from some very profound beliefs I have about certain things, from wounds, from being betrayed, but also from experiencing some very beautiful moments in my life and being thankful that I still have a God who loves me despite my failures. You could say I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I’ve come to be able to “sing as though no one is listening”. I wrote that very thought in a blog a while back. I’ve since then seen it pop up in someone else’s space, speaking of copycats.

Any singer can sing a song and with all the best production in the world, computer editing, clever hooks and licks, come out sounding like a million bucks. But unless you own it in your soul, all your fancy vocal licks and production polish are nothing but a pile of frosting that will melt away with no cake underneath. You lack substance. When the music is stripped away and it’s just you standing there, all you have to show is the way you have treated others, how you treat your family & friends, and if you’ve done the right thing by people in your life and your business dealings. You really don’t have anything to say except what you’ve heard others say. You are a mimic, a parrot, a chameleon.

When I find that people I have known in the past are still “borrowing” some of my ideas and claiming them as their own, it really disgusts me. They’re really good at disguising them too, but I know the truth. It tells me that they are watching me and that somehow, I’m competition and they are determined to always “one up” me. I compete with no one except myself to be the best I can be and to follow the path that I am destined to follow. If we are always looking at others in comparison, trying to monopolize their strong points, their originality, their connections, their ideas, and do things they are good at because we want to somehow tell the world “I can do it too and even better”, it’s a really sad existence to always be keeping up with the Jones’s. So you’ve got a few more notches on your belt than someone else. Wow, you’re so impressive! You will always be looking over your shoulder and striving to beat them instead of being genuine.

I have let go of wanting to be accepted by any group of people. It is too much to have to keep up with and it suffocates a person to death. I’ve never cared whether or not I’ve got a record deal, and believe me, I’ve had several offers. I would never sell my soul for that kind of circus. I’ve never come across any signed artist who has ever been completely happy with their deal, or who wasn’t disgruntled when they were finally dumped because they were no longer hot. And most of them felt violated in the end. The industry is a big brothel. It looks enticing, and people will sometimes do anything to get ahead, even lose life-time friendships because of greed, wanting the best for themselves and “borrowing” someone else’s better ideas they wish they had come up with on their own. I once knew a producer who said “people borrow other people’s ideas all the time. It’s just something that happens all the time in this business.” He is still borrowing, burning bridges, and looking over his shoulder.

I’ve been taking a back seat over the last year and a half, resisting my desire to put out more new music. I’ve been stirring up the depths of my soul, humming new melodies, writing some revealing lyrics about my journey and where I’m still hurting. I believe that this music will reach more people out there who have felt the same way I have about life, it’s ups and downs, their failures, disappointments, and fighting to rise above it all, searching for hope in a hopeless world. I hope that I will be able to share these things with you in the future, God willing. But if He does not permit, I will still be ok with it. I will still fight to be the real me, even if it isn’t pretty. I will never give in to the copycat syndrome.

 

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