While talking about his hit song on the Song Exploder podcast (you know the one), Rick Astley* described many of the songs by his production team (the hottest pop house in the UK at the time) as “very, very two keyboards and a drum machine.”
Which made me think about hip hop: 2 turntables & a microphone.
And country: 3 chords & the truth.
And punk: 3 chords & a band (some might say: 3 chords & an attitude).
Which made me think about similar formulae for other genres.
Funk: the one & a groove.
Reggae: a bassline & a backbeat
Blues: 12 bars & a story.
Everything has a rule book or a way of being done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own.
People will tell you there is a way to do this, that there is a formula. There isn't.— John Karalis 🇬🇷 🇺🇦 (@John_Karalis) June 2, 2022
Be prepared to fail. Be prepared to get back up. Be prepared to keep going when people tell you to stop.
Try shit. Figure out what works. If it doesn't, stop doing it. If it does, do it more
(Jazz is: tear it up and/or burn it down but keep it swingin'.)
*Yes, this might all just be an elaborate Rick Rolling
Unrelated, listening to this episode made me think of a song I love: She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals. I have a weird strain of 80’s nostalgia for someone who can only very tentatively say they’re an 80’s baby.