Nothing inspires me to write like great music. Here’s an artist or tune that’s been tickling my ears lately and serving as one of my writing prompts.
Last week, I got a chance to see one of my favorite musicians—Josh Garrels—play live. Chances are, you haven’t heard of him. He’s not mainstream. He doesn’t write radio-friendly tunes. He won’t be collaborating with Nicki Minaj anytime soon.
And that’s why I dig his music.
He’s unassuming. Depressed. Joyful. Talented. Real. Raw. What you see onstage is the same as you believe you’d see if you grabbed a drink with him afterward. He walks up, sheepishly shares a few tunes, and walks off. No pomp. No circumstance.
And his songs and lyrics are equally self-effacing. They don’t pump up the crowd. Don’t get you up and going. They’re not even that easy to sing as a group. And none of that matters to him. He doesn’t write with visions of rocking the house. He writes because it seems that’s all he can do. That it may be the only thing keeping him sane. Healthy. He writes because he just wants to bore a hole and pour out something stuck inside.
To me, he’s the epitome of inspiration. Who knows. Maybe I’ll have an opportunity to meet him and grab that drink with him one day. But if that never happens, he’ll continue to meet me inside my headphones, helping me scratch and claw the words out from within me.
Watch the video above to see Josh’s writing process in finding the right words to sing. Maybe it’ll inspire you to do the same.