Thursday, 4 October 2012

Original versus Cover Version.

It doesn't matter how you dress it up, how you change the packaging or adapt the harmonies, a copy is never quite the same.
Take for example the simple but delicious 'Jaffa Cake.' There are many alternative versions or carbon copies of this tea time treat, granted cheaper but often thinner and less tangy that leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction and urge to raid the biscuit barrel.
What about music?  The question was given to me about  cover versions versus original pieces and which are better.
From a listeners point of view, I would generally go with what I already know. Very similar to buying an album. I may listen to the few that I am familiar with and skip the rest. Music is an interactive experience, its pretty difficult to sing a long with a piece you don't know especially if you are seeing a band.  I'm talking local bands here, not massive stadium fillers that have plenty of air play! 
With established popular artists I maintain,'If its not broke don't try to fix it!' but how flattering to have someone like your style so much that they want to emulate it.
From a musicians point of view, especially small scale bands/artistes, it must be difficult if not scary to move away from covers and find their own genre. A local band, Vermin have been established in my Town for many years now.  They have a punk background and perform mostly original songs with a humorous but real edge to them, my particular favourite being 'emo jeans.'   Their originality draws on experience, emotion and passion and this shows in their performance. The only downside is their playlist doesn't change often, drawback of having a day job I presume.
So what about  ourselves and our individuality? We are constantly bombarded with messages from the media and our peers about how we should look, what we should wear, what we should be listening to.
What is stopping us from being who we are? Growing up and particularly our teenage years can be hard and painful to deal with, the slightest deviation from what society calls the 'norm' just plunges us into yet another stereotypical 'group.'
The ability to embrace oneself for the individual that you are is empowering. To feel safe and comfortable in your skin without worrying about  negative reactions or attentions from others is not something you learn overnight. Children are not born with good self esteem as if it is part of their genetic make up, they develop it.  Self esteem is influenced from nurturing, experiences, support and has a huge effect on an individuals perception of themselves.
So how do you become yourself as opposed to a 'cover version.?'
Treat yourself with kindness and forgiveness, accept your past mistakes and move on, embrace the way you look, dress, move and speak. Above all, surround yourself with positive people, friends who want to be with 'you,' because you are you.

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