All you have is a story and dream. That’s all anyone has. It’s all a matter of what you do with it. Do you follow God’s plan or do conform to what’s popular? Its difficult to find people that fully rely on Gods plan, especially in this generation’s music culture. Everyday we are singing songs in the the car on our way to work, like Jason Derulo’s song; “Every time you get undressed, I hear symphonies in my head,” and The Weeknd’s song; “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you” which is about cocaine. (For years, cocaine was used by doctors as a numbing agent and local anesthetic. ) What kind of depth do lyrics like this have?
One person in the music industry sets herself apart and has swept the planet with her unique light on the world, embracing her story and reaching her dream without changing herself to get to the top. The one and only, Tori Kelly. Tori Kelly began singing at age three. She then got signed when she was twelve but that fell through. Following that, she asked for the music production software Logic for her fifteenth birthday. In 2009, she borrowed a guitar and posted her first cover on YouTube. In 2010, at the age of sixteen, auditioned for American Idol and she didn’t make it into the Top 24.
One would think that after a rejection from one of the biggest talent reality shows, would cause a downward spiral or discouragement, but Tori went home and started writing day in and day out, and she wrote, produced, and mixed her own EP. So many people get so discouraged and loose confidence after something. I have always struggled with rejection and not feeling as if I was good enough. When I first discovered Tori Kelly, my parents had just divorced and I was getting picked on due to the fact that I was too short and was into “music” not sports, which was considered the cool thing to do.
Yes, I played varsity tennis but to others that wasn’t really a sport. Volleyball or basketball were the only real ones apparently. Everyone would resort to Twitter to express how much they miss their ex boyfriend or retweet something with all the characteristics of their version of a “perfect man. ” but | would just write song about it. Writing songs was my refuge, where I poured out all my pain and emotions. Watching Tori Kelly and how she took rejection and transformed it into success, inspired me to not let people’s opinions feed an unnecessary insecurity.
It was what I was good at and had a n for. Before long, I was viewed as way cooler of a person because I was different. I gained a respect for holding my own, 1 wasn’t going to allow other people’s opinions to get in the way of how I expressed myself and what I loved. In an interview she did with VEVO when her album dropped in June, she said, “I want to just work what God gave me and not conform. It is easy to get all caught up in what this industry is but when you see who is buying and listening to your music, it brings you back and keeps you humble.
Her songs are not what you would call “fluff” they are about real people and real things. She said in an interview about her album, “When I was first signed when I was twelve, is where a lot of these lyrics come from, because | learned a lot. As a kid, I didn’t know it would be so political. It was such a blessing in disguise that nothing happened then because I got to really grow up. The things they were expecting me to do and wear and stuff like that – that’s where I pulled inspiration from for Unbreakable Smile.
That’s when I took the independent route. I’m thankful that happened because now! can look at the industry without bitterness, but say: “this is how we can work together… I’m not going to let you guys walk all over me but at the same time, I’m not going to be stubborn and think that I know everything either. ” An independent artist will often times need to function as musician, singer/songwriter, publisher, label, manager, and promoter, but they can also be independent when having a record deal and full team by making sure you have total control.
According to SoundScan, a company responsible for tracking music sales, independent music makes up 18% of the total music market share. In her song “Daydream”, she says “Don’t quit your daydream, don’t forget to breathe, who you want to be is only up to you, sometimes you may crawl, let them think that you’re small, cause it’s so worth the fall when you land where you want to” This exactly what it means to be an independent artist. Who you want to be as an artist and a person is only up to you.
In her song “Funny”, off of her debut album, she speaks “It’s so easy to lose all the meaning of who you are. ” If you lose your soul, you lose it all. You can’t lose sight of yourself when the fame and the fortune becomes a huge part. Miley Cyrus grew up as an innocent Disney Star and then suddenly turned from country girl into a racy explicit pop artist. People see people like Miley and believe that regardless of how strong your morals and beliefs are, you conform, you change, its what the industry does. That is a lie and Tori Kelly is living proof.
It’s all about the desperation of what type of attention is being yearned because fact that numerous celebrities these days are horrible examples to our generation. She worked hard to get where she is and didn’t want a future handed to her. She shows that even if you reject those first chances, you still have a second chance to do it your way if it’s meant to be. You define your own future; nobody else should do that for you. The majority of music in the Top 100 is very provocative and oriented towards sexual relationships, drugs and alcohol.
In a research study that was done in 2010 at the University of Pittsburgh, 10 percent of pop songs had lyrics relating to drugs or alcohol, 20 percent for R&B and hip-hop songs, and 77 percent for rap songs. This is insane and that was five years ago. Miley Cyrus is one of the hottest artists on the charts right now and her recent song “Dooo it”, says “Yeah| smoke pot, yeah I love peace, but I don’t give a f***, I ain’t no hippy. ” Whether we succeed in a way that is going to truly glorify God, is our choice. God is the only one that can give you true success and happiness.
Not the weed that Miley Cyrus smokes and writes about. Drugs won’t cut it. Yet with the amount it is talked about in songs and in culture, you would think it does. “Miley Cyrus performed at the 2013 VMA awards in a skin colored bra and underwear and Lady Gaga performed at the Paparazzi concert in 2009 in a fully sheer lace body suit which showed everything and left nothing to tell. Modesty and respect have suddenly been thrown out the window.
What has happened to our generation? Since when has it been OK to write a song about how much you love weed and how casual sex is your favorite past-time? I can’t just sit around and wait for my life to start, I can make a difference, put a little happiness in someone’s heart, the fancy cars, the glitter and the fame, it’s all nice, but it won’t be worth a thing. ” from Tori’s song “Confetti. ” If you saw Tori Kelly walking in the mall or sitting in a restaurant, you wouldn’t see anything “celebritized” about her. She still loves Chick Fila and Taco Bell, regardless that she’s played at Madison Square Garden and at the Grammys. Nothing is below her and she doesn’t see herself as better than anyone else.
She shows class in what she wears but is so down to earth that she looks like a normal human being. She will wear a plain white tee, jeans, and vans and a beanie to an interview or to an intimate listening session. She is beautiful, but she’s confident enough in herself not to feel like she has to prove that she is. She leaves it all to the imagination, not showing off her body on the tabloids. She speaks about her lyric, from her single “Unbreakable Smile”, “Maybe I can sell out shows without taking off my clothes. in an interview with the Evening Standard UK, saying that she would like to be somebody young people can look up to and she wants to give them a new way of looking at things. Not the “Oh, I must have to LOOK like that to be successful” saying. She doesn’t think it’s necessary to wear a leopard leotard and ten inch heels on stage or pose half nude in photo-shoot just to get people’s attention.
That’s her music’s job. Tori Kelly is a refreshing breath of air from all of this nothingness. Yes, she talks about love in her songs as well, we all have relationships and we write about them, but her lyrics how that she believes in a deeper, authentic, less artificial love. She’s talking about real love. She explains that it’s more than a one-night-stand or a physical attraction to those blue eyes and tattoos. Girls will often change just so a guy will notice them or like them, but in Tori’s song “Anyway” she says “Well this is the only Tori that I know how to be I’m sorry if that don’t fit your reality… I’m a be myself all day and night, whether you leave or stay, this is me any anyway. ” A guy needs to love you for you.
Putting up an act for someone takes too much work, and that’s what Tori is saying. Tori Kelly has become one of the most groundbreaking and inspiration people of our time. When I saw her in Memphis she said “God has a plan for your life, I hope that when you hear this song you feel encouraged and uplifted, because I think that is why were set on this earth, to lift each other up and not tear people down. ” She’s what I would consider a true role model of our generation, this is rare to hear from a pop artist who has Top 40 singles.
Too many people want to make it through life as a carbon copy of someone else, just because they are famous so, if they got famous being like that, why wouldn’t I? Being original and yourself is what sets your apart from the rest. Our generation get so caught up in who their “idols” are and what they are do and how to be like them when we should be discovering how we can be an idol and better society. We don’t need another Tori Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, or Ellen DeGeneres. They are living right now and doing what God brought them to this earth do and being original. Now its time for you to not conform, but to stand out and make a difference.