I am very excited to introduce a new segment to the blog called “ASK SARI!” Some of you lovely souls have sent me questions via email, Facebook, and carrier pigeon in the past and I love to answer them to the best of my ability! So it dawned on me, maybe this info could be useful and I should put it on the blog!? So here we are!
The first question is below submitted by a lovely artist based in Spain who reached out over Facebook and agreed to let me use his question as the first entry! Thank you JB and to the rest of you out there, please send your future questions over to me at AskSari@WeAreAB.co!
Excited to hear from you and please don’t hold back! No question is too silly or weird. Well… maybe that’s untrue, but heck, lets find out!
As always, thank you for your support and comment with your thoughts below or find me on social media @SariDelmar!
Ok here we go:
I play in a band in Spain, we are planning on working really hard this summer and hope it gets us somewhere. But we have one big dilemma when it comes to writing songs, we don’t know if it would be better to write them in Spanish or in English.
The advantages of English is that we prefer it as a language for songwriting and singing, and it can also reach out to a larger audience. On the other hand, it distances us from our Spanish audience and fans, since most people won’t understand most of what we are saying.
Spanish is, in our opinion, a much worse language for music, but it would be nice to feel a closer connection to the audience and I think it would be easier to become popular in Spain by using it.
What are your thoughts on language choice? Do you think it would be a sane idea to write songs in both languages? (That is what we have been doing up until now).
Well you’re not the first international act to cross this bridge (so to speak), my friend! It’s a toughie.
As a person who truly loves music with great lyrics I always do have a hard time falling as hard for non-english songs than I do for english songs. But that’s from my music fan perspective and I live in North America.
From an industry perspective, I would say if you can continue to have both english and spanish versions of your songs and ensure the quality of music doesn’t falter then it might be best to be versatile. That way, depending on the audience you are playing for, what market you’re in, or where the music is sold you can provide a tailored experience.
There is something to be said about choosing one of the two paths however (to be an english or spanish singing band) and really sticking to it. You may find if you do choose one specific route you can rise to the top of that pack and have a more focused career that way (like you mentioned with playing Spanish music).
So it really comes down to your larger career goals for yourself and your bandmates. Each avenue presents ups and downs and will present its own roadblocks (well, it is the music industry after all). So perhaps start by thinking about where you would like to be in 5 years. How do you want to impact people? Who are your ideal fans? Who are the ideal bands you play with? Work your way backwards to help you see a clearer focus around the decisions you make today and how they may help you get to that ideal place in 5 years. I wrote this blog about 10 Questions Artists Should Ask Themselves at the Beginning of their Careers (to Increase Their Chances of Success) that gives more info about this line of thinking. Based on the words you used in your message above, it hints that your heart perhaps is more onboard with the ‘english-singing’ direction? I’m no therapist but I am a believer of following your heart in business.
Now sorry JB, I didn’t mean to send you on a whole existential re-evaluation of your musical professional – that being said – you asked a great question and it’s not one I can simply answer for you without knowing your ideal end game. From a basic marketability standpoint and connecting with as many people as possible, I say go bi-lingual and have versions in both languages. But will that fill your hearts desire? That’s harder to say. Think about where you want to be and what language your songs need to be in, to take you there!
Best of luck on your adventures or should I say – Gracias mucho. Me gusta tacos con queso! (I didn’t get very far in spanish class in highschool).
Thank you for your question and I hope this helps!
– XO Sari