Musicians should be free to draw from experience


Malorie West

Musicians are known for taking life experiences and making them into songs. Many get pushback for writing about what is going on in their lives, such as Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and recently Kelsea Ballerini. 

Although songwriting can be a form of criticizing another person, artists should have full creative freedom to write whatever they feel.  

Songwriting is not often something people do simply to be famous. Writing is often therapeutic for the artist, making it integral to write from personal experience. Songwriting can address personal, group and global issues. 

According to Painted Brain, the benefits of songwriting include self-expression, stress relief and a means of interpreting difficult circumstances. 

Writing can also be a coping mechanism for artists. For example, many artists write about grief or loss and use songwriting as an escape. 

Music is commonly referred to as a universal language, which makes it a diverse tool for people of all ages and backgrounds to utilize in the grieving process. 

Recently Kelsea Ballerini and her ex-husband, Morgan Evans, have gone through a lengthy divorce and have spoken out about their separation. Both have fallen under scrutiny for writing about this experience. 

Kelsea Ballerini has recently released her short film “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat,” detailing the separation from Evans. In a recent interview with People Magazine, Ballerini’s mother spoke out about the new film and backed her daughter. 

Her mother, Denham Ballerini, told the interviewer, “The songs were hard enough to listen to, but I also know that it’s cathartic for her. That’s her way of processing hurt and pain is to go write it, then it’s out of her.” 

Artists use their music to express themselves. If they did not use life experiences to write, they would not write anything heartfelt or meaningful. 

People relate to songs because of the emotion behind them, and if not written from experience, things such as grief, loss or even happiness could not be portrayed correctly and in a relatable way. 

Songs, just like any other art form, are supposed to be powerful, meaningful and created to invoke emotion. 

Musicians should be free to write about whatever they want and share it with others to help them through their tough times as well.