3 Reasons to Incorporate Your Personal Identity Into Your Music

Every single person has characteristics, traits, and experiences that have shaped them into who they are. Especially in the music industry, fans like to see where musicians came from and what shaped their identity. Therefore, when a musician incorporates aspects of their identity into their music, it can be incredibly helpful for finding success.

Here are three reasons that musicians should incorporate their identity into their music.

1. You can stand up for your rights.

Incorporating your identity into your music is very beneficial because you can use your music as a way to stand up for your rights. When a musician puts their identity in their music, they represent every person with a similar identity. Especially when a musician is part of a minority, their personal music can also give that minority visibility and spark social change.

For example, Beyonce’s recent song “Formation” serves as an anthem for the struggles and empowerment of black women in modern society. She encourages black women to push past their struggles, celebrate their identities, and strive for greatness.

Here is “Formation”, performed at the 2016 SuperBowl halftime show (as part of a mashup performance).

2. You can relate to your community and history.

Another great reason for musicians to incorporate their identity into their music is that they can relate to their community and their history. An artist can greatly appeal to fans by paying tribute to the struggles that his/her community has endured throughout history. Listeners with similar identities will relate to the struggles and take pride in their community when they hear the music. They will also connect with the musician more, and the musician’s fanbase will grow.

Matisyahu, a Jewish-American rapper, pays tribute to the history of the Jewish people in his song “Jerusalem.” In his song and video, he alludes to events that the Jews struggled through, such as the Holocaust and World War II. He also celebrates the perseverance of the Jews and their home in Jerusalem.

3. You can inspire and give assurance to your fans.

A musician can also inspire, encourage, and give assurance to fans by proudly incorporating their identity in their music. It’s true that many people struggle with their identities. But when they see a musician proudly showcasing the same identity, it makes them feel more confident and secure.

For example, when Lady Gaga, who identifies as bisexual, created the song “Born This Way”, she essentially communicated to the LGBT community that they should be proud of who they are. Since she communicates her confidence in her identity in her song, she inspires and encourages her LGBT fans.

Overall, musicians should know that incorporating their identities into their music is very beneficial. Not only does this give musicians a larger fan base, but its helps musicians benefit their communities. Musicians should incorporate their identities into their music because, by doing so, they stand up for their rights, relate to their community/history, and inspire fans.

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David Yaghutiel is a Bay Area native who enjoys traveling, theatre, playing the ukulele, and learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He also occasionally daylights as a senior at UCLA.

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