How Regina Spektor Makes Her Music Stand Out

Classic, timeless, unconventional, innovative- the quintessential artistic traits for which every musician should strive. In this techno-obsessed day, it’s easy to get drowned in a pool of familiar, auto-tuned sounds, each nearly indistinguishable from the last. But for lovers of music searching for anything unique to help their creative muse, look no further than Russian/American, Regina Spektor.

Here’s how every musician can make their music as unique as Regina Spektor’s.

1. Incorporate various instruments into songs.

The standard E, B C# minor, A guitar, pop-chord progression doesn’t cut it for Spektor. She uses colourful, original sounds by pulling in a wide range of instruments into her music. In her song Field Below, Regina Spektor uses a Chinese instrument called an Erhu, which creates a whimsical, dreamy sound. Break the rules and find new instruments to incorporate into songs.

2. Sing in different languages.

Spektor finds a way to create music not only using foreign instruments, but foreign languages. This ability to expose her audience to different cultures is appealing in both a musical and thought-provoking sense. Even if you aren’t bilingual, take the time to learn at least one verse of your song in another language. It’ll make a huge difference in separating you from other musicians.

The song Après Moi features Spektor singing in English, Russian and French.

3. Explore worldwide topics.

Spektor uses her music to speak about religion, politics and death. While everyone can appreciate a good love song, the key to broadening up a target audience and avoiding tiresome lyrics is a balance of topics. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box with your lyrics.

In her song Ballad of a Politician, Spektor reveals her sarcastic side while singing about politics.

4. Don’t shy away from strange sounds.

Like many musicians starting out, Spektor did not have the necessary resources (A.K.A. money) to integrate numerous instruments. Instead, Spektor used her innovation to create various instrumental noises by mouth. This quirk is still prevalent in some her more recent work, such as her infamous song Fidelity, where she generates a cute sort of hiccup sound, which recurs throughout the song.

If there’s anything a musician can learn from Regina Spektor, it’s that music is not meant to be a formulated construct. So let your individualism shine through your music, and don’t be afraid to bleed outside your circle of comfort!

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Roselie Kelly loves to explore and meet new people. She recently moved to Dublin Ireland, where she spends her time teaching English as a foreign language, running, picking up new hobbies and being a dutiful temp receptionist/runner/errand girl/cookie snatcher!