Aimee Mann Discusses What Makes a Great Songwriter

January 17, 2017 5:00 am
Aimee Mann on Songwriting
(C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
Aimee Mann on Songwriting
Aimee Mann performs on stage at the Royal Festival Hall on January 28, 2013, in London (C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)


Even if you’ve never heard the name Aimee Mann, you’ve probably stumbled across her work. If you grew up in the hair-sprayed ’80s, you might remember her as part of the trio ‘Til Tuesday (specifically, “Voices Carry“). During the ’90s, she put out a pair of critically acclaimed albums, Whatever (1993) and I’m With Stupid (1995), both of which solidified her as one of the top singer-songwriters in the industry. And in ’99, Mann recorded a number of songs for the Magnolia soundtrack, including “Save Me,” which was nominated for an Academy Award (alas, she lost to Phil Collins).

Since then, Mann has released a string of acclaimed albums and toured the world, advancing her songwriting craft to new heights of grandeur. And in sitting down with Sam Jones for his Off Camera YouTube series (we wrote about another one starring Dave Grohl), she spilled the beans about some of what makes or breaks a musician. “When you’re younger, you don’t always know how to really connect to your emotional worlds,” says Mann. “A lot of art or music is more about just trying to look like you’re an artist.” In short, younger artists spend too much time worrying about their hairstyle or trying to fit in, when in fact, they should be expending that energy on the musical craft itself. “Anybody who cares less about wanting to be cool, I think, is more interesting,” says Mann.

Watch her short interview below.


RealClearLife Staff

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