Candor is a concept emphasized in Creativity, Inc., a fascinating book written by Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull where he dissects the standards and practices that make Pixar a creatively rich work environment. Catmull posits that candor is “the key to collaborating effectively.” One way of ensuring candor from collaborators is by taking the power to enact change on a project completely away from the one doing the constructive criticizing. In other words, the people offering advice on your project have no say over what changes are implemented. The original content creator maintains full creative control over their work. Candor also requires an openness from the person receiving the criticism. Remember: they are critiquing the work, not you as a person. Ideally, the people offering their candid suggestions are creative problem solvers whom you respect.
Expanding this idea, I would argue that relationships are a form of collaboration, and therefore, candor is essential in any healthy relationship (romantic or platonic). This requires an openness from both people. The problem is that we don’t talk to each other’s faces anymore. We talk to our phones. It is often much easier to chuck your phone in disgust and never respond to someone than actually face an unsavory text head-on. The artists on this tape do not mince their words. It begins with Kelechi offering sage advice on “Advice,” works its way into some mysterious singer feeling sexual on NEIKED‘s “Sexual,” and finally, Brad Bonds avoids getting too involved on “Too Involved.”
Girl you crazy like Harley Quinn, I’m just joking babe, you a ten
Note: This is basically a Tape Tuesday, which is a feature I ended two months ago. The main distinction is that there is no “free download” option, out of consideration for the artists. That is something that wasn’t sitting right with me and felt unfair to the mostly independent musicians being showcased. More generally, music consumerism is shifting away from downloads and ownership into the exciting (and scary!) realm of cloud streaming services. Also, now I have the surprisingly liberating freedom of putting out SoundCloud playlists on any day of the week — not just Tuesdays.
These days, perhaps more than ever, it is difficult to assess whether an artist has pure intentions with their music. So many people have access to a halfway decent recording setup that they see music as an easy way to achieve quick fame and riches. Although there may seem to be many overnight successes, anyone who knows anything about the music industry knows that the business of music is not an easy thing, and it is still tough to get noticed and “put on” even with ease of technology. Yet there are all of these artists lurking the sound clouds with questionable intentions.
So how do you separate the good from the bad? Luckily, TeaMarrr made it easy. “In My Mind” oozes with soul. From the opening seconds, Thamar Noel draws you into the universe of her mind. The listener is invited to hear Noel’s most intimate thoughts that somehow feel familiar and relatable. I mean c’mon, “probably trying to solve the world in my mind, probably trying to take your bitch in my mind” are two consecutive thoughts I think I had yesterday! A song as well-written as this one is rare, and to think it may get lost among the poorly written trash plaguing the clouds is frankly disgusting.
I got people in places with faces that I’ve never met, in my head, like in my mind