Through my experience here at CMC, I have started to write music for myself rather than for the people around me. Writing for myself doesn’t mean that my songs can’t be commercially applicable, but my songs reflect more of my life experiences, struggles, and desires. Writing with vulnerability can give a song the extra ounce of separation from the mundane.

With my song, “Should’ve Known Better”, it began as another song that was of a brief overview of a feeling, which is what a lot of my previous songs were. It wasn’t until I started writing the bridge of that song that it became about something real and about a specific life experience, requiring me to be vulnerable. After writing and performing that song, it felt different from my previous songs and it was something I was really proud of. Writing from that state of mind is what then spurred writing my next song, “Missing You,” which has been considered to be my best song from my professors and classmates. The energy in the room for my live performance of “Missing You” was very different from any performance I had done previously. The audience was focused and seemed to feel what I was expressing. After that show I had multiple people express their understanding of my song and relating in a way that was exactly what I was intending, which is an incredible feeling. Sometimes being real with myself for a song is tough, but it is so worth it in the end and it is what my music has been missing. My writing strength has always been melodies and hooks, so actually digging deeper into lyrics is what has brought my music to the next level at CMC.

– Shelby Vaughn

Photography: Ashley Mae Wright

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