David Bowie is a different genius. He is a brilliant character who is calculated in his performance. He wanted to be a catalyst for music and was thoroughly artificial in doing so. I watched his documentary on Showtime called David Bowie: 5 Years and it brings insight into an “Advanced Genius” by highlighting his 5 best years.
What I liked about Bowie is that he was himself by not being himself. He created these personas and it’s hard to know if they were the real David Bowie or an impostor. The guy to the right is not David Bowie, it’s Ziggy Stardust. Bowie wrote a song about a rock and roll singer who becomes famous and this character is named Ziggy Stardust. Amazingly, this character became popular and did Ziggy become famous or David Bowie?
This lead me to start questioning the cliched phrase, “be yourself”. Was Bowie himself? Sort of. His characters weren’t him but he was artificially creating them. Drugs also played a major role in who David Bowie was. Young Bowie did a ton of drugs and made dozens of hits. Old Bowie got off the drugs and was just as good if not better song writer. Are you yourself on drugs?
[dropcap background=”yes” color=”#333333″]The minute you know you’re on safe ground, you’re dead[/dropcap]
Bowie also collaborated with other artists to bring out music that was unique to his time period. Critics say he stole music from others such as Lou Reed and Iggy Pop but this is untrue. Improving what others are doing is commonplace in the industry. By altering what other people are having success doing and creating your own version is smart. Bowie also embraced technology and created hits throughout every decade.
The greatest weapon in Bowie’s arsenal was that he knew what he wanted. He had an immense talent of knowing exactly what he wanted to produce and then did so. It was his vision that he would create and this is why that anyway you look at it, he was still himself even when he wasn’t. Everything was Bowie’s creation. Having your own unique vision is what separates the great from the best. How good is your vision?