J♠ Jack of Spades in The Rock Songwriter’s Deck: 52 Ways to Write a Song
The Jack of Spades pulls us into the realm of marketing and image-making. Though it might seem strange to think of a rock recording artist as a brand, that is exactly what successful music marketing people do. A recording artist is a product line with a brand and image just as much as pizzas or televisions are.
If you've never done a branding exercise, here's the short version: What are some of the qualities values, and images that you (ideally) want people to think of in connection with you as a famous rock star?
Bruce Springsteen has (among other things) New Jersey and working class; ZZ Top has beards and classic cars.
What are your things? Make a short list, and then write a song about one of them.
If it seems cynical and wrong to let marketing considerations guide your songwriting, let me suggest that you think about it in exactly the opposite way. Let your artistry expand beyond songwriting and performing to encompass image-making and marketing. Use your inspiration and your creative process to create yourself as an artist and public persona. Your songs should fit that persona, because they come from the same creative wellspring.
So take up the Jack of Spades' challenge: write a song this week that's perfectly matched to your branding.