9: Practice Pays Off with Aimee Mann
Episode 9 // AIMEE MANN
TRT 1:01:39 - 11/24/18
Aimee Mann began her career as a musician in the 1980s. Early on, she had a breakout hit, “Voices Carry” with her band Til Tuesday, but that experience has not defined her career. Since then she has created a body of work as a solo artist, winning Grammy Awards and nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her work on the soundtrack to the movie Magnolia. She maintains her own signature voice and songwriting style, yet she’s adept at collaborations and transitions, including a successful move from a major record label to releasing work on her own independent label for over a decade.
In this episode we talk about talent versus hard work, her approach to songwriting, and why Aimee thinks it’s important to say yes. We spoke in Aimee’s home in Los Angeles, California.
I was so surprised to hear Aimee describe herself as not having musical talent when she started out. But it’s oddly encouraging, isn’t it? “It’s not all bolts from the blue” means that with practice, determination and focus, we can get better. And why do we need to have innate talent in order to give ourselves permission to pursue creativity? Why not let ourselves be beginners, why not see where practice can take us? Choose that thing we love or feel obsessed with, and begin to put in those 10,000 hours. I’ll admit, I know what it’s like to attempt something creative, be unhappy with the initial results and then tell myself maybe I’m not cut out for it. It’s easy to be hard on ourselves in that way. But what happens when we commit to a creative practice, when we approach our creative desires with devotion?
Aimee Mann says that hard work pays off, and she’s got a successful career to prove it. So let’s say yes to opportunities and devote ourselves to our creativity, whether it’s songwriting, gardening, cooking, whatever it may be. Who knows where that hard work will take us?
THANK YOU TO LARGO AT CORONET FOR SPONSORING THIS EPISODE
This episode is brought to you by Largo, the legendary nightclub in Los Angeles known for live music, comedy & collaborations. Located at the old Coronet theatre on La Cienega Blvd, this venue is devoted to listening and laughter. Largo has hosted a community of performers including musicians, comedians and actors, such as Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, Tig Notaro, Judd Apatow, Phoebe Robinson & many more. The vibe at Largo is always intimate and special, so do visit whenever you’re in LA.
AUDIO featured in this episode:
Theme music by Davíd Garza.
First song: “Save Me” by Aimee Mann from Magnolia soundtrack
Second song: “Crazytown” by Aimee Mann from Charmer
Third song: “Voices Carry” by Til Tuesday from Coming Up Close: A Retrospective
Fourth song: “Rollercoasters” by Aimee Mann from Mental Illness