Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini Teach Us How to be Spontaneous
Paolo Nutini and Amy Winehouse have wonderful singing voices. Through their art, they touch people profoundly and stir deep emotions. Their singing connects to something deeper than words alone can.
Winehouse and Nutini deliver obviously real and honest emotion from their own souls to the souls of those listening to them. They are spontaneous and unstifled in their performance, masters of expressing their true selves freely.
By studying how these adored performers manifest their art, and speculating about the mindsets that enable their remarkable expressiveness, we can learn a lot about how to be spontaneous in our own lives.
Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini; Masters of Spontaneous Expression
The voices of Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini are both characterized by an excellent dynamic range, original tone, unique accent, and unusual pronunciation-style. The phrasing both artists use tends to be quite unorthodox. They croon in their own loose, languid, sultry fashions; both clearly responding in real time to the world around them, and the world within them.
With these masters of the spontaneous (if you’ll allow me a potential contradiction in terms), no two performances are ever the same.
Spontaneous Self-Expression is the Ultimate Goal
In the words of Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage…”. We are all performing all the time. In every area, we are trying to portray our best selves. To free our real selves.
Whether it’s on a physical stage while we perform music or act, or in our creative endeavors, social situations, at work, on a date, or during sex; being real and having the confidence and ability to be spontaneous should always be the ultimate goal.
The Opposite of Spontaneous
Most of us do not manage to achieve the fearless, confident mastery that allows us to be genuinely spontaneous. At least in not in most areas of our lives. We are all too often curtailed and crimped by fear of failure and self-consciousness.
Most of us are average, workmanlike performers in many areas. Even though we long to be able to be more spontaneous, to play and dance with life, and to represent what and who we really are.
Fear Stops Us From Being Spontaneous
Too often we are driven by fear. Fear of failure pervades our thinking. We self-monitor to the point of stiffness. We try too hard – in conversation, while dancing, while having sex, while creating art – and spontaneous expression is choked.
We are terrified of losing the attention of our ‘audience’. We are afraid of losing the approval of whoever we happen to be interacting with at a given time; socially, sexually, artistically.
This most likely comes from the fact that many of us find deep self-confidence tragically hard to come by. We believe we must TRY, and BATTLE and strive really hard, and not fuck up… in order to be liked and received well by the world.
Confidence Allows Us To Be Spontaneous
Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini express themselves fearlessly. They sing as though they 110% expect the world to go along with them. Either that or they simply do not care either way. Perhaps it’s a bit of both?
Winehouse and Nutini toy with their audience confidently and fearlessly. They fully assume their congregation will hang on their every word.
Assume the Win
There is huge benefit in trying less (desperately) hard and instead assuming that your audience will go with you, wherever you fancy taking it. Assume your actions will be received well. Assume that the world is on your side and that (to paraphrase Alfred Adler) “everybody is your friend”.
Trying too hard chokes spontaneous expression. Over-trying comes from a place of fear.
Try-hards are unattractive. It is usually quite sad to behold, even tho we are all guilty of it from time to time. When somebody is trying too hard it is offputting, in any area, but especially the creative, interpersonal, social, or sexual arenas.
Build the Confidence to be Spontaneous
If you have solid core confidence you can relax, flow, glide, swoon, play. This is when your true, unique, spontaneous self will be uncovered and allowed to finally grace the stage.
Achieving a positive feedback loop will aid you tremendously in your pursuit of confidence, and spontaneity. Regular positive occurrences build confidence one unit at a time. For most of us, self-confidence must be worked for, built gradually. Small wins create a positive feedback loop. Self-belief accrues and an individuals ability to be spontaneous and real grows with their self-belief. Small victories are essential, and they can be intelligently engineered for oneself.
Dancing (Instead of Wrestling) With Life
A core mindset that enables one to dance with life is a belief along the lines of… “I can handle whatever life throws at me. It’s all good, all part of the game, of the rich tapestry. Nothing is fatal.”
Wrestling with life comes from a place of fear. Things have to be a certain way or else it will be a catastrophe, terrifying, dangerous. We exaggerate the negative consequences of failure and mistakes. We think we need to be perfect, so we force things, and grind, and heave and toil and grip the steering wheel with white knuckles.
But we never, ever need to be perfect. And striving for perfection will only stifle us.
Greatness Requires a Dose of Spontaneity
Great art, performance, conversation, sex happen when we let go and let our true selves manifest spontaneously. Spontaneity has to be allowed to happen. It can’t be forced.
Channel energy, don’t damn it up. Relinquish control, risk failure, embrace imperfection – make space for magic.
Of course, in all areas – from the creative to the social to the sexual – a degree of effort and deliberateness is required. But to truly flourish a healthy dose of getting out of your own way is also essential.
You owe it to yourself, and the world, to get out of your own way and to let yourself be who you are. Technical ability is a necessary first step. But mastery is only achieved when we can let go and be spontaneous.
Allow yourself to be inspired by exhilarating agents of spontaneous expression such as Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini. Learn and grow into yourself, more and more and more completely.