Stevie Nicks Said She ‘Studied’ How Her Idols ‘Phrased’ Their Lyrics

Stevie Nicks knew she wished to be a singer/songwriter from a really younger age. Music was all she thought of after her grandfather taught her to harmonize when she was solely 5 years outdated. Nonetheless, her nation singing grandfather wasn’t her solely musical affect. Nicks had many idols earlier than she turned one herself, they usually taught her many issues, together with tips on how to phrase lyrics.

Stevie Nicks | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos

Stevie Nicks’ idols taught her tips on how to phrase her lyrics

Throughout a 2011 interview, Nicks defined that her idols formed the way in which she wrote her personal songs. One of many largest classes she realized from them was tips on how to phrase her lyrics.

“My songwriting influences were more Jackson Browne, Crosby Stills, and Nash, Joni Mitchell,” Nicks defined, “and due to what I realized from them, their phrasing, the way in which they wrote poetry, the way in which they put their poetry to music, I actually-I say studied and I assume that actually is what I did- I studied, however I laid on the ground and listened and browse their music and browse their phrases, you recognize, and simply beloved it, I by no means checked out it as finding out.

“I just looked at it as these are my very favorite writers and my very favorite phrasers because learning to phrase when you’re a poet is hard,” Nicks continued. “Joni taught me that you can fit thousands of words in every sentence if you sing it right. So, that was great to know because when you’re a poet, you don’t really want to shorten up your sentences, so she taught me that.”

Nicks wouldn’t be an artist if it wasn’t for Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell didn’t simply affect Nicks’ songwriting. Mitchell is the explanation Nicks is a singer/songwriter. In 1981, Nicks advised BAM Magazine that she was obsessive about Mitchell rising up.

“Well, I’ve written for years and been influenced by lots of people, but I guess the stuff that really got me was Joni Mitchell’s early songs,” Nicks defined. “I realized a lot from listening to her. Actually, I in all probability wouldn’t be doing this if it hadn’t been for her.

“It was her music that showed me I could say everything I wanted to and push it into one sentence and sing it well,” Nicks continued. “Ladies of the Canyon taught me a lot. I remember lying on the floor, listening to Joni’s records, studying every single word. When she came out with a new album I’d go crazy-‘Don’t bother me this week. I’m listening to Joni Mitchell.’”

Nonetheless, Nicks didn’t need to be Mitchell and knew she couldn’t play guitar like her. However Mitchell did educate Nicks rather a lot about songwriting. “I didn’t want to play music like her, I couldn’t if I’d wanted to-I can’t play the guitar worth s***, and Joni’s a great player. I just loved the way she was a very personal writer yet easy to relate to. She was doing what I wanted to do.”

Nicks was impressed by many different artists like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin

Mitchell may need given Nicks a cause to turn into an artist, however a really eclectic group of idols additionally influenced Nicks.

“I also loved all of Jackson Browne’s records,” she continued to BAM. “Once more, he might take advantage of intimate, private issues common. This may shock you, however I beloved Jimi Hendrix as a writer-he put phrases collectively in actually superb methods. I beloved Janis Joplin-the manner she sang, the way in which she carried out, I noticed her one time and was utterly riveted, I by no means forgot it. I’ve so many influences, however I can’t actually inform the place they arrive in.

“My writing style is very, very simple. I play so simply that I have to kill with my voice, especially in the beginning of a song or nobody gets it. The instrumental parts of my songs are not going to see them. And because the structure and chords and all are so simply, it forces me-and the players-to really experiment with phrasings and ways of bringing out the melody.”

In 2001, Nicks advised VH1 (per Stevie Nicks Info) that she adopted her “vocal prowess” from Aretha Franklin and “elegant stage presence” from Grace Slick. Nicks wished to be the “beautiful woman in black,” identical to Slick. Prince and Tom Petty, two of Nicks’ closest buddies, must also be on her checklist of idols.

Outdoors her influences, although, Nicks was capable of type her personal type and profession. Now, she evokes new artists.

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