If you’re an introverted aspiring musician. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and it’s okay to be an introvert. Many well-known artists were introverted and yet made a name for themselves as musicians.
You must be wondering whether introverts can be good musicians or not.
Well, the answer is YES!
Since it is quite a challenge for introverts to verbally express themselves. Thus, art of any sort is a great medium to share their perspective, thoughts and creativity with the world.
Believe it or not but there are a lot of famous musicians who are introverts. Since musicians are mostly performing among a huge audience, you may think of them as extroverts. Well, at least an awful lot of them have an introverted side.
For introverted musicians, performing music before an audience is not a display of their creation but more of a self-revelation. This gives them the freedom to express themselves without having to step out of their comfort zone.
“Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.”
Famous Introverted Musicians of All Time
Prince, the greatest recording artist of all time, was an introvert who stood out. Prince transformed into an introvert at the age of 12, due to the separation of his parents.
Prince used to spend most of his time alone in the studio working on his music. He usually played most or all of the instruments for his songs and has been a great inspiration to many artists to this day.
“Introverts have a temperament that is more inner-focused, and they must adapt to an extroverted world, one that is primarily driven by interpersonal interactions.”
– Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, 2009, p. P. 1
Bob Dylan is well known for uniting people through his music. Many of his biographies indicate that he was also an introvert. In the words of his friends, Bob Dylon was “really shy”. Although, shy and introverted aren't the same thing. Many works of Bob Dylon, and his own words, suggest that he probably was an introvert.
Jim Hendrix, the greatest guitarist of all time, was an introvert. Despite being a great showman, he was quiet, laid-back and introverted off the stage.
In a 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Jimi’s younger brother Leon Hendrix said, “Jimi was always introverted. My dad didn't like him playing music, and that hurt his feelings. He went inside with his art and music."
David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Mostly known for his dramatic musical transformations, was introverted. He was lonely, he wanted to connect with people like him through his art. He created stage personas that helped him become someone else, a star on stage.
“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
― David Bowie
Freddie Mercury, the greatest singer of all time, won millions of hearts with his mind-blowing performances. He was quite a showman. In his own words, he was an extroverted performer, yet introverted off the stage.
Kurt Cobain, the rock legend, was known for turning introverted in social situations. Kurt would sometimes sit alone in a corner for hours without saying a word.
“He could be kind of scary and out of control on stage, but then after the show, he'd be the most shy, introverted person you've ever met.” – Dave Grohl, Nirvana Drummer (1990-1994).
“I was tired of pretending that I was someone else just to get along with people, just for the sake of having friendships.”
– Kurt Cobain
Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll, was introverted off the stage and had massive stage fright. Right before his performance, he would walk yards, alone by himself, to recharge his internal batteries so that he could give his best performance to his fans.
"I've never gotten over what they call stage-fright. I go through it every show."
~ Elvis Presley
Buckethead, a multi-instrumentalist best known for his guitar playing, is the alter ego of Brian Patrick Carroll.
Brian Patrick Carroll is an introvert and created this persona to connect with the world through his music while maintaining his privacy. He is considered one of the fastest guitar players of all time.
"I tried out that Buckethead guy. I met with him and asked him to work with me, but only if he got rid of the f***ing bucket. So I came back a bit later, and he's wearing this green f***ing Martian's-hat thing! I said, 'Look, just be yourself.' He told me his name was Brian, so I said that's what I'd call him. He says, 'No one calls me Brian except my mother.' So I said, 'Pretend I'm your mum, then!' I haven't even got out of the room and I'm already playing f***ing mind games with the guy. What happens if one day he's gone and there's a note saying, 'I've been beamed up'? Don't get me wrong, he's a great player. He plays like a motherf**ker."
Ozzy Osbourne, Revolver.
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop became the first artist to win eight Grammys in one night. It would be hard to believe that the greatest entertainer of the world of music was introverted off the stage.
Michael transformed into an introvert due to the abuse he faced as a child. He used his entertaining persona as a medium to connect with his audience.
“I sit there and say, ‘Please don’t call me up, I am too shy.’ But once I get up there, I take control of myself. Being onstage is magic. There’s nothing like it. You feel the energy of everybody who’s out there. You feel it all over your body. When the lights hit you, it’s all over, I swear it is.”
– Michael Jackson
It is a myth that introverts are antisocial. They like socialising but to some extent as being around people drains them and to recharge themselves they prefer to spend some time alone. However, extroverted people recharge their energy by being around people while being alone drains them.
“Jung was the first to propose the model of psychic energy, suggesting that for introverts, energy flows inward, while for extroverts, energy flows outward. Introverts tend to embrace this definition. It feels right for us because we know exactly what it feels like to have our energy depleted when we have sent too much flowing outward.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World