What is love? No, not that Haddaway song from the 90s. Love as a concept is unique to each and every person who experiences it, whether it be towards family, a partner or a fluffy friend. But in any case, you’ll find love songs everywhere, even if they aren’t that obvious. In honor of the Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day, we here at buzz asked a host of local musicians to give us their definition of love, and how that impacts their songwriting.
I’ll be honest here and say that being 19, I probably don’t know what it is, but I have an idea based on what is displayed in Not For The Faint Of Heart’s song, “Two Worlds,” which has a lot to do with long distance. I’ll get it someday.
– Dan Wachtel, Not for the Faint of Heart
My personal definition of love is feeling incomparable comfort around one another, as well as strong empathy and the mutual desire to help make each other’s lives better and easier. I would say 75% of my music is about love or romantic relationships of some form…however most of the songs related to love as a topic are about failed relationships or unrequited love, since my music tends to be an expression of and outlet for negative energy in my life. My first album I’m working on is entirely related to one specific situation involving love and relationships, and I’m not sure that I would have been able to come up with that definition prior to writing those tracks. Writing music helps me define big ideas like love and success for myself without being clouded by wordiness or a fear of judgment.
– Anika Emily, singer-songwriter
My personal definition of love is the feeling that you can trust and confide in someone when you or they need it. I do talk about love in my music, but usually, I talk about the heartbreak associated with it and how that affects people and the process of that heartbreak. I think it definitely impacts what I create because I tend to focus on the aftermath of loving situations, but I hope to be a little more positive and personal with the things I write about in that respect in the future since I write a lot about other people.
– Zoe Willott of zzo
I used to write a load of break up songs. It reflected my experiences with love and it was empowering. It felt like I could tell my side of the story and redeem myself. My definition of love has evolved a lot since I’ve been in a committed relationship for a year. Now, I know that love is kind, and it’s about supporting each other so you can be the best versions of yourself. I don’t write about love as much because I’m not hurting and I’m not daydreaming anymore. True love is my reality.
– Tessa Turner, singer-songwriter
In my opinion, love is the support and nurture that someone gives to others. Love is the ability to help another person grow while recognizing how much you can give. It’s like recognizing what is best for others, even if it may not align with what you want. I think it’s recognizing what they need, and learning how you can help them grow to become the best version of themselves. I definitely broach love in my music because I think that there are so many different topics, discussions and emotions that need to be said about love. For example, I think that there are a lot of relationships or even situations that happen because of love and the idea of love. If I can write a song that may help someone emotionally through a happy or difficult time, or maybe even help them formulate what they might be feeling, then I feel like I did my part as the musician I want to be. I think that love affects people way more than what they know or are willing to admit, and I want to write music that helps listeners understand that it’s normal and okay to feel something.
– Tori Leppert, singer-songwriter
Honestly, I still don’t think I have a good idea of what love is, at least not in a romantic sense. I’m still figuring that out for myself. But what I think it is, is a feeling of selflessness; the willingness to go above and beyond for a person without any benefit to yourself. I do feel like now more than ever love has become a central point in my music in all aspects, especially from a position of self-love.
– Ausar, rapper
When I began writing our debut EP two years ago, my negative reaction to failed love drove the creative process. For the Telephone Junkies’ upcoming project, love is seen as no longer just angst, but instead as self-acceptance and learning to find love from yourself instead of solely seeking it from others. Also, my love for my minivan that has transported us to all of our shows has definitely produced at least one song.
– Jacob Armbrecht, The Telephone Junkies