Recently that word keeps cropping up in my life; authentic. 

Someone told me this week that what I do is authentic. What does that mean? Honest? Heartfelt? Or even just simply not auto-tuned? I thought about it a lot because I wondered what made other music “not authentic.”

I’ve spent a lot of time comparing myself to others, especially recently. It’s a bad habit. “Her voice is better than mine, his songs are better than mine, her luck is better than mine…” etc. I get so caught up in the things I’m not; I get completely overwhelmed by my own insignificance and flaws and I can barely remember what I am.

But this word, authentic, it made me snap out of it. I’ve got what I’ve got and if I had anything else I’d be somebody else.

My love for what I do is genuine, my passion for spreading joy is strong, my lyrics are personal and therefore truthful and my voice isn’t perfect, not professionally trained or outstanding, but it’s mine. 

In a world of smoke and mirrors and instagram filters, I think authentic is probably the biggest compliment anyone could ever give me. And its such a beautiful and rare trait to see in other people. It’s such a relief to realise that just being is enough. That’s all I need to do. Just be. And then I get lovely words like authentic thrown at me. 

Authentic. Yeah. I’ll take it.

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2 thoughts on “Authenticity

  1. Okay, well ‘authentic’ is an adjective which simply means, not false. But it is harder to define than that and it is widely used in different ways. People certainly use it to be complimentary but it is vague. I prefer language to be more precise.

    Are you ‘authentic’ as a singer? No, because there are other singers who have become before you. But you are the best singer I know. Your voice has great clarity, beautiful tone which is pleasing to the ear and accuracy. You never hit dud notes. Are you an ‘authentic’ songwriter? Not in my opinion because you would have to go back centuries to find the beginnings of songwriting. What you are is a superb songwriter, one who can find a melody which stays in the brain and you can write a lyric which gets an emotional response. You play with words in a very original way and I love that.

    Is your personality ‘authentic’ ? Yes, I believe it is. People go to walk past you and they stop and smile. You can communicate with complete strangers in a way that I’ve rarely seen. There are good buskers, even good singer songwriter buskers, but I’ve yet to see another who can do that. A personality is like a fingerprint, it is unique to you and therefore authentic.

    I can fully understand you comparing yourself to your peers and in the wee small hours having weighty self-doubt; that’s what being an artist is all about. I think you are the best, way above the others I have seen. And that is my authentic opinion.

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  2. Just to add to my last convoluted post.

    I think people use ‘authentic’ in the same way as they used to use, ‘genuine’. I think the latter is a better description. The Charlotte Campbell I know is absolutely genuine. She’s a very complex, immensely talented ‘genuine’ person. That is what makes her so attractive as a human being.

    Finished now……….promise.

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