5 Tips To Hacking Your Inner-Creative Shared By Up Late

Published in Music  
Up Late is a genre-bending artist. Up Late is a genre-bending artist.

The moniker of singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist Max Pasalic, genre masher Up Late has just dropped his sophomore EP, 'Total F...ing Darkness!'.

A six-track onslaught of electro-punk and hip hop encrusted metal rap, 'TFD!' evokes the likes of Tom Morello, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, but with a modern twist fans of Lil Nas X, Oliver Tree and Two Feet will vibe too.

Previous singles include 'Tidal Wave', 'Diva' and 'You Peaked In High School', Up Late exploring a gamut of painful topics and dark issues like self-destruction as well as frustrations associated with living in a small town.

"I was excited for anything that reverberated in my eardrums, no matter how different or weird that sound was, but never had the agency to follow it for myself," Up Late shares.

"'TFD!' is my way of taking back that agency to be whoever I want musically, and I wrote it believing that it could become a gateway for someone else to discover different sounds, cultures and genres too."

With a creative urge to satiate his 13-year-old self, here Up Late shares a few pearls of wisdom to hack your inner-creative. "Okay, I know. This title screams cliche, corny, life coach-esque vibes.

"Even I'm cringing as I re-read this title over and over as I try and work out how to even come up with one tip (let alone five) to help you become more creative.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is – I'm putting a lot of conscious thought into this so I don't regurgitate some Tony Robbins pseudo psychological bullsh.t.

"With that being said though, you might've heard some of these before, and you'll probably hear them again long after you've forgotten the two words 'Up Late', but maybe one of these tips can give you that added five per cent kick to get you over the finish line.

"With that out the way, here's five things I've realised are good ways to 'hack' your inner-creative."

1: Fail Publicly, Often

There’'s nothing more sobering than f...ing up onstage. Staring back out into a crowd as you miss a note, sing off-key or forget a line. It really hurts.

There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, it's just you and the audience, and with each passing second you realise the gravity of how badly you messed that up. It sucks, but in the long run, it really helps.

There's no secret that I've been in a tonne of different bands, produced under different names, written a hell of a lot of bad songs and played even more bad shows. I've failed a lot more times than I've ever won, and I think that's why I'm so open to trialling different sounds and genres as Up Late.

Many people will tell you that you need to fail a hell of a lot of times before you realise what you're doing wrong, but there's no faster way of getting there than doing it in front of people. Your internal 'bullsh.t-barometer' is normally off – you can tell yourself a lot of lies to pretend like it's all okay, so you need people around you to tell you the truth.

So go out on a limb, post a demo to Soundcloud, sing on a livestream, write a poem and throw it up on your story – then do it a thousand times over. Because you've got to be sh.t, before you can be great.

2: Steal

Okay, this one you've definitely heard but I think it's an important tip. It's difficult (at least for me) to synthesise your own experiences into digestible narratives or lyrics.

Sometimes it feels like I've got no more stories to tell, no more ideas knocking around in my brain. Sometimes you need some inspiration, sometimes you need a bit of help. So why not steal that help?

If I'm stuck in a creative block I spend some time watching, reading or consuming some really incredible art in a medium outside the one I make. Look at why certain pieces of art are incredibly captivating, why those stories are cherished by a big audience.

Start lifting (or stealing) those stories and adapt them into your own medium – experiment/ chop and change until you've got a new piece of art or content; having an interest in other artistic mediums helps you frame your own artwork in new ways – you're able to view it from another part of the prism.

3: Say Yes More

The more times you say no and shut yourself off from new experiences, the more often you're going to run out of things to say. You need to be constantly stimulated, pushed or challenged and it's hard to get that stimuli if you're shielding yourself from the outside world.

This isn't to say that locking yourself in a room and going down a rabbit hole of inspiration on the Internet isn't productive because there's been a tonne of great creatives who've been hermits.

However, I do think you need to be in touch with reality to break away from it. You need a reference point for the lyrics you're writing, or the story you're trying to tell. It's easy to imagine a fake reality, but it's also easy for a listener to realise it's fake.

If you expose yourself to new situations you're breaking away from your daily routine, from the comfort that you sink into and you create more real-world memories that can help form new narratives or stories for your listener or audience.

4: Create a Digital-Haven

We all come across images, songs, artworks, articles everyday that we're drawn to. Maybe it's the colours in a photograph, maybe it's the melody of a chorus, or the line in a book – we don't know exactly why but those things give us inspiration, intrigue or joy.

Much like you would create a moodboard or reference list for a project, why not create a life moodboard (or what I like to call a digital-haven) so you have a place to go, online, to be overwhelmed with all the things you enjoy.

You can use Instagram's save function, you can create a playlist on Spotify or you can house everything in a note on your phone. Whatever it is, it should be filled with everything you come across that you love, this way you have one, central point you can look to when you feel bored, unmotivated or lost.

My digital-haven is filled with every cover artwork I've ever liked, links to playlists of my favourite music, lyrics or lines out of a book that I like – it sounds cliche, but I think having something that is made up entirely of you gives you perspective about what it is you like and what it is you want to create.

5: The 13-year-old test

I think this is the most important tip I've got. If your 13-year-old self saw what you were creating, what would their response be? Would they be intrigued? Excited? Engaged? Scared? Confused?

The work you're making now should be about serving that inner child inside of you, give that child agency, give it all the tools and resources you've got now. The 13-year-old test is great because it helps you let go of your own 'adult-baggage' – it gives agency to out-of-the-box, left of centre thinking, it returns you to a more 'authentic' version of yourself.

I feel like it's easy to dismiss new and polarising ideas because they don't fit into your own pre-conceived thoughts or notions about how something should seem. It's easy to stay strapped into your own echo-chamber.

For me, I grew up listening to the music that was put in front of me by my family. INXS, Joy Division or The Cure. For me, music was a lot of coy frontmen singing about lost love over four chords.

Fast forward to 13 when I'm introduced to Three 6 Mafia's 'Break Da Law' and Cradle Of Filth's 'Cthulhu Dawn'. It flipped everything I knew on its head – suddenly I realised there were no rules, suddenly I was excited about what was out there for me to discover.

I'm always stoking that inner-flame – that inner, curious 13-year-old because who knows, maybe there's some 13-year-old kid out there right now discovering your art.



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