It’s natural to want to win over the world with your music.

After all, connecting with audiences should be one of your top priorities as a music-maker. But the reality is that your music can’t and shouldn’t be loved by everyone.

Here’s my hard truth for today—not everyone will like your music. But that’s not meant to be discouraging. In this article I’ll explain how getting over it will help you be truer to yourself and more creative.

Try to please everyone and you’ll end up pleasing no one

Think about the sort of music that’s truly shaping the cultural conversation right now. Is it distinct and original or is it bland and forgettable?

The music that cuts through the noise is authentic and different.

Time and time again, the music that cuts through the noise is authentic and different.


It’s easy to chase trends to try and win over listeners, but audiences are a lot more perceptive than you might think. When your music aims to speak to everyone, it will probably end up resonating with no one.

Impactful music is rooted in humanity and creativity—not the desire to be loved by everyone. As a music-maker, one of the trickiest balances you’ll need to strike is between wanting to find listeners and the desire to create meaningful work.

If your work is motivated more by your need to be successful and loved than genuine creativity, you’ve got it backwards.

Connecting with listeners in a meaningful way starts with your motivation to create music.

Aiming for universal acceptance stalls your creative process

When you write music, what do you think about?

When you write music, what do you think about?

Are you curious about where your ideas will take you? Or are you more concerned with writing songs everyone likes?

If you’re more focused on writing music to please than creating honest work that reflects your best ideas and who you are, you’ve got a problem.

You’ll make your best work with a curious, open mindset. But your process gets derailed when it’s weighed down by the unrealistic pressures of trying to attain everyone’s approval.

To prevent this from happening, check in with yourself during your creative process.

If you find yourself making choices to try and please crowds and dumb down ideas, take a break and refocus. The more heart and unique personality you can throw into your process, the more specific groups of listeners will relate with your work.

In doing this you’ll realize it’s impossible for each and every person to like your music. When you stop and think about it, there’s an incredible amount of freedom in knowing that.

Choose honesty over broad appeal

No musician wants to make music people forget about as soon as they hear it. And yet, bland, safe music is easier to make than songs that actually say something about yourself.

It’s not realistic or possible to make the entire listening public fans of your music. But creating deep, engaging music that speaks directly to a specific audience is.

Forging real connections with audiences has never been more important. Endless release cycles and forgettable playlists make it easy for listeners to disengage.

Forging real connections with audiences has never been more important.

Making those lasting impressions starts with creating music authentically.

Writing this way can be risky. In fact, you’re bound to fail more often than you succeed. But taking the path of authenticity gives you the best chance at making work that truly speaks to your listeners.

Each and every listener isn’t going to love your music. Instead of worrying about that, focus on meaningfully engaging audiences that are most likely to resonate with your songs.

Embrace authenticity to create meaningful music

The songs that resonate most are made by creators who embrace their unique musical identities.

Headed by the Swinomish/Iñupiaq singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Katherine Paul, Black Belt Eagle Scout’s thoughtful take on indie rock has earned a passionate following in recent years.

In 2016, the American rapper, producer, and poet Noname won over audiences and critics with Telefone, a mixtape with songs presented as phone conversations.

The songs that resonate most are made by creators who embrace their unique musical identities.

With a career spanning almost 25 years, of Montreal’s otherworldly pop music and captivating live shows have won over loyal fans.

No matter how talented, lucky, and hardworking you are, you’ll never be able to win over the whole world with your music.

Your best chance at making lasting connections with listeners is by doubling down on your own unique creativity and authenticity.