Arts & Entertainment, Music

Meet Your Instructor: St. Vincent a.k.a. Annie Clark

St. Vincent

Lesson time 04:34 min

Annie Clark, who performs under the name St. Vincent, welcomes you to her class. She shares an overview of what she’ll teach you, including songwriting, guitar and performance tips, and how to approach the world as a creative person.

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Topics include: Meet Your Instructor: St. Vincent a.k.a. Annie Clark


[00:00:03.41] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:10.23] ANNIE CLARK: The point of a song is to get at the ineffable and get at the struggle that is to be human. Every song needs to have an epiphany. Where it starts and ends ought to be different. Something should happen. [00:00:23.65] ANNIE CLARK (THROUGH SPEAKERS) Let's begin. [00:00:24.52] ANNIE CLARK: (SINGING) When the earth split in two-- [00:00:26.17] ANNOUNCER: Please welcome St. Vincent. [00:00:28.47] ANNIE CLARK: (SINGING) I, you were you. [00:00:30.32] - Here's someone doing edgy stuff, but it's very beautiful and melodic at the same time. [00:00:35.88] ANNOUNCER: And the Grammy goes to Annie Clark, St. Vincent. [00:00:40.84] WOMAN: She fronted Nirvana for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. [00:00:44.85] TREVOR NOAH: Some people have compared you to David Bowie saying that your characters change from album to album. [00:00:49.77] ANNIE CLARK: Are Annie Clark and St. Vincent the same thing? Honestly, you'd have to ask her. [00:00:54.08] [MUSIC - ST. VINCENT, "FEAR THE FUTURE"] [00:00:58.37] - I'm St Vincent-- and I'm Annie Clark-- and this is my MasterClass. [00:01:03.20] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:01:11.91] When I think about the things that used to hold me back a lot when I first started out, more than anything, it was fear. And it was aspects of shame. Or it was this inner voice that was not very helpful. [00:01:31.47] At the time, I felt like the options afforded women in music who went under their own name were kind of narrow roads. If I went by my name, which is Annie Clark, which is a perfectly fine American name, it would sound to people like I made acoustic music only for coffee shops. And that wasn't what I wanted to do. And so I just came up with something else. [00:01:59.53] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:01.58] I came up with the moniker St. Vincent before I put out my first album. And it was a reference to a Nick Cave song called "There She Goes My Beautiful World," where he sings, "And Dylan Thomas died drunk at St. Vincent's hospital," which I thought was hilarious. [00:02:16.63] No, I thought it captured the kind of grandiosity and the squalor that I think it is to be an artist, because there's these fleeting moments of, like, I found it. I'm a genius! And then the next minute is like, oh, God, what a fucking idiot . [00:02:34.49] I made it a moniker so that I could have the flexibility to do whatever I wanted with it and for it to be any number of things. So I could be any number of things. [00:02:46.58] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:48.57] I wanted to do this class because I wanted to peel back the curtain and go, listen. These are all the things that go into being a professional musician. So I want to share with you guys some performance tips, some songwriting tips, some studio tips. [00:03:06.18] We're going to take my song "Savior" and walk you through every step of the songwriting process, from the beginning, the lyrics, counter-melody, production. We're going to talk...

About the Instructor

Under the stage name St. Vincent, Annie Clark has won Grammys while remaining fiercely innovative and true to herself. Now Annie is opening the door to her process to teach you how to explore your creativity. Learn how to record music, write songs, improve your guitar skills, and embrace your vulnerability. Let Annie guide you through the ups and downs of creating art so you can share what’s in your heart with the world.

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St. Vincent

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