Music, Arts & Entertainment

Gathering Inspiration


Lesson time 07:17 min

Creativity is fueled by inspiration. Find out about the unexpected places Usher gathers his inspiration and how to expand your own library of references.

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Topics include: Identifying your heroes • Identifying their heroes • Looking beyond your discipline


I understand that you may not feel like you're creative. You're not the first person to feel that way. You have to find a source of creativity. And then, finding the way to interpret some of the things that you heard. Something that is always suggested to me-- sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't-- I right in my journal. You write down some of things that you just thought about, just ideas that come to your mind. And before you know it, you look back at it and there you have a song, and idea, a to write about. And then you may be greater in other areas. You may have a great voice, but you're not as creative, right? You think that. But you are. It's all around you at all times. There's such a source of creativity around you at all times. [MUSIC PLAYING] What's there before you is intended to be inspiration for your greatness? You know, in a lot of ways, I felt like I stand on the shoulders of the giants who kind of blazed the trail before me. Bobby Brown-- I was a huge Bobby Brown fan. He had an energy, an attitude, kind of a youthful take on being a solo artist. James Brown, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, you know, Sammy Davis Jr., Fred Astaire, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, all of these incredible artists who had something very significant, something very connected, something very passionate, right? If you recognize that someone has a talent, be very clear that they worked at it, and you have to study them. It's so important to never feel so confident in what your abilities are that you aren't open to understanding what someone else does that works for them. There's certain people you can't really be, like Stevie. To this day, if I were to compare anyone's career to the one that I really want, it is his. And I say that because he is a legendary artist. But his versatility-- I can remember as a kid, learning that word, the versatility of an artist. And I would tell every person, "I want to have versatility like Stevie Wonder." To have longevity is obviously important. But to have the ability to speak to so many different people, that was majorly important for me. I knew that even as a young artist. [MUSIC PLAYING] I think it was around the time I began to study Michael Jackson that I wanted to know more about how he became who he was. Not just studying him, but studying his inspirations. And I got it from him. It was an interview. He said, "If you ever want to be great, you have to study the people whom inspired the people that you're inspired by." And I said, all right, well let me do this. Let me go on and figure out who was Michael inspired by. Two people that Michael Jackson really studied were James Brown and Jackie Wilson. So I begin to study Jackie Wilson. I begin to study his voice, study James Brown and study his moves and study his passion and the funk and this energy that came from him. You kn...

About the Instructor

Usher, winner of 8 Grammy Awards, reveals the technical skills, career lessons and breakthrough advice that he has used to captivate audiences for over 25 years. For the first time ever, learn how Usher approaches performance and wins over audiences from the studio to the stage. There has never been a class like this before.

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In his first ever online class, Usher teaches you his personal techniques to captivate audiences across 16 video lessons.

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