From Usher's MasterClass

Gathering Inspiration

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

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


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

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


Teaches The Art of Performance

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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...

Meet Your New Mentor

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.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Awesome class! No matter what type of artist you are, Usher can help you with elevating yourself as a professional.

What I think of the course? My life changed gradually.   More confidence in myself, more strength in her voice, more courage too. thank you for all

Very engaging and inspiring, I think to improve it classes should be longer with more specific techniques and training but for me this was more than enough to go away and work on within my current program. An excellent resource to always comeback to. Thank you Team and Usher. Dele

Unexpected points of view! Makes you think who you really are and who you want to be as an artist! Thank you Usher! You rock!!!


Karin A.

I watched comedian Brad Williams with the sound off. He's still funny! I found him connected to the audience, every emotion is evident on his face, he uses a lot of gestures. He takes up space and moves around a lot. When he does dance moves, like the moon walk, he's very specific about the moves. There's a full commitment about his performance that I love.

Chris W.

I watched a Bryson Tiller performance because my girl told me his show was amazing. It was okay, but then I watched an Usher performance and WHOO!!!! The little details are everything...walking out with the mic stand on his shoulders, the sweat and intense eyes, sharp and distinct movements...Just like he said, if it's not electric with the sound off, it's not a performance!

Robert G.

Sometimes when I sit with my guitar I play anything that comes to mind. Some sounds are good some are crappy. I start singing anything that comes to mind. While doing this I feel delusional, I wonder if I am going insane. I get fearful of what my family thinks. I have told the people in my world what I am up to with my acting and music studies. I think I get laughed at behind my back and it hurts. Sometimes I breakdown and cry.

Robert G.

I think Mic Jagger was awed by James Brown one night and changed up his performance to make it exciting.

Robert G.

I took my guitar to my nephews place last year and played some songs and sang. They enjoyed it. My two nephews are excellent mixed martial art fighters because of my influences and they used to watch me train and sometimes get involved. I didn't know they'd like my guitar playing and singing. They thought I new how to dance and practice and exercise and didn't know I play guitar and sing. That's a start. lol

Ivan D.

" If you ever wanna be great, you need to study the people who inspired the people who you’re inspired by. " - this is biiiiiig.

Celene G.

Identifying my hero's, identifying my inspiration. Living in a place where only I believe, so much to take away from this lesson.

Lauren G.

Going to take a couple weeks, maybe more to really work on and apply this lesson/assignment before moving on:)


I'm old school -- I was old school from day one and always looked to really old guys when everybody else was tripping to Van Halen and Peter Frampton (who?!). Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., The Nicholas Brothers, Bing Crosby, Mel Torme, even Perry Como and Andy Williams, who were SO at ease in their performances that people found them to be like an old sweater, but found them compelling at the same time!

Kalia D.

It's great he says openly: be inspired, have your mentors, have your idols. Among the many inspirations that are not private I am recently amazed by Postmodern Jukebox, the idea that you can take an existing work of art/song and reinterpret it with your own style, or an existing other style. So much of traditional education is just copying 'how it's supposed to be'. It's a whole new world when you think you add your own style and still honour the original. Our world becoming more and more international and interconnected will see much more of it, I'm sure. Yep.