Arts & Entertainment, Music

Applying Inspiration


Lesson time 9:13 min

What's the difference between imitation and inspiration? Watch as Usher shows you how to take favorite elements from gathered inspiration, and apply it to your future performances.

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

Topics include: Going from imitation to inspiration • Letting trends inspire you • Getting personal and getting to work


A thief steals, but a genius borrows. Ben Vereen gave me that. And what he meant by it is, take the inspiration from greatness and do something that gives you an identity, meaning you were inspired by what you saw. You didn't just imitate. There's plenty of those in Las Vegas. You don't want to be a cheap imitation, especially. But it is an opportunity for you to then create something of substance from substance. For instance, you will be inspired by how martial artists fight. There's something in their practice and in the chi and how it flows when they're doing what they do. How animals move, for instance. That could become a part of the inspiration. Now, once you studied what it is and how they move in a certain way, then you reinterpret it in your own-- your own way. Some may assume that Michael Jackson was the first person to create the Moonwalk. He wasn't. A lot of his ideas were a product of being exposed to Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse, Junior. No matter how genius you may feel your idea is, somewhere I'm guaranteeing you that someone has done your move or done what you've created or you think you've created. There's no new idea. But what is new is your perspective of it. [MUSIC PLAYING] There was something amazing about Gene Kelly that was different from Fred Astaire and what I had seen from Sammy Davis Jr. It's a little bit more masculine. And as I began to kind of move in the area of doing theatrical work, he's who I pull from. He's what I would draw from. Now, I actually ended up doing my own interpretation, or reinterpretation, right, of Gene Kelly's, "Singing in the Rain." [MUSIC - USHER, "SINGING IN THE RAIN"] This was an actual reinterpretation of it. It was kind of inspired by my creative tastes, and my team. But, it was really a tribute to Gene. What I'm telling you is a little bit different. I'm saying, be inspired by what you see. Take from it, once you figure out what it is and how it feels, then you take it and you create it in this time through your rhythm where it becomes yours. In, "You Got it Bad," the video, there's a scene at the end of the video where I'm dancing in the rain. And I'm doing it in my way. You kind of see me in the street, kind of going through this emotional thing. I jump upon this light pole, I kind of swing around. [MUSIC - USHER, "YOU GOT IT BAD"] Now, for someone who's never seen Gene Kelly's "Singing in the Rain," this will be a new experience for them. But what that did is it just, once again gave me a new audience, a new perspective, a new texture, and at the same time I introduced someone to something new. [MUSIC PLAYING] Within the creative process of making music, it has to come from a real place. Let me give you a for instance. Take for example, "Confessions." "Confessions" came at a time when hip hop gave us music that was very brutally honest. T...

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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