If you’re not listening, Brian Koppelman — the creator of Showtime’s “Billions” and writer, among others, of the films Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen — has an excellent podcast called The Moment. He interviews creators (he has a fondness for musicians but also talks to authors, filmmakers and other) about The Moment they were called to create.
He recently spoke with Suzanne Vega. It’s a great discussion, but a little bit immediately stood out to me. I even remember what segment of road I was running when I heard it.
Early in her recording career, before she had the words to describe the sound she was looking for, she told her producer, “I need more edge.”
Her producer responded, “It’s edgy; don’t you hear it?”
“If I heard it, I wouldn’t have said anything,” she replied.
And Koppelman points out the thing: The songs are so clean, the edge is in the lyrics.
Listening back — I was only 10 when her seminal album Solitude Standing was released — her music shares a direct lineage with Patti Smith and Lou Reed and much of the New York punk scene, and yes, the sounds are clear, but the words bite hard.
Where’s your edge? It doesn’t have to be creative, but what sets you apart?