Today (Oct. 8), MasterClass announced that multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and director Annie Clark, known professionally as St. Vincent, will teach a class on creativity and songwriting.
The “Los Ageless” singer goes well beyond songwriting and delivers a fascinating lesson plan on how to complete creative projects.
“I think the reason I wanted to do it was that I’d seen other MasterClasses and I love process. I really do,” Clark tells Billboard. “I don’t think you have to be trying to necessarily excel in the particular arena of the MasterClass that you’re watching in order to get something interesting from it.”
Clark says she was inspired to work with MasterClass after watching a class by tennis champion Serena Williams, who the musician admits she is in awe of. “The way that she approaches tennis, I think they’re so applicable to being a musician or being an artist,” says Clark.
Clark debuted her musical persona St. Vincent to the world in 2007 with her debut album, Marry Me. Having previously been a part of symphonic pop band The Polyphonic Spree and of the touring band for Grammy and Academy Award–nominated artist Sufjan Stevens, Clark’s first foray into solo songwriting would lay the foundation for what would eventually become her distinctly signature sound of inventive guitar riffs, paired with deeply personal and poetic songwriting.
Clark’s class takes members behind her public persona, how her stage name came about and how that artistic expression has changed from album to album. She explains the inspiration behind some of her most iconic art and specifically breaks down the more than 20-year development of her song “Savior” off her latest album Masseduction.
“I chose ‘Savior’ because it illustrated this point that I wanted to make that there’s no wasted effort,” says Clark. “Even if you have an idea from 20 years ago, if it’s still circling around in your head, that means it’s worth something. It will find its way into something.”
Songwriting beginners and non-musicians will enjoy the demystification of popular music. More advanced artists can receive tips on how to turn creative ideas into finished products, build a basic home studio, hone their guitar skills and how to deliver an inventive live performance.
“I think being a creative person in this time requires more forgiveness of yourself,” says Clark. “Some days you’re going to be just grinding and it’s going to be flowing and it’s going to be that thrilling thing where you catch lightning in a bottle and then some days you might not leave bed. I find that there’s not a lot of middle and way more polarity in process during this time.”
St. Vincent’s MasterClass is available now alongside classes from more than 90 other instructors. Subscribers will get access to lessons from RuPaul, Timbaland, Usher, Reba McEntire and more.