Few records have really marked a before and after in popular music. And, unfortunately, even less with a woman’s signature. Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece “Blue” turns as one of the most revered works of the 1970s.
In 2005, Mitchell did her “Mitchel talk” at the McGill University in Montreal and students were lucky enough to be part of the said event. Being a daughter of art and literature, she gave career advice for music students: “think about balance in art”
“You just don’t want to be creating out of an intellectual place,” Mitchell warned the crowd. “In my opinion, it’s going to be stiff, cold, and yucky —the only other people who are going to pick up on that. Boring,” she smirked.
She then continued to drop a powerful and inspiring advice to the young students of McGill University:
“I say to young people, ‘Do you want to be a star, or do you want to be an artist?’” she remarked. “They don’t know, and they better know right now because if you make any compromise if you want to be an artist, and they say, ‘Do this and that’ and you do it, you’re screwed because you sold your soul to the devil.”
Mitchell, who started in the 1960s as a folk musician concluded:
“Not that you need to be in a needless sense of rebellion, but you have to know who you are, what kind of music you want to make.”