A fellow called BNJMN, whose music I know not, proposes in a FACT interview some routes to originality/innovation/artistic distinctiveness:
1/ relative ignorance
"’I' m really
into dance music, but I’m still quite naïve about the whole thing, which is why
it comes out quite different... Being open and naïve can help you create
something completely original. If I knew a whole lot more about dance music,
and all the different types of sub-genres, I’d probably start making music that
sounds like other people. But because I don’t really know too much, it just
ends up sounding like myself"
2/ relative ineptitude
"The more I got into electronic music, the more I found out
about people like Theo Parrish and Efdemin, and it just made me want to create
that kind of music. A lot of it is just failed attempts at making Theo Parrish
tunes that sound nothing like him!"
"unachieved mimesis"--flattery that falls short--is a classic syndrome - postpunk musicians trying to sound like Nile Rodgers and producing something a lot more serrated and spindly, etc -- miscopying as creative error
the getting-it-wrong is closely related but not exactly the same (it can also include non-mastery of an instrument, or deliberately not learning to use a synth or a guitar in the manufacturer prescribed way)
knowing too much about other music can be paralysing, because it all feels like it's been done before
knowing the correct way to play or program an instrument or machine or piece of software can be paralysing, because you're just following well-worn paths
(c.f. the post on Ry Cooder and session musicians as a non-creative class)
but how do you preserve and protect ignorance in this knowledge-saturated environment?