Traditionally, Singer-Songwriters are artists-entertainers who perform the musical material they compose (melodies) and write (lyrics, where relevant) often accompanying themselves on an instrument. In their musical creations, the singer-songwriter tend to explore a wide array of issues, from topical ones to those common across time or space. These might be political, pertaining to fantasy or realistic/pragmatic, introspective (sometimes sensitive or even confessional) or relational including romantic or the opposite.
In looking for common grounds among singer-songwriters to scope the boundaries of the field, a number of specifications are laid. Categorisation, for all its faults, can at least assist in increasing our understanding of the field. The definitions act in this sense and should not be a limitation on what a singer-songwriter might evolve or reveal themselves, in the end, to be. It is often argued that the musical material is ‘written primarily as a solo vehicle’. However, in this project, we do not associate if not confuse the possible original intention of the writer and the barely circumstantial evidence offered by their (solo) performance, no matter how statistically conclusive this might appear. The singer-songwriter owns their material by default. This is generally only an original, relatively skeletal melody and lyrics that can be fleshed out in various interpretations to suit the needs or preferences of the performers. Singer-Songwriter is a genre in its own right. Across time and locations, it has taken many forms. It has been primarily associated with Ethno-Folk and Blues but has since evolved into the realms of Rock (including Rock bands), R’n’B, Soul, even pop and more recently culminated with internationalisation and cross-culture influences in increased fusion styles, introducing some fresh accents while constantly highlighting the legacy of its earlier artists and the perpetual self-renewal of the art.