I recently watched Bohemian Rhapsody (the movie) and was once again swept away by the sheer genius of Freddie Mercury and his band – Queen. It remains one of the most versatile rock bands of the eighties and each band member displayed oodles of talent that came to the fore with every album that they recorded. While reminiscing later about what I love about Freddie, I reflected that there were 3 traits of the Queen frontman that truly inspired me and are great takeaways for all of us.
The young Farroukh (Freddie’s real name) was supremely confident of his talent. His Self-belief was unshakeable – he knew he was destined for greatness. It didn’t matter that he got rejected by producers or other musicians. Freddie knew he had it in him to succeed.
In one scene within the movie, Freddie and the band are at an introductory meeting with EMI records. When the music company manager suggests that “if everything turns out right, you could get some airplay” Freddie instead of looking perturbed, states with a quiet confidence that he expects more, much more.
That’s self-belief which actually transforms your destiny because you are already visualising your success. And once you can visualise it and live it in your mind, the same success manifests itself in your physical reality. Believe in yourself and your uniqueness. Create your own destiny by believing and trusting your inner voice and your deepest desires.
The second hallmark of Freddie was Passion for his music. He always invested 100% of himself into every song. An indelible image in my mind remains Freddie’s face while he belted out his foot stomping hits or crooned a ballad – eyes closed, veins popping, a sweating face taut with the intensity and passion that was his forte and which gave Queen’s music that cutting edge. Freddie lived his music with a fanatical passion that ultimately propelled him to becoming a Legend in the annals of Rock music.
If you are a diehard fan of Queen (like me) you would have heard all their songs. And what impresses me most is the sheer Creativity of their repertoire. While the other band members did contribute to this aspect, it was Freddie’s creative brilliance that stood out in their best work. His indefatigable thirst to create unceasingly, without caring for censure or praise, was a testament to his work ethic. And the more he wrote and sang, the more the creativity flowed.
A simple way to become creative is to create – do whatever moves you. Draw, paint, write, sculpt, write code, invent, discover – do whatever it takes to create your best version of who you are. The more you dive in and forget yourself while pursuing your own creative path, the richer would be the end product that you finally hold up to the world.
Find your passion, something that you love doing. Then just do it, over and over again. Passion gives you the edge, the reason for your existence and imbues your existence with vivacity.
An unwavering Self-belief, relentless Passion to make the best music and a Creative outpouring that continues to astound fans even today. These then, were the cornerstones of Freddie Mercury’s greatness as a musician par excellence, one who was feted by his peers from the rock music genre as well as the classical elite and of course millions of fans.
As you may rightly observe, these traits are not confined to him or the music industry. These are the prerequisites for anyone who seeks to be Excellent at what he or she does.
Believe in yourself, fuel the Passion and keep Creating. That’s what I truly believe.
But don’t take my word for it. Take a look around you and identify the achievers, the truly successful. Do they exhibit the qualities that we have discussed above? What do you think ?
picture credit: by Frederico Birchal, via Behance