Writing a song is the most interesting and fascinating thing to do. It is so much fun when you know exactly what you are doing and know things to consider depending on the kind of song and your target audience. Some people have the gift of writing songs but do not want to do music themselves… These people write songs for popular artistes and get paid.
Whoever told you writing a song isn’t difficult, simply have no idea about what they are saying. Most of your favourite artistes don’t write their songs; but hire people to do that for them. In fact, there is no shame in letting others who’re gifted to write songs for you. But if you are self-conscious and want to do things on your own, these 5 tips might help you change the way you compose or write COMMERCIAL songs.
Know What You Want To Write About.
Before you can even think of writing a song, you must know what exactly the song is about. Don’t just jump into writing a song because a tiny idea popped up in your head. Take that tiny idea, develop on it, and get deeper into it. Do some research if needed and have enough points to elaborate in your song. A song without content is just thrash and a personal fantasy of being a song-writer.
Come up with a Catchy title and make the contents “Ear-Friendly”.
When they say Music is Creative Arts, they weren’t talking about style of rap or singing; but how you can make something out of nothing. It’s about doing what people don’t expect from you or anyone… The power of Imagination and expressing them well!
Believe it or not, the title of a song plays a very important role when promoting it. Let the title of the song become the pivot of your song. Let people see the title of your song written somewhere and get curious to know what it’s about. This is very necessary if you are an up and coming artiste.
Put Yourself in the Listener’s Shoes.
This is something most up and coming artistes fail doing. To think of doing a commercial song simply means you are targeting a larger audience. How do you serve them what they want if you don’t put yourself in their shoes? Imagine being on the other side and see if what you are writing is something you will love to play twice or more if it was someone else…
Don’t be self-centered when writing a commercial song… The fact that you feel good about what you are saying doesn’t mean everyone should go with it. Ghanaian artiste EL said similar thing in an interview and that explains why every commercial song he drops is always a hit! Learn how to get your mind-switch in those directions. Judge yourself and be tough on yourself. Always have in mind “I can do better than this”…
Put Yourself In The Picture When Talking About Sensitive Issues.
This is more psychological and most artistes have succeeded with this. They openly address sensitive issues and get away with it; simply because they include themselves as one of the people they are addressing. Topics like religion, politics, race and tribal issues get extremely sensitive if you don’t lay your points down perfectly. It is more annoying to say “Ghanaians are ungrateful people” than to say “WE Ghanaians are ungrateful“…
Pretty serious for a Black guy to say “Black people spend money on unnecessary things” and not saying “WE Black people spend money on unnecessary things“… A typical example is Jay Z’s “Story Of OJ” in which he called himself dumb because he spent money on something he later regrets.
Another example is Kofi Kinaata’s “Confession” where he spoke about people with alcohol problems and living irresponsible lives… Because he made it sound like it’s about him or a personal experience, people didn’t realize how sensitive the topic is. You remember “Twiabodom” by Nkasei? “Kooko Aduro” by 4X4? To understand this part, take your time and think about it.
Be In The Mood.
Just because you have a friend who owns a recording studio doesn’t mean you quickly put rhymes together and start recording. After practicing the above points, this last point comes automatically. I call it “Auto-Pilot Mode” because your mind, emotions and energy combines at this point.
You may probably have goose bumps or teary eyes when you get to this stage because, you might probably imagine billions of people chanting your song while you stand in front of them. After writing a song in the right mood you will feel the hard-work you invested.
Just wait till you can feel the urge to write songs. Don’t stress yourself writing a song… Relax your mind and body and let everything flow with ease. You’ll have a smile on your face when doing that.
These are 5 points I think artistes must consider before attempting to write songs. If this is too much work for you, come up with ideas simply by listening to your favourite songs. Don’t party or dance to them when listening but try to discover why you love that song so much.
Or simply hire a good songwriter which is pretty expensive because that person puts in these points or more to come up with something. Music is no joke and it’s a multi-billion industry. Become the product the world has waited on. Contributions and questions in the comment box please…
Written by Alfred Aborga (Owner of Loud Sound Gh)
Twitter (@MisterAborga) Instagram (@Oldswat)