SONGWRITING TIPS AND ADVICE ON THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOUND IN ALL HIT SONGS

Tag Archives: Britney Spears

MEP 14

Max Martin, one of the most successful songwriters of the last 20 years, is set to receive this year’s Polar Music Prize Laureate when the Stockholm-based event celebrates its 25th anniversary in June 2016. The award will be presented by Sweden’s King Carl XVI.

Previous winners include Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Burt Bacharach.

Stockholm-born Max Martin (real name Martin Sandberg) said: “If you can somehow influence popular culture, shape it in some way, when something becomes bigger than just a song, that’s the greatest thing for me… this is what I love about music. You can reach so many people.”

Things really took off for him in 1995, when he started working with the Backstreet Boys, receiving a writing credit on the boy band’s platinum single ‘Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)’. He followed that success with Robyn’s ‘Show Me Love’ and ‘Do You Know (What it Takes)’, both of which also charted.

Since 1999, Martin has written or co-written 21 US Number One hits (most of which he also produced or co-produced) – including Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl’ (2008), Pink’s ‘So What’ (2008), ‘Hold It Against Me’ by Britney Spears (2011), Maroon 5’s ‘One More Night’ (2012), and Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ (2014).

Martin is the songwriter with the third-most Number One chart single credits – behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Many of the stars who have achieved chart success with Martin’s songs have already started paying tribute to him. “He sets the scene to be really creative,” said Katy Perry.

Britney Spears – for whom Martin wrote ‘Baby One More Time’ – said: “I think you are a genius; you’ve been a part of my career from my beginning.”

Pink said: “You blow my mind and I’m really proud of you,” while Justin Bieber added: “No one deserves it more, you are a master.”

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, who was the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA. The name of the prize stems from Anderson’s legendary Swedish record label, Polar Music.

# # # #

“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.

How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA) and HERE (UK), HERE (Australia) and HERE (Canada).

Advertisements

Sir Paul McCartney recently revealed that songwriting has often helped him get through emotional and dark times. He told Mojo magazine: “I think it’s good when you’re in a dark period and the song is your psychiatrist. It’s your therapy.”

Now, Britney Spears has revealed that writing songs for her new album Britney Jean was like therapy for her too.

The 32-year-old singer split from her former fiancé Jason Trawick when she was working on the album and, she says, some of the new tracks are about the heartache she experienced.

While she understands some people might prefer to keep those feelings private, Britney is happy to lay herself bare through her songs.

“Actually I really kinda had no choice,” she recently told MTV News. “At the time I was going through a breakup that was kind of public, and everyone knew about it. And I felt like, it’s not a secret, so why not write about it and say how I’m feeling about it and what it feels like?”

She added: “I feel like when you write you do depict what you’re going through in your life, and that’s what I was going through at the time. So it just made sense for me, therapeutically, to write it out and get it out.”

In a recent interview with Mojo, Sir Paul McCartney said: “When you’re really upset about something, going away and putting it in your song you come out of that cupboard, toilet or basement and go, ‘I really feel better’. You’ve actually exorcised the demon. It’s one of the great joys of songwriting.”

However, it is important to avoid being too personal and too insular in your ‘therapeutic’ writing. If you still want your songs to be successful commercially, they should always be about your audience—not just you.

That means writing about experiences, hardships and situations that everyone can relate to. By writing about something that listeners experience in their own lives, you can touch people’s emotions. And if you can make the listener feel something, it’s the sign of a good song.

As US singer-songwriter Jackson Browne once remarked: “It’s all about reaching inside to something that you have in common with many.”

# # # #

How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a paperback, or as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music) and Barnes & Noble’s Nook store.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK), HERE (Australia) and HERE (Canada).


Many producers of artists who don’t write their own songs are finding that the best way to consistently generate hits is to use the American TV ‘writers room’ model – with large numbers of pop writers working in teams.

But what is the optimum number of writers required to create a hit song?

English boy band phenomenon One Direction had an average of five songwriters per track on their hit 2012 album Take Me Home. Now, Britney Spears is going two better with her new track, titled ‘Ooh La La’, which will be featured in the upcoming Smurfs movie, The Smurfs 2.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Ooh La La’ is the result of a seven-way collaboration between Lukasz Gottwald, Joshua Coleman, Henry Walter, Bonnie McKee, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Lola Blanc and Fransisca Hall.

You can watch Britney’s official video for ‘Ooh La La’ HERE…

The song will play over the end credits of The Smurfs 2 when it is released in cinemas this summer.

The film’s director Raja Gosnell said: “I am very excited that Britney is joining our smurfy adventure. ‘Ooh La La’ is the perfect Smurf-party song, and the perfect button on the film for audiences around the world.”

Britney added: “I always loved The Smurfs as a kid and now my boys are the biggest Smurfs fans ever. I wanted to surprise them with a song in the movie. I know they’ll think it’s Smurftastic!”

The royalty split agreement between all of the writers and music publishers involved in ‘Ooh La La’ should also make Smurftastic reading!

Also busy collaborating right now is Katy Perry who is co-writing tracks for her third album with hitmakers such as Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Greg Wells, Sia and Bonnie McKee. The album will be the follow-up to Teenage Dream which spawned five Hot 100 Number One singles.

“Max and Luke push me the most,” said Katy, giving an insight into how she works with her co-writers. “As a team we have certain strengths. With Max, it’s melody choices, Luke is production and I’m topline and melody.”

# # # #

How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a paperback, or as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music) and Barnes & Noble’s Nook store.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK) or HERE (Australia).