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

Tag Archives: Lorde

lorde-photo-by-brendan-walter

Photo by Brendan Walter

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show on Apple Music, Lorde revealed how her new single ‘Green Light’ — from her upcoming album Melodrama — was inspired by her first major heartbreak. But instead of the song’s intense lyrics sounding gloomy, the song actually oozes joy because, as Lorde explained, it’s all about someone giving the ‘green light’ to a fresh start after the end of a relationship.

“The song is actually about a heartbreak,” Lorde told Zane Lowe. “And it’s not something that I really am used to writing about. It took me a while to be able to figure out how to write about that. It was my first major heartbreak. And the song is really about those moments kind of immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards.”

She added: “It sounds so happy and then the lyrics are so intense obviously. And I realized I was like, ‘how come this thing is coming out so joyous sounding?’. And I realized this is that drunk girl at the party dancing around crying about her ex-boyfriend who everyone thinks is a mess. That’s her tonight but tomorrow she starts to rebuild. And that’s the song for me.”

And here’s the song …

# # # #

“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.
A 5-star rated book at Amazon,
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, a UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store. It is also available from Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and KoboBooks.

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

FRONT COVER - JPG - 10-8-16 - FINAL“How [Not] To Write Great Lyrics! – 40 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Lyrics For Your Songs” is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store. It is also available from Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and KoboBooks.

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

 

Advertisements

Unless you’re collaborating with other writers, or writing for your own band, songwriting can be a solitary endeavor. It requires a lot of time alone. You’re left in your writing room day after day, night after day, fighting the twin demons of indecision and procrastination.

That’s why it can be very useful to have a songwriting buddy, says Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Lorde.

“If you are writing on your own, have someone whose opinion you really trust and who cares about what you’re doing and isn’t gonna judge you in a weird way,” the 17-year-old New Zealander recently told Rookiemag.com. “Send them stuff and ask them what they think.”

Lorde added: “I started out writing music with Joel [New Zealand musician, producer and songwriter Joel Little], who is still my co-writer. I never showed my music to anyone else … but if I hadn’t had him as a sounding board, it would’ve been difficult.”

As Lorde found with Joel Little, 31, your buddy can be a musician friend or a fellow songwriter you respect – someone who will give you a chance to think out loud and be a sounding board for your new ideas.

Alternatively, your songwriting buddy could be a special person that you trust and who will always give you an honest opinion. It could be your girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, husband or wife – someone you can play a new song to without feeling embarrassed or self-conscious.

Ideally, though, your buddy should be someone who understands songwriting and whose encouragement, experience and insight will help you gain momentum and confidence in your own writing.

“As a young songwriter, I would put a lot of pressure on myself,” Lorde told Rookiemag.com. “I’d write a line and then aggressively backspace … I would just censor myself so heavily. I felt like there wasn’t room for me to write a bad song or write something that didn’t necessarily fit with my vibe or whatever.”

Many writers will admit that they’re often not the best judge of their own material, regardless of their level of experience or success. It is easy to get so close to a song that you can’t tell if it is truly finished or still has some weaknesses.

That’s why a songwriting buddy can provide unbiased feedback at the crucial re-writing stage – before you start spending time and money on making a demo. He or she can give you valuable criticism (or praise) from an outside perspective.

“At the same time though, try not to get too hung up on what other people think,” said Lorde. “At the end of the day, if you think something’s cool and everyone else thinks it sucks then you’ve still made something which you’re proud of.”

# # # #

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) and Barnes & Noble’s Nook store.

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


When your mother is a famous poet in your home country of New Zealand, it’s not surprising that 17-year-old Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor) started out writing stories at a very early age. And she firmly believes it’s her background in writing short fiction that has made her the successful singer-songwriter that she is today.

“I’ve never written poetry, but I’ve written short fiction for a long time, and that’s the thing that I read pretty much exclusively,” Grammy award winner Lorde recently explained to Vogue magazine.

“Short fiction appeals to me because of the necessity of conciseness—having to make something big and get it into a small space,” she said. “That’s what writing songs is about, but times 20. I like people who can build something great and huge with a very limited amount of time or space. It’s difficult to do.”

As Neil Diamond once observed: “Songs are life in 80 words or less.”

Lorde—whose debut album Pure Heroine gained her four Grammy nominations—started writing her own songs as a 13-year-old when she was first signed to Universal Music. She realized at an early age that there are things you can do in a song that you can’t do in a short story.

“With songs, you listen to the lyrics and you know that not all the words and not all the details and not all the exposition have been included—you kind of expect to take leaps of faith, ” she told Rookie magazine. “One sentence can illustrate an entire experience or concept in a song, which I think is really cool.

“Whereas three or four years ago I would write a passage and then I would kind of have to fight to wrench it into the form of a song. Now when I have an idea [for a short story] and I write it,” she said, “it comes out naturally in the form of a song.”

In most hit songs, each verse tends to move the song’s storyline forward like a new chapter in a book, introducing fresh information and images that captivate the listener. The lyrics in each verse should be mostly descriptive (describing people, places and events).

The chorus, meanwhile, is meant to really drive home the whole point of the song—for example, by frequently repeating the title line like a catchphrase. The chorus lyrics should be mainly emotional (delivering a strong emotional reaction to what has just been described in the verse).

As Sting once remarked: “You’ve got to tell the story in two verses, a chorus and a coda and that takes some skill.”

Lorde’s chart-topping debut single ‘Royals’ won her two Grammy Awards for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Solo Performance’:


# # # #

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).