The Weeknd’s 80s-inspired hit song ‘Blinding Lights’ has become the most-streamed song on music-streaming platform Spotify.
‘Blinding Lights’ has attracted over 3.336 billion streams on Spotify since its release in November 2019, beating the record previously set by Ed Sheeran’s 2017 hit ‘Shape Of You’ which now has 3.334 billion streams.
The Weeknd—whose real name is Abel Tesfaye—co-wrote and co-produced ‘Blinding Lights’ with Swedish ‘hit machine’ Max Martin, along with co-writers Ahmad Balshe, Jason Quenneville and Oscar Holter.
The total number of streams of ‘Blinding Lights’ has been boosted by the song’s three official remixes: one by electronic band Chromatics, one by electronic dance music group Major Lazer, and one featuring singer-songwriter Rosalía.
In an Esquire interview, The Weeknd explained: “‘Blinding Lights’ is about how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights. But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”
The song is written in the key of F Dorian with a tempo of 171 BPM. The F Dorian scale has a key signature of three flats (B♭, E♭, and A♭). It is similar to the Fm scale except its 6th note is a half-step higher (D). Chord progressions in the Dorian mode also have a characteristic dreamy sound due to the quality of the chord built on the 4th scale degree.
‘Blinding Lights’ has a distinct 80s synth-pop vibe and leans on Max Martin’s highly successful “melodic math” approach to song construction.
In a Billboard interview, The Weeknd expressed his appreciation for music of the 1980s: “I’ve always had an admiration for the era before I was born,” he revealed. “The 80s play such a huge role in my sound. Sometimes it helps me create a new sound and sometimes it’s just obvious. I’m just glad the world’s into it now.”
“How [Not] to Write Songs in the Streaming Age – 40 Mistakes to Avoid If You Want to Get More Streams” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, a UK paperback, a Canada paperback, an Australia paperback, and across Europe.
It is also available as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle store in the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, and across Europe—as well as Apple Books, Barnes & Noble and Rakuten’s KoboBooks.
Read a FREE SAMPLE of the book HERE (USA)…HERE (UK)… HERE (CANADA)… and HERE (AUSTRALIA).
“SURPRISING RHYMING” – The Alternative Rhyming Dictionary for Songwriters and Poets – is available from Amazon as a US paperback, a UK paperback, and across Europe. It is also available as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle store in the United States, the UK and Europe, as well as Apple’s iTunes Book Store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Store and Rakuten’s KoboBooks.
Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA) … HERE (UK) … HERE (CANADA).
How music streaming is having a profound impact on songwriting and song structure…
Songwriters who want to get more plays on Spotify and other streaming platforms need to rethink their approach to songwriting and song structure to meet the needs of streaming audiences. Streaming listeners who are spoiled for choice are increasingly likely to ‘click and skip’ to the next track if a song doesn’t grab them in the first 20 seconds.
These are two of the key messages from a new book titled: “How [Not] to Write Songs in the Streaming Age – 40 Mistakes to Avoid If You Want to Get More Streams”. The book aims to help new songwriters create more streaming-friendly songs.
“Successful streaming now requires a different type of song,” says the book’s author Brian Oliver, an experienced music publisher. “Streaming has not only revolutionized the way people consume music, it is also transforming the way songs are being written and recorded. Streaming is changing the whole methodology of songwriting.”
“How [Not] to Write Songs in the Streaming Age” shows how the global dominance of music streaming is having a far-reaching impact on songwriting and the structure of songs. It reveals how songs that connect in the streaming world are no longer the same as songs that work on traditional media, such as radio.
“Songwriters are facing a period of great change,” Oliver warns. “To succeed in the highly competitive streaming marketplace, creators need to adapt to the new songwriting conventions that are emerging in this algorithm-driven musical environment.”
Oliver says song structures that have been at the heart of hit songs for over 60 years are now being replaced by a song form that has one overriding objective: Keep streaming audiences listening for at least the first 30 seconds—otherwise a play won’t count as a stream…. the song may be downgraded on the streaming service’s database….and nobody gets paid.
With more songs now being designed to please the streaming companies’ algorithms, “How [Not] to Write Songs in the Streaming Age” aims to help provide a better understanding of the changing building blocks of song structure in the streaming age. It’s an era in which the verse has gained a new importance because ‘click and skip’ streaming listeners don’t always stick around for the chorus.
The book examines the essential elements that are consistently found in the construction, melodies and lyrics of the biggest streaming hits. Crucially, it highlights the most common errors made when these key components are built into a song. In doing so, it aims to help new and aspiring songwriters avoid such mistakes in their own songs.
The book provides 40 insightful tips and essential advice. It also includes a comprehensive Checklist designed to help new songwriters overcome the most frequent mistakes that are made when trying to write streaming-friendly songs.
“How [Not] to Write Songs in the Streaming Age – 40 Mistakes to Avoid If You Want to Get More Streams” is now available from Amazon as a paperback and eBook in all territories, and also from leading eBook retailers such as Apple Books, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
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