Songwriting

Songwriting is a cross between art and science. In this section the focus is on breaking down elements of a song and looking at what makes a composition stand out above others. We also provide songwriting tips and techniques in keeping writers block at bay. See also older posts on our blog.

Songwriting: More Information

Copenhagen Songwriters Festival 2013

Every year since 2009, in the heart of Denmark’s capital city, the Copenhagen Songwriters Festival hosts music artists from around the world. ‘Celebrating Songwriters New and Known’... Read more »

Songwriting: Latest Articles

Collaborative Songwriting – 5 Invaluable Tips

Mark Cawley and Sarah Buxton

Bouncing ideas of a work colleague or friends can often help fine tune a great idea, or simply reveal an idea to be a dud. For songwriters, sharing a musical idea, lyrics or melody is never as easy as asking someone for their opinion about an idea. Creating a song is like exposing your soul and your emotions are amplified with the positive or negative feedback. For the parents out there, it is like people commenting or criticizing your child or parenting skills. These fears can often hold people back from the collaborative process in songwriting. We asked no.1 hit song writer  and songwriting coach Mark Cawley for some tips, and he gave us 5 that he uses in his collaborative songwriting process. Read more »

Song Analysis of Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus

Screenshot 2014-02-28 09.00.23

To say that Miley Cyrus has recently been at the forefront of Pop culture would be an understatement. Her outlandish, controversial behavior including twerking at the VMA’s, stating publically to Rolling Stone that “weed is the best drug on earth,” and swinging nude from a wrecking ball all have taken her exposure (no pun intended) to astronomical heights. Read more »

Song Analysis of Summertime Sadness – The EDM Remix that Hit Repeat

Lana Del Rey Live

As an artist, having 1 version of your song land in the top 10 throughout the world is a cause for celebration. However, doing it twice with 2 versions of the same song is a MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT. This is exactly what Lana Del Rey achieved with both the original and the Cedric Gervais Dance remix versions of Summertime Sadness. Read more »

Writing Songs for Major Artists

Joe Cocker 
Image Courtesy Naaman Saar Stavy

The most common question I get from my songwriting students is “How did you get your songs recorded by major artists?”. The second most common question from my students is “So how can I?”. Networking & working your network. If you are writing songs, you gotta do both…a lot! Read more »

Song Analysis of Katy Perry’s Roar

Katy Perry - Image Courtesy of José Goulão

More so than any single that Katy Perry has ever released, Roar was by far the most important and carried the most weight on its shoulders. Why? Not only did it have to live up to the massive success of Teenage Dream, but it also needed to perfectly bridge the old with the new, satiating the expectations of her core Teenage Dream fanbase while at the same time breaking the mold to allow her to exercise her new creative vision and more mature direction. Read more »

Song Analysis of Avicii’s Wake Me Up

Avicii

Some singles perform well, some perform exceptionally well, and some, in rare cases, become global hit phenomena. Avicii's Wake Me Up is one of those rare songs. Released as the lead single from his debut album, True, Avicii took a huge risk by breaking away from the successful EDM “formula” that he was known for and instead opted to team up with R&B/Soul singer extraordinaire Aloe Blacc to compose a song that pushed Pop Fusion boundaries in a direction not seen before within the mainstream. Read more »

Song Analysis – Selena Gomez’s Come and Get it

Selena Gomez - Come and Get it

Released as the lead single from her first solo album, Stars Dance, Come & Get It finds Selena Gomez teaming up with 3 of today’s hottest hitmakers, including Tor Hermansen & Mikkel Eriksen (both of Stargate), and Ester Dean, with the aim of separating her from her Disney past and to establish her as a major force within the mainstream Pop scene alongside contemporaries including Rihanna, Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Read more »

Writing a No. 1 Hit Song – Mark Cawley on Day and Night

Mark Cawley (Left) and Eliot Kennedy (Right)

In May 2000, the song Day and Night by Billie Piper debuted at number one on the UK single’s chart and remained on the charts for the following 12 weeks. This hit song was an international collaboration and songwriter Mark Cawley (US) recalls his contribution to the creative process. Read more »

Song Analysis of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky

Daft Punk Get Lucky Cover Image

Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' is a global hit anomaly. How many people would have ever thought that a retro Disco/Funk/R&B song that feels like it was plucked right out of the 1970′s could top the charts in 2013 and become one of the feel good hits of the summer? Answer: not many. In this song analysis of Daft Punk's Get Lucky, Dave Penn explores the importance of constructing a radio edit for this international hit. Read more »