Kenny’s Tip of the Day - Writing Songs Professionally
There is a difference between writing a great song and writing a great song as a professional in hopes of getting that song cut by an established artist. Afterall. If that’s what you’re trying to do. Or be. You want to get “cuts” by established Artists. Which is to say that they agree to record your song on their major releases.
I say this or I chose to write this blog post because I think there is an important distinction between writing a great song, and writing a great song that has a chance of being “cut”. You need to write within a much smaller subset. Or with some really important limitations.
For instance, it’s important that you know what artists or what type of artists are looking for outside songs. Just because you think you’ve written a hit for the next Foo Fighters record, doesn’t mean you have even the most remote chance of getting that song “cut” by them. As far as I know, they don’t take outside writer’s songs. So writing songs for them or even in that style will probably be a waste of your time.
What I would suggest doing would be to make a list of the top 100 songs at any given time and go thru them one by one and note who wrote those songs. If the artist wrote all or most of those songs or was even credited to have partially wrote all of their songs, then they’re probably not looking for your songs. Move on from that artist.
Keep going down the list and when you’ve found all of the artists that don’t write their own songs, try to put them in categories based on their style. Do any of these styles fit your writing style? If not, you’re going to have a hard time writing songs for these artists. If you do fit with some of these styles, then you can now focus on writing those types of songs.
I should mention that as a new writer, it’s going to be hard to get “cuts” on some of the top artists in any genre at first. But if you look further down the charts list, you might find some newer artists that it is easier to pitch songs to. They have less people chasing them down to record their songs. They might even welcome your requests.
Also, and I can’t stress this enough. If you do make any contact with these artists, offer them the opportunity to co-write with you for some other songs. It’s much easier to get a “cut” on a record that the artist co-wrote with you as opposed to a song they have no relationship with. I’ve had many songs placed on records where it started with the artist liking one song and it ended with me co-writing 4 or 5 more with them.
Finally, if you do find yourself in a situation where you can’t write or have no interest in writing songs for these types of artists, it’s not a lost cause. Plenty of room for more “original” types of music. But in those situations I would recommend that you create the artist yourself. Either be the artist or sign the artist to a production deal and try to get that artist a record deal. Then your songs will get “cut” as you will now have an artist working with you.
To learn more, check out my videos at www.groove3.com
I hope this message finds you well. Kenny Gioia