The forgotten hero, the Songwriter
Sometimes people forget that the person singing a popular tune is not always the person that actually wrote the song. What I am talking about is the often overlooked key ingredient to many big hit records, the songwriter.
At last nights 2015 Grammy show, a remarkable thing happened, A man by the name of Max Martin won his first Grammy. He won producer of the year, but when you learn about his man, you understand why this is so amazing.
Max Martin as a songwriter has 19 number 1 songs, more than anybody outside of the Beatles ( They have 20 number 1 songs)
But if you expand to top ten songs, then Martin’s 54 hits crush the third-place Beatles’ 34 as well as besting Elvis’ 36 and artist record-holder Madonna at 38.
Just to add, in 2013, Hollywood Reporter tallied his singles sales at over 135 million — and he’s had eight hits since then, including four number ones.
Lets take a look at some of who he has made Billboard top number 1 songs for:
- 1999 – “…Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears)
- 2000 – “It’s Gonna Be Me” (‘N Sync)
- 2008 – “I Kissed a Girl” (Katy Perry)
- 2008 – “So What” (P!nk)
- 2009 – “My Life Would Suck Without You” (Kelly Clarkson)
- 2009 – “3” (Britney Spears)
- 2010 – “California Gurls” (Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg)
- 2010 – “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry)
- 2010 – “Raise Your Glass” (Pink)
- 2011 – “Hold It Against Me” (Britney Spears)
- 2011 – “E.T.” (Katy Perry featuring Kanye West)
- 2011 – “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” (Katy Perry)
- 2012 – “Part of Me” (Katy Perry)
- 2012 – “One More Night” (Maroon 5)
- 2012 – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (Taylor Swift)
- 2013 – “Roar” (Katy Perry)
- 2014 – “Dark Horse” (Katy Perry feat. Juicy J)
- 2014 – “Shake it Off” (Taylor Swift)
- 2014 – “Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
Incredible isn’t it?
If you are serious about how a successful songwriter makes it all work, check out some of these songs above, or google the Billboard top 100 and study the common threads of the songs. As Max Martin is well aware, there IS a formula that works.
I wanted to write an article about this to highlight the opportunity presented to people that are good songwriters. Being a musician does not always mean being front and center yourself. If you can write catchy songs you will just as valuable.
Easy steps you can take:
1) Find quality beats for sale
2) Record quality song
3) Get in front of publishers, producers, record label executives, or recording artists with your song
4) Submit songs & Demos
Here is a valuable quote from another very successful songwriter named Jason Blume , “So, what can you do? Keep plugging away. Hone your skills until you can consistently write excellent songs—and, occasionally, exceptional ones. Build your catalog until you have incredible, fresh songs that are appropriate for a wide variety of artists. Continue to network, join local songwriting organizations, and attend workshops and seminars where you’ll have an opportunity to interact with industry professionals and other writers who are working their way up the ladder. Understand that it’s normal for a song to face many rejections before finding its home.”
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