Title: Co-writes and wrongs

  1. Tuesday, September 1, 2015 8:50:56 AM
    Michael Leahy
    As a lyricist, I've only ever co-written songs. I thought at some level that this would become easier over time, as it is so ridiculously easy to "meet" people online and share work. But ironically, I still work best with the people I was working with before. In a way, this is not surprising as we have a background we can build on. But one thing I find worrying is that the tools that make music creation and sharing easier, also seem to make it more shallow. Over the past year or so, I've worked on projects that very quickly felt like speed-dating: it worked or it didn't within a very short period of time. Too short in my opinion. An awful lot of trust also seems to be put in e-mail, rather than sitting down for an hour on Skype or elsewhere to really talk things through. Has people's patience gotten shorter? All the the tracks I've worked on that have had any sort of success have been worked on extensively at every level: the structure (a disappearing art), top-line melody, lyrics etc. So I wonder about the current smash-and-grab approach to songwriting and production. What do you think?
  2. Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:40:11 PM
    Allen Johnston
    Michael, Over the past few years I also have seen a decrease in personal relationships between music creators on many different levels. What I have been told on several occasions is to forget about those OLD ways and use the new tools made available via the web to do the things that once were done in physical collaboration. One company told me that they wanted a label deal for their artists but had to "jump over" all that making a business stuff and go straight to the deal. Many producers,writers ( I don't dare call them songwriters), artists and bands have no idea of the structure of music or the personal commitment to making a song that makes emotions swell within the listener. Micro wave music, computer generated music and BAD music proliferates the world. Luckily there are still many people like you that want and need the personal relationship with the collaborator in order to make the best possible music. Take the time to train young writers and producers in the art of making music. This is (in my opinion) the only way to continue a strong tradition of musical heritage.
  3. Wednesday, September 2, 2015 7:37:29 AM
    Michael Leahy
    I can only agree. The new tools are there to help us, not to dictate the way we work. Incidentally, in case anyone finds the idea of "a song that makes emotions swell within the listener" a little old-fashioned or cute, it is the basis on which hits are made. The bigger the emotion, the more chance you have of writing a song that will be played more often and covered later by other artists and performers. PS: Allen, we met briefly a few years ago at Midem. At the time I had a dream gig of doing business development for African labels. I'll be sure to say "hi" if we cross paths again.