As a songwriter, you will face the decision to make music that sells or write songs that seem to matter to you personally. Sometimes, it seems like you have to do one or the other. Why can’t we make music that does both? Music that sells the best is usually music that connects with the listener on a profound level. Songwriting that type of music is authentic and comes from a place that is very personal to the writer. Create the amazing music that you want to hear as an artist.
Don’t follow trends because you will already be late to the game. Write songs that you would want to hear being made. If that aligns with a trend then so be it. If you are changing your song to fit a mold somebody else created then you will never be fulfilled as an artist. You will find true happiness when you feel purpose in life.
Trying to achieve fame and fortune is rarely ever accomplished by following others. Those people who succeeded, forged ahead by doing what they loved and it shows in the music. Honesty comes through in music and you will need to find what your message is in order to be transparent in your songs. You might need to be vulnerable with your songwriting. Allowing yourself to let your guard down might be the key to you writing your best song ever.
I just watched the Motown documentary, Hitsville: The Making of Motown, where Marvin Gaye wrote the song “What’s Going On?” Berry Gordy, the head of Motown, wanted his singers to stay away from politics and said that song wouldn’t be a hit. Marvin stuck to his guns and wanted to write a song that was coming from himself in way he never did before. It was his truth about what the world was like for him at that time. Berry couldn’t disagree and let Marvin record the song. It became the biggest selling Motown single. People connected with that song in a way that couldn’t be explained. Marvin wrote it and sang it because it was something special for himself.
Your true fans are out there and will connect to music that is authentic. Make sure the music you create is something you are proud of. If you love your music, then you will try harder to make it a success. You will also market it better because you will believe in it. Live performance will be better because you like playing your songs live. It will be exciting when fans tell you how much your music means to them because it means a lot to you.
Do you have a tip for songwriting songs that you love? Let me know in the comments below.