I’ve come to believe that successful people do “the right things” more than unsuccessful people. Part of the trick is finding out what the right things are. Early in my career, I wasted a LOT of time doing the wrong things. I bought equipment that I would never use. I spent days and weeks learning how to use it. I continued to write with people even though we didn’t write well together. I wrote ideas that were not likely to be cut. I was working hard, but I wasn’t working smart.
I finally realized that I was going to lose my writing deal if I didn’t step up my game. I looked at successful writers I knew. I saw what they were doing differently. I started figuring out what the right thing were. And I started doing them religiously. Here are the “right things” that I began doing and that I still do.
Go into EVERY co-write rested and prepared. I never go into a co-write without hundreds of ideas and some knowledge of who is recording that we might have a chance to get a cut with.
Remove distractions while you write. I turn off my phone and try to focus completely on the song. I get in my “zone”. Sometimes so much so that I forget what a co-writer looks like after the write. I’m not focused on what they look like. I’m only focused on writing a hit with them.
Do what you do best. If you are better at lyrics, find co-writers that are great with melodies. If you are best at melodies, then work with great lyricists. Don’t try to do everything. Try to be the best at what you do. Learn to rely on others to fill in where you are weaker.
Write with people that elevate your game. It doesn’t take many co-writes to figure out if you are bringing each other up or down. If you discover that a co-write isn’t working, then don’t keep writing together. I’ve been on both sides of that discussion. At the end of the day, if you are both trying to get cuts and you aren’t writing hits together, it’s best to agree to be friends, but to end the co-writing relationship.
Become a student of artists that you are pitching to. The more you know about them, the better off you are. Learn about their personal lives, what topics they like to sing about, grooves they tend to like, their range, etc. That information gives you a much better shot at writing something an artist would like.
Learn how the music business works. It’s hard to succeed if you don’t know how the business works and who the players are in the genre in which you write. The more you know, the better your chances.
Do the right things long enough and you WILL succeed. I believe it!
Author Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 14 years of experience in music production, mix and mastering, recording engineering, live sound designing/engineering, lyrics writing and music arrangement. He has produced more than 800 and written more than 2000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.