What kind of song are you looking for? Hopefully, they will answer with something more than just “a hit”, but unfortunately that’s the most common answer I get from the artists. Their response to this question can tell you a lot about the song you should write if they are willing to share. Best case scenario is when they say something like “I need an up-tempo song like blah blah that talks about blah blah”. If they give you a precise answer, then you have a much better chance of writing specifically what they need.
What kind of song have you always wanted to sing? Sometimes this reveals some hidden nugget of info that steers you toward a great song that you never would have written if you hadn’t asked. Some of my coolest artist co-writes have resulted from this question.
Would you say that? Sometimes artists will throw out a line that would make them look really bad if they said it onstage. Asking this question can bring them back to reality. I’m continually checking in to see if the song we are writing fits the artist and what they want to say.
What is the best way to present our song to your team? Some producers LOVE work tapes. Many of them have a hard time hearing a “hit” through a work tape. Asking this question can help you avoid missing out on a cut because you didn’t present your song in the best possible way.
When writing with an artist, ask a lot of questions and do a lot of listening. But, remember that YOU are likely the best writer in the room, so don’t give in and accept bad lines just because they are the artist. Your name goes on the song too and you want to be proud of the end result.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 15 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.