If you are just writing for your own satisfaction. You don’t have to worry about many things like whether or not your lyrics or melodies are commercial. You don’t have to worry about what is working on the radio. You don’t have to stick to topics that are commercial, nor you need to stay away from controversial topics. You can paint the singer in whatever light you choose, and you want. To improve, you mainly concentrate on matching melody to lyrics and on making your lyrics make more sense. At the end of the day you are writing for your own joy and you should be happy with the results. Doesn’t matter what others think.
If you hope to get a song on the radio someday. Then you need to pay more attention to what is happening on the radio. In addition to writing what you want to write, you look for titles that lend themselves to broader commercial appeal. You write those ideas in song forms that are commercial and have wide appeal – big choruses, catchy melodies, etc. You mix in writing for yourself and writing for contemporary artists. In a way you are writing for both of them and on the other hand you are writing for none of them. This is a thin line and the tough part of your job is to stay in control and not to lose balance towards any of the two sides of this line.
If you hope to make a living writing music. This is the area you must behave most professional. You need to treat writing like a job, because in fact it is your full-time job. You show up and do it whether you feel like it or not. You learn the market. You study the artists and charts. You become a student of what is working on the radio. You work hard on hooks and you hold your writing to the highest standards. You paint the singer in a good light. You are continually working to make your songs more commercial. And never forget, it is your job. You don’t wait for “one good day” to write when “inspiration” hits you. You will write every day, and you create the inspiration in your life. When you do so, everything will come in an order you can’t even imagine.
What is your goal? So, take a little time this week and ask yourself, “What am I shooting for?” The answer to that question determines that next big step.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 18 years of experience in songwriting, music production, mix and mastering. He has produced more than 3,000 and written more than 4,800 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.