09
Oct
08

Candy Pop and the X factor

It always interesting how one simple song can grab the pop scene by the horns and run wild. Take Rihanna’s song “Umbrella” -it was originally written for Britney Spears (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_(song), but was rejected by her record company, and instead helped Rihanna become a house hold name.

The thing is, can you imagine Britney Spears singing it now? And the question is, if she’d performed it, would it have been a hit. I can’t imagine her singing it, but maybe that’s easy to say in hindsight.

Here’s a question for songwriters. Do you write in hope of a smash hit, or do you write as a form of self expression -like artistic painting or poetry? If you’re the later you’re probably a performing songwriter anyway, but of course, there’s always a bit of both in the mix. You may perform the song as an independent artist, but someone else may cover it because they think it has potential. Take Sinead O’conner’s “Nothing Compares to You” by Prince for example.

But chasing that hit song can be ellusive. You can learn a lot about the craft of songwriting, but I don’t think there are necessarily any formulas. With the advent of rap and hip hop, it doesn’t even have to have a melody. And lyrics don’t necessarily need to be poetic or make any sense. I just has to jingle well on the radio.

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