We talk a lot about how you must develop your craft as a songwriter – great songs are the core of what you do.

This article in the Guardian talks to a few professional songwriters about their jobs. It’s not got tips as such, but sheds light on how pop songs are written by these experts.

Collaboration is a great way to force your skills forward quickly. You’ll be lucky to find a way to write with one of these professionals if you’re outside of the old school label system (although it is not impossible). But, the idea of writing a song in an afternoon with a collaborator or spending a weekend building a rapport with a co-writer from which songs can come, are both things that you can try.

Maybe that’s just how professional songwriters tend to be: whatever other attributes the job may require, a giant ego and a sense of preciousness aren’t really among them. This may be why songwriting tends to attract so many former performers, who have either tired of the limelight or watched it fade, and are now making some pragmatic decisions about their futures. Among the more improbable credits on recent hits were the three songs on Beyoncé’s last album co-written by Ian Dench, formerly the guitarist of 1990s British indie dance band EMF (big hit: Unbelievable); then there’s She-Wolf by Shakira, partly the work of Sam Endicott, moonlighting from his day job as frontman of New York-based the Bravery.

Read the article here.

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