Hey Chasers!! One of my favorite things to discuss in interviews and elsewhere is my creative songwriting process. I feel so fortunate to be able to write songs as a means of expression and I always love learning about other artists’ processes as well because everyone does it differently. I write the same way I have since I was 13. There has only been one song written differently; that song was “Paris.” First, I will explain my usual process and then follow up next week with how “Paris” came to be in a little bit of a different way.
Let me break it down for you guys and describe exactly what happens when I compose a new song. A lot of artists have an idea in mind when they sit down (or stand up) to write a song. This could be a title, a lyric, a word, a verse, a chorus, a melody, a guitar riff or any other combination of things.
For me, I never sit down and consciously say, “Okay, it is time to write a song now!” I just pick up my Takamine acoustic guitar that I’ve written every song on for the last 10 years and start playing around. I’ll start strumming a chord progression, make a melody, and sing nonsense over it. Eventually, the chord progression will shift into a 3-part thing (verse, chorus, bridge) and the nonsense will start to make sense as lyrics. Once I have played it several times and memorized it, only then, will I write it down in my journal.
This process is typically very short for me and very raw. I fully believe that songs move through me and all I have to do is be tuned to the right channel to let them form. Songs tell you when they are ready to come out. For me, when they do it is an extremely focused, one-time session. I never write a singular verse nor do I create a melody without lyrics or vice versa. It all comes to live at once or it doesn’t come together at all. The mindset I’m in when I’m composing is fleeting and I won’t be able to tap into that exact state again; forcing me to write the whole thing in one sitting. A lot of other songwriters feel differently and they like stepping away and then constantly revising a song. Ultimately, it is all subjective and there is no right or wrong way to create great art.