Arts and Culture

If They Didn’t Write It, Who Did?

by Adriana Wells

Music is an industry that requires a lot of talent and hard work, whether a person is a singer, songwriter, or producer. There are plenty of singers who are easily identifiable by their voices in the songs they sing, such as the Grammy-winning “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. But what about the people who write the songs?

Some singers are able to write their own lyrics, but there is often more than one person working on the same song. In Taylor Swift’s aforementioned “Blank Space,” she collaborated with songwriters Shellback and Max Martin.

In addition to working with Taylor Swift, Martin has also written alongside Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Tove Lo, and the Weeknd on songs such as “Shake it Off.”

“It’s kind of interesting. We’ve only had a few sessions, him and me. But I love working with him from those few sessions. I understand why he’s so talented; he doesn’t lean on his name,” said Tove Lo about Martin in an interview with Complex Magazine.

Another notable lyricist is Julian Bunetta, who has written songs alongside One Direction through a majority of their most recent album, FOUR. Bunetta has also worked with Fifth Harmony, Chris Brown, and Jason Derulo.

Bunetta said in a Rolling Stone interview about One Direction, “I’d like to think, at least for me, that these songs are not one dimensional, lyrically and sonically.”

The production of music is just as challenging as songwriting. Producers such as Diplo, Zedd, and many more are the reason behind the way a song sounds. Other artists also act as producers for others. For example, Josh Ramsay assisted Carly Rae Jepsen on her song “Call Me Maybe”, or Imogen Heap, who worked with Taylor Swift on her recording of “Clean.” Not to mention the all the songs Enya and her team helped on.

The music industry is difficult to keep up with, but what about the guy who works in the TV industry as well?

Empire is a popular TV show that follows the lives of a family of musicians, and there are reviews that reflect on the show’s original music. Empire’s main lyricist, Jim Beanz, is responsible for songs such as “Good Enough” and “You’re So Beautiful.” In addition to writing songs for the cast to perform, Beanz himself is an actor on the show.

Beanz said in an interview with YouKnowIGotSoul, “It is unorthodox. What’s great about it is that you get to think outside the box in terms of your own creativity.”

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