Over the years I’ve heard from publishing and music industry execs about the virtues of co-writing. This is what I‘ve heard:
“Co-write with people to capitalize on each one’s strengths.
Co-write to get better.
Co-write because it increases the marketing advantages.
Co-write because the cost for demo-ing is halved.”
And it’s not that I think they’re wrong. It worked for Lennon and McCartney. Who can argue that?
Countless hit songs are the result of collaboration. In fact, these days there are way more resulting from collabs. than from solo writes.
Nashville, in particular, has a love affair with the co-write. Pop/EDM and hip-hop have camps of songwriters taking credits on songs.
But I’ve never thought that co-writing just for the sake of co-writing is all that fun or even productive. I think it’s encouraged more for the betterment of publishers than for songwriters, but that’s just IMO.
And while I do co-write sometimes, I only do it in moderate dosages. I tend to have a love/hate relationship with it.
Agree with me or not, I just don’t buy into the notion that writing a song has to be a team sport.
Sometimes, all I want to do is go into my own studio and write quietly. I don’t want any embellishments on a subject or to have a conversation with someone else and then travel down a winding road that might be different from the one I started on. I don’t welcome someone else’s subjectivity to the words and music.
I want the whole responsibility, for better or for worse.
Although people preach and praise about the co-write, there are benefits to solo-writing. Here are five, in particular:
- YOU CULTIVATE YOUR OWN VOICE.
This, to me, is the biggest benefit of solo writing. You say what you want to say, how you want to say it. No one is questioning your thoughts and feelings, or putting a lien on them with their own.
- YOU DON’T HAVE TO COMPROMISE YOUR VISION.
Sometimes only you can say, in the way that you say it, what’s in YOU. You can take the praise or blame. But no one alters or colors it.
Check back next week for numbers 3 through 5!