What is your songwriting process like?
If I begin the songwriting process from a lyrical point, it usually comes from mulling over an idea, theme, or experience that I have been processing recently. Usually, key words or phrases will come to mind, and I’ll try to expand and deepen the ideas from there such that the lyrics bring the listener on a journey. I also try to ensure that the lyrics adhere to some kind of rhyming and
rhythmic structure or metre. Once I have a rough skeleton of the lyrics, then I put the ‘meat’ on it by composing a suitable melody around the words. If I begin writing from a melodic point, then I’ll start by recording down chord progressions or guitar riff s that I’ve been playing around with. Depending on the mood of the sound, I’ll think of lyrics that match the feel of the music and work from there.
How do you know when a song is ‘complete’?
To me, the most important element of a song is the theme of the song. It’s the overarching idea and concept that allows listeners to understand the message that a musician is trying to convey. During my process of songwriting, these are several questions that I will ask myself:
1. Does every section of the song translate to a clear theme and play a part in
storytelling? Is the theme of the song well supported?
2. Is the song catchy enough to captivate the attention of listeners and compel them to
3. Does the melody match the mood and theme of the song?
4. Do the lyrics convey the main message or theme of the song?
5. Do the lyrics sound poetic? Are there any other ways to tell the story in a fresh way?
Where does your inspiration usually come from?
My inspiration typically stems from the moments when I’m experimenting with melodies. It could be while I’m playing a guitar or when I’m out walking around. I would simply hum different melodies aloud or in my mind, and if I find something that I like, I’ll record it on my phone.
What tips would you give a budding songwriter?
Listen and listen. Listen to as many songs as possible, by diff erent artistes, and in as many genres as you possibly can. Put together a playlist of songs you like, and pay attention to what you like about them — the melody, groove, lyrics, chords, arrangements, instrumentation, or others? The more sounds and ideas you collect, the richer your writing will be. Your songs are tapestries of the various influences you listen to, so the more you listen, the more interesting and varied your creations could be.