Many artists and writers outside of Nashville tend to do solo writes (pop artists being an occasional exception). Nashville is a bit different in that writers often team up to collaborate. The process can be daunting and confusing. I’ve had friends and writers tell me about sessions that weren’t working. “Is this me? I must be a bad writer…” Most of the time, that’s not the case and simply a matter of personalities and styles not gelling. Here’s just a few ways to tell if it’s not working out.
Two people sit down to write a song together and they can end up making magic, but if they’re not careful, it can destroy friendships. After all, creative endeavors are fraught with egos, emotions, and opinions. So maintaining that partnership takes a lot of work. Here are the best ways to keep a songwriting partnership healthy, fulfilling, and productive.
There’s sometimes a stigma associated to co-writing – as if there’s a purity to the “solitary creator” in music. We’d like to dispel the bad reputation of co-writing and say, categorically, these lone geniuses are a dime a dozen. All you have to do is look to some of your biggest musical idols like Bowie, who knew that good creation comes from good collaboration.
If you’ve had a string of mediocre (or agonizing) co-writes, it can feel like you’ve hit a wall. Maybe you haven’t found that magical friend who gets you just yet. Somewhere, in the millions of songwriters in the world, your co-writing circle exists. Do not give up the search. Get to them quicker by keeping these things in mind.