Written by: Sarah Sparks | Troy University Music Industry Major | Muscle Shoals Song Rooms Intern 2020
October 14, 2020
Co-writing is a term that you hear over and over in the music world. There are so many benefits to co-writing, but a lot of songwriters are hesitant to reach out to other creatives. I’ve come up with a few reasons of how reaching out for a co-write can be a great tool in securing your success in the music business.
Co-Writing Can Make Your Music More Authentic
We always have a message or theme that we try to convey through our songwriting, but sometimes we can get stuck in our own words or struggle to find an appropriate melody. Bringing in a co-writer or two brings multiple perspectives on your theme and can make your message clearer to the listener.
Think of it as cooking a new recipe – you bring your SO or kids into the kitchen to sample it, saying “Something is missing, I just don’t know what it is.” Then you get feedback… Maybe it needs less salt. Maybe it needs more pepper. Maybe it needs an unexpected dash of hot sauce. Maybe you need to throw the whole thing out and start over! Whatever you do, it’s a step in the right direction to creating a masterpiece.
Co-Writing Builds Your Network
There are very few songs out there today that are written by only one person. Many people write with the same co-writers over and over, and many people put out hit songs with people they’ve never written with before. But there is a trend – you build networking connections with everyone you write with.
The music business is a huge network with a small-town mindset – everyone knows somebody who knows somebody. You could potentially co-write with someone who goes on the fast track to a successful career with a publisher, and one day they may remember your name for a project that you’d be perfect for. Or you could build a co-writing relationship with another artist who goes on to write for hit performing acts, and one day they may be overbooked and unable to take on another co-write. What if they told them, “I’m unavailable to work with you at this time, but I know someone who would be a great replacement”?
Name drop. BOOM. And now you’ve extended your network even further. The possibilities are endless.
What If You Don’t Mesh With A Co-Writer?
What happens if you reach out and find a co-writer, schedule a session, pound out hours of writing, but it just isn’t cohesive? That’s ok. Even if your session isn’t magical, you are still building your network. Maybe you will remember each other when the time comes to write on a different theme. Maybe they are able to recommend you to someone else that can be a better match. “I know we didn’t really click on your love song, but -so and so- is working on a project about heartache, and I think you’d be able to bring something to the table. I gave them your email – hope that’s ok.” How cool is that scenario??
Co-writing boils down to the most important aspect of the business – networking. Without a network, you have a smaller chance of getting your music heard and building your career. With one, your connections continue to grow, you get more opportunities to write, and you build your audience. I suggest checking out our Co-Writers Corner that we hold every month, and start building your connections there. Be on the lookout in our Upcoming Events for our next Co-Writer’s Corner session.