When Lyrics Are Hard, How Do You Attract an Audience?
Original article from: http://www.secretsofsongwriting.com/2017/06/08/when-lyrics-are-hard-how-do-you-attract-an-audience/
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The most important part of getting a song right is getting the audience to care about what you’ve written. In most songs, the simple act of writing about something everyone has experienced before (love, breakups, family issues, peace, etc.) will do it.
But what about songs for which the lyrics are hard to hear: “Louie Louie“, written by Richard Barry and most famously recorded by the Kingsmen in 1963?
For that kind of song, the ultra-hooky song intro is enough to grab the audience. They could have been singing about a muffin recipe and I think they’d have still built an audience for the song.
These days it’s easier to deal with lyrics you can’t understand: you just Google them. But what about songs where you can hear the lyrics clearly, but it’s harder to know exactly what’s being sung about, something like Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey”:
Cover me when I run
Cover me through the fire
Something knocked me out’ the trees
Now I’m on my knees
Cover me, darling please, hey
Monkey, monkey, monkey
That lyric is hard to discern, but the song became a moderate hit for Gabriel, so the song certainly made a connection to an audience. Anyone who cares to research the song will know that it’s not about monkeys at all, but about “how jealousy can release one’s basic instincts; the monkey is not a literal monkey, but a metaphor for one’s feelings of jealousy.” (Wikipedia)
But people don’t connect to songs because their meaning can be made known to them with some online research. They connect because they hear something that touches them in some way. So why (and how) can audiences connect to songs when the meaning is hidden?
If you’re working out lyrics where you want the actual meaning to be hidden, or at least not in plain view, here are some tips:
- Give the audience something upon which they can build their own meaning. In “Shock the Monkey”, you’ll get certain words and phrases that might appear in any song: “Cover me, darling please…”, “There is one thing you must be sure of…”, “Don’t like it but I guess I’m learning…” Though it’s hard to create a storyline with those isolated phrases, it succeeds by making listeners believe there is something in there somewhere, and they start to create their own story.
- Use simple, conversational words. People connect to simple words and phrases, even if the actual meaning of everything together is hard to figure out. Once you start using words where a dictionary is necessary, then you’ve lost them.
- Let the rhythm of the music partner up with the natural rhythm of the words. Once you’ve written your song, read the lyrics using the rhythms of your lead vocal melody. They need to work at this level.
- Be sure that the actual meaning of your song is worth the time a listener puts into trying to figure it out. In other words, your lyrics may look like gibberish to someone who hasn’t figured it out yet, but be sure that there is actual meaning behind what you’ve written. Not everyone will figure it out — or even agree with anyone else about what the song’s meaning — but there needs to be a prize for the diligent listener at the end of the process.
It’s not easy to write lyrics like “Shock the Monkey”, or any other song that makes us work to understand it. There’s a fine line between great lyrics and pretentious drivel.
But if you take the time to get it right, lyrics with hidden meanings, double meanings, or other kinds of complex devices are rewarding, and those songs tend to stand the test of time.
Written by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.
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Justin Bieber – Cold Water (One Love Manchester)
Origin of article http://youtu.be/PjQsF2vmck0
Original article from: http://www.m-magazine.co.uk/features/interviews/interview-lemar-2/
Multi-platinum selling, double Brit Award winner Lemar is one of reality TV’s lasting success stories.
Having first appeared on BBC talent show Fame Academy back in 2002, he’s gone on to release a string of top 10 singles and albums, and has performed with the likes of Lionel Ritchie and George Benson.
He’s also shared the stage with Beyonce, Mary J Blige and Justin Timberlake, and featured on the Bandaid 20 charity single.
We caught up with him on the red carpet of the recent Ivor Novello Awards to learn about his biggest inspirations and what’s in store for his next album…
The post Interview: Lemar appeared first on M magazine: PRS for Music online magazine.
Mac Miller and Ariana Grande – The Way (One Love Manchester)
Origin of article http://youtu.be/pZnHio-K4gM
Chris Butler appointed new ICMP chairman
Original article from: http://www.m-magazine.co.uk/publishers/chris-butler-appointed-new-icmp-chairman/
The International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) has elected Music Sales’ worldwide publishing head Chris Butler as its new chairman.
Butler, who takes over from Universal Music Publishing’s Andrew Jenkins, is also chairman of MCPS and a board member of PRS and the Music Publishers Association (MPA).
ICMP made the announcement at MIDEM, adding that Nicolas Galibert (CSDEM France) is to become its new executive, with Goetz von Einem (BMG) serving as vice chair and Ralph Peer (NMPA US) and Rolf Budde (DMV Germany) becoming treasurer and secretary respectively.
Butler said: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to chair ICMP at such an exciting time for our industry and look forward to working with Coco, the new executive and the board of ICMP in the year ahead. I’d like to add my personal thanks to Andrew Jenkins for his vision and leadership during his term in office.’
ICMP director general Coco Carmona added: ‘I would firstly like to pay tribute to Andrew Jenkins for all of his tireless work over the past five and half years. He was at the helm of ICMP as we battled for key issues for our industry and he is leaving us in excellent shape with a much-enhanced profile across the world.
‘I am delighted to welcome Chris as our new chair. As a board member, his contribution to ICMP has already had a major impact, and I have no doubt that he will provide outstanding leadership to the global music publishing community.’
Outgoing chair Jenkins, said: ‘I am sure Chris will continue the good work, expand the number of members globally, and represent the interests of all music publishers, both majors and independents, with the same passion I have. On a personal level, I am delighted to pass on the baton to a fellow countryman – Cymru Am Byth!’
The post Chris Butler appointed new ICMP chairman appeared first on M magazine: PRS for Music online magazine.