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The Art of Songwriting

Image by Brandon Hoogen

We all know that music is a type of art, but behind the canvas lies a deeper artform that rarely gets appreciated, which is songwriting. As music listeners, we are enthralled and distracted by the sounds that colour a song, but we sometimes pay less attention to the lyrics. The reason is that we tend to dance to the beat, especially with today’s music being thunderous, electronic-centric songs. Even so, what truly makes music good is not only the instruments chosen or the arrangement of chords, but it is the story that inspires a song. Most of the songs you hear are stories that have happened before, and songwriters chose to tell their story through music.

In this age of songwriting, songwriters feel the need to write love songs because that is what is popular in the market. Back in the day, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell would write songs not just only from their own narrative but also from other people’s narrative. They made a massive impact because people can relate easily to the story as well as get drawn to the instrumentals.

So how do you write a song then? Is there a rule to it? No, there isn’t. You have the freedom when it comes to art, and it’s all in your hands how you choose to tell your story. Some people think you need to fall in love to write a good love song, but personally, I don’t think that’s necessary. You have the power over your imaginations, and you know how your emotions work, so use those powers to express yourself in your art. You could be writing about having a bad day or better yet, you can create characters for your songs. Similar to what David Bowie did with Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane.

There is, of course, the pressure of creating a good song, but the most important thing here is storytelling. It’s not about making a hit song, but about being able to share your story with the world and impact one’s life. Certainly, everyone has a specific song they listen to when they’re sad or happy. As it is our nature to find content that we relate to because there is this connection you feel towards it, and that is what’s magical about songwriting. What matters is that it comes from the heart only then writing a song will come out effortlessly and beautifully since it’s meaningful to you. For all you know, you could be saving someone with your music.

Photo by Mohammad Metri

The most exciting part of songwriting is the meaning of the story differs from each individual to another and how timeless the music is. The songwriter might have had a separate meaning when writing their song. Still, also someone else’s perception of it might not be similar. So that is the art of songwriting, how every individual appreciates your story distinctively and how it has different meanings to different people. Hopefully, after reading this article, you are inspired to make music and share your art to the world.

By Nur Edleena Sephia


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