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  • Artists being the sole songwriters of their songs?

    I've noticed an increase of artists being actively involved in the songwriting process of their own songs, which is a change compared to the 90s when it was more common to get your songs written by professional songwriters (Diane Warren, Max Martin,...). However, I've also noticed that most songs by popular artists are written by, on average, 2-4 artists and there are just rare examples of artists being their sole songwriters. One of those examples is Taylor Swift, whose 'Speak Now' was entirely and exclusively written by her. I can see why it can be helpful to have a second person looking at your lyrics and maybe find a line sounding better than another, but why is that like the usual case?
    Is it offensive to fall in love with you and everything you do
    and everything you stand for?
    Could I break through your invisible wall, could I hide my pride for once,
    just to tell you that I see more?

  • #2
    Well, Britney was the only / sole songwriter of "Someday (I Will Understand)" and Madonna also has a few solo songwriting credits on her debut album (including the popular hit song "Lucky Star") .... It's extremely rare to find a SOLO songwriting credit by a major commercial popstar tho, this is not that common in the popstar world.

    Like you said, in 95% of ocassions popstars share credits with other songwriters.
    Britney Spears . Michael Jackson . Madonna . Metallica . Radiohead . Led Zeppelin . Oasis . Beyoncé . Soda Stereo

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    • #3
      Adele had several solo writing credits on her debut album, including magnificent Hometown Glory.
      When we lose what we love
      Don't think anything will ever taste the same
      When we lose what we love
      Don't think anything will ever feel as good again

      Comment


      • #4
        Lady Gaga wrote Yoü And I on her own.
        Taylor Swift - Colbie Caillat - Carrie Underwood - Miranda Lambert

        Comment


        • #5
          Chloe x Halle have produced/written most of their songs alone.
          Tinashe has also self-written and produced several of her songs alone I believe.
          Melanie Martinez writes most of her songs (last album made only with one other collaborator).
          Billie Eillish and Finneas self-wrote/produced Billie's debut alone, the biggest album of 2019.
          Frank Ocean produces has solely written and produced plenty of his songs.
          Many rap artists write alone, of course. Particularly J Cole, who also self-produces most of his stuff.
          I am the maniac, I am the ghoul
          I'm in the shadows in the corners of my room

          Comment


          • #6
            Britney wrote this underrated gem.

            Britney Spears • Janet Jackson • Christina Aguilera • Michael Jackson • Selena Gomez • Hilary Duff • Taylor Swift • Justin Timberlake

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            • #7
              First artist that comes to mind is Kate Bush. I don't think she's ever had a co-writer to my knowledge.

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              • #8
                Tori Amos has written her entire discography by herself, except for the album where she did covers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by theMathematician View Post
                  I've noticed an increase of artists being actively involved in the songwriting process of their own songs, which is a change compared to the 90s when it was more common to get your songs written by professional songwriters (Diane Warren, Max Martin,...). However, I've also noticed that most songs by popular artists are written by, on average, 2-4 artists and there are just rare examples of artists being their sole songwriters. One of those examples is Taylor Swift, whose 'Speak Now' was entirely and exclusively written by her. I can see why it can be helpful to have a second person looking at your lyrics and maybe find a line sounding better than another, but why is that like the usual case?
                  Most of those pop girls aren't writing. They are changing a word here and there from material that has already been written and shopped around between artists.
                  If you go to NASCAP and check the actual breakdowns most of them ( including the likes of Ariana) have an average of 2.5 to 5 percent contribution to their songs. It seems to be more of a contractual thing to ensure the artists gets some royalties than any actual change in the process. The heavy lifting is still being done by songwriting teams.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    @InFamous: WOW, didn't know that! Ariana Grande was one of the artists I was surprised about seeing her name in most of her songs' credits. Pity to know that she only had minor contribution to them. Imo, a songs' writing credits should be written in the same way food's ingredients are: highest share is mentioned first, then 2nd highest share, etc.

                    It's cool to know that Tori Amos and Kate Bush are the sole writers for most of their songs. The main intention of the thread, however, was to focus on mainstream acts, while Amos and Bush have got more of an alternative image.
                    Is it offensive to fall in love with you and everything you do
                    and everything you stand for?
                    Could I break through your invisible wall, could I hide my pride for once,
                    just to tell you that I see more?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by theMathematician View Post
                      @InFamous: WOW, didn't know that! Ariana Grande was one of the artists I was surprised about seeing her name in most of her songs' credits. Pity to know that she only had minor contribution to them. Imo, a songs' writing credits should be written in the same way food's ingredients are: highest share is mentioned first, then 2nd highest share, etc.

                      It's cool to know that Tori Amos and Kate Bush are the sole writers for most of their songs. The main intention of the thread, however, was to focus on mainstream acts, while Amos and Bush have got more of an alternative image.
                      Good luck finding mainstream artists who solely write their songs. It is very very rare. Alicia Keys has some from early in her career. Also Tori has had a lot of mainstream success, Kate too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        GRIMES:
                        GEIDI PRIMES (full album)
                        HALFAXA (full album)
                        VISIONS (full album)
                        ART ANGELS (except Scream co-written with guest vocalist Aristphanes and Venus Fly co-written by guest vocalist Janelle Monae)

                        On MISS ANTHROPOCENE she is sole writer of 7 out of 10 tracks and sole producer on 8 out of 10 tracks.


                        Beck:
                        Sole writer and producer on his first album Golden Feelings, (Grammy AOTY winner) Morning Phase. Practically the sole writer on all his album except his last two, but not the sole producer on those.


                        St. Vincent:
                        Sole writer on albums Marry Me, Actor, St. Vincent
                        Sole writer on 10/11 tracks from St. Vincent and 7/13 tracks on Masseduction


                        Tame Impala:
                        Kevin Parker sole writer and producer on albums Innerspeaker, Currents, The Slow Rush and 10/12 tracks on Lonerism


                        Mitski:
                        Sole writer on all 3 studio albums Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Puberty 2 and Be the Cowboy.


                        Norah Jones:
                        sole writer on 3/15 tracks on album Come Away With Me (the title song being one of them)
                        sole writer on 1/13 tracks on album Feels Like Home
                        sole writer on 4/13 tracks on album Not Too Late
                        sole writer on 8/13 tracks on album The Fall
                        sole writer on 2/12 tracks on album Day Breaks
                        sole writer on 1/7 tracks on album Begin Again
                        sole writer on 7/11 tracks on album Pick Me Up Off the Floor


                        Angel Olsen:
                        sole writer on 15/16 tracks on Burn Your Fire For No Witnesses
                        sole writer on album My Woman
                        sole writer of lyrics on all tracks on All Mirrors, sole writer of the whole song on 3/11 tracks


                        Christine and the Queens:
                        sole writer (producer) on 10/12 tracks on Chaleur humaine
                        sole writer on 9/11 tracks on Chris
                        sole writer on La vita nuova

                        Björk:
                        sole writer on 6/12 tracks on Debut
                        sole writer on 4/12 tracks on Post
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 4/10 tracks on Homogenic
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 6/12 tracks on Vespertine
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 10/15 tracks on Medúlla, sole producer on 12/15 songs
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 3/10 tracks on Volta
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 2/10 tracks on Biophilia
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 4/9 tracks on Vulnicura
                        ​​​​​​​sole writer on 8/14 tracks on Utopia





                        That's enough for now. ​​​​​​​
                        I have received many gifts from God,
                        but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess
                        .

                        Don McLean on Madonna's version of American Pie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by InFamous View Post

                          Good luck finding mainstream artists who solely write their songs. It is very very rare.
                          That was the point of the thread.
                          Is it offensive to fall in love with you and everything you do
                          and everything you stand for?
                          Could I break through your invisible wall, could I hide my pride for once,
                          just to tell you that I see more?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by theMathematician View Post

                            That was the point of the thread.
                            Well I mean Tori Amos and Kate Bush have sold far more albums than Selena Gomez. You can be alternative AND mainstream.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Songs Taylor Swift wrote throughout her career:

                              Teardrops on My Guitar
                              Picture to Burn
                              Cold as You
                              The Outside
                              Tied Together with a Smile
                              Stay Beautiful
                              Should’ve Said No
                              Our Song
                              I Heart?

                              Christmas Must Be Something More

                              Fifteen
                              Love Story
                              Hey Stephen
                              You're Not Sorry
                              Forever & Always
                              The Best Day
                              Change
                              Beautiful Eyes
                              Jump then Fall
                              The Other Side of the Door

                              The entire "Speak Now" album except for "If This Was a Movie".

                              Eyes Open

                              State of Grace
                              Red
                              I Almost Do
                              Stay Stay Stay
                              Holy Ground
                              Sad Beautiful Tragic
                              The Lucky One Starlight
                              Begin Again
                              The Moment I Knew
                              Girl at Home

                              This Love

                              Lover
                              Cornelia Street

                              Christmas Tree Farm

                              Britney Spears • Janet Jackson • Christina Aguilera • Michael Jackson • Selena Gomez • Hilary Duff • Taylor Swift • Justin Timberlake

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Kylie Minogie is a sole writer of Too Far and Say Hey, but since those were from Impossible Princess, which was labeled as a hude flop at the time, I think she lost confidence and stopped doing that.
                                When we lose what we love
                                Don't think anything will ever taste the same
                                When we lose what we love
                                Don't think anything will ever feel as good again

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  ^ Too bad as both songs are great!
                                  I have received many gifts from God,
                                  but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess
                                  .

                                  Don McLean on Madonna's version of American Pie

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Mariah Carey - Vulnerability (Interlude) (LOL)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by NoAngel View Post
                                      Kylie Minogie is a sole writer of Too Far and Say Hey, but since those were from Impossible Princess, which was labeled as a hude flop at the time, I think she lost confidence and stopped doing that.
                                      One of her best albums.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Debbie Gibson wrote all the songs on her debut album Out Of The Blue on her own. It was released when she was just 17. She even set a record for being the youngest artist to write/perform/produce a #1 hit with Foolish Beat.

                                        Debbie Gibson's second album Electric Youth was also solely written by her. Including the #1 hit Lost In Your Eyes.

                                        On her third album Anything Is Possible, Debbie Gibson wrote 12 songs. (She co-wrote the other 4 songs.)

                                        On her fourth album Body Mind Soul she wrote 5 songs. (And co-wrote the others.)

                                        On her fifth album Think With Your Heart she wrote all songs by herself except for the cover Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

                                        On her sixth album Deborah she wrote all songs except two.

                                        On her seventh album M.Y.O.B. she only wrote two songs all by herself. (Which happens to be my least favorite Debbie album.)

                                        She also plays instruments on all of her albums.




                                        My Instagram... - Click here

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Impressive! I wish more young (female) artists would do it like Debbie! Not to forget that she's been a very pretty girl in the late 80s ;) .
                                          Is it offensive to fall in love with you and everything you do
                                          and everything you stand for?
                                          Could I break through your invisible wall, could I hide my pride for once,
                                          just to tell you that I see more?

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by NoAngel View Post
                                            Kylie Minogie is a sole writer of Too Far and Say Hey, but since those were from Impossible Princess, which was labeled as a hude flop at the time, I think she lost confidence and stopped doing that.
                                            such a shame as Too Far is her best song IMO. I love IP, what a great album.

                                            David Bowie, Khia, Patrick Wolf
                                            Haven't been early since '88

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