Songwriting: know the business

Songwriting: know the business

The recent broadcast of the BBC’s “Secrets of the Pop Song” featuring Guy Chambers has brought attention back to Ray Heffernan. At the time, he was a very young musician that met Robbie Williams in Dublin and went on to work on the song that became “Angels”. He eventually sold his share of the song for €7,500, with Williams’ team arguing that the song had changed totally between the original composition and the final version. The song went on to generate some €7 million. Although these cases are rare (and it could be argued he was lucky enough to get upfront cash rather than being ripped off), it only serves as a reminder that you have to learn the basics of songwriting as a business if you hope to receive any reward for your work. I don’t say that to freak people out or make you paranoid, but a little music business knowledge goes a long, long way.

As a second thought, I’d add that your songs can always be improved. It would be better to be in Chambers’ position than Heffernan’s. Being able to recognise the good elements of a song and re-work them to perfection is a skill to aim for.

Check the interview and then drop over to Ray Heffernan’s YouTube channel.

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