The Beat

Songwriters vs. Co-writers

Songwriters are the backbone of the music industry and original lyrics will never compare to “bought lyrics.” In 2019 it feels as though there are no original melodies or words coming from our car radios and we often find ourselves wondering why our favorite artists aren’t given the same attention as artists who don’t write the words they perform.

Post Malone’s music receives a bad reputation for his biggest hit “Rockstar feat. 21 Savage.” People either tend to love it or hate it, but regardless, Post Malone writes his own lyrics. He is a well-known newer artist in rap but he actually has hometown roots in Syracuse, NY. Since he was 16 years old, Post Malone has been writing his own music originally inspired by folk, rap, heavy metal, and several other musical genres.

Malone tells local Syracuse News, “And from then on I just started making what I like. Playing the guitar. And writing my own songs. And just making music.”

This popular artist can be held to his word in his music, which seems to be a rarity in today’s music industry.

Death Cab for Cutie has recently received more notice for their latest album “Thank You For Today” written by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist Ben Gibbard, who has been writing the band’s music since the beginning of their musical career. Originating from Seattle, Death Cab For Cutie has emitted their calm and lyrical presence since their first album in 1998 “Something About Airplanes.” Gibbard’s songwriting showcases every phase and scenario he’s gone through as he’s evolved over time.

Gibbard’s music has transformed from that of a lovestruck and angsty young adult to the bigger issues that are typically faced by adults, such as divorce and loss. Without songwriters such as these receiving recognition for their originality, we’re subjected to purchased lyrics and false emotion.

Though her vocal range and strength are phenomenal, her lyrics are processed and placed into a formula. Ariana Grande has released two albums less than seven months apart, and while “Sweetener” was a success and ultimately her best product yet, Grande’s latest album “thank u next” shows that she has found the golden formula. A “yuh” there and a whistle tone here, Grande’s latest album does not show as much effort in comparison to her previous works. Though Grande states that she writes what she sings, it took nine co-writers to produce her song “7 Rings” which also has a catchy tune that plays on any Bay Area radio station twice within half an hour, each hour.

Camila Cabello also has amazing breath support and a wide vocal range that deserves applause but she also uses several co-writers. Since leaving her career with Fifth Harmony, Cabello’s solo music had a good start with hit’s like “Havana” and “Consequences” but both songs had four co-writers’ names attached.

All artists have room to grow and some artists don’t feel they can produce lyrics as well as they can produce high notes. Regardless of this, singer/songwriters are true artists who can ensure their fans that what they hear melodically is something they’ve been through or experienced which deepens the connection to their fans and supporters in comparison to the artists that do not, in fact, write what they sing.