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What are lyrics that sell?

 
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Dogmatic1010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: What are lyrics that sell? Reply with quote

What lyrics seem to make the most profit off of? When youre a musician just starting out money is one of the big factors other than fun and it being your passion. But really what lyrics make a listener want to make a radio request and buy the CD even? The lyrics making the song a chart topper?

Is it ballads about breakups and romance like what Adele profited off of within the last year.
Is it politically-prone lyrics like Megadeth has had commercial success with?
or is it current events like war and famine like Nickelback's "We Stand Together"?

This lyricist wants to know what type of lyrics really click inside a listeners head.
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marcus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..... Good question?
For what it's worth, that's the very reason I only write Instrumentals?
.......... anyone else want to shed some light on this?
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neotechtonics
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If its rap then write about drinking lots of overpriced horrible alcoholic beverages in 'da club' with all the b*tches and h*es and all about how big your house is, how expensive your car is and how much money you have... and how your rhymes are so much better than all the other rappers writing songs about exactly the same things.

other genres are a little more tricky =P

write what you've experienced. if it comes from a sincere place it will strike a chord with someone. try not to write/produce music with the express intention of making money or achieving fame.. cos it will become formulaic and hollow imho
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Carlb1058
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neotechtonics wrote:
If its rap then write about drinking lots of overpriced horrible alcoholic beverages in 'da club' with all the b*tches and h*es and all about how big your house is, how expensive your car is and how much money you have... and how your rhymes are so much better than all the other rappers writing songs about exactly the same things.

other genres are a little more tricky =P

write what you've experienced. if it comes from a sincere place it will strike a chord with someone. try not to write/produce music with the express intention of making money or achieving fame.. cos it will become formulaic and hollow imho


Personally this (neotechtonics) response nails the answer perfectly except I didn't think *C*rap had lyrics Wink

If you're trying to make squillions of bux then be prepared for a long hard slog - there is no such thing as an "overnight sensation" discounting of course Zappa's album of the same name.

Most performers/writers have been around that long they've built a following on the stuff they write/perform and most if not all are writing to a formula e.g. Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds' or from personal experiences e.g. Dream Theater's 'Octavarium' - you can't just decide to write ballads coz next week ballads might not be the 'in thing' regardless of how good the lyrics are.

So in short write what you wanna write about and if people don't like it then class them as tasteless dweebs and keep writing. The stuff I write is NOT gunna get radio play and do I care? Not really, I write for me not for the masses but if I touch a small part of the masses then s'all good for me. . .

Good luck with it.
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Last edited by Carlb1058 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bald Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A song sells primarily because of the instrumentals and the show behind it. That's what sticks in peoples heads. Most people can barely remember all of the lyrics of a song. And the lyrics are often completely misinterpreted.

So with that being said there is no one specific topic within a specific genre to write about. But as neotechtonics was pointing out, definitely use some words and phrases that cater to the target genre.

All it has to do is have meaning to you and flow well with the backing tracks and it will work.
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georgeinar
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are submitting your songs to places like Musicxray.com the Mus Industry Professionals (MIPs) say explicitly what they are looking for and often what artist they will be pitching to, so if it's money you're after then you can write songs to fit what they're looking for. I find it hard to write on command like that, but it could produce some serious dough if they pick you up. If you're trying simply to market your own music as an artist, then I agree that you should write what speaks to you, whether slow or fast, ballad or head-banger and build your brand based on your own taste and life's inspirations.
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ClaytonE
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone's answer here is spot on!!! It is true that the creative process is individualized for each person...each song...each emotion you are trying to evoke...
Even though no lyric endeavor is "set in stone", there are some wonderful books on the how to structure a lyric-song that will help to see how many lyricists have done this in the past...
Perhaps take a class at your local community college geared towards songwriting?
Great Thread & Kudos to the O.P.!!! Applause Applause Applause
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Mr_SamDoogie
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carlb1058 wrote:
neotechtonics wrote:
If its rap then write about drinking lots of overpriced horrible alcoholic beverages in 'da club' with all the b*tches and h*es and all about how big your house is, how expensive your car is and how much money you have... and how your rhymes are so much better than all the other rappers writing songs about exactly the same things.

other genres are a little more tricky =P

write what you've experienced. if it comes from a sincere place it will strike a chord with someone. try not to write/produce music with the express intention of making money or achieving fame.. cos it will become formulaic and hollow imho


Personally this (neotechtonics) response nails the answer perfectly except I didn't think *C*rap had lyrics Wink

If you're trying to make squillions of bux then be prepared for a long hard slog - there is no such thing as an "overnight sensation" discounting of course Zappa's album of the same name.

Good luck with it.


LOL I hear two covert teletubby and Bob the builder fans that even better then Zappa ahahah, I've seen the chronological and eclectic diverse course of music from the pass decades.

I've always wondered how people small to big react on the scales of music and how it effects their life's and the environment they enjoy it it seems styles and genre's from different regions effects the current mainstream. Rap and R&B seems to dominate as does rock from say Canada.

Looking back from The Beatless to Adele being British, Canadian rock music or American Rap and Pop it seems like an orchestra of different styles and genre's from all those regions that seems to fit best for the listening crowd.

I always have an eclectic taste for music so will listen to everything while others only do Rap , Pop or progressive rock. [/b]
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analoguekid
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems I missed this thread first time around and its only come to light due to someone spamming it Razz

Personally I think it doesn't matter what the words(lyrics) of a song are, its the vocal melody line that hooks people and is what people sing along too, even if they don't know the words or misinterpret them they still sing what they believe is correct as long as they LIKE the melody line those words are on. one of the worst set of lyrics in history became a massive selling number one in Culture Clubs Karma Chameleon
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I remember reading somewhere that few people actually listen to the lyrics. I'm one of those who do like to get the meaning of a song.

But I also listen to Celtic music sung in Gaelic, so I haven't got a clue what they are singing about! So in those cases it really is melody/harmony that is key to the enjoyment. Likewise, I am am currently doing business in Turkey, and a Turkish colleague has given me some music links, all sung in Turkish but it doesn't stop me enjoying it.

I do write my own lyrics in my Carreg Ddu project and have delved into Welsh folklore and the folk lore of other countries for inspiration. This is because I like songs to tell stories, and I am crap at writing "she loves you, yeah, yeah" type lytics. Why Welsh Follore? It's a very rich vein of stories, but few people are even aware of its existence any more, so it's a way of keeping it alive as well.

Essentially write about anything that inspires you. The song has meaning for you then which allows you to put your passion into it.
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Asleep By Dawn
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good lyrics are the words you hear and feel within not the words that might stick in a million morons heads

you should write and sing what u want not what others want

i mean most people like s**t like katy perry so i mean how valuable is there opinion really anyway?
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Mr_SamDoogie
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asleep By Dawn wrote:
good lyrics are the words you hear and feel within not the words that might stick in a million morons heads

you should write and sing what u want not what others want

i mean most people like s**t like katy perry so i mean how valuable is there opinion really anyway?


If you mean by you're biggest audience stuck with a phrase in their heads being the million morons you've prefer to, I would reconsider that effect and start calculating what financial miss would happen if they did not like what they hear.

(Artist_Music + (Audience^2)) = Kaching.
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jeremykeys
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been writing songs for most of my life now. I'm 60. I've never made any money off of them but I don't think that is the point even though it certainly would be nice to. Maybe they're oust not good enough! Wink
I think it makes sense to write in the styles that you generally listen to. I write rock because I don't have time or listen to rap or pop and yes I do know that some people make freaking obscene amounts of money from these genres.

https://soundcloud.com/jeremykeys/the-devil-you-know

This is my latest song. I play in a countyish rock band so I thought I'd write something that might fit them.
Lyrically, I tend to write about things I've experienced, know about, or feel strongly about. I do like my lyrics to rhyme. On rare occasions, I like to write about " the dark side". What evil lurks in the hearts of men?
My advice to you is to just have fun with it but if you want to make a living at it, once you do, let me know how you did it!
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montatore
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: What are lyrics that sell? Reply with quote

Dogmatic1010 wrote:
What lyrics seem to make the most profit off of?


It doesn't matter. A musician writes what he likes, not what he thinks other people buy. If one has something to say in music, he will say what he has to say.

What is bought today, will be tomorrow's yesteryear anyways.

And if you are going to make music with 'profit' in mind, prepare for a very harsh reality. Like millionnaire Felix Dennis says: 'You can believe in luck. Just don't waste your time trying to find it.'

You are doing what somebody would do in trying to figure out how to win the lottery. Waste of your time. Better spending it in improving musical skills.
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