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THE MUSIC AND BEYOND: WANT TO WRITE INTERNATIONAL HIT SONGS? 4 TIPS TO HELP YOU DO IT

Since the 50s, songs have become longer, from an average of 2.36 minutes to 4.26 minutes this decade. You should also stick to major keys, with C major being the most popular. Of the top 10 most successful songs of all time, only Kanye West’s Gold Digger is in a minor key. In Liberia, the actual understandings of music is low. There are artists who don’t even know their vocal range ,some don’t know how to sing/rap on key. It is not always about nice voice or just Rhyming, your timing, deliveries and ability to stay on key will determine how good a singer/rapper you are whilst your writing compositions will tell if you are capable of dropping hit songs. So let’s get to the tips for more details.

1. DEFINING A CLASSIC – Before you set out to write, always study patterns of great writers artists past and present, use their templates to craft and put together your own song. define your style of music, who is favorite musicians/idols? Are y’all into the same genre/style of music? What makes them successful in the career,have you ask that? There are pattern and ways these guys go about it so research and learn it. A good music with less airplay/publicities will never be a hit song,so don’t forget to market the song and push it as high as it can be too. nice songs and videos do drop daily but never catches public interests and attentions because the necessary publicities are lacking. Note! The average song will have 2-3 verses of 16-20 bars each, and 3-4 chorus sections of a variable number of lines. Try to aim for trimming down your output to that amount. Work hard on bridging the gap between you and your targeted audiences. AG Da Profit is a household name now because he understands the game of music or show business, there are lots of networking involve and he does it excellently. Always promote your stuffs on different platforms, don’t just sit around n wait for promoters to do it all

2.GIVE YOURSELF A TITLE OF POWER – The position of your title tells the listener what your main point is. There are certain power positions in a song, all dependent on the structure you set up. Is it a verse/bridge structure (A,A,B,A)? Then your title will be in the first or last line of the verse. Before you even put down a beat or a chord, you should have a clear idea of who will be performing your song and who their audience is. This will give you a focus for your work. The best songs showcase both the song and the talents of the performer. Once you have a singer or act in mind, you can begin to build the song. You yourself may be that singer. All songwriters have their own writing style and process, but one way to break it down is to look at the chords, the beats and melodies before you begin adding lyrics. Same goes for rappers except you have to (a) brainstormed ideas ,freestyle for a while before penning down your lyrics. Make your lines catchy. Establish consistent rhyme schemes but change up your rhyme sounds. Look at your rhyme scheme. If you have an a, b, a, b, c, c rhyme scheme in verse one, you should do the same for verses 2 and

3. Now, What About the Sounds of your Rhymes? Is your song just a repetition of the ‘ee’ or ‘o’ sound? The ear gets tired relatively quickly from repetitive sounds like this. It is a common practice amongst Liberian Rappers ,for a example you’ll hear “jue I’m here to flex, don’t mind the kaka belle dem if they like Leh dem vex. They hating on me but they Nah know I’m blessed, so fine girl kan lay your head on my chest,feeling the sensations in Yur fine Lil round breast” and the lazy, repetitions,less creative and uninspiring rhymes will go on and on diminishing the power of the title and the storytelling aspects. Be flexible and get more creative

3. STORYTELLING THROUGH SONGS – Some modern songwriters, on the other hand, focus on what is called the top line of a song. They start with an interesting idea, a catchy word or phrase and build the rest of the song around it. The top line can open up the story of the song. This is where strong lyrical content can really make the difference. Lyrics combine the poetic devices of narrative, metaphor and imagery as well as rhyme and alliteration to name a few. It is so bad that you title your song ABOUT LOVE but your lyrics are self contradictory. your ideas should be focus on the title and matters relating to it, the moment you find yourself talking about something entirely different,you’ll almost instantly loose the credibility in the song no matter what. Make sure every lines counts. Examine your song line for line. One example of a great storytelling rapper is CRAFTY K, Crafty was on top of his game because his flows were consistent with catchy song titles and lines but it so sad such a talent is now struggling to resurrect a career that started like wildfire. Look at Ed Sheeran and his songs, always consistent with his storytelling, it is the same with Sam Smith, Tupac, Nasty, Biggie smalls, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole,Brandy,Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson,Stevie Wonder etc

4. MAKE SURE YOUR PRONOUNS AGREE WITH THEIR ANTECEDENT – When you’re listening to a song, and you recognize that “you” has become a “she,” you’ve now entered Pronoun Hell. You, as a songwriter, shouldn’t write “I” three times and have it refer to three different people. This sort of thing needlessly confuses your listener and can totally take away from your song’s story. Pro tip: when you’re using a quote in your song, make sure there’s an audible “he/she/they said,” so the listener understands what’s going on. Having said that, work on your pronunciation. Yes koloqua is our style but it is English, thou broken but I believe you would want your messages to get across to every listeners,both locals and foreign listeners. You have to make sure your lyrics are understood,Kizzy W, Sweetz,Snoti, Stunna,Chiller coolnanee,Bucky Raw,ConCcoins are some of the artists who understands this and are doing so well in this regard.articulation is very important in making an international hit song. Do lots of vocal exercises,some artist have sticky or stiff tongues probably because they don’t exercise properly or they don’t know the basics . To add, Color your melody with chords. Each chord has an emotional tone that gives shading to your melody. Minor chords tend to express doubt or sorrow. Major chords have a happy, positive feeling. Adding 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, suspensions, and inversions, give the basic chord more feeling. Appropriate use of chords will give you the sound you’re looking for. Being too rapid or complex with chords might be distracting. Not changing enough or having a repetitive strum can be boring.

WRITTEN BY: JAY KAMARA [EDITOR PLUSLIBERIA]

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