What Makes a Song Sound Current Versus Dated?

Posted in The Weekly on December 11, 2018

Successful songwriters are at the top of the list when it comes to setting new trends. But trying to chase trends isn’t what will make your music stand out. BMI’s Creative Team weighs in on what will work. Have a look!

Brandon Haas, BMI Creative, New York:

Genres evolve quickly, especially in the pop and mainstream space. The more you try and chase trends by writing music to sound like what’s already out there, chances are it will end up sounding dated. Focus on unique ideas and relatable concepts and don’t be afraid to push the envelope by trying something different. In my opinion, authenticity and originality are the most important and refreshing qualities in music.

Josh Tomlinson, BMI Creative, Nashville:

When I listen through a demo or new song a writer or artist has sent along, or if I’m hearing it for the first time elsewhere, I’m definitely listening for lyrical quality first. Usually if you get that right, your melody is going to fall somewhere in line as well. However, sometimes, you can write a pretty good song, but it’s just not going to be commercial enough. It’s going to sound out of touch or completely dated. That’s usually for a variety of reasons including phrasing, saying things that have already been said in a song before, or leaning on clichés and norms that were only a fleeting “fad” in the format. I tell young writers and artists who are working to perfect their craft that they have to master the art of being a consumer and listener first. You have to be consistently engaging with new music, absorbing every playlist, single and album you can get your hands on. I tell people to take a song that they think is comparable to theirs, whether it be in the production or storyline, and listen to both side by side to see if they think their song stacks up. The object is obviously not to copy or imitate what the hit song has already done, but hopefully, find the balance between what they’ve created and the elements that they respect from the hit.

Keep an eye out for more inside tips from BMI’s Creative team right here in The Weekly!

SOURCEThe Weekly TAGS Career Advice On the Record