The 21st September, by Mike Mckendry
The song “The 21st September”, was written by Mike Mckendry on 21st September 2019 at Bishopdale Mall. It is a more broader approach to songwriting. When it comes to writing songs, we have to take into consideration, key crucial categories. The first category is Genre, it is basically am I going to write Metal, Rock or Folk etc. Most artists find it easier from a branding perspective and audience, to stick to their genre, ie Motley Crue aren’t going to release a country album in a hurry, some bands like led Zeppelin may have blended blues & folk to some extent, but the process of producing a unique slant on their brand, still applies in the broader contexts of Genre.
The second category is Pitching, who are we pitching our songs to, directly to the fans or are we writing advertising jingles etc. Usually when a song becomes well known, the writer(s) can pitch that song to advertisers for big brands. The great thing about pitching as a songwriter, is we can target other genres, as long as we separate our artist profile from our moonlighting role as pitchers to music licensing companies. The down side is that it can be rather expensive , to get a song recorded professionally with session musicians, involves a lot of time & money, so people tend to record a demo first, and pitch it to a band with a different genre to theirs, or at least make sure they’re pitching to the right representatives in the music industry.
The 3rd category is “The role”, the music plays. For example video games have music in them, but it may not be your cup of tea as a songwriter. Another example is people who’s music features in a movie score, if you’re not a classically trained producer, the role is not suitable for you then. The role is similar to pitching, in the sense that you have to know who are the people that need to hear your music.
Finally mindset is crucial, some songs come from our hard earned experience, others are a lot more flippant and light hearted. For example Neil Diamond had a good mindset, he wrote some deep and meaningful testimonial type songs e.g Shilo, and flippant silly songs like Porcupine Pie. He learnt from an early age to be adaptable, and not to become too attached to his works, like if someone offered you $25,000 for a song when you’re broke, and it becomes a hit, just chill and don’t worry about it, move onto the next project and re-invest the money back into your music.
One of the most important aspects to songwriting, is frequency. If we become too attached to a song we’ve written, and stop putting more product out, we’re not going to have much income from songwriting. Songwriting is really like playing darts, even though the board is far away, our chances of hitting the balls eye, increases with the frequency of product we put out there. Another example is Sir Elton John & Bernie Taupin, with over 350 works out there, in a short period of time, it’s a testimony to the high level of discipline and work ethic, that we should aspire to as songwriters & producers.
Well that’s all for now folks, keep up the hard work as you just don’t know who could be looking for your next song. Be adaptable and never be afraid to use humour as well. Also check out our Youtube channel for further upgrades, and our website https://mikemckendry.com/ for more free resources.