How to Make a Hit: The Age of Songwriting

AllHipHop Staff

While income streams for artists in the music industry have become less and less, the amount of money made by songwriters and music publishers has not seen that drastic of a decline. This is not to say that the decision to be just an artist cannot still be a lucrative one. However, it would seem there are more pronounced cons.“If you don’t feel like your song is hotter than the #1 song in the country, then it’s not even worth it.” says Dre McKenzie from G-Unit records during BMI’s “A Conversation With The Industry”, a panel discussion on March 18th regarding the state of music from a publishing perspective. The world of songwriters is just as competitive if not more so than that of artists. There are a multitude of songwriters on any given day who are working towards achieving the next chart topper. However, where an artist may have to wait a small eternity to amass riches even after chart topping hits and a platinum selling album (especially given the current state of the music industry) the pay off for a songwriter is much more immediate. With the collection of royalties and writer fees, a songwriter can see a six-figure income after penning only one song if it becomes a massive hit.“Producers and songwriters have definitely become more popular in the past couple of years,” legendary producer Kwame explains about the increase in visibility of those "behind the scenes." There are definitely songwriters who have achieved a certain level of visibility and even fame. However, most will never see it to the extent that an artist does. An artist has a marketing machine behind them whose sole purpose is to drill them into the consciousness of as many people as possible, whereas the machine behind a songwriter (if they have one) is to drill them into the consciousness of as many people in the Music Industry as possibly. Penning hit songs helps this cause, but in most cases does nothing in terms of creating fame in the most general sense for the writer. In fact, it only makes the artist more popular. The retention of their anonymity can be a blessing for many songwriters as they get all the perks of a music industry lifestyle without the intense scrutiny that fame can bring. However, there are many who crave the spotlight as there are many songwriters who are simply artists waiting for their time to shine.“I love what I do. It’s the best profession in the world. Nothing compares to it,” gushes songwriter Frankie Storm about her job. So what is better: being an artist or a songwriter? The lucrative compromise would be to do both. Keyshia Cole, Ne-Yo, R.Kelly and many others have all made money on both sides of the fence. However, the more definitive answer probably depends on where you sit full-time.Which would you rather be?Poll Answers**To get the latest AllHipHop Alternatives Features, follow us on Twitter @**