R&B songstress and Sony ATV songwriter Coline Creuzot effortlessly pens heartfelt lyrics with a nostalgic blend of ’90s hip-hop and R&B. Her talents have gotten her recognized with the BET Music Matters campaign with J. Cole and Elle Varner. Her credits include projects with Happy Perez, Troy “Radio” Johnson, and Drew “Druski” Scott, plus her own solo singles such as “You Tried It” and “Acapella Now.”
Her experience in the industry as afforded her valuable lessons. Now she offers five pointers for writing a song that captivates listeners, record labels, and publishers.
Get your pencils out and takes notes!
1. Share your talent, embrace the feedback.
“Sharing your lyrics can be intimidating. But, it is a good practice to share your work with trustworthy people who know your genre and won’t be afraid to give constructive criticism. Artists are usually so close to their work, it’s sometimes difficult to step away to evaluate the lyricism. Obtaining feedback from someone you trust can help you determine if your song is on point, or if it needs more emotion, more energy, or personality. It’s your song; you have to be happy with the finished product. By allowing others to share their thoughts and reaction to the lyrics however, you just may walk away with a fresh idea or direction you hadn’t previously considered.”
2. Be authentic and relatable.
“Relatability is a critical component to successful songwriting. Powerful songs are often born from authentic experiences, emotions, and convictions. I can usually pinpoint a specific moment that evokes my inspiration for a song. Always pull from your strongest encounters and passions, and challenge yourself to find different uses and meanings for common words and phrases. This will help with writing relatable lyrics that tell a story and take the listener on a journey. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your lyrics are authentic and relatable: 1) Does this sound like me? 2) Could these lyrics have been written by anyone, or are they unique? 3) Are the lyrics written so others can personally embrace and connect with the song? Music that touches you personally is more likely to impact your listeners.”
3. Go with the flow.
“Songwriting is a process, not an epiphany. Every song manifests differently and writer’s block is normal. Embrace the journey, but be proactive with the lyrical connections that can develop naturally. Always jot down song ideas as soon as they come to you, or record snippets or melodies on your phone. When you know what you want to write about but can’t think how to start your lyrics, transcribe all the words and feelings associated with the subject; these will likely be some of the words you work into the song. Keep a list of prospective song titles, and whenever you hear a good word or an evocative phrase, add it under a title to use when you’re working on new material. Sometimes the best songs start as a freestyle; sometimes they’re born more systematically, but give yourself the freedom to experiment with your own creativity.”
4. Write what you believe in.
“Write from your personal beliefs and emotions. Timeless music, songs that transcend generations and genres, is almost always written from a position of passion. Let your attitude and perspective permeate your lyrics. When you write from a place of conviction, you’ll rouse personal inspiration and your lyrics are typically more authentic and credible.”
5. Never stop learning.
“Immerse yourself in the craft of songwriting. Listen to a variety of tracks to understand what works and what doesn’t. If you pay close attention to those classic hit songs, you can start to pick up on valuable techniques. Try to recognize tricks and song structures, and remember them-it’s one of the best forms of research. While you listen, think about what makes the song so good, but also consider how you can put your own modern twist on it. Remember to set realistic writing goals for yourself and stick to them. You can start by trying to write a new song every week or so, even if it is short, and you team up with someone new to experience songwriting through a fresh perspective. These approaches get your brain to find new avenues of songwriting by exploring different ideas and angles.”
Great advice! Be on the lookout for her new EP Timeless which is scheduled for release later in 2016.