Digital Music News has an interesting story up discussing the often secret lives of hit-writing songwriters, some of whom have had to take on odd jobs to pay bills and are often not given the credit they deserve.
Perhaps the fascination surrounding the downfall of the recording industry and the emergence of direct-to-fan channels is drowning out the songwriting component. But writers are just as hungry, creative, and entrepreneurial as aspiring performers, and many told tough stories of struggle and perseverance prior to success.
Thaddis "Kuk" Harrell, co-author of recent smashes "Umbrella" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," was quite candid on the matter. Harrell told stories of painting houses to pay the bills, and only experiencing serious success more recently within his broader career.
Harrell has been active since the early 90s, and overnight success has never taken so many moons. "That's a long time, but I can look at a lot of people that have known me for years, and they always say the same thing: 'you never gave up, you kept going'," Harrell relayed. "But I was realistic that there were other things that I had to do. If that meant painting a house, I'd go paint that house."
The best part of the story is that it reveals that songs like "Boom Boom Pow," "Empire State of Mind," and "Meet Me Half Way," songs you sort of assumed were written by the artists performing them, were indeed not. Although I don't know if I'd jump to be recognized as a writer of "Boom Boom Pow." Though the royalty checks are probably fantastic. Read the story here.
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