Four Fierce Females on Songwriting

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Four Fierce Females on Songwriting
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“How do you write?” It’s a simple question and we asked it to four successful female songwriters. These girls have written songs ranging from Icona Pop’s “I Love It” to Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie,” as well as fueled their own solo careers. Here’s what they had to say.

Charli XCX

"I don't really have a way. I don't really have a method. The only rule is that is has to be fast. I hate spending time on things. My attention span is too short. I don't enjoy reworking ideas. It's like, 'This is the idea and if you don't like it then just don't have it. For my songs, the first thing is always the best thing. It's just a mess, my writing process is such a mess."

Skylar Grey

“Usually, all I need is some isolation. If I’m alone in my hotel room or my dressing room, even a pair of headphones to just isolate myself enough to be able to write. I record every song or idea into GarageBand. I use it as a tape recorder. And then, once I love something, I record it for real. I do have a little vocal setup that I bring with me on the road.”

ZZ Ward

“I’m more of a melody person, first. I think sound came before words. That’s just what I believe, so that’s kind of how I write. I make sure that it feels good before I put lyrics to it. I try to switch it up a lot. I try to not do any one thing too much. Like, if I came up with a melody on a guitar or piano, if I did that on the last one, then maybe I’ll just clap my hands and sing, you know? I try and keep it fresh and different.”


"I don't know how I used to remember my ideas before iPhones. I would just sing it enough times until I memorized it. But now my Voice Memos… I have hundreds of them in my phone. I'll just sort of capture the ideas and then when I have a chance, sit down and figure out what the chords are on the guitar. Sometimes I might only have a verse. Or maybe I'll finish it right away, and I'll have a whole song. Or maybe I won't touch it for six months, and then it'll pop into my head and I'll go, 'Oh, I need to finish that.'"

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