Pulling from Bruce Springsteen and fun., Jack Antonoff has some pretty good songwriting tips.
Antonoff fronts the band fun. and has a solo project called The Bleachers. He’s written with or for Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, Sia, and Lorde.
So he’s been around the songwriting block a few times.
And even though I’m not an active fan of his music, he has tips any songwriter could live by.
In an article for Vulture called “Jack Antonoff on How to Write a Perfect Pop Song,” he talks about his songwriting process and what he’s learned over his nearly two decades of music industry experience.
He points out that pop music isn’t automatically “simple and stupid.” What makes a good pop song — and this goes for any genre — is its listenability.
“The easiest way I can describe what makes a pop song a pop song is that it’s a song you want to hear over and over,” Antonoff says.
And part of listenability is relatability.
He believes the main idea of the song should be something everyone can relate to while the verses should be specific to you, the songwriter.
“What you’re trying to create with a perfect pop song is a song that doesn’t sacrifice emotion and energy and smarts and still reaches people,” he writes.
And when it comes to creating the feel of a song, Antonoff taps the mind of Bruce Springsteen by borrowing his songwriting method: “The verses are the blues, the chorus is the gospel.”
“How do you write great music?” Antonoff concludes. “You sit in a room for your entire life, trying to write great music.”