When it comes to writing a song, you can get everything right; be in the right environment, get the right ambience and play the right tune, and you still wouldn’t know where to start from. In fact, most songwriters have confessed to not knowing the science behind writing great songs as they just write as it comes (as e dey hot).
There is an art to writing great songs, but even though songwriters don’t know the science behind it, it actually exists. In fact, people are constantly carrying out research to try to identify what makes a song successful, with the idea being that if they can identify what works and what doesn’t, they can do more of the former and less of the latter.
So below, you’ll find proven research on the most effective tricks to writing hit Nigerian songs.
Tell a relatable truth
One awesome way to really hit the lyrics of a song is by getting the lyrics to hit home. Pen down something that speaks a truth, a powerful message and is very, very relatable. “Ordinary People” by Cobhams Asuquo is a very simple song with a powerful message. Eedris Abdulkareem’s “Jaga Jaga” is a cult classic because it spoke of the devastating economic state of the country and is still relevant today.
Another great example is Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyoncé, which was such a hit because so many people were able to relate to it. If you can convey a relatable truth through your lyrics and the way the song is delivered, you’ll have an army of fans on your hands in no time.
Use your hook to get listeners hooked
A hook is a tune or a set of lyrics which is designed to “hook” the listener and to get them to remember it. Most of the time, if you can’t get a song out of your head, its because the hook actually got you hooked (pun intended).
A great example of an artiste whose hooks are always on point is Brymo. Brymo delivers the kind of hooks in a song that will have you singing it for life. Songs like Oleku and Action Film are prime examples of this. The bottom line is if you want to be remembered, you need a good hook.
Rewrite, Rewrite, and Rewrite
People rarely get it right first time. did you know that if Paul McCartney had kept the original lyrics, “Yesterday” would have been called “Scrambled Eggs”? That’s why it’s important to tweak and refine your work, and one of the best ways to spot potential improvements is to get a second pair of eyes. Tools like Grammarly can really help you make sure that you’re nailing the grammar and using the right words.
Make sure it is timeless
There’s a reason why when some old songs come on the radio or we happen to come across them, we immediately get this wave of nostalgia and wish we could go back in time to relisten to the song over and over again, and then there are some songs that are forgotten as soon as they finish playing the first time. The difference is that one set is timeless and the other isn’t.
The most timeless songs are the ones with music and lyrics that don’t just follow trends but which contribute something new and unique to the musical marketplace. After J.Cole’s KOD dropped, his old album Born Sinner reentered Billboard chart because people wanted to go and listen to more of him, that is what it means to have timeless music.
There’s no exact formula for writing a hit song, but if you follow the tips in this article then you’ll be off to a good start. Remember that the best way to write a hit song is to stick to your guns and to write to your strengths. Write songs that only you can write. Make your voice heard instead of trying to imitate someone else’s. You’ll be churning out those hit songs in no time.