Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 | Page 27


Why You Should Be Songwriting The benefits of being a songwriter

By Rob Wells


don ’ t know about you , but there was definitely a time in my life when all I could think about was writing a song . I would wake up , go through my day , and fall asleep with dreams and aspirations of becoming a songwriter — each and every day . If you ’ re going through something similar at this moment , or have experienced something like this in the past , you should probably think about starting your journey towards songwriting .
It ’ s easier than you think to get started ( more on that in future CM columns ). Plus , there are many benefits to songwriting other than paying your bills with potential future royalties !
The first benefit to me is a biggie — writing songs that contain subject matter of a personal nature is a great way of working internal feelings out , or getting things off your chest while finding solutions . I can ’ t tell you the amount of times that I ’ ve been unsuccessful at trying to get to the bottom of emotions or feelings that I ’ ve been going through . An argument with a friend . The end of a relationship . The death of a loved one or a pet . Loneliness experienced during the pandemic . Traffic on the Don Valley Parkway . The minute that I start writing a song about any one of these issues , I start to feel a weight lifting off my shoulders . I feel like I ’ m having a conversation with a fantastic psychologist , and by the time I ’ m finished writing the song I feel like my issues have all been resolved . The best part is that my song , once released to the world , could be of great assistance to someone else going through a similar situation .
This brings me to my next benefit . The songs you write could have a major impact on the world ’ s population . They have the potential for brightening up someone ’ s day , or making them feel like they ’ re not alone with what they ’ re going through in life . One of the best experiences of my songwriting life came to me many years ago in the form of an email . Someone had written to me about a song I had co-written and produced called “ Rollin ’” by the artist Ish on Warner Music Canada . In their email to me , they let me know that they were going through daily treatment for cancer . The treatment was difficult , and the only way that they had the strength to get through the day was by listening to that particular song first thing every morning . I ’ m sure you can imagine , upon reading this email I was completely floored . It impacts me still to this day . To know that you can be a force for positivity in this world through the songs you write is another major benefit to becoming a songwriter . Imagine potentially making the world a better place through the songs you will write . Sign me up .
To be a force of positivity through your songwriting is one thing . Imagine now being a force for positive change through your songwriting . Real positive change in the world . Imagine the songs that you write could potentially alter the course of human history . Songs have the power to raise awareness for a multitude of subjects and causes . All one has to do is look at songs like “ We Are the World ,” “ Tears Are Not Enough ,” “ Do They Know It ’ s Christmas ,” “ Man in The Mirror ,” “ A Change Is Gonna Come ,” “ Imagine ,” “ War ,” “ Fight the Power ,” etc ., to see the changes made worldwide through the power of music for the betterment of humankind . Wouldn ’ t it be great to write a song that has this kind of power for positivity and change ? Think of how many young children took up football / soccer after hearing K ’ Naan ’ s World Cup song “ Waving Flag ”. Think of how wonderful it would feel to have a song of yours be used for an organization ’ s campaign that you fully support .
Finally , I ’ ll give you my last benefit for being a songwriter — potentially having a song , or many songs , that make waves around the world , creating a source of income that keeps paying royalties for you , and your future descendants .
Don ’ t wait another day if songwriting is in your heart . You ’ ll never know how far your songs will go if you don ’ t make a start .
Rob Wells is a multi-platinum award winning music producer and songwriter . He can be reached at robwmusic @ gmail . com .