Monday, January 14, 2008

Tunesmith puts words in pop tarts' mouths

I read an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune today about Kara DioGuardi, a phenomenally successful hit pop songwriter. Ms. DioGuardi has written such pop sensations as Ain't No Other Man for Christina Aguilera, Rich Girl for Gwen Stefani and Pieces of Me for Ashlee Simpson.

Some quotes from the article:

"People do not know how hard it is to write a hit song," says songwriter Kara DioGuardi. "It's so friggin' hard. It's so hard." DioGuardi has been writing top 40 hits for almost a decade. In pop culture years, which are sort of like dog years, this is an impressive run...

"The songwriters are the ones who endure," says DioGuardi's manager and business partner, Stephen Finfer. "Artists are going to have one or two albums, then they're gone. The artists change, but the producers and writers stay the same..."

DioGuardi's songs are notable for their stylistic versatility, stick-in-your-head melodies and lyrical simplicity. "When I do nail a song, it's kind of honest and it strikes a chord with people. When I nail it. There are many times that I don't," DioGuardi says. "I'm not a poet. ... To me everything's about the emotional experience, because I'm not a wordsmith. I kind of live in my feelings."

DioGuardi recently took an A&R job at Warner Brothers records, and she and Finfer have formed ArtHouse Entertainment, a lucrative publishing and management firm. The songwriter, who owns the publishing rights to all of her own songs, has made millions of dollars. "I'd guess she's doing very, very, very well," says Fred Bronson, a columnist at Billboard magazine. "Every time [one of her songs] is played, she gets paid. I wish I'd been a songwriter."

Well, I don't know if Fred Bronson would have that same wish if he wasn't as successful as Kara DioGuardi... Personally, I have days where I wonder why I keep writing songs that no one may ever hear...

But may the Muse continue to be with Ms. DioGuardi and all "tunesmiths" everywhere...

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