At Disctopia, we are passionate about nurturing raw talent and giving a voice to songwriters and creatives. Most of our grassroots artists are involved in their music from the ground up and are more often than not the sole songwriters in their work. Is this also true for artists in mainstream pop culture? How many famous singers actually write their own songs in the pop world? Let’s briefly dive into some of the biggest names in pop today and find out a little more about their songwriting process.
According to the Billboard Music Charts, some of the most popular pop artists of 2020 were Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5 and the Jonas Brothers. Artists with a strong pop influence like Drake, The Weekend and Megan Thee Stallion also dominated the charts, but for the sake of the question, we will focus on the artists who are considered more pop than R&B or rap.
Beliebers (the nick-name Justin Bieber’s fans have affectionately named themselves) are quick to point out that Justin Bieber has co-written at least 51 of his own songs. That being said, it is important to note that he works with quite a large team of songwriting specialists and is usually one of 5 artists credited with each of his chart-topping tracks. With advanced lyrics such as: “Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a bad chick by her toe” and the earth-shattering chorus of his hit Baby: “Baby, baby, baby, oh like baby, baby, baby no, like baby, baby, baby, oh, thought you’d always be mine, mine”, we are surprised there is often a whole team behind each of his song hits. All jokes aside, Justin Bieber rose to fame at the young age of 13, and there is no denying that he has made quite the name for himself. With a net worth of over 285 million dollars, the numbers speak for themselves. In a similar fashion to Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers help contribute to their own music but are heavily influenced by co-writers, music producers and other top writers in the industry.
Maroon 5 made a name for themselves by writing their own music, like their first album, Songs About Jane in 2002. But as their career took off, they quickly took on co-writers and began to churn out more heavily produced and arguably more “commercialized” pop music. Like Maroon 5, Harry Styles has been writing all of his own songs since beginning his solo career in 2016 but has help from co-writers and prominent producers alike.
We think Swifties (the nick-name Taylor Swift’s fans have affectionately named themselves) worldwide would come after us if we didn’t acknowledge Taylor Swift as a strong songwriter. Even though her newer albums have been fairly collaboration-heavy, Taylor Swift has a writing or co-writing credit on all of her own songs. She even wrote every single track of her 2010 Speak Now album entirely by herself. Taylor Swift has made her career on sharing her own story and being a songwriter, so we think it is safe to say that this country-turned-pop star writes her own songs – well, most of them anyway.
Another pop queen of 2020 was Ariana Grande, who has earned 12 Grammy nominations and one win all before turning 30 (she is only 27). Whether you like the music of Ariana Grande or not, you can’t deny the strength of her vocals, and the artist insists that she is heavily involved in the process of music production. However, as for songwriting, Ariana has been candid about the fact that she does not write her own songs. From “Thank U” to “Next to Positions,” Ariana has an entire team of talented songwriters who put together all of her hits.
Whether you write your own songs or prefer to collaborate with others and give a voice to someone else’s story, we want to get your music heard.