Kara DioGuardi

Kara talks about what a dance hit needs and the appropriate decibel-level when writing.

on Jun 6, 2011

Writing songs should be fun! While I was watching this week's episode I was happy to see the contestants singing, dancing, and letting loose while they were writing. If you ain't having a good time writing a dance song, chances are no one's going to feel like dancing when it hits the clubs.

I had to laugh when a few of the contestants were holding their ears saying it was too loud while writing. I have been in sessions where the producers blows the speakers four times in a night. Needless to say, I am deaf!

This episode was about writing to tracks (musical beds). Being a hit pop writer is all about mastering this skill. Most of the big hits today are written to tracks, meaning that the music is done before the melody and lyric. It was so interesting to see how many different hooks could be written to the same track and how different everyone's take was. Jewel and Donna definitely picked the best anthemic choruses.

I liked how Scotty and Brian really said something unique. "Paint This Club With Amazing" and "My Ridiculous" were memorable because they were interesting catch phrases whereas "Make It Easy" may have had a great melody, but was kind of middle of the road in terms of the concept. I don't know about you but I like a little more chase when it comes to the opposite sex. At least, I did before I got married.

I loved how Nick, Sonyae, Melissa, and Scotty all contributed some thing great to their song. Co-writing is at it's best when everyone brings the best of their own style. Every section of their song was catchy and today's hits often have three or four hooks. They did a great job.

I remember going crazy about the panty line in the "My Ridiculous" song while we were taping. It said something like: "Drop my panties to the floor and I'm walking out the door." If you're dropping your panties before you leave your house, why even bother going to the club? Ha!

This week was a marked improvement by the contestants. I was sad to see Blessing go; he was a gentle soul. Unfortunately, you need to be versatile as a writer to make it these days.