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Old 11-08-2018, 04:32 AM   #1
arckangel
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Default Songwriting by Pop/R&B Artists (Ariana Grande & Rihanna Articles)

Okay... I know it's not such an urgent or pressing matter, but I've noticed two inaccuracies in two Vigilant Citizen articles, and I've tried to inform him of it.

https://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbus...teric-meaning/
https://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbus...ssion-torture/


Regarding his articles on Ariana Grande's 'God is a woman' and Rihanna's 'B**** Better Have My Money', songwriting credit information is NOT correct.

I politely suggested that he correct it. The article on 'God is a woman' says: "So what is Ariana Grande babbling about when she sings “God is Woman”? Well, first, it is important to note that the song was not composed by Ariana Grande, but by two men (who are record industry giants): Max Martin and Savan Kotecha. Also, the video was directed by another man (who is also an industry giant) Dave Meyers." and "However, in Ariana’s version, “let’s pray” refers to something else … maybe oral … I’m not sure … we should ask the two men who wrote the song."


But... 'God is a woman' was written by Ariana Grande, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha and Rickard Göransson.
http://uk.warnerchappell.com/song-de...8-21bec0df0766

https://www.allmusic.com/album/god-i...197545/credits

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Is_a_Woman


Warner/Chappel Music, a music publishing website, and All Music list all those writers as composers. Wiki lists them as writers.

Now, the official 'God is a woman' audio upload from Ariana Grande's official channel says, in its description box:

Composer Lyricist: Ariana Grande

Composer Lyricist: Max Martin

Composer Lyricist: Savan Kotecha

Composer Lyricist: Rickard Goransson

Composer Lyricist: Ilya Salmanzadeh

The information published in the article leaves out three composers/lyricists incl. Ariana Grande.


As for the article on Rihanna's 'B**** Better Have My Money', it says: "Rihanna is a tool to accomplish this. She doesn’t really have a say in any of it. She didn’t even write the song. She is simply doing what her bosses tell her to do. And, when all is said and done, they will tell her: “B*tch better have my money”."

But... 'B**** Better Have My Money' was written by Jamille Pierre, Bibi Bourelly (Badrilla Bourelly), Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty), Travis Scott (Jacques Webster), Kanye West and WondaGurl (Ebony Oshunrinde).

http://www.warnerchappell.com/song-details/WW 010475616 00/39c12b58-508f-42fb-b7dc-361d54169df2

https://repertoire.bmi.com/DetailVie...blnArtist=True

https://www.allmusic.com/album/bitch...838450/credits

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitch_..._Have_My_Money (Full name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rihanna


Warner/Chappel Music and BMI list 6 composers.

Credits from an official audio upload of the song from Rihanna's official channel say:

Author, Composer: Robyn Fenty

Author, Composer: Jamille Pierre

Author, Composer: Badriia "Bibi" Bourelly

Author, Composer: Jacques Webster

Author, Composer: Kanye West

Author, Composer: Ebony Oshunrinde


So, why do both articles state Ariana Grande and Rihanna did not compose or write those songs when they clearly did? Yes, I have heard of singers "stealing" credits and stuff (only slightly modifying a song, etc.), of singers using ghostwriters, but one cannot just assume it's always the case. Many pop/R&B stars truly *do* write or co-write their material. One cannot just assume they did not do it or the contribution was "unimportant".

As we all know, songwriting may apply to lyrics and/or music (music comprises melody, harmony, rhythm, variation, arrangement, and orchestration). Yes, it's not uncommon for certain artists to receive pre-written instrumental demos, listen to them, and then make a selection and write lyrics and vocal melodies that match the music; that's called top-line writing, and that too is considered songwriting.

In other cases, artists write songs from the scratch! Debbie Gibson, for instance, wrote all songs from her debut, 'Out of the Blue', all by herself, and produced one song and co-produced three songs. She also played instruments. What if one were to assume she did not write anything, let alone play instruments?

The Spice Girls co-wrote every single song on the three studio albums they released + their greatest hits album and its new tracks. They'd write lyrics and would co-write the music with seasoned musicians. All girls wrote, especially Geri Halliwell and Melanie C (according to reports). As Emma Bunton said in an interview, they did write their music but did not feel like screaming it at top of their lungs.


Here's an excerpt from an interview that Madonna gave way back when promoting 'Like a Prayer':

Interviewer: What did you feel when you wrote your first song?

Madonna: I don’t remember the name of my first song but I do remember the feeling that I had when I wrote it. And it just came out of me. I don’t know how. It was like somebody possessed me. It was like I wanted to run out in the street and go, "I wrote a song! I WROTE A SONG! I DID IT!" You know what I mean? I was so proud of myself. (laughs) And then after that, they just kind of gushed out of me. Because I always wrote poetry in free-form verse and kept journals and stuff, but to be able to put it to music, that was a whole different thing.

Interviewer: How old were you then?

Madonna: About twenty-one.

Interviewer: It’s interesting to learn you have written so many of your own songs. I don’t think people realize that you’re a songwriter as well as everything else you do–

Madonna: You mean they don’t realize I’m a songwriter as well as a sl*t? (laughs) It’s the image that gets in the way. What am I supposed to do? The information is on the label. If they don’t read it, that’s not my problem. I’m not going to put a sticker on the outside of the album that says, "Listen–I wrote these songs!" You know, they pay attention to what they want to pay attention to.



As we can see, female pop and R&B singers often write a lot more than one might think, and I wish they'd be given due credit whenever they *do* write anything.

As I've explained, there are different forms and levels of songwriting, and it is not fair to assume that a young woman that sings pop, dance or R&B is too "dumb" or "not bright enough" to author and/or compose her songs! Some, like Madonna, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus write a whole lot. Others, like Britney Spears, write quite a bunch, but less. And there are those like Celine Dion who write even less—if ever! One cannot just assume and generalize.

Last edited by arckangel; 11-08-2018 at 04:35 AM.
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