“Writing a song is a bit like jumping out of an airplane. You learn something new every time.” This was just one of the insights offered by American singer-songwriter Dean Friedman when he came to visit our BA (Honours) Music students on 14 October.
In a session lasting over an hour and a half, Dean – who is currently touring the UK - spoke candidly about his time in the music industry, and took questions from the floor, where he divulged some of the secrets to writing a chart-topping tune.
“A song is a living thing,” he said. “The whole songwriting craft is a process of making choices. Some songs write themselves, and others have to be steered a certain way.
However you choose to write a song, you should mean what you say. If you’re genuine and sincere, it really makes the construction and performance of the song so much better.”
Best known for his song, Lucky Stars – a duet with Denise Marsa that went to Number 3 in the UK charts in 1978 – Dean has had a long and varied career, which has seen him write, produce and perform the music to a number of television shows, author a seminal work on synthesisers , and have one of his songs, McDonald’s Girl, banned by the BBC.