Behind every hit song is a great or not-so-great story of how that record came to be. That was the theme for BMI’s and the Los Angeles Times’ Second Annual “How I Wrote the Song,” panel held at the Key Club on Sunset Boulevard, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008.Moderators included BMI’s VP of writer publisher relations, Cather Brewton and Los Angeles Times music critic, Ann Powers. This year’s panel included hitmakers, Polow Da Don, Ben Moody, Rodney Jerkins, Chris Daughtry, Anthony Hamilton and Fat Joe, among others who delved into the secrets behind their monster success.
“Michael paid me not to work with other people for three years,” Jerkins disclosed regarding his Michael Jackson comeback track. “ ‘Rock My World’ came about because I’m a fan of old Michael — like Off the Wall, Thriller — Jackson 5 Michael.”
Other artists shared the backstories behind their songs, like Fat Joe’s simple, but effective concept behind “Lean Back” and Anthony Hamilton’s love woes on “Charlene,” which he actually sang to the crowd. The afternoon proved to be insightful about how the song making process works, building the anticipation for next year’s panel. –gavin philip godfrey