John Legend and others also discuss their craft
Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump joined John Legend and five other songwriters who have penned hits for the likes of Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Madonna at a panel discussion called ‘How I Wrote That Song’ at the Los Angeles Key Club on Saturday (February 10).
The panel — organized by BMI and the Los Angeles Times — was geared toward aspiring songwriters and those interested in secrets of the craft.
“I don’t touch (bassist) Pete (Wentz’s) words and he doesn’t touch my music,” Stump revealed to the sold-out audience. “Pete gives me several paragraphs of lyrics, and I’ll pick out something that works well with my music.”
Grammy winner Legend also disclosed details of his songwriting process. “I start by focusing on the flow and the melody, and let that dictate what the lyrics are gonna be,” he said. “It’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle.”‘
The artists not only discussed their craft, but they also performed stripped-down versions of some of their hits on guitar and piano.
Stump performed Fall Out Boy‘s lead single, ‘This Ain’t A Scene It’s An Arms Race’, on an acoustic guitar to the delight of (mostly female) screaming fans, and Legend performed his popular ballad ‘Ordinary People’ on piano.
Other panellists included Dallas Austin who has penned hits for Stefani, Madonna and Aretha Franklin; Butch Walker, who has written with Pink and Avril Lavigne; Nashville hit maker Jeffrey Steele; Sean Garrett, who has worked with Usher and Chris Brown; and Kara DioGuardi, who has written for Aguilera and Britney Spears.
Gnarls Barkley frontman Cee-Lo was also supposed to participate in the panel, but was held up at a Grammy performance rehearsal that ran late.
–By our Los Angeles staff.