Songwriter for Carrie Underwood, other stars, on his secret to making a hit



If you write a primary nation track, today it may be price a million bucks. If you write it with two co-writers, then that million will get chopped into smaller elements. But it’s nonetheless a good chunk of change — sufficient to assist purchase a good home in Nashville.

Canadian songwriter Gordie Sampson is from Cape Breton, N.S. and has lived in Nashville for 17 years. He has co-written a few of these primary songs and a slew of prime 10 hits.

Songs comparable to Jesus, Take the Wheel (Carrie Underwood), Just a Dream (Underwood), Knockin’ Boots (Luke Bryan), Storm Warning (Hunter Hayes) and God, Your Mama and Me (Florida Georgia Line feat. The Backstreet Boys).

Even the non-hits are exceptional for the standard of oldsters who’ve recorded them. Willie Nelson, Martina McBride, Bon Jovi, Faith Hill and Keith Urban. Did I point out Willie Nelson?

The hearsay is that a lot of songwriters in Nashville burn out after 5 years. But Gordie has been pumping out hits for shut to twenty years. So how does he do it?

He has a principle.

“I haven’t written a song by myself in at least 20 years,” says Gordie from his Nashville yard studio. “You start writing with two or three other people and it just gets exponentially great because you have this common goal. If it’s a hit song, we can feed our families for a couple of years maybe.”

Gordie says while you discover a nice little group of songwriters, good issues occur for those who all “agree to suck.” That means, you agree you could counsel something — even when sounds silly — and nobody will shoot you down. You all attempt to polish something into one thing stellar.

“For every ten things I say, nine of them are — I’m going to look like an idiot,” he says. “And one of them is going to be right.”

Billboard Magazine author Tom Roland suspects that collaboration is the important thing to Sampson’s longevity.

“Historically people would write by themselves,” he says from his dwelling in Nashville. “Marty Robbins would write El Paso by himself or Tom T Hall – probably every song that he wrote – he wrote by himself.”

“But now … most of the time, the songs are written by three people and it’s sort of a magic number. If you can make three people all relate to a topic … you have a much better chance than if one person had an idea that was really personal to just them.”

After Gordie received a Grammy Award again in 2007, the calibre of writers he may repeatedly work with elevated. Songwriters comparable to Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges, who’ve a stack of Grammys, primary hits and even Oscar nominations.

Singer-songwriter and hitmaker Hunter Hayes has a principle as to how Gordie elevates songs into hits.

“Gordie is just one of the coolest guys to work with because there’s no bad ideas,” says Hayes from his studio in Los Angeles. “That’s such a sacred thing in a writing room and such a rare thing where nothing is shut down. Nothing is laughed at. It’s like a safe environment.”

“Everything we tried became something,” says Hayes. “There was no, ‘well, that’s a bad idea – we shouldn’t do that. That’s not a hit.’ It was making art from such a pure and emotional place.”

Sampson is ready to “get in any individual else’s head and take into consideration how a woman may say issues,” nation star Carrie Underwood tells W5, explaining Gordie Sampson’s writing.

Gordie additionally has a knack for writing from a distinctive perspective – one which appears to come naturally to him, regardless of being a man: he writes a lot of songs for girls and convincingly so. Or no less than that’s what Carrie Underwood thinks.

“I’ll listen to a demo that somebody sends me that is written for a woman and I’m like, ‘This was written by a man,’” she says from her Nashville dwelling. “It’s kind of easy to tell because a woman wouldn’t talk that way.”

“That’s never been a problem with any of the songs that I’ve recorded that Gordie was a writer on, says Underwood. “That’s definitely an observatory skill: to be able to get in somebody else’s head and think about how a lady might say things.”

“I don’t know where that comes from. I just think I write better with girls,” says Gordie. “If I were to guess, I mean, I am a dude, so songs about dudes bore me. I already am one. I think girls think different. Artistically, they have a different recipe of intelligence when it comes to composing music. That’s just more fascinating to me.”

Miley Cyrus, LeAnn Rimes, Serena Ryder – they’ve all recorded Gordie co-writes. Music author, Tom Roland thinks that capacity to write in a lady’s voice provides Gordie a bonus at catching the curiosity of feminine artists.

“Women are better than guys at being vulnerable,” he says. “When Gordie’s taken a chance with the topic, I feel like female singers are often going to be very receptive to those just because it’s more in their nature.”

“Gordie is simply one of many coolest guys to work with as a result of there is no dangerous concepts,” singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes informed W5.

Gordie writes about 120 songs a 12 months. At least 10 per cent of these get recorded by an artist – which is a excellent ratio. Especially when you think about that he writes them in lower than ten months. Gordie at all times insists on taking two months off within the summertime. Two months to come dwelling to Cape Breton and spend time with household and pals close to his summer season dwelling on the Bras D’or Lake.

He says he principally doesn’t work for these two months, however curiously sufficient, a lot of the raw materials for songs comes from that shut-down time. It’s the place he will get a probability to eavesdrop on gossip, tales and the true dramas he hears at events, on boats in drugstore checkout strains.

Makes sense that the locations you’re almost certainly to hear music are the identical locations he will get a lot of his concepts.

W5’s ‘The Songwriter’ airs Saturday, Oct.15 at 7pm on CTV


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