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John Legend Shares Songwriting Tips in Educational Video Series

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

John LegendGetty Images for iHeartRadio

The Voice coach John Legend is giving songwriting tips to aspiring musicians as part of Song Start, an educational podcast and video series from Noteable and Spotify for Artists. In a video from the series, Legend discusses his own experience over the years, and how the music industry has changed.


John Legend Gives Songwriting Advice in Video Series

Legend shared in the video that he grew up in a musical family and started learning to play the piano when he was just 4 years old. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he started thinking about creating music of his own and developing his voice as an artist.

The singer shared that his songwriting process usually takes between three to five hours. Not all of the songs he comes up with are winners, but he as explained, “I feel like I have to keep writing the okay ones, the fine ones, the good ones, so that I can get to those amazing ones.”

He also called himself a “promiscuous collaborator” who enjoys writing with other people and getting “fresh perspectives.” He added that it helps him overcome writer’s block to work with other people who bring their own ideas to the table.


SEE ALSO: “GET READY FOR LOVE IN LAS VEGAS!” JOHN LEGEND LAUNCHES VEGAS RESIDENCY IN 2022

How the Music Industry Has Changed Since Legend Started

Legend also discussed how much the music industry has changed since he first made it big, explaining, “There are so many more ways to independently release your music. There’s such an instant global market because of streaming.”

The singer shared how important it is to make music that stands out among the crowd, since there’s so much competition to earn listeners’ attention these days. He emphasized that whenever you sit down to write, you could come up with the song “that changes everything for you.”


“I believe there are infinite numbers of songs out there to be written,” he shared. “There’s always another story to tell … If you have something interesting to say, and you present it in a way that feels fresh and exciting for people, that’s the most tried and true way to break through.”

You can read more about the takeaways from Legend’s Song Start episode here.

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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