Nesma El Shazly, a star when it comes to PR consultancy, producing, songwriting and pretty much anything else you can think of. She is the founder of Stardust PR. Agency and the songwriting genius behind “No2ta Beida” (A Drop Of White) is here to tell you a few tips when it comes to becoming a great songwriter.

What is songwriting?

Songwriting is basically conveying emotion and feeling through words and music. In my case, I write songs to give voice to the voiceless. I love writing songs that send a message, whether that’s for a cause or an important issue the community is going through right now. After I find the message my song wants to convey, I look for the right words, music and even the right voice to complete this artistic project. Picking the right voice actually can make all the difference in how the song’s message is interpreted.

For instance, you could get someone with a singing voice that oozes melancholy to sing an upbeat song and find that the audience didn’t get the song’s message. That’s why choosing the right voice is crucial to get your message across. You need all these vital elements to create a powerful song.

What are the different branches of songwriting?

Songs in Egypt are categorized into 3 different branches. You have the mainstream songs, those are the songs written for A-List singers. Then you have the commercial songs that serve the Advertising industry. They could be used to promote a T.V or Radio commercial or even a certain product. Then there are songs used to highlight a certain cause or issue and to spread an important message to the audience.

How Do I price my work as a Songwriter?

Songwriting is not really a field that’s monetarily appreciated in Egypt. Most people don’t know the real value of a great songwriter, so you have to know that you’ll probably be undervalued in the market as a songwriter. Putting a price on our work really depends on the project, the brand you’re working with and even the singer who’ll be singing your song. It doesn’t really have a formula or a catalog to help you there.
That’s why I suggest you don’t do songwriting at first as a full-time gig because although sometimes songwriting can be quite financially rewarding, it won’t be a good source of consistent income that you can depend on. Take it as your side hustle or your hobby alongside a more stable money-making business. That way you’ll be doing something you love and hopefully getting periodical monetary return for it.

How Can I Develop to Become a Great Songwriter?

If you really want to nurture your talent for songwriting, you should hear a lot of songs, all from different genres. Listen to different songwriters, you’ll learn a lot. Also, writing courses are a great way of developing talent, or you can attend songwriting workshops.