Music Made Me Do It: The Songwriter – Eg White

How being a songwriter for hire works

I’ve always wondered how being a songwriter for hire works. Starting out, surely you have to write a masterpiece first and find a home for it second. And if you want to give your work of art a good chance of being heard by anyone, you’d better get a superstar to sing it. But how? And how much do you sell your song for? And are some songs worth more than others?

Eg White spent 19 years hustling in this world until he wrote ‘Leave Right Now’ for Will Young. He’s since written songs with and for Adele, Florence and the Machine, James Morrison, Kylie Minogue, Celine Dion, Duffy and loads of others. He’s won two Ivor Novello’s in the process.

I met Eg at his home in West London for him to shed some light on this highly profitable sector of the music industry. We set up in the recording studio he’s built under his house, where he told me why he considers himself a “whore for hire” who shouldn’t earn as much as he does, how ballads are the way to go, originality is only ever accidental and how him and Adele wrote ‘Chasing Pavements’ with ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls in mind.

Listen below, via your podcast app or on Spotify.

Loud And Quiet needs your support to survive

The COVID-19 crisis has really hit Loud And Quiet hard, cutting off our advertising revenue stream, which is how we’ve always funded what we do in order to keep the magazine free for our readers.

Now we must ask for your help to save us.

If you enjoy our articles, photography and podcasts, and if you can afford to, please consider subscribing to Loud And Quiet. With FREE delivery in the UK (international subscriptions also available), it works out to just £1 per week.

If we don’t receive enough subscribers, we’ll be closing down.

We’ll post you our next 6 issues, a handmade lockdown fanzine, access to our digital editions, an L&Q brass pin, playlists, a bookmark and some other extras.