What We Learned While Writing For Beyonce’s New Album
POPULAR songstress Beyonce came under fire recently when it was revealed that it took 72 writers to produce her latest album “Lemonade”. However, the news didn’t come to a shock to anyone here at WWN towers, as we were among the 6 dozen people involved in bringing the project to light. Here’s what we learned while writing music for Queen Bey:
Firstly, it wasn’t hard for us to get drafted into the Lemonade squad. Beyonce’s people (like Oompa Loompas, but blind from years of living close to her radiance) contacted us after hearing our stellar karaoke version of Crazy In Love in Moate one night. Impressed by the way we managed to get around the fact that the lyrics weren’t showing up on the screen by just singing our own words, they hired us on the spot.
We were flown to Los Angeles to meet the rest of the team, which included several formerly-young singers from the 80s who were no longer attractive enough to sing their own songs, and babies, lots of babies. Of the 72 writers on Lemonade, at least 50 of them were under 2.
The job of the babies was simple: listen to a series of electronic noises, and pick the ‘beeps’ and ‘boops’ that would play in the background of every track. It was a laborious process, but the production team stuck with it, appealing to babies is key to the modern songwriting process. Their brains, we were told, are more tuned in to simple jingles and “shiny noises”. If the babies like it, everyone will like it. We watched as early versions of Lemonade tracks were played to the babies. The babies cried, the electronic noises were changed. When the babies stopped crying, that’s when Beyonce herself has a backing track to sing to.
When we met Beyonce she was sitting on a train as it circled LA; not aiming for a destination, just going round and round. With a crumpled foolscap on her lap and the desperate look of a starving artist who hadn’t slept in days, she sat scribbling down lyrics and bars while pausing only to stare out of the window at the world as it passed, looking for inspiration for her next hit.
“Some days, the words just don’t come,” said Beyonce, with the weariness that only an artist who knows their next piece can be the difference between having food on the table and going hungry.
“Luckily, the production team and I know that it’s more important to take time, years if needed, to create a piece of high art. None of us want to, for example, put out a highly-polished studio album every two or three years, just so that everyone involved can make millions and millions of dollars through record sales and concerts”.
When we finally hear Lemonade, months after working on it, everything we witnessed is in place; the extremely talented Ms. Knowles smashes her way through the incredibly personal lyrics that a dozen or more of us worked on, while the babies’ skills at choosing the best electronic noises is apparent in literally every track. Listen out for our contribution, a subtle backing vocal that sounds like “C’mon the Deise” playing softly as Beyonce hits the chorus of ‘Hold Up’ out of the park.
Our place in music history assured, we head back to LA to join the dozens of Lemonade writers at a party where we all claim to have written the whole thing.