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Making music

There are always openings for new talent. Leading songwriters offer some advice

Making music

Do you always hear beautiful melodies in the air, or sometimes dream sweet words or write your diary in poetry?

This is what lyricists and composers do.

All songwriters share similar experiences. They never know when a melody or lyric will pop up - walking, driving or just sitting down. They have to grab them before they float away.

"It might be a qualification for working in the music business. Things often occur to me, in particular, when diving under the water. I have to carry a waterproof notebook," says Sarapee "Jeab" Sirisampan, a lyricist who has written such songs as "Leuk Sud Jai" (Deep in the heart) and "Mai Tong Mee Kam Ban Yai" (No explanation).

So it's necessary to have a pocket notebook or mobile recording device.

"I put a small notebook on the bed. Sometime it comes during sleep and I have to immediately get up and write it down," says Somchai "Chai" Kamlertkul, president of Giraffe of GMM Grammy and writer of memorable songs such as "Ther Phoo Mai Pae" (Never give up), sung by Thongchai "Bird" McIntyre.

A key to writing a hit song is to know singers, says Jeab.

"We have to learn about the singers' characters and who their audience is so we know what to say or communicate to audiences."

Also, it is better if composers do things that they are familiar with.

"I like easy-listening songs. If I have to compose hardcore or alternative, they aren't me. I think they are beyond my ability," says Piyada "Earn" Hachaiphoom of Luck Music.

"And I often sing my songs while I'm with friends in the elevator," she says with a laugh.

"It's like I'm forcing them to listen. But they can give you feedback. Don't be embarrassed to sing the songs you write."

The environment around writers sometimes has an influence on their style.

Almost all the songs Earn writes include two words: sky and star. She says she often sits on a terrace or climbs a roof to see the sky at night and the stars.

These are things she loves. Likewise, songs written by Jirawat "Ping" Tantranon and Saran "Mac" Wongnoi - song-composing buddies at ETC while living in Chiang Mai - tend to be "lonely and isolated".

"It's best one person writes both lyrics and music," says Sekpol Unsamran, aka Koh Mr Saxman, singer and musician. "You are a winner if you can do that. You'll completely get agood song," he says.

But, in some cases, two people working together on both lyrics and music - like Ping and Mac of ETC - are successful.

"Ping often uses sweet words but as a whole it's not clearly understandable what he wants to convey to the audience," says Mac, who makes Ping's flowery ideas easy to understand.

And sometimes two people work separately on either lyrics or music. Mostly it starts with the music. When that's done it will be sent to a lyricist.

But, Earn thinks this wastes time.

"Melody-writing is a bit trickier," says Koh. "There are only 12 notes, so it's not strange if melodies sometimes sound similar."

Artists and music companies have websites. So, new composers can contact them and suggest music.

"There are openings for new-face composers," says Earn.


Suwicha Chanitnun

The Nation

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