Most of the pop songs you hear are written by a team of 2–10 writers, a couple label reps and some producers. In a lot of cases the artist who ends up singing the song wasn’t involved in the writing process at all.
That’s why discerning music listeners have never been able to stand pop music. When you hear a pop song you can hear the formulas, the predictable nursery rhymed lyrics and the emptiness of a performance by an artist who didn’t live the story at all.
I prefer songs where I can hear the artist’s personal experience, pain and tragedy bleeding through. I like melodies and stories so personal you can hear the singer’s tears hanging from every word. I like music that you can tell was written by someone who lived (or still lives) their life on the edge.
One benefit of living most of your life completely out of control is that one day (if you survive) you can sit in the comfort of your home and write songs and stories about all the people you met, the hospitals and jails you were in and all the crazy stuff you went through.
You can write a great pop song with vapid lyrics and robotic dance beats and make a million dollars. But if you want to make music that is real… sometimes it helps if you’ve gone on your own personal adventure through hell.