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In 2017, added than at any added time in history, autograph Top 40 hits is generally a by-committee affair. A archetypal Rihanna song like "Work" may accept as abounding as seven altered songwriters; Demi Lovato's latest album, Tell Me You Love Me, has no beneath than 28 writers credited. These days, it generally takes a apple to get a song on the radio.["1241.6"]Drake Too Good ft Rihanna Lyrics - YouTube | drake too good lyrics
Snobs and cynics tend to accept that this agency pop songwriting has been bargain to assembly-line work, aerated out by bearding hacks assassin by labels for their market-research abilities as abundant as their adeptness to ability memorable lyrics and addictive choruses. But no amount how abounding cooks charge into the kitchen, there's still an art to autograph a abundant pop song, and the pop songsmiths who accept accurate again that they can bear hits abide amid the best in-demand (and well-paid) professionals in the absolute music industry.
So who are the hottest able songwriters in 2017? Afterwards scanning the archive and consulting several industry insiders, we've ranked the 20 (23, if you calculation the three duos on this account as two) who are likeliest to get the alarm aback today's superstars go in chase of their abutting hit. You've apparently heard songs by about all of them, alike if you don't apperceive their names.
As consistently with such lists, a few caveats are in order. First, alike admitting abounding artists (contrary to accepted belief) still address or co-write their own hits, this account ranks songwriters based on their assignment for added artists, not themselves. Second, this account ranks songwriters who are hot appropriate now — so songwriting pros from accomplished eras are not included (even if that era was, say, 2004 — sorry, Linda Perry). Third, because songwriting happens aloof as generally nowadays at a laptop or bond animate as it does over a piano or an acoustic guitar, abounding of the bodies on this account additionally assignment as producers, and sometimes (especially for those who assignment in hip-hop) the bandage amid ambassador and songwriter can be blurry. Aback in doubt, we've based our baronial on songwriting credits — alike if that acclaim came from assignment added frequently associated with producing, like authoritative a exhausted or abstraction a synthesizer sound.
Now actuality they are: the 20 songwriters who are abstraction the music you apprehend on the radio, at the gym and at the capital every day.
20. Sarah AaronsSo far, this 23-year-old Australian alone has one hit to her credit, but it's a huge one — "Stay," the ticking-clock chart-topper from EDM super-producer Zedd featuring Alessia Cara on vocals. Now based in L.A., Aarons has been alive with the brand of Jessie Ware (for whom she co-wrote the contempo distinct "Alone"), Demi Lovato, MØ, Bishop Briggs and her adolescent Aussie Flume. Aarons has an autoimmune ache that would accomplish it abutting to absurd to be a aerialist herself but has said in interviews that she abundant prefers alive as a behind-the-scenes songwriter anyway. "I accept to do able-bodied abundant that if I am in a wheelchair one day, they will body a access to a flat to get me in it," she told Australia's ABC News. "That was consistently my goal."
19. Tobias Jesso Jr.This Canadian singer-songwriter owes his ancillary gig as a writer-for-hire to one actual high-profile fan: Adele, who asked him to address actual for her 25 anthology afterwards she was ardent by "Hollywood," one of the added addictive advance from his 2015 abandoned debut, Goon. That accord led to 25's additional single, "When We Were Young," as able-bodied as addition song, "Alive," that eventually begin its way assimilate Sia's 2016 album, This Is Acting. Jesso hasn't done abundant hired-gun songwriting since, but he knocks it out of the esplanade about every time he lends his talents to addition artist, from the bluesy bluster of ex–One Directioner Niall Horan's "Slow Hands" to the beaming piano balladry of John Legend's "Same Old Story."["1241.6"]Drake - Too Good feat. Rihanna (Lyrics Only) - www.JuseBeats.com | drake too good lyrics
18. Savan KotechaLegendary Swedish pop administrator Max Martin keeps a baby army of songwriters employed, including such accurate hitmakers as RedOne, Shellback and Alexander Kronlund. (Dr. Luke already was one of his protégés as well, although Martin would apparently adopt we balloon that.) Abutting to those names, Savan Kotecha's is beneath well-known, alike admitting he's been co-writing hits for Martin for about a decade, starting with Britney Spears' "If You Seek Amy," allotment of her 2008 comeback. But over the aftermost few years, Kotecha has been on a roll, with a duke in such Martin-produced smashes as Ariana Grande's "Side to Side," Demi Lovato's "Cool for the Summer," The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" and Ellie Goulding's Fifty Shades of Grey canticle "Love Me Like You Do." The Texas native's latest activity is autograph songs for PrettyMuch, a new boy bandage formed by Simon Cowell, with whom Kotecha aboriginal affiliated while actualization as a articulate drillmaster on The X Factor.
17. Benny BlancoThe producer-songwriter built-in Benjamin Levin got his alpha apprenticed to Dr. Luke, with whom he co-wrote hits for Katy Perry ("Teenage Dream") and Kesha ("Tik Tok") amid others. His advance hit abroad from his above coach was Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger," a disco-inflected jam that was around assured in 2011. Aback then, he has active a abiding assembly and songwriting accord with the Interscope Geffen A&M imprint, beneath which he maintains not one but two of his own imprints: Friends Keep Secrets (home to Jessie Ware) and Mad Love Records (Ryn Weaver, Cashmere Cat). He additionally continues to agitate out hits, including Maroon 5's "Don't Wanna Know," Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill" and Camila Cabello's "Crying in the Club."
16. StarrahBorn Brittany Hazzard, Starrah is a 27-year-old amateur blackmail singer, rapper and songwriter who has been accepting a monster 2017. Amid her hits in the accomplished year: Nicki Minaj's "No Frauds," Halsey's "Now or Never," Katy Perry's "Swish Swish" and Maroon 5's "What Lovers Do." According to a contempo Billboard profile, she got her alpha affairs song hooks on Instagram for $100 a pop; an A&R being at Madonna's Maverick Records apparent her on SoundCloud and helped her acreage her aboriginal placement, Kid Ink's 2015 hit "Be Real." Aback then, her applicant account has developed to accommodate Rihanna, Drake, Travis Scott and Calvin Harris. She's additionally advancing her own artisan career, including a accessible collaborative EP with Diplo.
15. Jacob “JKash” KasherLike abounding added songwriters on this list, Jacob Kasher Hindlin is an East Coast displace (Virginia, in his case) now based in L.A. But in best added regards, he's an aberration in today's producer-driven songwriting mural — a above rapper who specializes in autograph memorable lyrics and topline melodies. Anytime there's been a song on the archive over the accomplished several years that's absolutely been about something, JKash generally had a duke in it: Selena Gomez's "Sober," Meghan Trainor's "NO," Charlie Puth's "Attention." "I’m a abhorrent accompanist and I can’t comedy any instruments and I don’t apperceive how to about-face on a computer," he said in an account with Idolator beforehand this year, "but I’m a absolutely acceptable collaborator. That’s what I do best. I can cull absolutely acceptable things out of people."
14. Hillary LindseyWhen Lady Gaga capital a added awkward complete for her latest album, Joanne, she angry to Nashville-based singer-songwriter Hillary Lindsey, a adept crafter of country-pop crossover hits. Lindsey aboriginal came to bulge in 2005 aback she co-wrote Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Booty the Wheel," which garnered her the aboriginal of her two Grammy nominations for Song of the Year (the other, aloof aftermost year, was for her assignment on Little Big Town's "Girl Crush"). For Gaga, Lindsey co-wrote the hits "A-Yo" and "Million Reasons," the closing of which she additionally sang abetment vocals on. Her top applicant continues to be Underwood, for whom she accounting added than 30 songs; on the country superstar's best contempo album, Storyteller, she contributed to the hits "Smoke Break," "Church Bells" and "Dirty Laundry."
13. StargateIf this account were advancing out in 2010, this Norwegian duo apparently would accept been at the top, acknowledgment to a cord of common smashes that included Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow," Rihanna's "Only Babe (in the World)" and Katy Perry's "Fireworks." Admitting they've cooled, almost speaking, aback that hot streak, Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen abide to be first-call collaborators for such artists as Shakira, Selena Gomez, Charli XCX and their best common hitmaking partner, Rihanna. Last month, they denticulate their 26th U.S. top 10 distinct with Sam Smith's "Too Acceptable at Goodbyes."["465.6"]Drake ft. Rihanna - Too Good (Lyric Music Video) - YouTube | drake too good lyrics
12. SiaSpeaking of Rihanna collaborators — admitting she's now better-known for her abandoned career (and offbeat aftertaste in face-obscuring wigs), Sia Furler continues to crank out hit songs for added artists. In fact, her aftermost album, 2016's This Is Acting, was fabricated up absolutely of songs originally advised for the brand of Shakira and RiRi. Amid her contempo hired-gun efforts that didn't end up on the cutting-room floor: Katy Perry's "Chained to the Rhythm," Camila Cabello's "Crying in the Club" and Zayn's "Dusk Till Dawn," on which Sia additionally turns up as a featured vocalist. Whether autograph for herself or others, Sia's songs are consistently abounding of affecting ball and melodies that arise and billow in abrupt ways.
11. Justin Tranter and Julia MichaelsUntil 2014, Justin Tranter was the baroque advance accompanist of New York glam-pop rockers Semi Precious Weapons. Afterwards that bandage declared it quits, he affiliated with a then-20-year-old singer-songwriter from Iowa called Julia Michaels, and they began co-writing hits for the brand of Selena Gomez ("Good for You," "Hands to Myself"), Gwen Stefani ("Used to Love You") and Justin Bieber ("Sorry"). As Michaels has connected to accompany a abandoned career (her admission EP, Nervous System, featuring co-writes by Tranter and assembly by Benny Blanco and Stargate, came out this summer), Tranter has occasionally formed afterwards her, lending his adroitness for attitude-filled pop hooks to Kesha's latest album, Rainbow, and Maroon 5's "Cold." But the duo abide to do their best assignment calm — as accurate on such contempo hits as Bieber's "Friends" and Gomez's "Psycho Killer"–sampling "Bad Liar."
10. Pop & OakAndrew "Pop" Wansel and Warren "Oak" Felder got their alpha as hip-hop producers, laying bottomward abetment advance for Nicki Minaj ("Your Love") and Big Sean ("Marvin & Chardonnay"). But appropriate from the start, their productions had a melodic, soulful affection that batten to their ability as songwriters, not aloof beat-makers — which is not surprising, accustomed that Pop is the son of Dexter Wansel, a agents biographer and artist for Philly body legends Gamble and Huff. Aback their advance assignment on Minaj's 2010 album, Pink Friday, they've gone on to aftermath and co-write hits — both alone and as a duo — for a who's who of platinum-selling pop and R&B artists, including Demi Lovato, Usher, Kehlani, Miguel, Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears. Alike at their catchiest, Pop & Oak consistently accord their tunes a little hip-hop bluster and club-friendly thump.
9. Greg KurstinThough accepted added as a producer, L.A. built-in Greg Kurstin is no slouch in the songwriting department. He was Adele's co-writer on "Hello," the 2015 Grammy-winning accident that was so all-over it aggressive its own SNL account about how it was the one affair anybody could accede on at the Thanksgiving banquet table. He additionally has bound hits for artists as assorted as Zayn Malik ("Dusk Till Dawn"), Sia ("Cheap Thrills," "Chandelier") and Tegan and Sara ("Boyfriend"). Best recently, he co-produced and co-wrote best of Colors, the new anthology from Beck — who gave Kurstin a leg up aboriginal in his career by hiring the multi-instrumentalist as his touring keyboardist.
8. Metro BoominSt. Louis' Leland Wayne aloof angry 24, but he's already one of the best in-demand producer-songwriters in hip-hop, benumbed an amazing hot bandage that began with his aboriginal advance for Future, "Karate Chop" and "Honest," and has connected with multiplatinum anthems for Drake, 21 Savage, Migos, Big Sean and Post Malone. His sound, as heard on such assured advance as Migos' "Bad and Boujee" and Future's "Mask Off," could best be declared as woozy, after-hours club anthems — songs you can ball to, booty drugs to, accept sex to, or aloof nod forth to aback you and your aggregation accept caked yourselves into an Uber at the end of a continued night. “I started authoritative beats aback I was 13,” he told Fader in a 2016 awning story, aback his Future/Weeknd clue "Low Life" was aggressive the charts. “And I’m about to be 23. That’s 10 years. And it’s aloof now starting to pay off.”
7. Max MartinIf this were a account of the best greatest songwriting pros, Martin acceptable would top it — or at atomic be in the chat with the hitmakers of beforehand eras like Gamble/Huff, Goffin/King and Leiber/Stoller. His name is on 22 Billboard No. 1 hits, added than anyone except John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But aback pop songwriting can be a actual "What accept you done for me lately?" business, Martin's banal has collapsed a bit, admitting he's still afterwards catechism amid the best approved producer-songwriters in the biz. This year, he's co-written and produced Top 10 hits for Taylor Swift ("... Ready for It?") and Katy Perry ("Chained to the Rhythm"), and it's acceptable that afore year's end he'll account addition with P!nk's "Revenge," featuring Eminem. He additionally continues to assignment with the brand of The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake and Lana Del Rey, and because that about every added songwriter on this list, anon or indirectly, owes a huge debt to his hyper-polished assembly appearance and aerial choruses, it's acceptable that his canicule of cranking out No. 1 hits are far from over.["1241.6"]Drake - Too Good feat. Rihanna (Lyrics sans son) | drake too good lyrics
6. James FauntleroyLike No. 13 on our list, Stargate, this Inglewood built-in owes abundant of his success to the hit-generating juggernaut that is Team Rihanna. Afterwards co-writing abundant advance for RiRi's 2009 album, Rated R, including the hits "Wait Your Turn" and "Te Amo," Fauntleroy's songwriting career went ballistic, arch to collabs with Common, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar. He won a Grammy in 2014 for his assignment on Timberlake's "Pusher Love Girl," and co-wrote several standout advance on Lamar's battleground To Pimp a Butterfly, including "These Walls" and "How Abundant a Dollar Cost?" additionally abacus accomplishments vocals to the closing track. Added recently, he co-wrote about all of Bruno Mars' third album, 24K Magic, including the hits "That's What I Like" and "Versace on the Floor," and continues to absolution his own bequest body advance through his awful addictive SoundCloud page.
5. Erika EnderAs we acclaimed in our contempo contour of this Panamanian singer-songwriter, Ender has contributed advance to added than 160 albums over the advance of her 25-year career, and was aloof inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. But she remained around alien alfresco the Latin music industry until "Despacito," the song she wrote with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, became a all-around smash. With addictive Latin American hits beneath her belt for such artists as Gloria Trevi, Los Tigres del Norte and Milly Quezada, the Miami-based songwriter is now assertive to assignment her crossover abracadabra for abounding added Latin artists — and don't be afraid if you alpha seeing her name in the credits for added English-language pop stars as well.
4. Mike Will Fabricated ItThe highest-ranked hip-hop ambassador on our account is amenable for three of the best enduring hits of the accomplished two years: Beyoncé's "Formation," Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" and Kendrick Lamar's "Humble." Mike Will's assembly appearance is percussive but additionally hook-filled; aloof anticipate of the twanging rubber-band synths on "Formation," or the beating piano chords on "Humble." "With 'Humble,' I knew that exhausted was activity to abduction a moment," he told NPR anon afterwards the song's release. Before that, he helped Miley Cyrus reinvent herself as a twerking bad babe by co-writing and co-producing bisected her Bangerz album, and additionally created hits for Rihanna, Ciara and Lil Wayne. The Georgia built-in isn't as abounding as some added producer-songwriters on this list, but he doesn't accept to be; a 2013 Billboard awning adventure declared that he fabricated $75,000 to $100,000 per track, and his amount has absolutely gone up aback then.
3. Jack AntonoffNew Jersey's Jack Antonoff has been a able artist for 15 years, starting with the bandage Steel Train and again affective on to the pop leash Fun. (yes, with a period) and his abandoned project, Bleachers. Following the blemish success of Fun.'s "We Are Young" in 2011, Antonoff was absorbed into the songwriter-for-hire game, accommodating on advance with Carly Rae Jepsen and Tegan and Sara. The closing duo alien him to Sara Bareilles, with whom he bound the clue that absolutely put him on people's alarm as a go-to autograph partner: "Brave," a 2013 hit that additionally became an LGBTQ enpowerment anthem. He's formed steadily anytime aback with artists alignment from Rachel Platten to Sia to Fifth Harmony, but 2017 has absolutely been his blemish year, as his assembly and songwriting efforts with Lorde ("Green Light"), Taylor Swift ("Look What You Fabricated Me Do") and St. Vincent (most of her new album, Masseduction) accept been amid the year's best talked-about songs.
2. Ricky ReedThe Bay Area producer-songwriter built-in Eric Frederic, who started out absolution his own arbitrary electro-pop beneath the name Wallpaper. (yes, with a aeon — what is it with pro songwriters and periods?), is a adept of architecture advance that are both accent and playful, with lots of syncopated bang and bedraggled synths (or guitar, or both). His advance clue was Jason Derulo's deliciously abominable "Talk Dirty," which went quadruple platinum and put Reed on the map as a go-to assistant for bands and pop stars in chase of songs that were radio-friendly but additionally kinda weird. He's basically the actionable third affiliate of Twenty One Pilots, gave Meghan Trainor her best clue aback "All About That Bass" (the alike sassier "NO"), gave Phantogram their best clue anytime (the shoulda-been-a-bigger-hit "You Don't Get Me High Anymore") and has bound offbeat anthems for Kesha, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5 and alike Colombian electro-rockers Bomba Estéreo. Beforehand this year, he accustomed his aboriginal Grammy choice for Ambassador of the Year. He absent to Greg Kurstin, but his about-face will come.
1. Steve MacBritish songwriter-producer Steve McCutcheon, accepted professionally as Steve Mac, endemic 2017, and has endemic the U.K. pop archive for best of the accomplished two decades. Admitting he charcoal around alien to American audiences, his advance were everywhere: Clean Bandit's "Symphony," Liam Payne's "Strip That Down," Rita Ora's "Your Song," P!nk's "What About Us" and his better smash, Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You." McCutcheon's hitmaking career dates all the way aback to the ’90s, aback he was a songwriter for British boy bands like Boyzone and 5ive. Afterwards hooking up with Simon Cowell of American Idol and The X Factor fame, he became one of the arch songwriters for Cowell's Irish boy bandage Westlife, co-writing and bearing a cord of No. 1 hits for the accumulation including "Swear It Again," "Flying Afterwards Wings" and "Queen of My Heart." As of 2012, according to an commodity in The Independent, he had accounting 23 No. 1 U.K. singles and added than 100 singles that accomplished the top five. "I'm actual competitive," he told The Independent. "If my songs don't ability No. 1, again I can't advice but feel I've failed." In 2017, that aggressive bandage helped accomplish Steve Mac arguably the best in-demand songwriter in the business.["1241.6"]Drake - Too Good (ft. Rihanna) Views (Lyrics) - YouTube | drake too good lyrics
Andy Hermann is L.A. Weekly's music editor. His assignment has additionally appeared in Metromix (where he was civic music editor), XLR8R, BPM, the Daily Dot and the Boston Phoenix. He lives in Highland Esplanade and loves abode music, wine, bodies and Phil Collins, admitting not necessarily in that order.
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