How to write a One Direction song: Behind a screen of a songwriting process

May 20, 2016 - one direction

In his 25 years as a veteran songwriter, Wayne Hector has created songs for a likes of One Direction, Jess Glynne, Westlife, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls and Olly Murs. His initial series one was Peter Andre’s Flava in 1996. Today he was presented a Ivor Novello for International achievement. Here he talks about a songwriting process. 

Becoming a veteran songwriter we was in an R’n’B outspoken organisation called Rhythm N Bass utterly a while ago. We were sealed to Epic Records. We never unequivocally strike a large time, though I’d co-written a few songs on a manuscript that led to me essay for other people afterwards. 

First song we wrote my initial strain when we was nine. Prince Charles and Lady Diana were removing married and my sister and we wrote a strain for a wedding; we remember singing it to my mum. we was training piano during a time, though we got some-more into communication during propagandize that we suspect was a basement for me essay songs. 

Shyness Like a lot of artistic people we wasn’t a super amicable chairman and strain was always my approach of communicating with people. we consider when we find it harder to speak to people and afterwards we learn that they conclude something that we do, we go ‘ok, this is how we promulgate with a rest of mankind’ and a lot of your concentration goes into that. 

Songwriting For me now it is about me and maybe dual other people usually removing into a room and regulating live instruments. Some days we’ll lay around a piano or somebody will have a guitar, some days we’ll start with a title. Every day is a small bit different, though many of a time it’s like a jam session. 

On essay One Direction’s ‘Steal My Girl’ [songwriter] Julian Bunetta and we were sitting in a room and we’d separate in dual teams; [songwriters] John Ryan and Ed Drewett were in another room operative on ideas and John was personification a drums. we was singing a garland of ideas until out of a blue we started “everybody wanna take my girl” and we wrote along that line. Then we put a tune together and put difference to it. After we’d finished we spent about an hour dancing around a room singing it. That’s always a good sign; we tend to be of a opinion that if many of us in a room aren’t jumping adult and down, afterwards we haven’t created a special song. As a veteran author we know that if you’re not vehement about it, a chances are that other people are not going to be vehement by it either. A doctrine to any up-and-coming songwriter is it isn’t about essay a strain a day. 

On operative with One Direction There’s a lot of stuff, generally on a initial album, that we wrote with them. They’re indeed flattering good writers themselves. Niall’s a unequivocally good guitarist. He came to a studio with a guitar riff and we all went ‘that’s great, let’s start with that’ and myself and Niall sat there and put a verse together. He went off and played it to all a [One Direction] boys and they desired it. ‘Temporary Fix’ done it on a album. One Direction are poetic guys, we have a lot of fun and we consider everybody in a room’s a stickler for entrance adult with something that’s a right kind of strain – catchy. They’re always excited, always a small bit crazy. The Fifa 16 on a Playstation gets a bit competitive. 

On essay Jess Glynne’s ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’ We were in with a TMS prolongation group and we consider Ben Kohn was personification some chords on a piano. We’d been articulate a lot about a approach that people are feeling in general. we consider life gives we a clarity that if we don’t have a lot of things maybe you’re not as successful as we should be and that strain was about not being so tough on yourself. 

What creates a hit For me it’s a good judgment and a good artist. we demeanour for a tinge of voice. Tone is aristocrat in strain – if we demeanour during all a mythological artists, they have one thing in common: we can recognize their voice within 3 or 4 seconds of a strain starting. Adele has that. The really second she starts singing, there’s roughly a earthy force in her voice, it’s something singular and we consider it’s tellurian instinct to respond to that. If we work with gifted people, you’re some-more expected to get those good songs and gifted people enthuse we to write to your best ability. 

Best song I’m proudest of ‘Flying Without Wings’ for Westlife since [songwriter] Steve Mac and we wrote that for a wives. We were articulate about all a things that were many critical in a lives and it’s still my favourite. We were sat down in Steve’s studio deliberating a title: what are a things that make we feel like that? At that indicate we hadn’t spin relatives so it was a family, friends, and a intensity for children.

Stevie Wonder My dream would be to write a strain for Stevie Wonder, that is really tough saying as he writes many of his possess strain and brilliantly so. I’m still on a Stevie Wonder chase. we adore Stevie Wonder since we grew adult listening to his strain – my father was a large fan and so from a really immature age we was bathed in Songs In The Key Of Life and his other albums and it’s a large partial of my path. And John Denver – during a age of 5 we incited Annie’s Song on and even now that’s still one of my favourite pieces of strain as it’s such a pleasing melody. 

Songwriting inspirations Prince was substantially my favourite of all time – as an artist, writer, author and performer. He’s substantially a singularly many gifted artist I’ve ever seen and heard. Also Burt Bacharach, David Bowie, John Denver; there are so many people and it changes all a time.

Biggest inspiration My silent has been my biggest inspiration. Corny, though true. When we were flourishing up, my silent had 3 jobs and worked insanely tough until she retired. That work ethic, bargain that in sequence to have success in life, approbation we need to have opportunities open adult to you, though if you’re operative hard, afterwards that success that we could find tends to be prolonged term. I’m really of that thought that once we spin successful we indeed have to work harder to contend it. 

Fame and quick cars My manager Jackie Davidson taught me what to do with your success. we consider a lot of times people in a strain attention aren’t prepared in terms of how to indurate and means their life once they’ve had success. Success is usually an event – it’s not a finish of a journey, it’s usually partial of a road. we speak to other artists and songwriters about it and explain since it’s so critical to put yourself in a place to make strain all your life. Rushing out to buy imagination cars – we know a titillate for it, generally as someone who didn’t grow adult with a lot of money, though it’s most some-more profitable for we prolonged tenure and your ability to contend a career as a songwriter if we deposit in your life. I’ll always contend we won’t honour we if we buy a automobile before we buy a house. 

Hearing my songs on a radio It’s extraordinary – as good as it felt a initial time it ever happened. You’ll still be in a behind of a cab and a new strain will come out and you’ll tell a cab motorist ‘can we spin this up, this is my song’. Or a initial time we go to a uncover when a artist performs your singular live and there are 60,000 people singing a song. It’s electrifying. I’m in Dublin during a impulse and we was in Brown Thomas on Grafton Street and Changing [by Sigma featuring Paloma Faith] came on and we looked around meditative ‘this was me!’ I’m beholden for a fact that I’m still vehement about it, since it’s a usually approach to keep a career going. You have to adore what we do. 

On writers retard That’s usually your mind revelation we it needs a break. A lot of people contend ‘carry on, write by it, mangle by that wall’. we don’t trust in that during all. If your leg is in need of a rest, we stop running. Doing some-more on it will harm it further. For me it’s a same thing with songwriting. Your mind tells we that we need a mangle and a initial thing we do is stop and take time off. And when it’s time you’ll start write songs again. 

On rising from a shadows we consider I’ve always sought a credentials some-more than anything else. we like a fact that we can have this smashing life creation strain and not carrying a additional vigour of being a famous entity and, carrying watched how that affects other people’s lives, we consider I’ve got a improved finish of a deal. 

The Ivor Novello endowment for International Achievement This is a endowment that I’ve always wanted. Anybody that knows me knows I’m fiercely unapproachable to be British; we adore my nation and I’m beholden for what I’ve been means to grasp in it and this, as a writer, is a apex of a awards that we can receive. we do feel impossibly honoured.


  • More about:
  • One Direction
  • Wayne Hector
  • Jess Glynne
  • Steal My Girl
  • Ivor Novellos

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