“God Talks To Me” is the new single from America’s Got Talent Season 10 finalist, Benton Blount- and it just hit digital stores TODAY! Next time, I’ll discuss how Benton came to cut the song, but today I want to share some of the songwriting decisions that went into the song. Hopefully, there are some lessons here that will help you on YOUR journey.
Should we write this title at all?
I believe it was a title that I brought to my cowriters, Michael Boggs and Jason Cox. We were actually writing at a church that day, so maybe that influenced me bringing up that title. But just because someone has an idea for a title doesn’t mean you should write it. However, we thought it was intriguing enough to explore.
What genre is the song?
Jason and Michael aren’t just country songwriters. They’ve probably each had more cuts in the Christian/gospel market than in country, actually. So given their gospel chops and the title (and did I mention we were in a church?), we could’ve easily gone the gospel route. But country is a much bigger market, and we thought it was a lot more interesting as a country title, anyway.
How do we make it fit the country market?
We made sure it was NOT preachy.
While we didn’t have a particular artist in mind, we knew there was very, very little chance that a mainstream country artist would cut (much less single) a song about how God talks to him during Bible study, prayer, or church. It just doesn’t fit the flavor or branding of most country artists. Artists don’t want to be holier-than-thou. After all, it’s not in their interest to alienate their listeners. So we knew right off the bat we’d better tear off this guy’s angel wings. “If you’re lookin’ for perfect, well, I ain’t…” ended up being the first line. The first verse makes it clear that this guy isn’t a preacher. So that makes it even more surprising and intriguing when he says “God Talks To Me.” We also put the line “you might not believe” in the chorus to help the singer not seem judgmental.
We also made all the ways in which God spoke very… down to earth. In a car crash, in a song on the radio, etc. And even what God said wasn’t overly theological. We took great care to keep true to our Christian faith while also being true to this character we were following through the song.
We gave the song energy.
We didn’t want it to be a ballad because ballads hardly ever get cut. So we gave it some movement. We also wanted the music to have some muscle. The character in the song isn’t wimpy so our melody, chords, etc. shouldn’t be wimpy, either. We kept the verses down and darker when the singer’s talking about his failings, and we lifted our chorus up when telling about how God has spoken to him. We wanted the melody to fit the meaning.
Find out more about Benton Blount at www.bentonblount.com
While choosing how to write “God Talks To Me,” we were taking care to think like pro songwriters. And if YOU want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro, too. In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…
- How to get on a music publisher’s radar
- How the pros know who is looking for songs
- Six simple ways to make your songs more commercial
- And more!
God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.