Jul 182011

NPR recently tallied the amount they believe it takes to create a hit song in the U.S. today. The magic number (according to them) is $1,078,000. As you can see in this chart, the number is broken down into various categories: writing camp, songwriter, producer, vocal producer, mix/master and song roll-out.

The main topic of conversation within the article is Rihanna and, more specifically, her new song, Man Down. This is where they got the numbers for the total cost. Unfortunately for the singer, the song is not catching on as much or as quickly as her previous successes, and has the potential to not recoup the cost mentioned above.

For the Loud album, Rihanna’s label put together what is called a “Writing Camp.” This is a period of time (one week, in this case) where the label brings in the top songwriters and producers to come together and create a number of “hit” songs for an artist. They bring their best material, go into the top studios that the label has rented for the time period, and work together. At the end of the week, Rihanna came in, listened to what they had developed, and chose the tracks she wanted to record for her upcoming album.

Many people dislike this process, and say it takes the art away from music. Do you think this is the case, or can you argue that it is a way for the top songwriters and producers to come together to create art, though someone else will be performing it?

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