Track and hook songwriting is not how people think songwriting is done.
Let’s be honest.
I want a tortured artist slaving away in a mountain retreat. Maybe they are dealing with spirituality or death or family. They go for a few walks, drink too much coffee and then bleed out lyrics. Later in the studio they add music, and then we get a hit of pure gold.
That’s how music should be made.
We don’t want our music made like sausage…
But we don’t always get what we want, do we?
BY THE MID-2000S the track-and-hook approach to songwriting—in which a track maker/ producer, who is responsible for the beats, the chord progression, and the instrumentation, collaborates with a hook writer/ topliner, who writes the melodies—had become the standard method by which popular songs are written. The method was invented by reggae producers in Jamaica, who made one “riddim” (rhythm) track and invited ten or more aspiring singers to record a song over it. From Jamaica the technique spread to New York and was employed in early hip-hop.
-John Seabrook, The Song Machine